Antelope Island: 5 Reasons Why it’s Worth Visiting

Antelope Island State Park in Utah has incredible scenery that’s quite different from the rest.

It’s unlike the rest of the beautiful parks in Utah, where mountains and red rocks rule the landscape.

Here, the Great Salt Lake and free-roaming herds of Bison are the highlights of the park.

And although I didn’t get to see a herd of these very popular animals, I did catch a glimpse at a couple of them. Bison are majestic creatures!

antelope island utah
Antelope Island State Park, Utah

Surrounding Antelope Island is Great Salt Lake–commonly known as ‘America’s Dead Sea’. This state park is located in the southern part of the lake, being also the largest Island located within the Great Salt Lake.

During my visit, it was both concerning and impressive to see the extreme dryness of the Great Salt Lake.

a dry great salt lake in utah
The Great Salt Lake aka America’s Dead Sea is drying up, and it’s alarming.

The lake level right now is only inches away from being at its lowest in more than 50 years. Drought, climate change, and the diversion of water into surrounding towns are making this worse by the minute.

Read more about why this is alarming in this article on the Great Salt Lake.

Regardless of this, Antelope Island and the views of Great Salt Lake and definitely trip-worthy!

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Is Antelope Island State Park Worth Visiting?

During my trip, I only had one day on my Utah itinerary to visit and explore Antelope Island.

Nonetheless, one day is enough to realize that this beautiful and unique landscape deserves to be on your bucket list.

Here are my top reasons why Antelope Island State Park is worth visiting.

antelope island trails
Enjoying the breeze on a sunny day in Antelope Island, Utah

1. Stunning Views of the Great Salt Lake

Once you pass the gate, you’ll immediately be mesmerized by the beauty of the Great Salt Lake.

The great thing about this state park in Utah is that you can enjoy scenic views without hiking… Just soak in the views!

entrance to antelope island
Driving in Antelope Island

2. Hiking Trails on Antelope Island

If you’re looking for things to do on Antelope Island, there are more than a dozen hiking trails that are worth exploring.

For my short visit, I decided to hike Buffalo Point Trail, which is a moderate 0.4-mile hike with an elevation gain of 248 feet.

This trail offers some of the most spectacular views of the island and the Great Salt Lake.

antelope island utah 2
Hiking trails at Antelope Island State Park in Utah

3. Bison

Of course, Bison! Bison are what Antelope Island is most famous for.

The Bison were introduced to the park in the late 1800s and the best time to see them is during the annual Bison round-up which occurs in the fall season.

However, I was able to see 2 of them–one of which I saw just driving around the island.

bison in utah
Free-roaming bison on Antelope Island

4. Camping Sites on Antelope Island State Park

For those who have more time to be on the island, camping here is a great option.

Camping in any of the three campgrounds on the island is a great idea for those who wish to hike all of the trails available.

great salt lake in antelope island
View from the tallest point in Buffalo Point Trail
  • Bridger Bay Campground – Includes picnic tables, fire pits, and vault toilets. No water or electricity, and shade is available at some sites.
  • White Rock Campground – Includes the same as Bridger Bay Campground.
  • Ladyfinger Campground – Includes picnic tables and tent pads. Open fires are not allowed, and there is no water, electricity, or shade.

If you’re also looking into primitive camping in Utah, check out how to camp for free in BLM land. It’s a great option for those who prefer the backcountry.

As always, please practice outdoor ethics by following the Leave No Trace principles when you’re out enjoying the outdoors.

5. Your Chance to View a Unique Landscape in Utah

We all go to Utah for the breathtaking rock formations, slot canyons, and arches.

But this island offers a chance at some beautiful and unlikely views in the state. Furthermore, in 2017, Antelope Island became the state’s 9th International Dark Sky designated park.

With this designation, Utah is now the leader of International Dark Sky Parks in the world! Amazing, right?

buffalo point trail in antelope island
Breathtaking view of Great Salt Lake from Buffalo Point Trail on Antelope Island

Plan Your Visit to This State Park in Utah

Hours: March – October it’s open from 6 am to 10 pm, and November – February park is open from 6 am to 6 pm.

Fees: $15 per vehicle (up to 8 people).

Address: 4528 W 1700 South, Syracuse, Utah, 84075

📍 Get Directions

Would you visit this Utah state park? Let me know in the comments!

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reasons to visit Antelope Island State Park in Utah
Yanitza Ninett
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Yanitza is one 1/2 of the Next Stop Adventures dynamic duo with 15+ years of hiking experience and adventure travel. As a PADI-certified Scuba diver, she's also passionate about ocean conservation. When she's not exploring the great outdoors, Yanitza obsesses over The Vampire Diaries and dreams of traveling to Spain.

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