antelope island state park in utah
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Antelope Island State Park in Utah has incredible scenery that’s quite different from the rest. It’s unlike the rest of the parks in the beautiful state of 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!

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 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 the 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!

Reasons to Visit Antelope Island State Park

During my trip, I had a short amount of time on my itinerary to visit the island. Nonetheless, it was enough to know that this Utah state park is very much worth the trip.

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

1. Views of the Great Salt Lake

Once you pass the gate, you’ll immediately be mesmerized by the beauty of Great Salt Lake. The great thing about this state park in Utah is that you can enjoy a lot of it without even hiking. Just soak in the views!

entrance to antelope island
Driving in Antelope Island

2. Hiking Trails on the Island

There are more than a dozen hiking trails on Antelope Island. For our short visit, we 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.

hiking at the top of the trail
antelope island hiking trails
Antelope Island hiking
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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, we were able to see 2 of them–one of which we saw just driving around the island.

bison in utah
Free-roaming Bison in Antelope Island

4. Antelope Island Camping

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 in 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.

5. A chance at a different, yet stunning landscape

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 in Antelope Island

Plan your visit

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
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About Author

Outdoor travel blogger, photographer, and Vampire Diaries obsessed. I'm passionate about hiking, and exploring the outdoors is an essential part of my life. I also love the ocean and warm sunny days.

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  1. We visited a lot of the great state and national parks in Utah. But I can’t believe we missed Antelope State Park when we were in Salt Lake City. I would want to keep those free roaming bison a safe distance away! But it is indeed a different kind of landscape.

  2. As an Idahoan, I definitely appreciate all our neighboring states have to offer. Will definitely add this to the list of “great weekend adventures.”

  3. the island looks so peaceful and relaxing. I love the views on your photos. It’s so awesome! I’d definitely love to spend my time there

  4. Ahhh Utah is sooooo dry right now!!! The lakes are all so sad looking and sooo low… hoping for a lot more rain to come!
    Antelope island is great!!

  5. Bisons and campings would be my reasons for going to this amazing place. I would love to Antelope Island someday.

  6. I don’t know what it is about seeing bison, but I just love it! I’ve had two opportunities this year to see bison at two different state parks in Minnesota and it’s just awesome!

  7. You gave me 5 reasons to visit the Antelope island and I am so convinced that I can’t wait to visit Utah. Thanks for the amazing post!

  8. What an amazingly beautiful area! I have never been anywhere quite like this. It is very scary that the lake water level is getting so low, but the scenery is really beautiful around antelope island isn’t it. It must look stunning at sunrise or sunset if you are lucky enough to camp.

    p.s. I love your bison photo!

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