The state of Utah is known for its amazing hikes and natural beauty. Some travelers enjoy exploring Snow Canyon’s lava tubes and sand dunes, while others are intrigued by Utah’s popular national parks. Rivers, canyons, red rocks, lakes, arches, and forests are all spectacular natural features found in the Beehive State.

There are plenty of parks to add to one’s Utah bucket list, with one such scenic spot being Antelope Island. The largest island in Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island, contains unique flora and fauna. Visitors enjoy hiking the Frary Peak Trail, birdwatching along the Great Salt Lake, and exploring the historic Fielding Garr Ranch. There is much more to do on Antelope Island, however, besides hiking and visiting a historic ranch. From spider festivals to star parties, there are plenty of unique things to see and do on this beautiful Utah island.

Related: 10 Most Underrated National Parks In The United States

10/10 Bring Your Dog

There are plenty of dog-friendly travel destinations around the US, including Antelope Island State Park. Pets are allowed on the island’s hiking trails and picnic areas if they are on a leash 24/7. The leash must be no longer than six feet long. The beach, however, is completely off-limits to furry friends.

Many visitors enjoy bringing their pets along when hiking Buffalo Point Trail. This easy, one-mile hike takes under 30 minutes to complete and is great for people with smaller or older dogs.

9/10 Swim At The Beach At Bridger Bay

Utah’s Great Salt Lake is, in fact, very salty. The salinity of the lake is so high that fish cannot live in that type of environment. While fish may not be able to enjoy the Great Salt Lake, human guests greatly enjoy splashing around in the salty water. The beach at Bridger Bay is the best spot to go for a dip, as there are showers on-site for rinsing off after a swim in the lake. The views from Bridger Bay are also quite breathtaking.

8/10 Go Horseback Riding

One fun way to explore Antelope Island State Park is via horseback. Rhodes Valley Outfitters offers guided horseback tours of Antelope Island for all ages, skill levels, and abilities. The tour guides show guests the most breathtaking parts of the island, including the grasslands, white sand beaches, and freshwater springs. Guides also point out the unique fauna, including Bison, pronghorn antelope, jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, and snakes.

  • Address:
    1470 Wild West Way, Kamas, UT 84036

  • Hours:
    Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm, Saturday-Sunday 9 am-4 pm

  • Cost:
    1 hour- $85 per rider, 2 hours- $105 per rider

  • Book:

7/10 E-Bike Around The Island

Hiking, driving, and horseback riding around Antelope Island are all enjoyable. Another fun way to sightsee is via an electronic bike. Antelope E-Bike Company offers guided e-bike tours around the island. Guests can choose which time of day they wish to explore the state park with the early bird, afternoon, and sunset tour options. Antelope E-Bike Company also offers a $70 shuttle tour of Antelope Island featuring fun music and lots of photo ops. Visitors interested in viewing the wildlife up close can rent binoculars prior to the tour.

  • Address:
    4528 W 1700 S, Syracuse, UT 84075

  • Cost:
    sunrise tour- $99, afternoon tour- $99, sunset tour- $105

6/10 Eat A Buffalo Burger

Antelope Island State Park is home to around 700 Bison. Travelers come from far and wide to see these large animals in person. Since these creatures are a popular attraction, visitors might not realize that they can order a buffalo burger at the Island Buffalo Grill. Travelers rave about this unique dish. It should be noted, however, that the buffalo used in the burgers is not sourced from the island.

  • Address:
    Antelope Island 4528 W 1700 S Syracuse, UT 84075

  • Hours:
    Open President’s Day weekend – beginning of November

Related: North Dakota: Why Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Bison, And Badlands Are Worth It

5/10 Take Part In The First Day Hike

Many travelers know of the hiking trails found at Antelope Island State Park, including Frary Peak Trail, Buffalo Point Trail, and Lady Finger Point. A fun and not well-known hiking event is the First Day Hike. This special hike takes place on January 1st and is led by a park naturalist. Interested parties meet at the White Rock Bay Trailhead at 1 pm, then hike around the island while the park naturalist shares some history about Utah and Antelope Island. This event is perfect for active individuals looking for a fun and fit way to start off the new year.

4/10 Attend The Annual Spider Festival

Another annual Antelope Island State Park event is the Spider Festival. This festival takes place every August when orb weaver spiders appear by the hundreds and create webs all over the park. Event activities include face painting, crafts, guided tours, scavenger hunts, and presentations. Last festival, the state park uploaded pre-recorded Spider Fest presentations online for interested individuals who could not attend in person.

These spiders are harmless, yet people with arachnophobia should steer clear of Antelope Island during the month of August when these small creatures are out and about.

  • Date:
    August (exact date TBA)

3/10 Attend The Annual Bison Roundup

Antelope Island is known for its Bison population, which is around 700. Not all travelers are aware, however, that guests can attend the annual Bison roundup event. When planning to see a buffalo or Bison round up event, there are a few things to know. First, wild creatures can run at a startling rate of 30 miles per hour! Guests who fear this fast speed can watch the Bison roundup from the comfort of their vehicles. Other guests prefer to stand along the road for a better view.

  • Date:
    October (exact date TBA)

2/10 Go To A Star Party

Stargazing is always enjoyable but going to a star party is next-level fun. Antelope Island State Park has the perfect conditions for stargazing, as it is International Dark Sky Park. The lack of light pollution and a large quantity of visible stars makes the island a meeting spot for the Ogden Astronomical Society. This society hosts “star parties” on Antelope Island monthly. Anyone is allowed to attend, and the parties are free. The Ogden Astronomical Society provides telescopes and enjoys educating guests on astrology. More information can be found on the Ogden Astronomical Society’s website.

1/10 Adopt Part Of The Park

Guests who really enjoy the park and spend a lot of time exploring it may consider adopting a portion of Antelope Island State Park. This special Adopt-A-Park program allows families, groups, organizations, or individuals to adopt part of the park. Much more glamorous than the Adopt-A-Highway program, people can adopt trailheads, part of the beach, or the area containing Fielding Garr Ranch. Adopting means committing to 3+ clean-ups per year, with a one-year commitment. Adopting a section of Antelope Island is a fun and unique way to help keep the state park clean and preserved.


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