The largest island in the Great Salt Lake and home to a large bison herd. Island can be accessed via a causeway across the Great Salt Lake. A visitor center near the entrance offers information about the island.
Holiday Closures: Thanksgiving and Christmas
We just went here on a warm winter day. It was perfect because few people were visiting the par and it felt like you were out in nature all by yourself. There are two little hikes that are family friendly. My family really enjoyed going on the hikes and seeing the Salt Lake from a different vantage points. I didn't like the map they gave us because it didn't have distances of hikes on it. Stop by the Visitors Center for help. Also, if you are from out of state, be prepared to have brine flies surround you on the lakeshore in late summer. You don't have to worry about it any other time, just late summer.
This is the place! Antelope Island is in the Great Salt Lake, accessed through Layton, UT north of Salt Lake City. We spent a day there with my in-laws and our toddler and had a really fun time. It can be a lot of driving place to place, but there is actually a lot of wildlife around (we saw so many buffalo!) and it can be downright desolate in places on the island, even though you are not far from the city. There is a fairly nice beach to play on, we went in the fall and it was fairly cold, but there were plenty of people actually swimming! We dipped our feet in, but didn't have swimsuits, so stayed out of the water. We kept meaning to go back in the summer and never got around to it, but I hear it can be a little smelly due the power plants on the other shores and the water can get dirty when it's hot outside...
We did a few hikes that were fairly strenuous but provided some beautiful views of the Great Salt Lake. There are a few sites to visit, including some older homes and farms. There is a little visitor's center with a movie to watch and some artifacts, but nothing too exciting.
Overall, the cost is low (I think it was less than $10 for our carload) and there is plenty to do for a day! Bring a picnic lunch or eat at one of the Western-style restaurants if you want to spend the money.
We took our kids and my mom to Antelope Island on a Sunday afternoon, after debating what to do on a rainy day. Going to Antelope island was definitely a great choice, we had a quite a scenic drive around the island and we got to see both the bison and the Antelopes. We noticed that there is an area for camping and RV camping. We would like to try camping there sometime but just a day trip it was well worth it. Their visitor center is small but very informative, it has a little gift shop for souvenirs. If I remember correctly, the admission was free. The island shore is mostly salt. I noticed that there is dock for boating but I didn't inquire about it. If you have a boat I would highly recommend you to give them a call. The place is very pretty and just merely a few miles west of Interestate 15.
The best place for a family to enjoy the Great Salt Lake is Antelope Island. Many travelers driving along I-80 west of Salt Lake City see the Great Salt Lake and are truly disappointed just to find a stinky lake full of rotting brine shrimp covered with flies. However, Antelope Island State Park offers travelers several great opportunities to experience the real beauty that the Great Salt Lake offers.
The island can be accessed by driving a 7 mile causeway from Syracuse, Utah. There is a $2 causeway fee and $9 per car entrance fee. Salt Lake County residents can check out a state parks pass from the county library for free entrance to this state park. I would suggest visiting the visitor center/museum before you explore on your own. Ask a park ranger at the visitor center about the junior ranger program where children can complete certain learning activities in order to earn an Antelope Island Junior Ranger badge.
There are many fun outdoor activities on Antelope Island so come prepared to spend a day. If you enjoy hiking, Antelope Island has some awesome hiking trails. My family hiked the Dooly Knob Trail (1.4 miles one way). The hike was very steep but well worth the climb. Dooly Knob viewpoint gives you a 360 degree panoramic view of the island, lake and Wasatch Mountains. Look for wildlife. Antelope Island is home to a large bison herd, several antelope, mule deer and coyotes. My family saw all of these animals during our one day visit to the island. There are also many wonderful places for bird watching. Be sure to notice all of the different shorebirds along the causeway as you drive to the island. The island also has camping and picnic areas including beach access for swimming and boat rentals near the visitor center.
In summary, don’t judge the Great Salt Lake by the view from interstate 80. Go to Antelope Island State Park, get out and explore and discover the real beauty and family fun that the Great Salt Lake offers.
The Garr Ranch has a lot of activities fun for the kids and great for adults to explore the old buildings. We went during the Balloon and kite festival, Labor day weekend. Pay by the car load. Food on island is costly, but you can get a buffalo burger. Swimming is possible, but be prewarned, if the tiny kids get that salty water in their mouth they might puke, and it burns in eyes and any skin scratches. Make sure the restrooms are open with the running water to rinse off in before you get in the lake or you will itch and burn a bit after from the high salt content. Older kids like swimming better here. Water is shallow for a long distance, but you can float amazingly well, buoyancy in the unique water is different than normal. There are Geocaches on the island. Camping is also available. Take your bug spray.
How fun is it to say you have swam in the Great Salt Lake? You can do just that here, as well as see some buffalo, and finish off the experience with a picnic. Be prepared though, there are bugs galore including mosquitoes depending on the time of year. It also has quite a pungent smell with all of the dead brine shrimp.
Antelope Island is a fun afternoon getaway that is fun for the entire family. Take a drive out past the salt water and see all the antelope and other wildlife right out in the wide open. Drive to the top of an outlook to see the valley from another perspective. While your there...try a buffalo burger if your feeling adventurous. A fee is charged to enter by carload but its worth the trip!!
Fun place to visit for families. There's bike and hiking trails throughout. If you're adventurous and don't care about getting a little dirty you can go "float" in the Great Salt Lake. However you'll have to walk quite a ways out there as it's a really shallow lake. There are a lot of brine flies around, so bring some bug spray.
There is quite a bit to do out at Antelope Island and your children will love it. There are the beach where you can swim and FLOAT in the Great Salt Lake. There is a farm stead museum area that you can visit and see how people lived back in pioneer times and then there are the free roaming animals that you can travel the island in hopes of seeing. Your visit is usually rewarded with see at least a bison or two. A fun area that we try to not miss in the summer.
If you dont mind the bugs this is a great place to go. You can hike, bike, or even drive around the island. They do a buffalo round-up every year that is exciting to go and watch. You can also watch Hot Air Balloons fly over the island. I have been there numerous times and there is always something new to see or find. Many people like to bike onto the island its a nice long ride. I do believe they even sell Buffalo burgers so if you adventurous then you might like that.
Antelope Island is a very interesting place. It almost seems like you've traveled to another planet when you see the landscape. On the island you will be able to see all kinds of wildlife, particularly birds, bison, antelope (pronghorn), and rabbits. There are some campsites and a couple of beaches complete with showers and restrooms. Taking a swim in the Great Salt Lake is an interesting experience. If you can get past the stench, you'll find it to be quite amusing. Because of the high salt content of the lake, you will float a lot better than if you were swimming in fresh water. It is definitely a place to check out at least once if you visit Utah.
This is a really fun place to take children. It's a lot of fun looking for all the animals. Snakes abound, so keep an eye out as you're hiking along trails. There are also a lot of tiny biting bugs, so be sure to take lot's of bug spray. There are places to get a bite to eat, but packing a lunch in is a really fun alternative.
My family drove to antelope island for a little day trip on memorial day. It was really rainy and hardly anyone was there. It was however interesting. Not a whole lot of excitement going on but we liked touring the island and learning about the history. We definitely plan to go back and do some camping and hiking.
the drive to and through is fun, wild buffalo surrounding your vehicle. they do have a wonderful restaurant on site and there buffalo burgers are amazing. very to die for. I wouldnt suggest swimming in the salt lake. its very dirty feeling and erie. they have many activities you can do there as well. like hike, bike, walk and explore.
The first thing you will encounter (besides the smell...you don't smell it on the island thankfully!) is a long causeway across the lake, which at times makes you feel like you are in a boat and not a car. There are numerous things to do: see bison, visit the ranch, the visitors center, or the beach. One of my favorite things was playing on the beach of the Great Salt Lake. What started as wading turned into a great time swimming in the lake clothes and all. The salt factor is awful, but there are showers and restrooms to remedy that! I would suggest taking a picnic and just go exploring!
We are the most random family in the USA. We set out on Saturday afternoons with no real plans whatsoever and end up somewhere interesting 9 out of 10 times.
Antelope Island was one of these random trips. If we were to do it again we would definitely plan farther ahead so we know where on the island to go and what we want to see.
$9 will get a car-load of people into the park. $3/person for bicyclists or pedestrians. You enter the park along the causeway from Syracuse and will see the visitor center at the top of the first hill. The signs are wonderful- you can't get lost if you know what you want.
We missed the buffalo, but saw the birds and enjoyed a bite at the Buffalo Point Bistro which offers tasty hot food with a beautiful view of White Rock Bay.
The Island offers a variety of amusements from camping and hiking to swimming and horseback riding as well as some scientific information in the visitor center and a few historical landmarks. Small children might be bored if you don't have a definite activity planned, but with forethought this can be a wonderful day out on the Great Salt Lake.