Antelope Island

April 9th, 2012 § 2 comments

During my stay in Utah I managed to get a Tuesday off work. One of the guys I work with and I decided to make the most of it and get some more sightseeing in. We decided to go to Antelope Island State Park first.

Antelope Island State Park Visitor Center, Utah.

Antelope Island is the largest island in The Great Salt Lake. It can only be reached by boat or by car over the seven mile causeway. From a distance the island looks deserted and barren. It is not though. It has been made into a bison preserve. There are also lots of other species of wildlife. Yes, there are antelope on the island as well. After paying a toll we drove across the causeway and on to the island. Since it was winter time there was not a whole lot of activity on the island aside from the wildlife. Our first stop was the visitor’s center. It is a concrete building designed to blend in to the landscape. Inside is a museum. There are displays for all the different types of wildlife, the pioneers who settled on the island, native Americans, and the annual bison round up. Of course, there is a gift shop too. After looking around a little while we set off to explore the island. There are a few roads that meander their way across the island. I was surprised that one has not been built around the entire island though. The roads just lead to certain sites on the island. We drove down by one of the beaches on the island. This is also where the only restaurant on the island is. Ironically, they serve bison burgers. It, apparently, is only open during the summer. We continued driving and started to cross the island. It wasn’t long before we spotted our first bison, crossing the road in front of us.
Bison crossing at Antelope Island State Park, Utah.

I have seen bison before, but it has been a long time. I had forgotten how big they are. Once they crossed the road we were able to get beside them and take better pictures.
Bison at Antelope Island State Park, Utah.

Just after seeing the bison we saw a herd of antelope. I don’t remember ever seeing an antelope before. They are pretty cool. They look like prettier deer with weird horns. I guess they aren’t used to people, although I would think they should be. As soon as they heard the car they definitely kept an eye on us.
Antelope Herd at Antelope Island State Park, Utah.

After a couple of turns we found ourselves on a road that parallels the shoreline. There were great views of the lake and the mountains that are on the island.
View of the mountains on Antelope Island at Antelope Island State Park, Utah.

The road leads to a ranch that is on the island. We decided to turn around and head back though. It would have been a long drive to get to the ranch. It is a twenty-eight thousand acre island. On our way back we spotted an animal running along the shore. It was a coyote. I don’t think I have ever seen one of these in the wild before. It appeared to be hunting when we first spotted it. Shortly after we spotted it, it spotted us. It seemed very uneasy around people as well. For the most part, it just stared at us the whole time we were stopped to take pictures and look at it. I didn’t get any good pictures because he was a long way away and I was taking pictures with my iPhone. I knew we would see some bison and maybe some antelope, but I was not expecting much more other than that. Seeing the coyote was really cool. We decided we had seen everything we had come to see so we started to head back. I took this picture on the way back. It is a good picture of the lake, but you can also see a large portion of the seven mile causeway we came in on.
View of The Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island State Park, Utah.

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