Salt Lake City Day Trip — Antelope Island


Why Go: Get up close and personal with Mother Nature less than 30 miles north of Salt Lake City. View wildlife and migrant birds, hike and/or comb the aspirin white beaches in these surreal remains of an inland sea. Note that wildlife viewing opportunities vary by season so take note.

What you will do: The best way to get the most from your trip to Antelope Island is to plan a hike and, upon completion, relax a spell on the pristine beaches. We recommend the Frary Peak hike, the highest point on Antelope Island, where you will have breathtaking views of the Great Salt Lake, The Wasatch Mountains, Antelope Island and Salt Lake City. The other cool thing is that you might see bison, other animals and birds along the trail. This is a moderate hike that is about 7 miles round trip or 4 to 5 hours. Bring water. It is best to hike here in the morning.

After your hike, it is picnic time. Look to the picnic area for a late picnic lunch on the north end of the Park.

After lunch, visit the Visitor's Center and, perhaps, the buffalo pens, before settling on your beach destination. There you can relax and enjoy the afternoon on the beaches of the Great Salt Lake. Please check with the Visitor's Center for various options and directions.

Travel portion: Antelope Island is a straight shot north on I-15 from Salt Lake City to Layton, UT and a direct turn left or west from I-15 from Layton, UT to Antelope Island. That will be UT-108/Antelope Rd. Park entrance was $9 per vehicle last time we checked.

Specific Directions: From your hotel, drive to 400 South and go west until you reach I-15 North, just past 800 West. You want to head north towards Ogden on I-15. Specifically, travel about 24.5 miles to exit 332, UT-108/Antelope Drive. This is in Layton, UT. Travel west on UT-108/Antelope Dr., West 2000 N. Follow UT-108 all the way to Antelope Island and the state park, about 17 or 18 miles. Once across the causeway, take the left fork for .6 miles, make another left and follow this road along the lakeshore for 5.2 miles, then make a right up a steep road for another .5 miles to the trailhead. There is plenty of parking, and the trail is obvious.

After the hike, return back towards the causeway but instead of heading back to the mainland, hear towards the Visitors Center. When at the Visitor's Center, plan your picnic and beach area.

When returning to Salt Lake City, simply back tract on UT-108 to I-15 heading south back to Salt Lake. Exit 307, 400 South heading east, back to the hotel.

Food options: Have breakfast in Salt Lake City. Plan for a picnic lunch on Antelope Island at the State Park at one of the picnic areas on the north end of the island. We suggest swinging by Vasuvio's and have them pack a lunch for your picnic. (Vasuvio's is closed on Sunday as are most downtown restaurants so perhaps you can have your hotel's restaurant packed your lunch if you are hiking on a  Sunday). You will have plenty of time to return to Salt Lake City that evening to clean up and have dinner in town.