I hadn’t been to Utah’s Antelope Island since I was a child. My memories of this place were of bugs galore, floating in a smelly lake, and being able to walk for what seemed like miles in the water with it never getting deeper.
Thirty five years later, I returned to find it a winter wonderland, full of beauty and unexpected thrills.
The Wasatch mountains have new appeal from this western view, the towns that line the valley are minuscule from out here. It doesn’t take long before I find my first trail head, the Dooley Knob Spur.
The hike may be short, but with a 23% grade incline in the snow, I sweat bullets. You can continue to hike to the peak if you choose, adding another three or so miles. I add this to my list for a return trip.
Antelope Island is perhaps best known for it’s buffalo herd. Seen throughout the island during the warmer months, the herd is rounded up during the winter on to the Garrison ranch to help them survive the cold months.
You can still see them though from a distance.
The biggest thrill for me was watching a family of coyote’s hunt for prey. They paid little attention to the human element, focused intently on catching a meal. Their healthy coats show what good hunters they are.
On the other side of the island is Buffalo Point. You can watch the sunset from the lookout deck, or hike to the summit. The views from either vantage point will not disappoint.
Bug free, uncrowded and beautiful, Antelope Island is a northern Utah gem in the wintertime, and if you have half a day, I strongly recommend it.