I am on holidays, and all I do is taking family pictures of no public interest. Yet, there is a place I really want to tell you about, so that if you travel through the area, you spare some couple of hours to visit, or even camp there over night. Antelope Island, Utah, a home to the Antelope Island State Park.
Great Salt Lake’s largest island looks like another world.
It is my third visit, and I have a couple of photographs to share.
In the image below you can see a 7-mile causeway to Antelope Island the way it looks from the top of the Buffalo Point. The causeway was submerged for most of the 1980’s, because of high lake levels.
The island hosts countless nesting and migratory birds of about 250 species, including various species of waterfowl and birds of prey.
More than forty freshwater springs produce 36 million gallons of water each year supporting wildlife and vegetation. Pronghorn antelopes are native to Utah, and there is a big herd of them on the island.
Bison, or American buffaloes, are the most famous residents. There are about 600 animals in different parts of the island.
I have also seen hawks, lizards, mull deer, coyotes, and a porcupine in the tree.
The picture of the porcupine is not great, but I think I was very lucky to take it.
Another attraction is the historical Fielding Garr Ranch, and I advise you to visit it. A tip: it closes early, so you better go there first thing in the morning.
I could not resist to take a picture of this old Dodge pick up truck.
Here is an awesome map of the Antelope Island I borrowed from Wikimedia.
The most spectacular is the road that runs along the eastern coast. I have never been there in summer, but even in the winter haze it looks like a different planet.
Buffalo Point hike is very steep and rough, but it offers you some truly breathtaking views over the White Rock Bay.
This time we didn’t do any hiking. We were looking for buffaloes.
There were many of them, all far away from the road. It is very difficult to explain to a toddler that a black dot barely visible in the tall dry grass is a promised huge buffalo. ” I wanna see a Gruffalo!”
But it was our lucky day indeed – we met one at the side of the road.
After that we went off to the shore.
Great Salt Lake is a remnant of prehistoric Lake Bonneville which covered more than 20 000 square miles during the Ice Age.
Water flows into the lake from four rivers, but Great Salt Lake has no outlet: water leaves only through evaporation. Concentration of minerals is very high and no fish or any other creature can live in this water except for brine shrimp and brine flies, and some algae.
Oolitic sand is a unique feature of Great Salt Lake. Round grains of sand are formed similar to how pearls are formed, with the pellets of brine shrimp faces in the middle.
A 15 minute walk to the shore in some 100F was a mistake: the lake smells 😦 The sand was crawling with the tiny flies, and I suspect, their larvae… Probably it is a seasonal thing.
Nevertheless, it is a place I highly recommend to visit, especially during the Annual events like Moonlight Bike Ride, and celestial events – for night photography. I am in love with the island and hope to come here again in Spring.
Thank you for taking this short tour with me! 🙂