I want to see a Gruffalo!

antelope 185res

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.

antelope island

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.

antelope island

The island hosts countless nesting and migratory birds of about 250 species, including various species of waterfowl and  birds of prey.

antelope island

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.

antelope island

Bison, or American buffaloes, are the most famous residents. There are about 600 animals in different parts of the island.

antelope island

I have also seen hawks, lizards, mull deer, coyotes, and a porcupine in the tree.

porcupine

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.

antelope island

I could not resist to take a picture of this old Dodge pick up truck.

antelope island

Here is an awesome map of the Antelope Island I borrowed from Wikimedia.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AAntelope_Island_State_Park_Map.jpg

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.

antelope island

antelope island

antelope island

Buffalo Point hike is very steep and rough, but it offers you some truly breathtaking views over the White Rock Bay.

antelope island

antelope island

antelope island

This time we didn’t do any hiking. We were looking for buffaloes.

antelope island

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.

antelope island

After that we went off to the shore.

antelope island

antelope island

antelope island

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.

antelope island

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.

antelope island

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! 🙂

IneseMjPhotographyHave a great weekend!

 

117 comments

  1. This is such an amazing post…. The animals living freely in their natural surroundings. And yet one can look at them!. An unique experience, indeed!. Thanks so much for sharing with us, dear Inese!. Hugs and best wishes. Aquileana 😀

    1. Thank you dear friend! Yes, the animals are free, and thankfully have enough fresh water in spite of being surrounded with the lifeless lake. I hope more people learn about this unique place and visit.
      Hugs!!!

  2. I had never heard of this place but then Utah is not that close to where I live. Driven through the state a few times. Wish I had spent more time looking around. Beautiful images!

    1. Thank you so much! It is close to the airport, Salt Lake City, and Bonneville Salt Flats; some 6-7 hours drive from Moab, and 10-12 hours drive from the Grand Canyon.

  3. Great post! It’s unusual to read on WP about Lake Bonneville, not many people understand that kind of history. 🙂

    1. Thank you! 🙂 Hopefully I will visit the island next spring and make a bigger post covering some geology, and also the historic ranch.

  4. Oh, save the flies I say it was a magnificent place; there is something in that old Dodge that looks like a noble bison too. Thanks for show it to us, Inese ^_^

    1. Thank you Francis! I should have posted more pictures of the wildlife and the ranch, but I am on holidays with my grandchildren and will leave it for another post next spring 🙂

        1. I hope not. No dogs allowed, no hiking beyond trails. The island is 15 miles long, there is room for anyone. People seem to be respectful. The wildlife is well controlled too. You would be surprised seeing so many species just in a matter of 2-3 hours.

    1. Thank you Cindy! One of the links I shared really surprised me. There is a list of all the Utah wild preserves and parks, and I have never heard of most of them. This area has so many famous parks that it is easy to miss an island 🙂

  5. This is a great tour to the place. I have not heard of the place before. Now this place will on my consideration to visit. The scenery are beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, John! Glad you are back. I have already read your new poems a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t have time to comment as I was getting ready to my trip.
      Peace and love from Ireland!

  6. Beautiful, the pictures reminds me of some wild west movie. The magnitude of the prairies, if you can call them that. Sorry about the stinking lake, you have to suffer to take good pictures! That´s your job.

    1. Thank you friend! You are right, the magnitude of the space is overwhelming. And as to the stinking lake – some people were actually sitting in the water the whole time. It is probably good for your health 🙂

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