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.


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.


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!



              1. Oh wow! You just made me my heart feel so loved and comforted- thank you so much for saying that. I am also so happy to read Tina- wow she is powerful! Thank you so much Inese ❤️

    1. It is very easy to reach, and there are many famous attractions all around. You can fill up your drive from Yellowstone to GC. I am posting a blog about one more fine place tomorrow 🙂

  1. Inese, I think I made a mistake on my last post comment, about sweet and curious girl who searched the ground for pill bugs (Roly Polies, as you called them.) I gathered in this post she is your daughter. I accidentally asked if she were a grandchild. Forgive this comment, please.
    Anyway, there are a few photographs which have a haunting or ethereal look to them, Inese.
    I really enjoyed the details and descriptions you tell us, as a wonderful guide for us. 🙂

    1. No, You are right, the little girl is my granddaughter 🙂 She is not too impressed with the huge things 🙂 I can handle a snake, but I have never touched a pill bug until she gave me one 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind comment! English is not exactly my native language, and it is where all the misunderstandings come from 🙂

        1. Thank you so much! The island is mostly the lake, the sky and the plain, but the colors are always a bit eerie, like some optical illusion or something.

  2. It looks like a fascinating place and you managed to capture the atmosphere beautifully in your photographs. Even the old Dodge has a kind of rugged honesty!

  3. Fascinating post Inese! I had never heard of Antelope Island, and will definitely set aside time the next time I am in the area. Last fall I drove by Great Salt Lake on my way to Yellowstone, next time I will go there. We have a similar lake in southern Calif. called Salton Sea, no outlet; not nearly as big as GSL, but briny and somewhat smelly — it, too, is loaded with wildlife. Your photos here are great, and very interesting content. 😀

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I have never heard of Salton Sea … Sounds amazing. There are so many beautiful places in America, and wildlife is so diverse.
      Thank you again for commenting, and hope you visit Antelope Island in the near future.
      Best wishes!

    1. Thank you Indah. Yes, only camping for $15-20 per night from a car. No flush toilet, etc. Well, there is a flush toilet somewhere, but only during the day hours.

    1. Cindy, thank you! If you are in the area and have 2-3 spare hours, it is very easy to reach, and you even don’t have to do any hiking, just drive around and enjoy yourself. It is some 8 miles from I-80 and I-15.

  4. Delightful photos showing me what another part of the world looks like… Thanks so much. I love the fox on your about me page is he your pet? Thanks for coming to my blog… IAM sure we can enjoy each other’s journey bringing beauty into the world with our creations… Barbara

  5. GREAT POST !!!
    Can’t believe you are in Utah.
    I love Moab—back in the old days it was just
    a small wonderful place—now it has become
    a sort of theme park.
    Salt Lake City area is wild to view from a plane !
    Have fun—be safe !!!

    1. Thank you! I was to Moab the year a part of Landscape Arch collapsed. Southern Utah and Northern Arizona are my favorite places in the whole world 🙂

  6. It seems like a fascinating place, a bit like an island, but still linked to the mainland. We didn’t have time to stop there during our first visit in Utah, but we will definitively check it out if we ever go back.

  7. Hi Inese, gorgeous nature,fascinating photos.On July 15 my wife and l visited Montana,Idaho and Utah,,Wyoming we were lucky to see wild live.The nature in these States is incredible .WE saw The Yellowstone Park,The great Teton national park and Mt.Rushmore.Best regards.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! You had an amazing trip. The wild life in the US is something to see, and the scenery is magnificent.
      My best wishes.

  8. Fantastic pictures Inese. You’ve really surprised me with the porcupine climbing a tree though. Yesterday Reuben was taken to see a gruffalo on the Gruffalo Walk somewhere near Chester . It’s one of his favourite books.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    1. Thank you David!
      I too was surprised and couldn’t believe my eyes.

      Oh so fun! The Gruffalo walk! Even I would love to see one 🙂 Our four years old gave us a hard time until we came across a huge bison nibbling on the grass on the side of the road.

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