Sunday, December 9, 2012

Antelope Island

On a recent trip to Utah to visit our son and daughter-in-law, we spent a day on Antelope Island.  Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake- 28,000 acres- roughly 7 x 15 miles.  It's about an hour north of Salt Lake City.  It's one of Utah's wonderful state parks and you can read more about it HERE.   While the Great Salt Lake is 5 times saltier than the ocean, This island has many (I think more than 40) natural fresh water springs which support life on the island.  Access to the island is easy by car- across the causeway- a narrow 2 lane road that spans the distance between the mainland and the island.

Barely onto the island, we made our first antelope sighting of the day.  Little did we know that this was just the beginning of our wildlife sightings!  We were lucky to even get this close to any antelope.  While you see plenty from a distance, they don't get too close to people.

I really wanted to show you a good antelope photo but just couldn't get close enough.  I did a quick internet search to find photos of Antelope Island and found this one.  Mike Cahahan, a photographer in Denver, took this shot and was kind enough to give me permission to include it in my post.  Mike originally posted the photo here (All other photos in this post are mine).

This is NOT an enlargement!  I just opened my car window and took this photo.  If I were crazy, I could have touched this big guy!  (I'm not crazy, though!).  

The island is home to a roaming heard of 500 bison.  My son and his friend hiked from the shore (4,200 feet) to Frary Peak (6,596 feet) last year and never saw any bison.   But it was our lucky day when we were there.  I lost count!

I love this shot of the bison walking along the shore.  Knowing how large these animals are-- seeing them look so small in relation to the surrounding majestic mountains and this great body of water-- puts into perspective the greatness of the scenery in front of us.  SOOO beautiful!

 This shot was taken with a zoom lens- coyote, like the antelope, are more camera shy than the bison.  We also spotted a fox and a bald eagle, but I couldn't aim my camera fast enough.

 The REAL highlight of our trip- spending time with our oldest son, Paul, and his delightful wife, Cady.

My sweetie and I posed for a photo, too.

I have no words for this.  Just had to take a picture, though.

Over the years, we have traveled a lot.  Many trips have taken us THROUGH the Salt Lake area, but we never stopped to explore much on our way to wherever we thought we needed to be.  If you are driving through SLC, I highly recommend a little side trip onto Antelope Island.  You can spend a weekend there- or just an hour.  But this unique island is not to be missed.


WoolenSails said...

That is a beautiful place to visit and wonderful place to see wildlife.


Jackie's Stitches said...

Wow! I'd love to visit Antelope Island. I really don't know much about Utah but I don't think I've seen a bloggers post about Utah in which I didn't want to go visit where they'd been.

One of the things I found totally unexpected in this post was bison, at the beach? The beach?

Julie said...

If you are lucky enough to go there in the summer, you must take a dip in the Great Salt Lake and have the experience of being able to float on top of the water, and not sink!

I miss my old stomping grounds....

Elizabeth said...

I sometimes forget how big this country is--big enough to make the bison look small! Just looking at the bison makes my mouth water. Love bison meat! Nice photo of you and your sweetie.

Needled Mom said...

Like you, we normally just drive
"through" SLC. We may have to make a special trip!

Patty said...

Wonderful sights thanks for sharing a wee bit of your trip.