Imagine an island with white sand beaches where wild buffalo roam free, that’s named for the pronghorn antelope grazing on the steep, mountainous slopes. A place where you can splash in the cool salt waters and board the decks of a sailboat, or simply hire a stable kayak to paddle off into the sunset. If it sounds like an exotic, Pacific island with a strange collection of wildlife, imagine your surprise when you find out this island is smack in the middle of Utah. Located an hour outside of Salt Lake City in the middle of the Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island State Park is a place unlike any other in the world. Larger than the Caribbean island of St. Thomas, this scenic island is covered in trails for biking, horseback riding, and hiking. Spend a night at a primitive campsite beneath a canopy of stars, where the distant call of a wild mule deer is paired with the lapping of waves. Get sweeping views of the Wasatch Range and surrounding Great Salt Lake, and step back in time at the Fielding Garr Ranch that was one of the largest in the West.
Antelope Island is accessed via a causeway that’s west of I-15. The island has a marina, restaurants, and facilities, and an entrance fee of $10/vehicle and $15/campsite. The park opens daily at 7am, and closes as early as 5:30pm in winter to 10pm in summer.