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Antelope Island worth it for one partial afternoon?

Bethesda, Maryland
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Antelope Island worth it for one partial afternoon?

If we are a nature loving family arriving in SLC on a Sunday afternoon (plane arrives at 2:30 pm) in August and want to see something dramatic before we spend the night somewhere before heading up to Jackson the next morning, should we pick up our rental car and head straight out of SLC to get to see the Great Salt Lake? And would we be able to access Antelope Island park in the late afternoon and include a swim before going to the hotel for the night? We don't know how easy or crowded this destination might be. We were thinking of finding a family friendly hotel in Layton for that night and then leaving early next morning for Jackson.

Park City, Utah
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1. Re: Antelope Island worth it for one partial afternoon?

Definitely worth the stop, although not sure if swimming will be the highlight. It's an easily accessible park and you can cover a fair amount of territory. You will see buffalo and other wildlife - good prep for Yellowstone.

There's tons of lodging and family friendly restaurants along the I-15 corridor. But I might also suggest staying in downtown Ogden and hitting one of the restaurants on historic 25th Street like Roosters. The Hampton Inn downtown is cheap, clean and convenient.

Have fun.

Salt Lake City, UT
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2. Re: Antelope Island worth it for one partial afternoon?

Yes, definitely worth the stop. Although, as Tumbleweed shared, you might want to skip the swim. But it won't be too busy. You can drive the loop which is very pretty and yes, you'll see tons of wildlife. I also think it's worth stopping at the ranch (Fielding-Garr, I think?) where you can tour inside the former working ranch. We have also done an hour horse-back riding tour from the ranch, which was so much fun (you would need to book this in advance). And be sure you stop at the Visitor's center. I think it's best to stop there first and then drive around...gives more significance to aspects of the island.

Have fun!

Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: Antelope Island worth it for one partial afternoon?

My vote goes there too that it would be worth the stop. Not too bad of a drive in the early afternoon, and while some of the services will close the park itself doesn't and a sunset over the lake can be wonderful.

Just know that in August it may be very hot out there. And I don't think anyone goes swimming, but it is fun to at least go walking, and walking and walking out to where it is deep enough for you to sit down and float.---but the brine shrimp can be plentiful and you'll come back with them everywhere. No harm, just be prepared.

Layton has plenty of options for hotels, or Ogden is fun as well.

Bethesda, Maryland
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4. Re: Antelope Island worth it for one partial afternoon?

This is great advice from both of you, thank you! We will plan on going to Antelope Island now the day we get to SLC even if it's just for a couple hour look around and will now look for a place for a big family somewhere in Ogden. We appreciate the expert help.

West Jordan, Utah
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5. Re: Antelope Island worth it for one partial afternoon?

Yes, it is kinda cool to be in a place where there are no real indications that you are on Earth. Tatooine, maybe. But not Earth. These aren't the droids you want.

My kids loved Fielding Garr ranch. The caretaker had to kick us out at the end of the day because they were having so much fun.

Or you could go up to Snowbird. Maybe because I live in the SL Valley, I love going up the canyons in the summer. When you're in 95 degree heat in the valley, going to a place where it's 75 or 80 is also fun. But Snowbird is the other way from Yellowstone.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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6. Re: Antelope Island worth it for one partial afternoon?

Antelope Island is an awesome place to visit, and you really don't need more than a half day there at the most. I would suggest you visit either early in the day or late in the day, though, as there is little shade and it will definitely be awfully hot at that time of the year. There actually are beaches with showers on the island, and a swim in the Great Salt Lake is definitely an interesting experience. Just realize that the lake is pretty shallow. You have to walk out pretty far into it in order to get into water deep enough to float in. Whether you go for a swim (make that "a float" instead), you'll be glad you visited the island.

Chicago
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7. Re: Antelope Island worth it for one partial afternoon?

Antelope Island is a definite "must" if you are a nature loving family. We just returned from SLC and spent several hours last Sunday morning touring the island. We arrived just after opening (7:15-ish) and had the island practically to ourselves. The vistas are incredible!. No, seriously. Incredible! The lake was still and reflective. Snow capped mountains reflected in the glass-like water and the tree-less foregrounds made for inspirational contemplation (not to mention some great photos).

While driving the paved roads we observed bison, antelope, coyote, numerous species of birds, jackrabbits, etc. doing what they do. We had planned on wading into the lake to see how far we needed to walk until the water was above our knees. Unfortunately, we arrived at the height of a no-see-ums hatch and were unprepared. They swarmed as soon as we opened the car doors and they were relentless. We never made it to the water. We also decided to abandon our planned hike.

If you arrive later in the afternoon the no-see-ums might not be an issue. The ranger at the visitor center mentioned that they die down when the temperature hits 90+. Or they might not be around in August. I don't know. Either way, if you come prepared or don't mind the little critters the island is well worth the trip. We have not found another place like it and plan to return next time in Utah. Like Utahrd said, it's a little like Tatooine...

Dallas, North...
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8. Re: Antelope Island worth it for one partial afternoon?

We're on our way from SLC to Twin Falls to Pocatello. Would it be more scenic going to Wells and see the Salt Flats? Would we have time to drive to Antelope Island and Twin Falls? We don't arrive until 11 am.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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9. Re: Antelope Island worth it for one partial afternoon?

<<Would it be more scenic going to Wells and see the Salt Flats? >.

Not in my opinion. Not saying the salt flats aren't scenic, they are. But it is a longer drive (both mileage and time) and except for the salt flats it is pretty barren country.

<<Would we have time to drive to Antelope Island and Twin Falls?>>

How much time do you have? You'll want at the very least an extra hour for Antelope Island, but realistically 2-4 would be more like it (depending on how much you explore and whether you hike anywhere).

Edited: 12:52 am, March 08, 2012
Dallas, North...
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10. Re: Antelope Island worth it for one partial afternoon?

We're on our way from SLC to Twin Falls to Pocatello. Would it be more scenic going to Wells and see the Salt Flats? Would we have time to drive to Antelope Island and Twin Falls? We don't arrive until 11 am. Do you take a ferry or can you drive to Antelope Island?