Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Antelope Island, UT

Antelope Island is near Salt Lake City and a friend told us that he'd been there before and had an epic time, swimming on the beaches and camping. We trust this guy and his travel suggestions so we made sure to carve out a night to camp here. Now, Savage, if you're reading this, we're just going to assume you went a different time of year? Or maybe 2012 was an off time for this place of paradise? I don't know...

You may look at these pictures and think, "wow, what a beautiful place!" And, while that is true, these pictures are also a little deceiving. Here's how it was for us:

We got to the island right as the sun was setting and it was gorgeous. I mean, did you see those photos up there? It was beautiful.  And the birds. There were so many of them! But then there was this awful smell... I guess from the mud that had formed on the shoreline from the low water levels? Ick.

We got to our campsite and we were racing against the sun to get our tent up. And, apparently, we were also racing against strong gusts of wind that kept whipping away all our supplies. And then there were these little gnat-like bugs that attached themselves to everything we took out of the car. We gathered rocks to keep our stuff from flying away, but there was nothing we could do about the bugs. I hardly slept that night, between the loud, strong winds and feeling like bugs were crawling all over me. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

We were ready to get out of there by morning, and as we were packing up camp we were joined by a buffalo friend. He walked right into our campsite and found a giant rock where he proceeded to scratch his side for... 10 minutes? That was cool, once we got over the initial concern that we would scare him and he would attack us, haha! (Ed. note: this is one of my favorite moments from the whole trip! And Amanda's "Uhm... there is a BUFFALO in our campsite!" remark that morning was just priceless. -Taras) I still want to know how the buffalo got on the island... anyone?? Then we saw some jackrabbits on our drive off the island - those are some creepy-looking dudes!

Before we left we gave an honest effort at going for a swim in Salt Lake but, seriously, the smell and bugs on the shoreline were just too bad.

So, yeah, the beautiful sunset and close encounters with wildlife were awesome, but I hope if we were ever to go back there, the winds, insects, and smells would be kinder to us.

Have you ever been to Antelope Island? Did we just have an off experience?


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  1. I went in mid-August, but did *not* camp there! I don't quite remember it being smelly then, though I don't often remember smells in general so it might have been and I didn't notice. If you drive around a bit, I think you'd have found that there's some kind of conservation society that "maintains" the buffalo on the island... Or at least we saw fences and a statue of a buffalo. Lastly, the swim: I don't remember any bugs in the air, but there were definitely some weird things in the water. Not sure why your experience was different! I'd chalk it up to weather/environmental factors.

    From the sounds of it, your experience of having a buffalo in your campsite beats *everything* I liked about the place. Jealous!

    1. I do think it had something to do with 2012 in general - Water levels were super low everywhere we went. Especially here I think it had a huge impact because basically a lot of mud had formed and it just created a really bad smell. Maybe the bugs were a result of the water level/mud situation??

      I agree, the buffalo trumps all! It was one of the best experiences of the trip.

  2. Ooooh, I'm checking out Antelope Island really soon! I'm guessing a spring experience will be quite a bit different though!

    1. I'm excited to hear what your trip is like!!

  3. Stunning!! I love those jackrabbits!

    1. the jackrabbits are the coolest/creepiest animals. I mean, those EARS!


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