Welcome to our first USA guide! Honestly, we’re pretty excited to be releasing content outside of the Philippines, and what better place to start than Antelope Island in Carson’s home state of Utah. They don’t call it Salt Lake City for nothing. Utah is overflowing with lakes (pun intended); small ones, big ones, some even great! The Great Salt Lake, get it?
Within The Great Salt Lake sits Antelope Island State Park, a haven for hiking, biking and wildlife watching. With picnic areas and facilities abound, Antelope Island camping is a popular activity amongst locals and tourists alike. Connected by a 7 mile/11km causeway, visiting Antelope Island is an easy trip for anyone looking to get amongst a little nature.
WHERE IS ANTELOPE ISLAND
Antelope Island is around 45 minutes – 1 hour drive from Salt Lake City. All the sights in Utah are very spread out, so your best bet is to rent a car from a number of car hire companies in Salt Lake City. Car hire prices sit at around $50/day. Once you’ve sorted out a car, you can just key Antelope Island into your nav or use the Google Maps pin below.
ANTELOPE ISLAND BUDGET
Aside from the car rental cost, you’ll also want to put some money aside for the entrance fee. If you’re just planning on visiting for the day it’s $15 per vehicle. If you want to camp overnight you’re looking at between $20 – $180, depending on which campsite you choose.
Here’s a fee breakdown:
Bridger Bay Campground – $20 per site
White Rock Bay Campground – $40 per site
Lakeside Group Campsite – $180 per site
Ladyfinger Campground – $20 per site
For all the deets and to book a campsite, click here.
WHAT TO BRING TO ANTELOPE ISLAND
Prepare for your trip to Antelope Island with our must-have travel essentials.
Light jacket: Columbia Men’s Watertight Jacket (click for price), Columbia Women’s Waterproof Jacket (click for price)
Quick dry microfiber travel towel: Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Towel (click for price)
Insulated water bottle: Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle (click for price)
Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro (click for price)
To see our complete camera gear read this post here.
MORE UTAH TRAVEL GUIDES
WHEN TO VISIT
We made our first trip out to Antelope Island during the absolute peak of summer 2019. It was blistering hot to the point where staying in the car was preferred, but things were looking pretty green from recent rains. Carson went back with his family in April 2021 and experienced a whole different landscape, with snowcapped mountains in the background and dry, post-winter conditions.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT ANTELOPE ISLAND
Once you drive onto Antelope Island, you can continue driving to the different attractions on the island. Or, you can pick a parking spot and explore on foot or bike, pick your poison. Depending on how adventurous you are, you can do as little or as much as you want at Antelope Island.
Because of the heat when we went in 2019, it took every last scrap of energy to just stand around outside. There are designated hiking trails so we did hike a short way up to a rocky vantage point. If you’re visiting with family and young children, there are plenty of picnic spots and things to see without straying too far off the beaten track.
Being surrounded by a lake and all, people of course do like to swim at Antelope Island. The Great Salt Lake is around 10 times saltier than the ocean, so it’s fun to float around and test your buoyancy. Most people can float with zero effort here.
WILDLIFE AT ANTELOPE ISLAND
One of the most exciting activities for us at Antelope Island was wildlife watching. Zowie may have grown up around kangaroos and koalas, but show her a squirrel and she’ll lose her mind. Contrary to its name, we didn’t actually see any antelope though. We did, however, see plenty of bison. You might even chance an encounter with bighorn sheep, deer or bobcats.
Whilst these photos look like we got all up in the bison’s grill, they were actually captured from the car. Bison will happily approach cars to graze on grass like you don’t exist, but for safety’s sake, stay in your car or watch from a distance. They may look like fluffy, albeit dishevelled cows, but bison can be unpredictable and dangerous. The general rule of thumb is to maintain a 100 metre/328 feet distance if you’re not within the safety of a car.
FIELDING GARR RANCH
If you’re looking for an even more wild west experience at Antelope Island, you’ll want to make a top at the Fielding Garr Ranch. The Fielding Garr ranch has been around since 1848 and was built and maintained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Mr Garr himself.
There are horse paddocks, historical buildings and barns to explore and wander through, as well as a wooden horse to practice your lasso skills on. This part of Antelope Island is definitely a must-visit for families and history buffs.
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WHERE TO STAY IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
There’s no shortage of accommodation in Salt Lake City, but having all those options can be a little overwhelming when it comes to choosing the best place to stay. We’ve chosen our top picks for budget, midscale and luxury hotels in Salt Lake City to make things easier for you.
BUDGET: SLC HOSTEL
SLC Hostel is located in the heart of downtown SLC and our top pick for budget stays. With deluxe bathrooms in common areas, radiant heated floors and modern technology, it’s the best option for budget backpackers and digital nomads not looking to break the bank.
MIDSCALE: LITTLE AMERICA HOTEL
Little in name but not in stature, Little America Hotel is the largest hotel in Salt Lake City with 850 rooms and a history dating back 60 years. It’s a little up there on the midscale ranking but still offers affordable prices with very well maintained facilities.
LUXURY: GRAND AMERICA HOTEL
If you fancy the finer things in life and don’t mind splashing some cash, Grand America Hotel is the pinnacle of five star accommodation in Salt Lake City. Everything here is, well… grand. The pool, gardens, restaurants and rooms all live up to their name.