16 March 2021
What to Expect When You Visit Antelope Island State Park in Early Spring
It’s an exciting time of year to visit Antelope Island. With wildlife actively roaming the park and campgrounds, you’re almost guaranteed to catch a glimpse of the island’s iconic bison, pronghorn antelope, and even porcupines putting on a show near Fielding Garr Ranch. March also begins the spring bird migration, as the causeway and shorelines welcome millions of feathered visitors. Campers may have some guests as well, with large bull bison grazing near the campgrounds. It’s a great opportunity for wildlife watching – safely from your car or camper.
First Things First…What About the Bugs?
Warming temperatures in March open up a (very short) warm but bug-free window for recreating at Antelope Island. If you’re looking to explore the island’s trails before the bugs come out, we recommend visiting sooner rather than later. Biting gnats typically hatch in early April, or once the weather hits 60 degrees, and stay active until June. Insect repellent is ineffective, so if you plan on hiking or exploring, fine mesh head nets are highly recommended. Be sure to check the Antelope Island website for current conditions. Taking a drive and viewing from your car is a great option for taking in the island’s scenic beauty and iconic wildlife.
Biking and Hiking
Cooler springtime temperatures mean early spring is a wonderful time for hiking and biking on Antelope Island. Bring your own bikes or try eBiking, a great way to cover more ground with less effort. Rentals and tours are available from Antelope eBikes. Fuel up at the Island Buffalo Grill for the best buffalo burger around.
Rhodes Valley Outfitters offers guided horseback tours of Antelope Island. It’s an exciting option for exploring the island’s trails. Call 435.300.8564 to make a reservation.
We’ll see a huge influx of feathered friends along the causeway in late March and into April. According to park naturalist Trish Ackley, April sightings may include the ring-necked pheasant, grebe, coot, avocet, black-bellied plover, long-billed curlew, marbled godwit, sanderling, sandpiper, willet, white-faced ibis, burrowing owl, western kingbird, loads of swallows, and visitor favorite the western meadowlark.
If you’re interested in birding, be sure to check out the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival coming up in May!
Camping Antelope Island
The Antelope Island State Park Visitor Center is open daily and camping is allowed in designated areas at Bridger Bay Campground, White Rock Bay Campground and Lady Finger Campground. Spring break and weekend reservations are recommended.
Dark Sky Week
Join Antelope Island in celebrating Dark Sky Week April 5-12. This year’s activities and programs will be held virtually. Catch all of the action on Facebook.
Pro Tip: The busiest time at the entrance booth is between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you want to avoid long lines be sure to get an early start, or come later and enjoy a sunset!