Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Antelope Island State Park
Our last stop in the Salt Lake City area was Antelope Island State Park located in the waters of the Great Salt Lake. The island is 15 miles long by 4.5 miles at its widest point. It is an ancient island containing some of the oldest rocks on earth dating to 2.7 billion years old. There is evidence of habitation up to 6000 years ago.
The first European explorers to land on the island were John Fremont and Kit Carson. They called it Antelope Island after spotting a number of these animals on the grasslands. In 1848 Fielding Garr established the first permanent settlement on the island and the structures he built remain the oldest structures in the state that are still standing.
Since that settlement, the island has been used largely for livestock herding. Over a hundred years ago Buffalo were introduced to the island as part of the effort to prevent that animal’s move toward extinction. The island is also home to numerous bird species and other animals.
In 1967, the State of Utah began acquiring parts of the Island, with the result that currently the entire island is controlled by the state and used as a state park. There are two campgrounds on the island with great views and large enough for the biggest RV’s, but there are no hook ups. Once settled in, there are numerous trails to challenge the most avid hiker.
The island is said to reflect the conditions that the first settlers would have experienced on their arrival in Utah. It is a beautiful landscape with grassland, steep mountains and great views of the lake. We have enjoyed this island the best of all the sights in the area. This is a must see.