Antelope Island provides dramatic, one-of-a-kind recreational experiences for outdoor enthusiasts year-round. The Park offers hiking, road and mountain biking, and boating—all with breathtaking 360-degree views of the Great Salt Lake, the mountains, and the abundant desert wildlife. The park is also easily accessible—just 50 miles north of Salt Lake City.
What Makes It Great
Antelope Island offers some of the more unique hikes in the Salt Lake area and amazing views of the Wasatch Front. Located on the east side of Antelope island, the hike to Frary Peak will take you to the highest point on Antelope Island and offers one of the best views of the Wasatch Front and Great Salt Lake that you can find. The hike is 6.16 miles round trip and scales more than 2100 vertical feet along the way. While that may sound like a substantial amount, much of the elevation is gained in stairsteps, so there is relief throughout the hike. Also, the peak finishes at 6,596 feet in elevation, so those not accustomed to altitude may fatigue quickly in the thinner air.
The Frary Peak trail is shared with the trail to Dooley Knob for the first .75 miles. From there, continue straight where the Dooley Knob trail marker indicates the split. After the split, the Frary Peak trail continues up the ridge away from Dooley Knob where you’ll work your way through mostly rolling terrain and rock gardens. It’s not uncommon to see the bison that call the island home grazing in the valley below.
As you work your way toward the peak you’ll summit first near a radio tower and remote weather station. While this peak does offer some amazing views of the island and the surrounding mountains, this isn’t the actual summit of Frary Peak. Continuing down the trail slightly to the right of the radio tower will take you down the west facing side of the ridge. Following this trail for another .25 miles will lead you to a set of man-made stairs to the summit of Frary Peak.
If you’re looking for a post-hike refuel and you’re returning to Salt Lake City, we recommend The Garage (1119 Beck Street, Salt Lake City) for good burgers, beer, and live music every weekend.
Who is Going to Love It
Experienced hikers and folks who are in decent cardio-vascular condition will enjoy the hike to Frary Peak. You don’t have to be super-human, but the trail can be a little challenging in spots—especially in the winter. If hiking when snow is present, you should be aware that the top of the trail may not be safely passable for novice hikers. Because this portion of the trail is north- and west-facing, it often accumulates more snow than the rolling terrain that led you to the peak. The trail features some steep, man-made stairs that are also susceptible to snow and ice depending on conditions. While the summit may be reachable in such conditions it’s important to consider that coming down from the summit on snow or ice is substantially more difficult than ascending.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Antelope Island is about an hour (50 miles) north of Salt Lake City. To get there, take I-15 north for about 25 miles to exit 332. From the exit, take a left onto Antelope Island Rd. You’ll arrive at the State Park in about 15 miles. The fee is $9 per day per car. The trailhead is another 13 miles, just follow the signs to Frary Peak. The island’s other amenities include picnic shelters, boat launches, a marina, and a large visitor center that highlights the island’s history. The souvenir shop is also located inside the visitor center.