Visiting Antelope Island With Your Dog

Looking to spend a day outside with your dog? Look no further than Utah’s well-known state park – Antelope Island, a dog friendly spot offering a variety of ways to spend some time outdoors with your best friend. 

At Antelope Island, dogs and their owners will find everything from hiking and camping to bird watching and scenic driving, so no matter what you’re in the mood for. Antelope Island is not actually an island but a peninsula that you access from a causeway on Utah’s famous Great Salt Lake, so it’s surrounded by water pretty much all the way around.

Antelope Island Dog Rules

Utah’s State Parks are dog friendly, meaning your dog is welcome at Antelope Island as long as you follow a few simple rules. First, your dog has to be on a 6-foot leash and owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs, so don’t forget your poop bags. 

No dogs are allowed in any of the buildings in the park unless they are certified service animals. 

Antelope Island Hours

The park is open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and the visitor center is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during the winter and 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the summer. 

How Much Does It Cost To Visit Antelope Island?

If you have a Utah Parks Pass, that covers the entrance fee for Antelope Island. A Utah Parks pass is $125 per year for Utah residents and $65 per year for the senior citizen pass. But you will need to pay the additional Davis Causeway fee of $2 when using this pass. 

If you don’t have the pass, you can pay a daily fee of $15 per vehicle for up to eight people. 

If you’re interested in camping on Antelope Island, we will have details on that below. 

When Is The Best Time To Visit Antelope Island?

This can be a tough question to answer, because you can really visit any time of the year, but depending on what you like to do some times are better than others for certain activities. 

A good rule of thumb if you are planning to visit Antelope Island with your dog is to avoid the hottest part of the summer (typically July and August) when the temperatures are high and the bugs are thick. If you do want to visit during the summer, try to get there early in the morning and bring pet-safe bug spray.

Another option for visiting during the heat of the summer is staying in your car and just taking an air-conditioned drive around the park with your dog to see the sights.

Early Spring and Late Autumn are some of the best times to visit for hiking and bird watching, temperatures are more mild and the bugs should leave you alone. You can also visit the park during winter, just bring some layers to bundle up if it gets cold.

Antelope Island Visitor Center

While dogs aren’t welcome in the Antelope Island Visitor Center, humans are and inside you will find informational displays about Antelope Island and the wildlife and plant life you can find at the park. If you want to take a look at the Great Salt Lake’s most famous residents, the brine shrimp, you find a great display where you can see them in action.

You’ll also find information about the Great Salt Lake and a gift shop so that you can commemorate your trip to this Utah gem with a buffalo stuffy for your pooch. 

What Should I Eat On My Trip To Antelope Island?

Antelope Island has one restaurant, called the Island Buffalo Grill. Their hours are limited and change seasonally, make sure to check the website before planning to eat here. They offer traditional American grill dishes like burgers, hot dogs and chicken strips. 

If the grill is not open, it’s best to bring a picnic to enjoy with your dog during the adventure. Please bring plenty of water, it can be limited on the island. 

Things To Do

Hiking On Antelope Island With Your Dog

There are plenty of great hiking trails on Antelope Island for you and your dog depending on how much time you have and your skill level. We will talk about a few of the best ones at different lengths and difficulties below. 

Don’t forget to bring plenty of fresh water for you and your dog, because there won’t be any water along the trails. 

Frary Peak Trail

Distance: 7 miles
Difficulty: Hard

Frary Peak is the highest point on Antelope Island, so naturally it’s the hardest trail on the list but if you have the time and cardio fitness level to tackle this trail, the view is so rewarding. 

Dooly Knob Trail

Distance: 2.6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

The Dooly Knob trail begins on the Frary Peak trail, so this is a great option if you want to see a great view but don’t have time for the full 7-miler. 

Buffalo Point Trail

Distance: 1 mile
Difficulty: Easy

This is a perfect trail if you’re short on time but want to see a great view of the lake. This trail is also well known for spotting buffalo!

Lakeside Loop

Distance: 5 miles
Difficulty: Easy

The Lakeside Loop is near the Bridger Bay campground and is great for those wanting to stroll along the beach and maybe catch a great sunset. 

Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks

Sightseeing On Antelope Island

The major site to see when you visit Antelope Island is Utah’s famous Great Salt Lake. The island is arguably the best place to see the lake and experience what it is like. The GSL really is such a unique feature that you won’t see anywhere else. 

Bonus tip: If you can catch a sunset from Antelope Island, you won’t be disappointed. 

Photo courtesy of Discover Davis

Even though it’s called Antelope Island, this spot is well-known for the herd of buffalo that live on the island. If you take a drive around, you’ll most likely catch a glimpse of these giant animals. And it probably goes without saying but never let your dog chase or approach wild animals, it is illegal. 

Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks

Fielding Garr Ranch

The island is also home to Fielding Garr Ranch, a historic homestead that has been preserved for self-guided tours. You’ll find an old log cabin, blacksmith’s shop, animal corrals and so much more you can explore at the historical site. 

Dogs aren’t allowed inside the buildings at the ranch, but there are plenty of outdoor features you can explore with your pup and there are a couple of really cute, old-timey photo ops. You can learn more about the history of the ranch before you visit here. 

Bird Watching

One of the things the island in Northern Utah is most well known for is bird-watching. And you won’t just see gulls (though you will see a bunch of Utah’s state bird, the California Gull). Antelope Island is home to bald eagles, many species of owls, sparrows, wrens and many other birds. 

Avid bird watchers and their dogs can check off a lot of bucket list birds after spending a day on Antelope Island. 

Camping With Your Dog On Antelope Island 

There are six campgrounds (or glamping sites in some cases)  on Antelope Island for you to enjoy. You can book sites in advance through here.

We will go over some details about the campgrounds to help you decide which one you’d like to stay in with your dog. Keep in mind, the campgrounds are all within Utah State Park boundaries, so leash laws apply. 

Another important reminder, please check fire conditions in the area before your trip, if things in Utah are too dry, fires may be prohibited in the campgrounds. Information regarding fire danger will be posted at the campgrounds. 

Bridger Bay Campground

Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks

Price: $30-$40 per night
Limit: 2 cars, 8 people 
Restrooms: Yes

Both tents and RVs are welcome at Bridger Bay Campground, located on the North Side of the island, not too far from the Antelope Island Marina. There are a limited number of sites available with water and electricity hook ups. 

You’ll have a view of the lake from the campground but there are not many trees, so shade for your dog will be limited. 

Cottages at Bridger Bay

Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks

Price: $200 per night
Limit: 5 people
Restrooms: Yes

If glamping is more your style, check out the Cottages at Bridger Bay. You can rent a small cottage with beds, a small kitchen and restroom near the Bridger Bay Campground so that you can sleep in style for your trip. Clean linens and heat and A/C are provided. 

Rumor has it, they book up fast, so make your reservations now. 

White Rock Bay Campground

Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks

Price: $40 per night
Limit: 16 people
Restrooms: Vault only

White Rock Bay Campground is more primitive, with no flushable toilets and no hook ups. It is located near the White Rock Bay trailhead, so if you’re looking to do some hiking, this campground would be ideal for you and your dog. Keep in mind that shade is limited. 

This campground also has a group site for large family gatherings (up to 80 people), but it must be booked in advance. It is $180 per night for the large group site, called Lakeside Group Campsite. 

Ladyfinger Campground

Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks

Price: $20 per night
Limit: 4 people 
Restrooms: Vault only 

Ladyfinger Campground, located very near the causeway you use to enter the island, is best for smaller groups of four or fewer people. Each site only allows one tent. The sites are hike-in (about 230 feet from the designated parking area).  

There is no water available and fires are not allowed at this campground. 

Split Rock Backcountry Campsites

Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks

Price: $20 per night
Limit: 4 people
Restrooms: Mulching toilet 

The Split Rock Backcountry sites are backpacking sites, about 5 miles from the parking lot, campers must hike in. There is no water or shade available, so these sites are for more experienced backpackers and their adventurous pups. 

Reservations MUST be made in advance through the link above. 

We hope you enjoy your trip, whether it’s for a day or weekend, at Antelope Island, a truly unique Utah gem. 

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