Adventures In Running

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Trails on Antelope Island

Antelope Island is a great island to run on. The only time I don't really enjoy it is during the summer when the 'no see-ums' attack and even that is liveable if you put on enough bug juice.

I have run all of the allowed trails on the island and thought this would be a good time to post about them:

The Lakeside Trail: This trail is about 3 miles long each way and runs between the White Rock Bay campground and Bridger Bay campground. Except for one really rocky section in the middle, this is an easy trail and great for taking young families on hikes.

Frary Peak Trail: Not for the faint of heart or legs. The first mile of the uphill is literally breathtaking, after that it is just tough. The uphill slog is worth it for the run downhill when you are done. I have done the section after the antennas to the top of Frary Peak several times, but it is really rough and exposed and quite scary (some scrambling on all fours). I think everyone should do it once to say they have done it and seen the views - but no longer think it is worth the risk to my body and mind and avoid it.

White Rock Bay Trail: 7-8 miles around this. There have been some new sections cut in the last two years, so this trail keeps changing. This is a good trail for hiking and running - you don't have to focus on your footing and will see lots of horses, buffalo and other runners/hikers/bikers. It is also worth taking the side trail up to the antenna towers to see the old buildings up there.

Elephant Head Trail: This trail has some nice single track, but you do have to watch your footing. It is an out-and-back trail. One of the two trails that you have to do part of White Rock Bay and then head up the steep uphill past Lone Tree to get to.

Split Rock Trail: This is the other trail that requires you to go on White Rock Bay to get to. This is a nice loop trail and you can choose to either run down a long downhill to the valley and then up several miles of switchbacks or run the several miles of switchbacks and then face the long uphill run (my preferred version). This is the first place I was ever charged by a buffalo - I went up the side of the valleys that time. Take time to stop and view the old horse corral and read the signs when you are going by. Sometimes in the winter this trail can get a little slick because the sun doesn't melt patches of ice on the south walls.

Mountain View Trail: This trail runs along the front of the island. It starts just after the causeway, passes the start to the Frary Peak Trail and ends up at the ranch houses. A nice easy trail with short uphills and downhills.


The Causeway: 7 miles of flat running and biking each way. Kind of stinky near the start of the causeway. This used to be a lot prettier before the lake receded. The Great Salt Lake is at a pretty low level and definitely needs some good rain and snow fall in order to get it up higher. You often have to deal with a crosswind - but I highly recommend this for biking with young children.

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