Antelope Island - The Southern Causeway

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
3,612
This is a hike I did a few years before I knew this site existed, so please forgive me for the extensive delay in posting my report.

The original causeway to Antelope Island was not the northern one which you can now drive across to reach the island, but instead one that approached the island from the south. I believe it was completed in the early fifties and was used primarily for herding cattle to and from the island. I thought I had read back in the day, that it was also used to access the island in order to remove materiel from the island for the construction of I-80. I cannot find that article today though, so maybe someone who knows the history of the causeway or I-80 can chime in and correct me if need be.

I had gone out with my son a week before I did this hike to see where I needed to start from and get a general sense of what the area was like. As we walked down the dirt road, I had to stop my son from stepping on a rather large Gopher Snake that was stretched out across the road. My son said, "Dad, that snake is dead." I said, "No, I don't think it is." So I started to stroke its back with my finger and it stated sticking out its tongue but it did not move. I told my son, "Watch this!" and then went to pick him up just behind his head. Well as soon as I touched him, he wheeled around like lightning and bit me on the finger and started carrying on like a rattlesnake - coiling up and hissing and shaking the end of his tail as if he had had a rattle. Needless to say, I had to finish our little reconnaissance with my finger stuck up in the air because I could not get it to stop bleeding. My son still gets a big kick out of that story! :)


The hike itself is right around twenty miles round trip and essentially flat. The day I hiked it, it was raining, pouring heavily at times, and definitely a muddy slog. The sky cleared the last couple of miles on the way back. the route starts at the edge of the International Center and follows a dirt (muddy on this day) road diagonally all the way to the Salt Lake where the causeway then curves slightly to a point on the east side .9 miles north of the southern tip of the island.

Along the way, you cross the Surplus Canal which was raging and actually had spilled over its banks on the return trip.

I was surprised at the amount of wildlife that I was able to see along the way that included antelope (including a hidden fawn), coyotes, rabbits and all kinds of waterfowl.

At the beginning of the causeway there are a couple of breaches which forces you to walk out into the lake itself to get around them. The water at this point was only an inch or two deep and the lake bed was surprisingly solid so it wasn't too bad to cross. Of course, there was a fair amount of garbage along the causeway - things like old shoes, flip flops and such. I ran across six duck decoys washed up on the edge of the causeway.

Once at the island, I ate lunch before making the return trip back to my vehicle.

02.jpg
The dirt road that leads to the southern causeway

03.jpg
Nice and green in May

04.jpg The Surplus Canal

05.jpg
Gate at the end of the bridge across the Surplus Canal

06.jpg
Still a pretty good rain at this point

07.jpg
First glimpse of Antelope Island through the clouds

08.jpg
Approaching the beginning of the causeway

09.jpg
Coyote track

10.jpg
A shoe at the beginning of the causeway

11.jpg
My shout-out for Uinta Brewery though I am pretty pissed that they got rid of their Kings Peak Porter

12.jpg
The southern causeway

13.jpg
A look back at the Kennecott Smelter

14.jpg
One of six duck decoys found along the causeway

15.jpg
On the causeway

16.jpg
Approaching Antelope Island

17.jpg
The southern end of the island

18.jpg
Looks like a vehicle may have used this in the recent past?

19.jpg
The island is within reach

20.jpg
The point where the causeway meets Antelope Island

21.jpg
The road that heads north to the Garr Ranch

22.jpg
I can't recall who this is! :scatman:

23.jpg
Looking back at the causeway from where I ate lunch

24.jpg
Bet you didn't know that Scatman could walk on water, did you?

25.jpg
Scat tracks :eek:

26.jpg
One of the breaches at the southern end of the causeway

27.jpg
At the southern end of the causeway with a reasonable view of Antelope Island

28.jpg
Overflow near the Surplus Canal

29.jpg
Some sun at last! Yippee! :D

30.jpg
What the beginning of the hike looks like. It was raining too hard to take a picture when I first started out so I took this one at the end.
 
I'm betting that route would look quite a bit different with the current low lake level. Thanks for that!
 
Do people ride ATVs on the causeway? Would it make a good bike trip (when dry)?
 
Do people ride ATVs on the causeway? Would it make a good bike trip (when dry)?

I'm pretty sure motorized access is not legal. The Great Salt Lake and its bed are sovereign land of the state of Utah but it is not in the general sense "public" land.
 
Nice..... I've seen that from a plane. You shoulda made a loop and come out on the north causeway road.
 
Nice..... I've seen that from a plane. You shoulda made a loop and come out on the north causeway road.

@Bob - You know me, If I'd done your suggested loop, I'd still be walking! :) Actually, I do kind of like the idea.
 
I believe the new Utah State Prison will end up taking most of the land that I used to access the causeway. I'm not sure how you would approach it from the Salt Lake side of things once the prison is up and running. Of course, one could access it from the southern end of Antelope Island assuming that there are no restrictions on travel to the south end of the island. It seems like many years ago there were restrictions but I don't know the current status of being able to access the southern part of the island.
 
Of course, one could access it from the southern end of Antelope Island assuming that there are no restrictions on travel to the south end of the island. It seems like many years ago there were restrictions but I don't know the current status of being able to access the southern part of the island.

Access is now open to the southern tip of the island. The road continues a few miles past the ranch. Beyond that it's about a 3.5-4 mile walk to Unicorn Point. There are a few springs near the trail (road) so expect to see plenty of Bison, I did it a few years ago to check out the rock formations. I've been planning on getting back down there.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
scatman Frary Peak - Antelope Island - February 20, 2023 Hiking & Camping 10
scatman Frary Peak - Antelope Island - January 7, 2022 Hiking & Camping 21
WasatchWill Wolverine on Antelope Island General Discussion 0
AustinCronnelly Antelope Island- West Side Trail Hiking & Camping 8
pixie1339 Antelope Island January 2015 Hiking & Camping 6
IntrepidXJ Upper Antelope Canyon Hiking & Camping 9
Ugly Floating Island- Utah Trip Planning 8
kwc Campobello Island, Roosevelt International Park, NB, Canada Everything Else 2
scatman Carrington Island - March 26, 2022 Hiking & Camping 27
scatman Fremont Island - February 19, 2022 Hiking & Camping 29
IntrepidXJ Over the Edge: Island in the Sky Hiking & Camping 6
hikeer Beartooths - Island Lake to the Beaten Path Backpacking 21
Stephanie B Sand Island and Sand Dune Rock Art Hiking & Camping 1
SKLund Island in the Sky: Cheatin and I Know It Trip Planning 21
Burrito Winds - Pole Creek -> Lester Pass -> Island Lake / Titcomb -> Hobbs Backpacking 7
b.stark Island Lake/Titcomb Basin in July Backpacking 9
Tim Valentine Catalina Island West Side Everything Else 1
McKee80 Thousand Island Lake Loop Sept 7-10, 2017 Backpacking 12
Perry Trying to decide: Clyde Lake Loop or Island Lake? Trip Planning 9
Seldom Seen Anderson Island Park? Trip Planning 5
Dirkules Good multi-day hike "Island in the Sky" - your recommendations?! Trip Planning 2
DrNed Canyonlands - Island In The Sky Hiking & Camping 12
blueeyes Island Park, ID to Elk Lake Lodge, MT Bikepacking Trip July 14-15 2015 Everything Else 12
Blake Merrell Wind River Trip - Day 5 - Island Lake Backpacking 6
Ben West Coast Trail, Pacific Rim NP, Vancouver Island Backpacking 20
ZubenElGenubi Ansel Adams Wilderness - Thousand Island Lake Backpacking 11
balzaccom Desolation Wilderness: Grouse, Hemlock, Smith, Twin and Island Lakes Backpacking 2
Blake Merrell Titcomb Basin, Fremont Peak, Indian Basin, Knifepoint Glacier, & Island Lake Backpacking 28
Bigred72 Invite: Island Lake, Uintas Meet Up (Members Only) 0
Udink Island Lake Loop Backpacking 4
Parma Pine Island Lake - Grandaddy Basin Backpacking 1
regehr Silver Island Canyon Road Hiking & Camping 2
IntrepidXJ Return to The Island Hiking & Camping 0
Vegan.Hiker Assateague Island National Park Backpacking 30
Kullaberg63 Vancouver Island coastal backpack Backpacking 3
Sarah Canyonlands: Hiking the Needles and Island in the Sky Hiking & Camping 6
Aldaron Vancouver Island Trip Planning 5
Nick Island Lake to Elkhart Park Backpacking 20
IntrepidXJ The Island Hiking & Camping 3
IntrepidXJ Island in the Sky Tour Everything Else 3
Cody Syncline-Taylor Loop, Island in the Sky Backpacking 10
Andy back side of whiskey island Photography 0
Nick Weir & Island Lakes, Uintas Backpacking 16
IntrepidXJ Gray Canyon and the Island in the Sky Everything Else 4
Nick Whiskey Island Lake, Uintas Hiking & Camping 3
Nick Hidden Lake, Island Park Area Hiking & Camping 0
Nick Stansbury Island, Great Salt Lake Hiking & Camping 2
Nick Island Lake Loop, Uintas Backpacking 6
Nick Island in the Sky, January 2012 Hiking & Camping 15
B Southern Utah March suggestions? Trip Planning 5

Similar threads

Back
Top