Antelope Island Ride

Tuesday I took the day off work to mountain bike at Antelope Island with Rick. Price was our first choice but they don't have enough dry trails right now to fill a day.

The day would be a wildlife bonanza, and it started right where the causeway joins the island with two Bald Eagles.

We took the Eastside trail which follows the eastern shore and ends at the old ranch house 13 miles away. It's a nice trail with only a few wet spots. Nothing technical but it was good to get in a rhythm and roll. It was a beautiful sunny day in the mid 50s.

At the ranch house the ranger told us two Great Horned Owls were roosting in a Cottonwood just 30 yards away so we checked them out.

We got a permit to go up over the saddle west of the ranch house. Lots of goatheads south of the ranch house so were warned to stay on the one of the double-tracks to avoid punctures. It was a good climb, steep in spots. Here's Rick reaching the top.

Really nice views all around of the Great Salt Lake, Wasatch Range, the Oquirrh Mountains, etc. This photo is looking northeast.

I spotted a trail marker and it turned out to be a nice little single-track that went south along a shoulder. Even had a bit of technical stuff. It ended at a dirt road we could have used to go back down, but we decided to return on the trail since it's more fun.

On our way back we spotted a Coyote and a small herd of Antelope. But the best surprise was these two buffalo right near the trail. They were laying down and when I was a ways out they looked like rocks. I whistled and they still didn't move so I assumed they were rocks. But when I got about 30 feet away they spooked and stood up and I hit the brakes. The buffalo stayed by the trail so we skirted around them. They are huge and look the size of a car up close.

It was a very enjoyable 32 mile ride. Antelope Island is only 20-30 miles from the urban Wasatch Front and yet it felt really serene and isolated out there. An excellent Winter getaway ride that's close by.


KDAY Racing said...

Looks to me like you spooked one of the Buffalo pretty good. Antelope is a pretty sweet place. You timed it just right with the Bald Eagles as well.

KanyonKris said...

kday - Yeah, he decided to let loose. I could have used a different photo, but the others all had problems.