Monday, May 30, 2005

Hike Blogging: Frary Peak, Antelope Island State Park

Saturday, I hiked to the top of Frary Peak at Antelope Island State Park, Davis County, Utah.

Overall, a very nice hike. Weather was just about right, although it got hot towards the end. There was hardly anyone else on the trail, which was surprising for a holiday weekend. If you go there the best times to visit are spring (between St. Patrick's and Memorial Day) and fall (Labor Day to Thanksgiving). Other times it's just too hot or too cold, although I used to ride my bike on the causeway and roads during summer mornings before it heated up. Antelope Island is a grassland/cold desert, so there's very little shade or shelter from the wind.

The trail is about 4 miles long, and it took me about 1 hr. 45 min. to get to the top, and only about 1 hr. and 15 min. to get back down. Elevation at the top is about 6,500 feet above sea level. The trail is listed as moderate/difficult but is only steep at the beginning and the end.

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To get there, you cross a 7-mile long causeway that is perfect for biking (aside from the clouds of bugs in the spring -- note the dots on the picture).

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Antelope (Antilocapra americana) originally inhabited the island (hence the name) but were gone by 1930. They were reintroduced in 1993. This is one of a herd of about 150.

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On top of Frary Peak. Downtown Salt Lake City is somewhere in that haze, about 20 miles away.

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Off to the west US Magnesium produces (you guessed it) magnesium from lake salts. They also produce chlorine gas, but since they cut back on their pollution, you can't see the smokestacks very well anymore.

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The big attraction is the herd of buffalo (Bison bison). There are about 700 hundred on the island, and every year they have a round up in late October/early November and sell off excess animals. For a handful of lucky hunters, they also offer a hunt by draw.

Next scheduled hike: Naomi Peak, Wasatch-Cache National Forest



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