Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Antelope Island, Sentry Peak and Mountain View

These are rides on the East side of the island. Riding there is almost like a step back in time.  It often has a truly wild feel.  There are always wild life sightings.  We have seen coyotes, bison, deer, antelope.  Riding is limited to certain trails unless you are on the annual bison round-up.  The best times to ride the island are October, November, March and early April.  During the summer, the insects are almost unbearable.  Winter riding is great and may or may not involve quite a bit of snow. The island is notoriously windy during stormy weather.   
This is a state park. Entrance fee is $10 per vehicle or $5 for seniors over 62.

Horseback rides in this area are offered by an outfitter, R and G Horse and Wagon
I highly recommend these if you are in the area without your own horses and want to ride.

(Click on one photo to open a slide show.)
Bison spotted along the road.  Just call him "Bird boy".

For current conditions and other information:  http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/antelope-island/current-conditions/

This first section is on the rides available from the parking area at the Fielding Garr Ranch.  

There are three areas that can be accessed from here. Sentry Peak, South Mountain View (Buffalo Bay) trail and the South end of the island. (which just follows the road south of the ranch.)  The Mountain View (Buffalo Bay) Trail goes north for 11.4 miles to the north end of the island to the parking area shown in the last part of this post. Sentry Peak trail distance is 6.7 miles, elevation gain 940 ft.
There are restrooms at the ranch, but no water. So, make sure you bring your own.

This is an updated trail map as of December, 2015.  It looks like the connector trail from Sentry Peak to Split Rock is now open to the public.  Yay.  Looking forward to riding it. However,  it is closed from March 10 - May 20 for protection of wildlife birthing.

Heading up the Sentry Trail

We don't generally ride here with this much snow. This was a dedicated bunch of riders.  This photo was taken December 23, 2015 at the "top of the ridge" looking west. Courtesy of Monica Zoltanski

Now for information on the Buffalo Bay portion of the Mountain View Trail. Recommend beginning at the trailhead listed below OR from Fielding Garr Ranch and riding out about 5-6 miles and back. 
Recommended parking for the north part of the Mountain View Trail
  It would be a long ride at 23 miles round trip. There are two other places where a horse trailer can park (with limited space for turning.)...on the lower Frary Peak trailhead or at a small parking lot just south of the Frary Homestead trailhead.  Horse trailers are not allowed to park AT the Frary Homestead trailhead parking. (There is a sign indicating this).

Parking spot about 1/2 mile south of the Frary Homestead Road.  Can easily get a trailer here if there are no other cars. The location is shown below.

Alternate parking spot if not too many vehicles

Date of this ride track: October 20, 2012; Total distance ridden: 11.52 miles; Maximum altitude: 4,253 ft; Altitude change on ride: 137 ft; Trail conditions: 80% gravel/dirt mix, 20% rocky

North portion of Mountain View Trail, October 20, 2012

North portion of Mountain View Trail

We were fortunate enough to ride along side a herd of bison walking on the beach!  Wow, wonderful photo op. North portion of Mountain View Trail

North portion of Mountain View Trail looking toward the causeway. October 20, 2012.

Side trail up to the Frary Homestead historical site. About 3.5 miles north of the Garr Ranch. This side trail adds about a mile to the ride.

Frary Homestead historical site. October 16, 2015

Heading out north from the Fielding Garr Ranch on the Mountain View Trail.  Lots of wide open space and the trail is 95% dirt with a few rocks and a bit of small gravel. October 17, 2015

South portion of Mountain View Trail, about 3 miles north of the Garr Ranch. October 17, 2015
Good practice for a bridge crossing, South portion of Mountain View, November 4, 2015
South portion of Mountain View, March 11, 2016

South portion of Mountain View, November 4, 2015
South portion of Mountain View, March 11, 2016

Unusual rocks near the Garr Ranch, December 9, 2015
Close up of unusual rock near the Garr Ranch

This is a 7 mile round trip from the Frary Peak parking to the Frary Homestead and back.  This portion of the trail is 70% dirt, the rest gravelly and rocky.

This track is from the Fielding Garr Ranch north on the Mountain View Trail to the Frary Homestead road and back. There is a stretch of somewhat rocky trail, but most of it is dirt. Just under 7 miles round trip.  

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