Antelope Island Causeway: Sometimes it's good to have a perfectly level bike ride to enjoy. During June, it gets pretty hot along the Wasatch Front. But often the paved causeway to Antelope Island is flooded with a sea breeze from the Great Salt Lake that can make it feel 15 degrees cooler than just a few miles away.
The causeway offers some great views of the lake and provides the only ocean-like experience you'll find in Utah. There's a wide strip on both sides of the road, perfect as a bike lane.Even if you are fighting a stiff headwind on the causeway, not only will it cool you off, it may also create some great wave action along the shore.
Two drawbacks are the park entrance and the awful lake smell for the first 600 yards off the mainland.
Trail rating: **
Scenic rating: ****
Distance: 7.5 miles one-way from entrance station to Antelope Island.
Elevation gain: None, unless you choose to ride around on the island itself.
Difficulty: Easy, unless there are gusty winds blowing.
Time required: One hour on the causeway only, two or more if you plan to go on the island.
Directions to reach the trailhead: Take I-15 exit 335 and go west seven miles along Antelope Drive in Layton. That turns into Clearfield and Syracuse's 1700 South. The road connects directly with the causeway. A parking lot and restrooms are available at the start of the causeway.
Trail description: Level, wide open road.
Cost/charges: $4 per bicycle or $7 per vehicle to use the causeway and enter Antelope Island.
Cautions: Watch for fast-moving traffic along the causeway. The speed limit may be 45 mph, but some vehicles travel much faster.
Tidbits: Syracuse once had a bathing resort near where the modern entrance station is now located. Today there is no evidence of the resort.
As you bike along, notice the difference in water color and motion between the north and south sides. The north side main body is saltier and rougher, while the south side (Farmington Bay) is much more fresh and usually calmer.
About 6.5 miles out on the causeway and as the road curves toward the island, look for some black metal gateposts on the west side. The posts mark a natural sandbar causeway to Fremont Island. But the lake needs to be almost 9 feet lower than it is now for the sandbar to be walkable.
Highlights: The sea-like atmosphere along the causeway, shimmering Antelope Island, a desert paradise and the backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains.
Camping: Available in White Rock Bay.
Water: Available at the island visitor center.
For more information: Contact Antelope Island at 580-1043 or 773-2941.