Frary Peak is the highest point on Antelope Island and offers spectacular views of the Island, the Great Salt Lake, and other geological and marshy features sure to delight your eye from the unique desert landscape (aka if you’re sick of trees, don’t worry there aren’t any). Although 6,520 feet is a little guy here in Utah, you’ll still be in for a good hike with a 2,335 ft. elevation gain and a 6.9 mile out-and-back trek. Even when the valley is a little hazy, the views are stunning and uniquely beautiful in every direction that will ignite your sense of wonder.
Difficulty: Hard & Strenuous
Distance: 6.9 miles / Out-and-Back
Elevation Gain: 2,335 feet
Time: Up to 5 hours
Trail Type: Dirt, gravel, and rock
Fees: $15 State Park Fee ($10 Seniors), the causeway fee is included with your entrance fee unless you have a Utah State Parks Pass which doesn’t cover the $2 causeway fee
Park Hours: 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Dogs: Allowed if leashed (e-collars don’t count)
Parking: At the trailhead
Restroom: Just before the trailhead
Trailhead Coordinates: 40.9936944,-112.2047443
This hike is quite challenging and strenuous, but even if you’re not an avid hiker it’s still doable, just give yourself plenty of breaks for water and rest and plan on an extra hour or so of hiking time. If the weather is great, we suggest adding more time to hang out at the peak.
Directions: There is a dedicated trailhead and it is very easy to get to with our friend: Google Maps. If you’d like to spare yourself all the details below, just pull up that link on your smart phone and it’ll take you right there.
Follow Antelope Drive (exit 332 from I-15) all the way out to the Causeway (“a raised roadway across wet ground or water”) – this is normally a straight shot but if there is roadwork before you get to the tollbooth, you’ll want to turn right to head north until you reach 700 South where you can then head west until you hit 4500 West, turn left to head south until you’re back at Antelope Drive (1700 S). Once you’re through the tollbooth, follow the Causeway until the road forks and follow the road that turns left and heads south. There is signage for the Frary Peak trailhead so you won’t miss it, but from the fork in the road when you reach the island, it will be approximately 6.4 miles or 12 minutes. See our pictures below.
There is little to no shade on this trail so come prepared with a hat, sunscreen, bug spray, at least 2L of water, and snacks. We’d also recommend hiking poles due to it’s steep grade, although we did it without them and survived, we envied passerby that remembered to bring theirs. Another recommendation is to pack a lunch and leave early. Start the hike no later than 8:30 a.m., that way you can take a long, hard-earned break at the summit to eat lunch and enjoy the views.
At this point in late August, we did not encounter many bugs (but we still brought our spray just in case). However, be mindful of where you stop on the trail to take rests and make sure that you aren’t standing on a fire ant colony.
The trail is easy to follow and clearly marked. Once you reach the ridgeline, you can choose your own adventure on the last stretch to the peak: either scramble on all fours over the rocky ridge (which is not a designated trail or easy route – use only if you’re confident and unafraid of heights) or you can follow the trail off to the right on the west side that has a slight elevation drop before a climb up to the peak.
Whilst at the top, you’ll want to make sure you sign their summit book so you can memorialize your harrowing journey to the top, brag about the cool stuff you saw, write a poem inspired by the vistas, or just use it as a platform to ask for more bison.
For a detailed trail map and reviews on the Frary Peak Trail, visit All Trails.
While visiting this trail, remember to practice #ResponsibleRecreation. Maintain social distancing, stay home if you are sick, keep dogs on a leash and pick up after them, and “pack it in – pack it out”. Please be mindful of others, be aware of your surroundings, and respect the locals (aka the wildlife). Bison may look nice and cuddly but they don’t like to be approached or touched, so selfie from far away. Also, we’d love to see your photos, feel free to tag us (@discoverdavis) and have fun!