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Frary Peak, Stringham Peak and Dooly Knob
Antelope Island State Park, Utah
April 28, 2022

Distance: 13.2 km (8.2 mi)
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 739 m (2425 ft

West of Salt Lake City and surrounded by the Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island is home to antelopes, bison and a variety of birds, not to mention three small peaks. A causeway accesses the island park, and Dinah and I felt the $15 entrance fee was worth climbing these peaks.

The peaks are climbed all year round. Ice and snow can challenge winter ascents (see Sonny Bou's January trip), and biting gnats (aka no-see-ums) can beleaguer hikers in warmer seasons. We experienced the latter. Gnats swarmed us as soon as we stepped out of our car. They gathered on our clothing and flew in our faces. Dinah put on a head net but still found them annoying. We were both bitten. They continued to plague us as we started up the trail, but after climbing for 15 minutes they suddenly disappeared. For the rest of our trip, they were only a problem when we lingered in calm wind.

Antelope Island has scant trees and bushes, so we had views from the get-go. Overcast skies and haze dampened far-ranging views but couldn't stop us from appreciating the vastness of Great Salt Lake. And we easily spotted bison far below on the beach.

We bypassed the first peaks – Dooley and Stringham – and continued to Frary, the highest point on the island. We followed the trail etched into the west slope below the summit. After taking in the views at the top, we headed back down the trail to visit the other summits. Stringham Peak is a short distance from the trail.

Dinah wanted to skip Dooley, but I didn't. I zipped ahead and took the side trail to the top. After reaching the rocky summit, I took a few photos and came back down the trail. I joined Dinah who had waited for me, and we returned to the parking lot.

Before reaching the parking lot, nasty gnats descended on us. The insufferable gallinippers were so numerous that they filled my vision and sounded like soft rain as they pattered on my hat. With careful timing, Dinah and I opened our doors, flung in our packs and jumped into our car before a cloud of flies could enter. After escaping in our car, we enjoyed driving back on the island's roads to the visitor centre. Along the way, we were treated to the sight of buffalo grazing by the road and birds on rocks, and a look at the three peaks we climbed on Antelope Island.

KML and GPX Tracks

Antelope Island seen from the causeway

Pronghorn antelope stroll along the beach. Native to Utah and the island, they are the fastest animals in North America reaching speeds up to 70 mph.

Driving to the trailhead, we easily identify Frary Peak, Stringham Peak and the pointed Dooly Knob

Dinah dons a head net before setting off

Looking back after starting up the trail

Indian paintbrush

On the saddle between Stringham and Dooly

On the right is Elephant Head

The trail winds through boulders

Swallowtail butterfly

Boulders formed a tunnel over the trail

Looking back at Dooly Knob

Stringham Peak ahead

Western meadowlarks filled the air with their songs

Water is receding from the southeast shore of the island. The Great Salt Lake hit a record low last year and is expected to drop another two feet this year.

Hundreds of bison relaxed on the beach below

Closer at hand were two bison on the saddle across from us (mouse over for a close-up)

Looking back as we passed under the summit of Stringham

Frary Peak ahead

The trail drops down and runs along the slope on the right

The trail is narrow and awkward in places

The trail swings around to the backside providing views to the south

On the summit of Frary

On our way to Stringham Peak

Looking back at Frary from the summit of Stringham

Heading to Dooly Knob (centre)

Looking up the trail to Dooly

Heading to the summit block

On the summit of Dooly

Looking south at Frary

Looking north

Back at our car, gnats immediately swarmed us

Bison grazed near the road

Driving back we noticed a willet standing on one leg

Antelope Island (8.2 mi, 6594 ft, 2060 ft)

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