Frary Peak |

Antelope Island

Hiking Frary Peak - Antelope Island Hiking Frary Peak
Antelope Island

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments


TICKS & TODOS: 1 Todo Lists / 1 Ticks
RATING: Moderate Hike
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
MAPS: Antelope Island, UT;
SEASON: Fall, Spring (Winter if no snow)
Sat Hi:67 Lo:46 Sun Hi:69 Lo:49 Mon Hi:58 Lo:48 Tue Hi:55 Lo:44 Wed Hi:66 Lo:46
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Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake, and home to Frary Peak, the highest peak on the island. The hike is about 3.5 miles one way with just over 2000' of elevation gain. Long enough and steep enough to require a bit of fitness, but accessible to most. The trail along the ridgeline and summit offer excellent views of the Wasatch Front to the east and the West Desert to the west. On a good weather weekend, the trail is very popular.

The island is most famously known for its buffalo herds that wander most of the island. Bison were introduced to the island in 1893 and thrive on the dry grasses that cover the island. It goes without saying, or should go without saying, but bison are wild and powerful creates. You are likely to see them on the island, and possibly along the trail. If you do, give them plenty of space and don't try to approach them! You are also likely to see antelope, bighorn sheep, and even coyotes along the way. Give all creatures that call the island home plenty of space.

Early spring and late fall would be my recommended times to visit. Summer will be brutally hot. Spring and early fall can sometimes be buggy. Winter is a great time to visit as well, but only if there isn't snow on the ground. With snow, the trail would be slippery and no fun.

View to the west from the antenna

Getting There

The trailhead is reach by first getting to Antelope Island. This is off I-15, west of Layton. Take exit 332 off I-15, and head west on Antelope Drive. About 7 miles from the freeway is the entrance to the park.

From the entrance to the park, cross the causeway and go left at the first junction after the causeway. Shortly after take the next left, staying on Antelope Road that is signed for Frary Peak. Follow this paved road about 5 miles to the signed Frary Peak road on the right. Drive about 0.5 miles up the steep paved side road to the Frary Peak Trailhead parking area.


From the trailhead, begin ascending immediately as the trail switchbacks up for 0.55 miles to a junction on the first ridge. This is the Frary Peak / Dooly Knob Junction. Go left toward Frary Peak for a bit of a flat respite before the trail meanders under a couple of boulders and begins climbing steeply to the next ridge. At the top of the next ridge, bigs views of the area come into focus.

Side Trip: Dooly Knob makes a good short side trip or excellent family friendly destination instead of the much longer Frary Peak trail. Dooly Knob is visible a short distance north of this junction with an easy trail to its summit. Round trip for Dooly Knob from the trailhead is just over a mile, where round trip distance for Frary Peak is closer to 7.

The knob is named after John Dooly Senior. John Dooly bought the island in 1884 to raise cattle and sheep. His family owned parts of the island up until 1981 when the land was bought by the State of Utah.

From the second ridge, the trail continues to climb with intermittent steeper sections to a summit with an antenna and solar panel. It is 3 miles from the trailhead to the antenna.

There are a couple of options from the antenna to reach the summit of Frary Peak. Shortly after leaving the antenna, the trail reaches a junction. Right is the recommended route for most people, and the new trail put in recently (2015). This trail loses a bit of elevation, traverses to the southwest ridge of Frary Peak, then climbs switchbacks to the summit. For the more adventurous, it is possible to scramble the ridge directly from the antenna to the summit. Scrambling the ridge isn't terribly hard, but does have a few exposed moves in spots. If inexperienced, or not comfortable with exposure, stick with the new trail.

Views from the summit:

  • East is the Wasatch Front, including Salt Lake City, Ogden, and foothills and mountains east of them.
  • To the north is the raft river mountains in the distance.
  • To the west is Stansbury Island and the West Desert beyond.
  • To the southwest are the Stansbury Mountains with Deseret Peak being the high point of the range.
  • To the south are the Oquirrh Mountains that make up the west side of the Salt Lake Valley.

Return the same way.


Printable Maps:

12T 398838mE 4538771mN

N40° 59' 38" W112° 12' 10"


12T 398135mE 4538304mN

N40° 59' 22" W112° 12' 40"

Dooly Knob

12T 398207mE 4538886mN

N40° 59' 41" W112° 12' 37"


12T 397629mE 4535778mN

N40° 58' 00" W112° 12' 60"

Frary Summit

12T 397667mE 4535251mN

N40° 57' 43" W112° 12' 58"


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