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Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah and Idaho Falls, Idaho – Cross Nation USA Highway Journey (Half 11)

Welcome again to Half  11 of our six week highway journey throughout america! On this article, I’ll cowl the journey going north and east via Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah, the Antelope Island State Park, and Idaho Falls, Idaho.

A quick recap of our journey: we set out from our dwelling in Raleigh in early June and made it again dwelling towards the tip of July. In whole we spent over six weeks (46 nights!!) on the highway and drove 8,200 miles. 

Alongside the best way, we visited 14 nationwide parks and a ton of different attention-grabbing locations. It was fairly a busy journey, since we stayed in 25 completely different airbnbs or inns and spent greater than 100 hours touring within the van

To cowl the entire journey, I’m breaking apart the journey abstract into 13 separate weblog posts.

Here’s a desk of contents for our complete journey if you wish to take a look at different elements of our journey:

  1. North Carolina to Kansas by way of West Virginia and St. Louis
  2. Colorado: Denver, Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park, and Frisco
  3. Colorado: Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Mesa Verde Nationwide Parks plus Ouray
  4. Utah: Arches Nationwide Park and Capitol Reef Nationwide Park
  5. Utah: Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park and Zion Nationwide Park
  6. Arizona: Glen Canyon Dam, the Grand Canyon, and Hoover Dam
  7. A Week in Las Vegas, Nevada
  8. California: Los Angeles and Lengthy Seaside
  9. California: Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite Nationwide Parks
  10. Crossing the Desert in Nevada and Utah: Hawthorne and Bonneville Salt Flats
  11. Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah and Idaho Falls, Idaho
  12. Yellowstone Nationwide Park
  13. Mount Rushmore, Badlands Nationwide Park, and Nationwide Museum of the US Air Drive

Be part of me for half 11 of our journey throughout the nation as we discover Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah and Idaho Falls, Idaho.



Our route via Nevada with in a single day stops in Hawthorne and Elko. We finish this phase of the journey within the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.


In Half 10 of the saga of our cross-country highway journey, we ended the phase by spending the afternoon exploring the Bonneville Salt Flats simply east of the Nevada/Utah state border.

After visiting the salt flats, we continued east for an additional hour towards Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah. We drove round downtown Salt Lake Metropolis. Because it seems, all the things is closed on Sunday evenings so we didn’t actually get to do a lot in Salt Lake Metropolis correct aside from a strolling and driving tour of downtown.

To summarize: cool spectacular Mormon church buildings, a neat library and metropolis corridor, and hey, it’s the State Capitol constructing!


Utah State Capitol


From the brief time we have been there, I felt like Salt Lake Metropolis can be a pleasant place to reside. I didn’t observe loads of the city issues that we noticed in different huge cities on our journey out west (equivalent to Denver and Los Angeles). The streets have been clear and it felt secure strolling across the largely abandoned downtown space. 

After touring via downtown Salt Lake Metropolis, we spent the night time in a lodge by the Salt Lake Metropolis airport.


I loved strolling down the largely abandoned streets of Salt Lake Metropolis on a quiet Sunday night. I don’t know if we might have visited Salt Lake Metropolis as a vacation spot in itself, nevertheless it was a really nice shock on our highway journey!


From Salt Lake Metropolis, our journey continued north towards Idaho Falls for 3 hours alongside Interstate 15. About half-hour into the drive, we took a detour to the Antelope Island State Park. 

From the interstate, it’s a 15 minute drive to the park entrance the place you pay the $15 admission price. This was one of many uncommon admission charges we needed to pay on our summer season journey since Antelope Island is a state park and never a part of the Nationwide Park System (for which we had a free cross). 

One other 10 minute drive west alongside a seven mile lengthy causeway spanning the typically dry, typically marshy mattress of the Nice Salt Lake, and we arrive on the island itself.


The abandoned Antelope Island Marina. The water ranges are manner too low for any boats to dock right here.


Antelope Island is 15 miles lengthy within the north-south course and just some miles huge for many of its size. As soon as on the island, the principle attraction for us was the scenic Antelope Island Highway that skirts the japanese fringe of the island alongside the Nice Salt Lake. The primary 11 miles are paved.

We took our time driving down Antelope Island Highway to the Fielding Garr Ranch. It’s positioned on the finish of the paved portion of the highway. Quickly after the ranch, the highway turns to grime and continues for an additional 5 miles to the tip of the island. 

As soon as on the Fielding Garr Ranch, we toured what was once a working sheep ranch established in 1848 and constantly occupied till 1981 when Utah established the island as a state park. The barns, dormitories, and homes have been preserved to indicate what dwelling on a ranch seemed like over the previous 100+ years. It jogged my memory of my dearly departed grandparents’ home and farm – a number of cool outdated stuff and farm implements in numerous phases of rusting away. 


Ranch Barn
The barn on the Fielding Garr Ranch on Antelope Island


We noticed a big herd of bison approaching the highway simply south of the ranch, so we packed into the van and drove the brief distance south to look at the bison up shut. We sat there within the air-conditioned van for half an hour watching the bison graze and cross the highway. This was a really neat expertise to see so many free vary bison up shut. 


Personal bison viewing at our personal tempo.


After leaving the bison, we backtracked north alongside the coastal Antelope Island Highway. We looped across the beachfront areas of the park the place day trippers may benefit from the solar and sand. Not many beachgoers have been there after we visited. I feel it’s due to the extreme warmth, bugs, very low water ranges, and marshy scent. 

As soon as we completed exploring the island, we got down to Idaho Falls, Idaho the place we might spend the following three nights. It’s a simple 2.75 hour drive north on Interstate 15. 


A solitary bison on the plains of Antelope Island. Within the background, the declining water ranges of the Nice Salt Lake have receded and left behind an expanse of salt and dirt. I’m curious in regards to the affect on the herds of antelope and bison. Do they get caught within the mud on their approach to the sting of the water? Can they even drink the excessive salinity water within the Nice Salt Lake?


Our three day keep in Idaho Falls was one other relaxation cease on our busy summer season highway journey. We had a really busy three days in Yellowstone deliberate after Idaho Falls, so we took our time to loosen up whereas we had an opportunity. 

We picked Idaho Falls as a spot to take a break as a result of it’s shut sufficient to Yellowstone in order that we may get in a full day of sightseeing on our drive as much as our subsequent lodge. Nevertheless, the worth of lodging is a few fifth of the worth of Yellowstone-adjacent lodging. 

We spent sooner or later in Idaho Falls visiting the waterfront alongside the Snake River. They’ve a riverfront path that stretches for a few miles alongside the river within the middle of city. Alongside the paved path, we spent fairly a little bit of time admiring the waterfall created by the 20 foot tall and a pair of,000 foot lengthy dam. Each banks of the river are properly manicured and have picnic tables and benches for enjoyable together with properly achieved landscaping. 


The dam throughout the Snake River


Resting on the rocky financial institution of the Snake River in downtown Idaho Falls.


On the southern finish of the dam was the spectacular (and free!) Japanese Friendship Backyard. Given the inhabitants of Idaho Falls is barely 61,000 individuals, I used to be shocked that the Japanese backyard was as giant and well-kept because it was. 

After visiting the Japanese backyard, we continued to the principle public library on the town simply a few blocks to the east. Along with providing snug seating, clear bogs, air con, and water bottle refills, in addition they had a small koi fish pond within the central part of the constructing. 


A bridge within the Japanese Gardens in Idaho Falls, Idaho.


Along with our riverfront sightseeing, we dined out at a few Mexican eating places whereas in Idaho Falls. I used to be shocked to see so many genuine Mexican eating places in a small city in a comparatively sparsely populated a part of the nation not identified for its giant Mexican diaspora.

Our Airbnb host mentioned the excessive density of Mexican eating places is as a result of giant migrant farmworker inhabitants working the fields within the space. Hailing largely from Mexico, these people miss their native delicacies. So aspiring entrepreneurs arrange store and serve a wide range of baked items, ceviche and different seafood, “road tacos”, and different Mexican and Latin American dishes. 

Nicely rested and properly fed after three days in Idaho Falls, we packed up and headed north towards Yellowstone Nationwide Park to start our tour of one among America’s biggest nationwide parks. Extra on that subsequent time in Half 12 of our highway journey throughout america! 


We visited downtown Salt Lake Metropolis the place we toured across the public space close to the Mormon Temple, the State Capitol, and different elements of downtown. 

As soon as we left Salt Lake Metropolis, we headed north towards Idaho Falls, Idaho. On the best way there, we stopped for a number of hours on the Antelope Island State Park simply north of Salt Lake Metropolis. Contained in the park, we toured a historic sheep ranch and frolicked with a herd of bison. 

Upon arriving in Idaho Falls, we loved a number of days of relaxation and leisure. We walked alongside the waterfront of the Snake River in downtown Idaho Falls. We visited the Japanese Backyard in the midst of the Snake River, then toured the remainder of downtown Idaho Falls on foot.

After Idaho Falls, we continued our highway journey north and east towards Yellowstone Nationwide Park. 


I didn’t actually have any preconceived notions about Salt Lake Metropolis or Idaho Falls, they usually have been each surprisingly good cities! Any locations you’ve visited that left the identical impression? 



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