Photographer Dan Ransom's recent tour through spectacular Tranquil Utah was a wildlife lover's dream. Antelope Island and the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge alone are top wildlife and birding destinations not just in Utah, but in the nation.

The wildlife surprises didn't stop there. Early mornings in Flaming Gorge not only provided breathtaking sunrises, but close interaction with the area's fauna. Of course, anglers will love the Blue Ribbon fishing on the Green River. See the slideshow or read more below.

What is Tranquil Utah?

Tranquil Utah is a wide band across Northern Utah just off the populous and vibrant Wasatch Front that encompasses a diverse range of landscapes, from the dramatic High Uintas Wilderness and bright red cliffs of Flaming Gorge to the turquoise waters of Bear Lake and the wildlife sanctuaries of Bear River and Antelope Island. Tranquil Utah is also all the welcoming towns and communities with deep pioneer roots and a rich Western tradition. It's world-class sheep cheese of Eden and the mouth-watering peaches of Brigham City. Learn more about Northern Utah.

Antelope Island's Wildlife in Detail:

Join the Herd on Antelope Island State Park

From the state park's famous bison herd and its namesake pronghorn antelope to lifer birds that vary with the seasons, Antelope Island is home to a startling abundance of wildlife. In addition to renowned birding, the park also has an extensive calendar of events that includes ranger-led hikes, kayaking, junior ranger programs and stargazing.

Bear River Bird Migratory Refuge:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Bear River refuge is located at the northern tip of Great Salt Lake where the Bear River flows into the lake. The refuge is a nearly 80,000-acre migratory stop for millions of migrating birds from more than 250 species, including the American White Pelican, Blacknecked Stilt, American Avocet, White-faced Ibis and Snowy Plover. The Wildlife Education Center offers a schedule of family programs, and refuge tours may be available by request prior to your visit. The 12-mile auto tour route provides an excellent introduction but you'll want to get out and explore further.

The Wildlife of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area:

In between the incredible outdoor adventure that defines Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, take some time to explore the area's diverse wildlife, which ranges from free-roaming wild horses to the majestic moose, which is the largest deer in the world. Whether hiking the beautiful Ashley National Forest or taking an interpretive scenic drive along the Flaming Gorge-Uintas National Scenic Byway, you'll find the right level of adventure to accompany your wildlife experience.

All photography by Dan Ransom. 

Pronghorn Antelope on Antelope Island

Large herds of pronghorn antelope appropriately make their home on Antelope Island.... see more »

Eastern Meadowlark Antelope Island State Park

Thanks to its unique setting and geology, Antelope Island is a top destination for birders....

American Bison Antelope Island

Antelope Island features one of the largest semi-free-roaming herds of bison remaining in America....

Jackrabbit Antelope Island State Park

The unique ecosystem of Antelope Island supports a wide array of wildlife viewing opportunities....

Great Horned Owl on Antelope Island

There has been limited human settlement on Antelope Island, permitting close interaction of the wild with the built environment....

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Thousands of Canadian Geese pass through the refuge each fall....

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

In addition to birds, a wide range of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects call the refuge home. How many can you identify?... see more »

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Catch a Double-crested Cormorant catching fish in this important and serene refuge.... see more »

Flaming Gorge Morning Wildlife

Dawn and dusk are the best times to encounter mule deer through the warmer months.... see more »

The Fish of Flaming Gorge, Green River

This world-class fishing destination features trophy brown, lake and cutthroat trout as well as kokanee salmon.... see more »