Sunset Run on Antelope Island
If I were having a birthday soon and wanted to celebrate with the coyotes, big horn sheep, and buffalos of the inaccurately named Antelope Island at sunset here's a couple of options that I would consider depending on time.
Here's a few things to know:
The park hours are officially from 6 AM - 6 PM. The gates do close but you can still get out after 6 PM.
Sunset will be around 5:30 PM and I think I was able to run without a headlamp until about 5:50 but after that it's pretty dark out there (new moon so no moonlight right now) and the rocks on the trails come alive at night and grab your feet.
There are outhouses on the island near the trailhead parking but toilets with running water can be found just before the toll gate or at the visitors center on the island.
Mobile phone service is spotty on the trails.
I've modified a map just for your sunset viewing pleasure. There are a few spots on the island trails where you can miss the sunset itself when you are in the shadow of a hill or mountain. The shadow zones are in blue and the sunset view areas are in the yellow highlighted to help pick which trails you might want to hit.
Elephant Head Trail
4 1/2 miles one way (9 miles out and back) if take the most direct route on the White Rock Bay Trail from the parking lot to Elephant Head. You will climb about 500-600 feet to get up to Elephant Head. You don't end up on the the peak but the view is great.
Lake Shore Trail
2+ miles one way (4+ miles out and back) if you run the Lake Shore Trail. This is the shorter trail heading north from the parking area. This trail stays low to the shoreline without very much vertical but the views should be great across the lake.
Buffalo Run 25k Course
Most everyone I know measures this at 16 miles but it is a great route to take. You will end up with over 1,900 feet of climbing. For the best views of the sunset you will want to get to mile 5 by about 4:45 - 5:15.
Maybe you want to run really far
Some crazy folks run a mile for every year on their birthday. If so check out the Buffalo Run maps for the 50 miler and 100 miler options. It starts on the 25k course but if you added in the Elephant Head out and back section and the Lake Shore Trail you would probably be looking at around 24-26 miles.
The Wrap Up
To wrap this thing up, if you are short on time you might want to keep it to the Lake Shore Trail. If you have the time and don't mind running with a headlamp on the return trip I would head up to Elephant Head and hang out with some birthday snacks. The 25k course is one of my favorites, the back half of the course is where you want to be at sunset.