When visiting Flathead Lake, wild horse island is a must see. This beautiful state park is a place where nature has been left undisturbed and it is home to not only wildlife but also stunning scenery. Visitors will enjoy the designated hiking trails, world-class fishing and wild horses that give this park its name.
The largest island in Flathead Lake, this primitive 2,000 acre State Park is the site of five wild horses that are managed by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The park also is home to other native wildlife species including bighorn sheep, mule deer, songbirds, waterfowl and bald eagles.
In addition to the wildlife, this park has a rich history. The name comes from the fact that the Kootenai Indians would herd their horses on this island to keep them from being stolen by rival tribes. Today the horses are protected and visitors are not permitted to feed or approach them.
There are two hiking trails in the park that are open year-round and they offer different levels of difficulty. The Rocky Point Trail is a mile long and provides a scenic overlook that overlooks the lake and the peaks of the rocky mountains. The Pinnacle Trail is a bit longer and leads through forested areas with views of the lake and mountains along the way.
Fishing is popular on this lake and anglers can expect to catch trout and bass. Wild Horse Island State Park resides within the boundaries of the Flathead Indian Reservation, so you will need a tribal fishing license in addition to your Montana fishing license. There are no public docks on the island, but there are several designated boat landings nearby.
Kayakers and canoeists can visit the island as well. However, the lake can be windy and you should pay attention to the weather conditions. Also, be aware of the private property that is located around the perimeter of the island.
If you are unsure about how to get to the island or don’t have your own boat, there are several tour companies that offer pontoon boats to visit the island and show you the beauty of the Wild Horse Island State Park. They can also take you to other locations on Flathead Lake that aren’t accessible by car.
If you want to experience the best of Flathead Lake, book a trip with one of these tour companies. During your day on the water, you can swim, shop, dine and see all that the Flathead Valley has to offer. If you are staying overnight, there are several great places to camp, including Finley Point State Park in Polson and Yellow Bay State Park near Kalispell. There are also hotels and vacation rentals in the area. Be sure to visit the local farmer’s market for fresh produce and other delicious products. This is a great way to support the community and make your Flathead Lake vacation even better! wild horse island flathead lake