Why should I visit Island Park?
Island Park is known as an idyllic summer and winter escape. With many vacation rentals and condos, it suits the self-sufficient traveler. Nearby attractions include Mesa Falls, Big Springs, Harriman State Park, Henry's Lake, and great fishing, hiking, and snowmobiling.
Where is Island Park?
Island Park is located in western Idaho, south of West Yellowstone and Madison Valley, Montana and north of Ashton and Teton Valley, Idaho. The closest entrance to Yellowstone is via the West Entrance (roughly 45 minutes north and east). The largest city to the south is Idaho Falls, about 1.5 hours.
What sort of Services and Amenities are available in Island Park?
While you won't find a ton of hotels and motels, lodging options like condos, vacation rentals, and lodges come in the handfuls. There are surprisingly only a handful of restaurants and no grocery stores (other than small convenience stores). There are gas stations, gear rentals, and ATMs available.
Island Park is known for its 35 mile Main Street which means many of these services are widely spread out. It's key to stock up on groceries before you arrive and make sure you know where you headed, as a trip to a specific restaurant might be 35 miles away.
What can I see and do in Island Park?
There truly is so much to do in this little destination.
- Harriman State Park: Located on the southern end of Island Park, Harriman State Park is open year-round. It offers many hiking trails, horseback riding, great fishing access, and cross country skiing.
- Mesa Falls Scenic Byway: The Mesa Falls Scenic Byway is a skinny winding road that offers back-road access between Ashton and Island Park. It takes about the same amount of time and you'll be treated with two amazing waterfalls along the way.
- Island Park Reservoir: This lake is booming with action in the summer months. Lakeside homes have their own boat docks and a marina allows access for private vessels for fishing and boating.
- Henry's Lake State Park: On the northern end of Island Park, Henry's Lake State Park offers camping, water activities, and trails.
- Big Springs: On the east side of Island Park, take the drive our Big Springs Road. At the end you can visit the historic Johnny Sack Cabin and feed the enormous trout that swim hungrily beneath a bridge. Before you go, rent a tube or raft and float the river all the way back to town at Mack's Inn.
- Fishing: Fishing the Henry's Fork is why many make the trip to Island Park every year.
- Camping: There are a bunch of National Forest Service campgrounds scattered all over Island Park. The popular ones fill up quickly but you can almost always find a spot for the night.
- Snowmobiling: In the winter months, Island Park turns into a snowmobiling mecca, maybe only second to West Yellowstone. Rentals and tours are available.