Wild Horse Island State Park

Quick Facts

Wild Horse Island State Park

Montana

(406) 752-5501

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The largest island in Flathead Lake preserves an endangered Palouse prairie environment, incredible wildlife, and historic resources. Boat access is required to reach this day-use-only 2,000-acre island. The island's scenic shoreline is a favorite of hikers, boaters, swimmers and sailboat enthusiasts. Day-use only is allowed, and there are other strict rules to ensure maintenance of its natural character. This park and the southern end of Flathead Lake are located on the Flathead Indian Reservation, so you'll need a Montana fishing license and a Confederated Salish Kootenai tribal fishing license to enjoy the excellent fishing here. Wild Horse has been a landmark rich with history since the Salish-Kootenai Indians were reported to have used it to pasture horses to keep them from being stolen by other tribes. Check with park staff on the best ways to reach the island and its trails and views. Private property is found along the perimeter of the island. Rare and endangered plant species have also been found on its Palouse prairie grasslands. There is a composting toilet at Skeeo Bay.

Map of Wild Horse Island (MT)

Latitude, Longitude: 47.844501, -114.219017

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Activities

  • Boating

    Visitors are welcome to beach their boats at any of the six public landing sites on Wild Horse Island. Since there are no public docks on the island, visitors are encouraged to land at these sites to minimize effects of human use.

  • Fishing

    Wild Horse Island provides ample opportunities for anglers.

  • Hiking

    There is only one mile of designated hiking trails. Check with park staff on the best ways to reach the island and its trails and views.

  • Water Sports

    The beaches on provide swimming opportunities, but be careful, there are no lifeguards here.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Wild Horse Island provides habitat for more than 100 different birds and mammals, including such species as osprey, bald eagle, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mule deer, coyote, and - yes - a few wild horses.

Directions

Driving

Access to the island is via boat only. One nearby mainland public access point is Big Arm State Park. The park is located approximately 35 miles south of Kalispell and 13 miles north of Polson along US Highway 93. Boats can be rented at private marinas in Big Arm, Bigfork and Polson.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(406) 752-5501

Links