Wild Horse Island
Old growth Ponderosa pine forest, incredible trails and wildlife viewing opportunities abound on the largest island in Flathead Lake. If you’re lucky you will see the handful of wild horses that still inhabit this park, which is only accessible by boat.
It is a violation of park regulations to feed, pet or intentionally approach within 100 feet any wildlife including wild horses.
Groups of over 15 people must obtain a special use permit. Contact the Park Manager to discuss special use permit requirements.
To protect wildlife viewing opportunities, pets are not allowed in the park.
Food Storage Rules: For beached vessels; when not in immediate use, all food & attractants must be stored onboard in a hard sided locked container or if left onshore in an approved bear resistant container.
Open all year
Latitude/Longitude: (47.84715 / -114.23458)
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Wild Horse Island State Park
8600 MT Hwy 35
Bigfork, MT 59911
Mid May - Mid Sept: 406-837-4196
Mid Sept - Mid May: 406-837-3041
Wild Horse Island
At 2,160 acres, Wild Horse Island is the largest island in a freshwater lake west of Minnesota. Wild Horse Island has been a landmark since the Salish-Kootenai Indians were reported to have used it to pasture horses to keep them from being stolen by other tribes.
The park is noted for its wildlife including bighorn sheep, mule deer, songbirds, waterfowl, bald eagles, and falcons, as well as five wild horses.
Rare and endangered plant species have also been found on its Palouse Prairie grasslands. The island's scenic shoreline is a favorite of hikers, boaters, swimmers and sailboat enthusiasts.
Boat access is required to reach the park. Day-use only is allowed, visitors are asked to protect and respect the park to ensure maintenance of its natural character. A joint state/tribal fishing license is required at this site due to the location of the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Note: private property is found along parts of the perimeter of the island, visitors are asked not to utilize private docks.
Wild Horse Island is managed as primitive area. Groups over 15 must have a permit. Permits will only be issued for activities related to educational, interpretive or administrative activities. Contact the Park Manager for further information.
- Bird Watching
- Lake Fishing
- Motor Boating
- Wildlife Viewing
Services and Amenities Available
- Toilets (Vault)