Island Park, Idaho, located south of West Yellowstone near the border of Yellowstone National Park, is a beautiful island of lakes, woods, rivers, meadows and mountains lightly sprinkled with ranch summer homes, cabins and fishing lodges. Legendary fishing opportunities are found on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. Henry’s Lake and the Island Park Reservoir are other fishing jewels and are popular for boating and water skiing.
Island Park is a very unique and historical western town. It has the longest main street in America and is home to 215 people whom value the splendor of its natural beauty and peaceful environment. The first settlers of Island Park were various tribes of the North American Indians. Artifacts such as spearheads, arrowheads and tools can be found today along the banks of the Snake River and around the shores of the Henry’s Lake.
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Lakeside Lodge & Resort – Cabins, Boating, Fishing
Fishing on Island Park Resevoir, personal watercraft rentals available. Full service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and a full service lounge. Cabin rentals.
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(208) 558-7147 : call us (208) 558-7147 The first recorded visit by a white man to Island Park was Andrew Henry. In the summer of 1810, an expedition of trappers under Henry’s leadership set foot on Island Park. These men turned their attention to hunting elk, deer and antelope for the meat markets in Montana as the fur bearing animals disappeared. The westward expansion during the 30 year period of 1840 to 1870 and the gold strikes in Montana were attracting people to all of the intermountain region, including Island Park and the Yellowstone Park area. Island Park and Yellowstone were becoming famous, one as a hunters paradise and the other as a wonderland of natural phenomena. In time, the trappers and other early timers from Montana and Idaho, who knew the area, were being engaged as guides.
In the 1870′s, Gilman Sawtell, Richard “Dick” Rock and George Rea are recorded as the first white settlers. Trapping, farming and living under the hardships of the harsh mountain winters was quite an experience with all of its challenges. In 1895 George Rea started the first known private fish farm, and knew of the lucrative fish markets in Utah and Montana. Another step towards success and luxury was made by a famous Chicago lawyer, A.S. Trude. He purchased land to creat Trudes Ranch on the banks of the Snake River in the 1890′s. There were guest ranches and hotels skirting the banks of the river and host to many famous people such as President H. Hoover. Several ranches were in operation from the late 1800′s to the early 1900′s. Before you knew it, Island Park had a reputation of being the outdoorsman’s dream and lead to more growth with inns and lodges being built to accommodate the abundance of visitors.
As the Island Park community grew a reservoir was needed as an irrigation storage facility, developed with farmers and spring flood control in mind. By 1938 the reservoir construction was complete with 8,400 acres of water named the Island Park Reservoir. The farmers and community benefited, not only for flood control and irrigation, but it was the first source of electricity for resort businesses in the area and it brought great diversity in recreating opportunities. The reservoir is a great source of fun and enjoyment for people looking to fish, boat, jet ski, swim and water ski. There are six boat ramps and docks at various sites and four campgrounds along the water. Visitors can also enjoy the scenic views of the Centennial Mountains and Box Canyon with a drive across the top of the dam.
Island Park remains an outdoorsman’s paradise with year round opportunities. Aside from fishing and even ice fishing, the region is diverse in hiking, biking and horseback riding. With Yellowstone National Park as a neighbor, you can easily access its trails for a great day of exploration. The wild environment offers spectacular wildlife viewing and scenic drives to geological, historical and scenic sites which are educational and enlightening. In the winter the region is most popular for its snowmobiling, but also offers great trails for cross country skiing in the hundreds of miles of forest and mountain trails. The area is vast and pristine and is a offers great opportunities to connect with nature. There is something for everyone to do and enjoy at anytime of year.