Island Park, Idaho is considered the gateway to the western side of Yellowstone National Park. On its own, Island Park can be considered a paradise for hikers, backpackers, and wilderness lovers, but its proximity to Yellowstone Park gives it an added appeal that draws thousands of visitors to this small Idaho town every year. You'll find endless outdoor activities in and around the Island Park area. Explore the Big Springs Fork of the Henry River and state parks close to Island Park like Harriman and Henry's Lake. Go whitewater rafting, rock climbing, or cave exploring in any of these areas. Visit breathtaking waterfalls and see majestic native wildlife even before you reach the entrance to Yellowstone.
While you are here, rent a condo, or secluded lakeside cabin where you can store your outdoor gear, and begin your adventures each morning after watching the sun rise from your private balcony. Spend the day on the trails and waterways of backwoods Idaho and then head home at night to your vacation rental to host a barbeque for your family and friends.
Here are a few additional suggestions for your trip:
-Visit the Upper and Lower Mesa Falls: These awe inspiring waterfalls tower over 65 feet and plunge into the Snake River. Trails to the falls are easily accessible and pet friendly.
-Go fishing in Henry's Lake State Park: The lake is seasonally stocked with trout that can grow larger than seven pounds. The park and fishing areas open each year after Memorial Day.
-Go hiking and biking in Big Springs: The Big Springs area is home to scenic hiking trails, a golf course, and a horseback riding trail that leads to the historic Johnny Sack Cabin.
-Go wildlife spotting: The areas around Big Springs and Henry's Lake are home to active populations of moose, bison, bears, and elk.
-Visit the Island Park Reservoir: Skim across the glassy surface of the reservoir on a jet ski or water skis. This is also a scenic setting with great bird and wildlife spotting opportunities.
-Experience Idaho Island Park snowmobiling: In the winter, there's no better way to explore the Island Park area than by snowmobile.
Plan your adventures in your cabin or winter condo and then head out into the rugged beautiful wilderness of Island Park. You'll never run out of fun things to do here no matter what season of the year you plan your visit. You'll also have no trouble finding a vacation rental that offers all the amenities you need. While you're here in Island Park, consider a day trip to nearby Dillon or Idaho Falls.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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