Wild Horse Island is a – get this – an island with wild horses on it. Pretty creative name.
Sitting in the middle of Flathead Lake, the only way to the island is by boat. Bring your own, or hop on a tourist shuttle. The entire island is a Montana state park, although there are some grandfathered private cabins along the island’s shoreline.
Legend has it that Native Americans swam their horses out to the island to protect them from theft by other tribes, although there appears to be no solid proof that this was the case.
There is a detailed history of the island here . It makes for pretty interesting reading if you have the time.
Colette made the necessary arrangements, and we headed out with hiking gear and lots of photo gear looking for the elusive horses.
There are four miles of actual trails, but with 2,164 hilly, wooded acres there’s plenty of off-trail travel to be had if you have the legs and the time.
We didn’t luck out with horse sightings as they were pretty far into the backcountry, but we lucked out with plenty of bighorn sheep and deer.
Would we do it again? Absolutely! There is plenty of beautiful scenery and a variety of terrain, and with the scenic ride to and from the island this is a clear winner in our book.

Look Into The Light

Look Into The Light
This bighorn isn’t afraid of staring at the sun

Beefy Sheep

Beefy Sheep on Wild Horse Island
I think this guy is the patriarch since he’s the beefiest of this herd of bighorn sheep.

Public Lunch

Public Lunch
Caught in the middle of lunch.

Yellow Green Blue

Yellow Green Blue on Wild Horse Island
Lines of colors from crispy grass to tall ponderosa pines to the deep blue of Flathead Lake.

Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake
What a big, blue wonderful body of water this is.

All Tangled Up

All Tangled Up
The driftwood piles on the shores of Wild Horse Island are huge and numerous.

Spotted Fawn

Spotted Fawn on Wild Horse Island
This tiny spotted mule deer fawn snuck up behind us while we were having a snack at the water’s edge.

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