At 2,160 acres, Wild Horse Island on Flathead Lake is the largest island in a freshwater lake west of Minnesota.
It is said that the Pend d’Oreille tribe first kept horses for safekeeping from rival tribes. In 1854, the first Westerner to record seeing the island reported it contained a herd of nearly 70 horses.
Today, a much smaller herd exists on Wildhorse Island. The State Parks management plan allows for up to five wild horses to remain on the island.
Flathead Lake lost an iconic resident last winter. A gelding that had lived on the “Big Island” of Flathead Lake for over 30 years passed away. For the previous few prior winters, people familiar with Flathead Lake’s oldest wild horse would bet that the old gelding would not make it through another winter. Year after year he would surprise them when he would be spotted in the spring.
Wildhorse Island is one of my favorite places on Flathead Lake. I have some amazing videos of huge mule deer bucks, bighorn sheep and of course, wild horses that I have taken on the island. One year I found an old skull of a wild horse that had passed away.
There are six designated landing spots situated around the lake. Skeeko Bay has public restrooms. Here is a link to a map of the island: http://fwp.mt.gov/export/gisResources/visitMaps/parks/1558.pdf
Put a trip to Wildhorse Island on Flathead Lake on your Flathead Lake travel agenda.
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