Island Park Idaho is about a 90-minute drive (depending on the time of year) from Idaho Falls. Island Park is definitely on our short list for must-see panoramic views, and wildlife.
Southeast Idaho’s Mountain Range
Island Park is one of the main gateways into Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone National Park is actually located in Wyoming, while the biggest urban area nearby, the city of West Yellowstone, is in Montana. You are so close to all 3 states! Island Park is usually accessible year-round. The roads could be closed for a few hours or maybe even a day or two in the winter months when mother nature really gets angry. Even so, the Idaho Transportation Department is very good at keeping the roads drivable and safe, even in tough situations.
Always look up a road and weather report before going into the Island Park area from about Mid November to April. If you are looking for properties in the Island Park area, you are most likely going to need 4-wheel drive! Some of the cabins are only accessible by snowmobile, you can find that here if you really want it!
Small Town, Idaho Country Living
Activities for all ages, at any time of the year.
The activities available in this beautiful mountainous area are endless. World class Elk, Deer, Bear and Waterfowl hunting can be found in nearby specified units. Fishing seems to be available around nearly every turn. For a rural area, the short drive to West Yellowstone ensures you’re never too far from a good movie theater, restaurant, or bar. Island Park is the quiet neighbor of a bustling Montana town 🙂
Any snow sport can be found within 30 minutes. From Ski/snowboard hills to back-country snowmobiling and snowshoeing, you will never be far from fun!
The Residents of Island Park
Most of the part-time residents in Island Park seem to be vacationers from the Southeast Idaho Valley. Your neighbors could be from the local areas – Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Rexburg, Blackfoot, Boise and other parts of Idaho. Also, just like anywhere this beautiful, with reasonable property prices, a lot of out-of-staters have found their home here. It is a great place to build or buy that dream home you have always wanted. A good portion of the full time residents in Island Park and surrounding can be traced to other states before making the move to Idaho.
The History of Island Park
What does alcohol have to do with the creation of this small Idaho town?
The county of Fremont Idaho surrounds all of Island Park. In 2010, the city had a population of around 300. The city was incorporated by a lot of the resort and bar owners along HWY 20. The main reason they became a city, was to circumvent the laws Idaho had in place at the time to prevent liquor sales outside of town. It was known as Island Park long before it really was ‘Island Park. It’s main street is only about 500 feet wide in most places, but at 33 miles long, is ‘the longest main street in the world’. That may need to be fact checked but, who is going to fight you on that one?
Island Park is in the Rexburg Micropolitan Area. It is mostly inside a huge crater named the Henry’s Fork Caldera. You actually drive in and out of this caldera when driving around the area. It is pretty cool to tell the kids you are inside a real crater! This same hotspot also created the Yellowstone Caldera, one of the biggest caldera’s in the world!
Mountains & Peaks of Island Park
Henry’s Lake Caldera is flat at the bottom and squished in between two huge mountain ranges with Henrys Lake at the northwest side. Mount Jefferson, which is slightly South of Henry’s, stands at a whopping 10,023 feet. On the opposite side of Henrys lies Targhee Peak, a little taller at 10,240 feet. The most famous, and shortest peak in this conversation, is Sawtell Peak. 9,886 feet and sits near Mount Jefferson, South of Henrys lake. It was named after some of the pioneers to the area thought it looked a like an Native American Chief Napping. The peak is also known as Chief Rains in the Face. There is a large FAA Radar Dome that can’t be missed perched right on top of Sawtell Peak. You can see it for miles and miles around!
Have any comments about Island Park or any of the surrounding areas in Idaho? Leave us a comment!
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(all data current as of 12/4/2023)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.