The mountains come to life in the summer…
The mountains come to life in the summer, and it is a special time to explore the world around the cabin. With hundreds of miles of walking and mountain biking trails, plus more rivers, creeks and lakes than you can count, summer is a time of endless possibility here in Island Park.
There are just as many, if not more fun summer activities all around Island Park.
Fly fishermen come from all over the world to fish around Island Park for a reason: the rivers, creeks and lakes around us offer some of the best trout fishing an angler can have. Here are just a few options, but there are many more just waiting to be discovered!
Henry’s Fork of the Snake River & Harriman State Park
Henry’s Fork of the Snake River is known as one of the finest trout streams in the lower 48 states and offers some of the best dry fly fishing in the country. Grandma’s Cabin is just minutes from Henry’s Fork and Harriman State Park. Anglers can hire superior outfitting and guide services right in Last Chance. Guides are skilled in challenging the experienced angler or providing lessons to beginner fly-fishermen and women.
Few rivers can match the Henry’s Fork. It has a wide variety of water temperatures and insect hatches from stoneflies, mayflies, caddis and damselflies that provide a feast of bugs for the fish. Trout Unlimited has voted the Henry’s Fork the number one trout stream in the country.
The area tributaries of the Henry’s Fork provide unnumbered miles of streams and creeks providing scenery, solitude and excellent fishing for any angler. If you are looking for a guided fly fishing trip or just a great fly shop in the area, we recommend Henry’s Fork Anglers or the TroutHunter, which are both right here in Last Chance.
Don’t forget the Upper Henry’s Fork or “Box Canyon,” the Middle Henry’s Fork and the Madison River have fishing year-round. Come prepared to snowmobile or snowshoe in for possibly the best fly fishing experience of your life.
Henry’s Lake & Island Park Reservoir
Don’t miss Henry’s Lake, one of Idaho’s great high mountain lakes, which provides the kind of fishing (and size of fish) anglers dream about. Anglers fish for cutthroat, brook and cut-bow hybrid trout in what is considered one of the finest trout fisheries in the West. These fish are prized by Henry’s Lake anglers because of their superior fighting qualities.
You may also want to include Island Park Reservoir in your fishing to-do list, which is formed by the Island Park Dam. Recreation on this 11-square mile, 7,000-acre reservoir is administered by the Targhee National Forest. Fishing season is year-round for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, coho salmon, yellow perch, and bluegill. Other recreational activities on the reservoir include boating, kayaking, canoeing and other water sports.
Our neighbors in Montana also offer world-class trout fishing with the Gallatin and Madison rivers within an hour of the cabin. Hebgen Lake also provides great fishing just over the border in Montana.
Fishing Yellowstone National Park
If fishing Yellowstone National Park is your dream, the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers are calling your name less than an hour away from the cabin. A special Yellowstone Fishing Permit is needed to fish in the park.
Start your own Great Backyard Bird Count Checklist right here at Grandma’s Cabin by looking for the Morning Doves, Ruffed Grouse, Sandhill Cranes, Black-capped and Mountain Chickadees, Downey Woodpecker, Steller’s Jays, Bald Eagles, Cassin’s Finch, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and more. The Backyard Birdcount is also for kids!
These nearby areas also provide excellent birdwatching opportunities:
Hiking around Island Park offers endless possibilities in the high country with a wide variety of trails ranging from easy to difficult, including great options right in the Targhee National Forest and Yellowstone National Park. Visitor’s to Grandma’s Cabin can pick a trail from the wide variety of books and maps in our personal library.
If the saddle is where you would rather be or if you just want to give it a try, there is no better place to be.
Grandma’s Cabin has a wrangler nearby. In fact, you will find horses right at Grandma’s Cabin to feed an occasional carrot or apple. Be sure to bring some along. Choose from a horseback ride in Harriman State Park, Yellowstone National Park or the Targhee or Gallatin National forests. The local Idaho and Montana outfitters have horses to fit riders of all ages and experience levels. They will provide an exceptional horseback riding experience to suit the most eager cowboys and cowgirls. There are brochures in the bookcase at the cabin with more information.
Mountain Biking in Island Park will surprise you at the amount of amazing, uncrowded trails available with a variety of terrain from old logging roads to the more technical single tracks, all within minutes of the cabin.
Take your bike to Big Springs and ride up to the old rail road bed or keep going into West Yellowstone. If you’re looking for an organized ride, the Spring or Fall Cycle Tours hosted by West Yellowstone’s Chamber of Commerce are a blast. Better yet, ride right from Grandma’s Cabin along the Henry’s Fork River right in Last Chance, and for a longer ride take the Mesa Falls scenic byway down to the Upper & Lower Mesa Falls & Bear Gulch. Be sure to see the railroad tunnel on this trip. If you need a rental during your visit contact Free Heel and Wheel in West Yellowstone, your cycling headquarters for the Greater Yellowstone Area.
Rafting, Kayaking & Boating
Island Park has a wide variety of water activities available whether you’re looking for a leisurely scenic float trip down the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River on the Big Springs National Water Trail, a late summer float down the Box Canyon or a guided white water adventure on the Gallatin or Yellowstone rivers in Montana. Jackson Hole, Wyoming also offers guided white water rafting. Bring your ski boat, water ski or jet ski to play on the Island Park Reservoir.
Shopping in the Area
There are lots of unique gifts in Island Park, but the closest place for real shopping is West Yellowstone, Montana. You will find just about any gift you can imagine in the shops of West Yellowstone. There are several bookstores and countless souvenir shops. For some special gifts, check out the gift shops at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center or the Yellowstone Historic Museum at the Union Depot Building.There are also many great espresso shops and plenty of places to eat in West Yellowstone, which is just 45 minutes northeast of Grandma’s Cabin.
For those folks looking for something a little less hectic, a drive to Ennis, Montana might be in order. Ennis is a small town on the Madison River and has several neat shops downtown. Check out the antique stores, fishing shops, and Restvedt’s for the best jerky in Montana!
Jackson Hole, Wyoming is another great destination for those who want to some great shopping. Make sure to sit in the saddles at the Cowboy Bar before leaving town. It’s a great place to stop on your day trip to the Tetons.
Looking for More Summer Fun?
There are so many fun activities around Grandma’s Cabin in the summer. Here are just a few more:
- Float Big Springs National Water Trail
- 4th of July Celebrations
- Bird watching at Red Rock Lakes
- Mountain Men Rendezvous
- YNP Ranger Presentations
- Mesa Falls Marathon
- All American Sawtelle Stampede