One of Idaho's great lake parks, set on a gentle slope on the south side of Henry's Lake, with scenic mountain views and all-round breathtaking scenery, Henry's Lake State Park is the kind of place nature lovers dream of. Named after explorer Major Andrew Henry, the park offers a wide range of recreational activities, giving visitors a unique experience of the region's nature and history.
Located in the mountains of Fremont County in south-eastern Idaho, the 585-acre park is highly popular for being one of the state's major fishing hotspots. Fishermen from far and wide come to Henry's Lake to fish for titus and cutthroat, and the lake is also well known for its large trout population. Visitors will enjoy boating and kayaking in the warm lake waters as well as participating in numerous watersports competitions such as fishing and swimming.
The park also offers beautiful nature trails with scenic mountain views for hiking and biking as well as wildlife viewing. Moose, bison and foxes are all extremely common at the park and bird lovers will have the chance to see some California seagulls, red-winged blackbirds, bald eagles and much more. History buffs will also have a blast at Lake Henry; although the lake was discovered by Andrew Henry, the region had been inhabited by native Americans for centuries and a lot of art and remnants of their life style are still visible across the park.
Henry's Lake is a wonderful destination for RV campers. The park has a spacious campground where you can safely park your rig before heading out to explore the park's numerous attractions. There are easily accessible hiking trails from the campground as well as easy routes to other parts of the park, with Junior Ranger Programs and kid tours available to keep the young ones busy. Henry's Lake truly is a special place to visit and should be at the top of every traveler's list of next vacation destination.
Henry's Lake can easily be accessed by foot or vehicle off U.S Route 20 near Goose Bay about 15 miles west of Yellowstone National Park. All vehicle must pay an entrance fee or have an Idaho State Park's Passport to access the park, with smooth roads taking visitors from the entrance to other parts of the resort. ATVs, motorcycles and RVs are to remain on established roadways or in parking lots with different parts of the park having speed limits for visitors to adhere to. Roadside signboards direct you wherever you need to go and there are rangers spread across the park to give directions and roadside aid to visitors, so you'll be able to get around the park easily whether in your RV or another vehicle.
The campground at Henry's Lake State Park is easily accesible by RV. It features 44 pet-friendly campsites with water, electricity an sewer hookups. Clean showers and picnic tables are also available on the campground. Basic needs like wood and snacks are sold at the campground and there is an RV dump station available too and campfires are allowed in designated areas only.
There is a hospital a few miles from the campground and a vehicle maintenance shop as well. There are a few retail stores near the campground where campers can purchase provisions with the beach and boat launch a few hundred feet away as well. All fireworks are prohibited on the campground and quiet hours are mandatory from 10PM to 7AM.
Henry's Lake State Park is a popular destination for sport fishers. Fishing is the region's most popular sport as anglers gather by the lake during the park's opening months and fish for trout, cutthroats and other species like brook. Stream fishing can also be found at nearby Fork's and Gallatin rivers which are safer fishing sites for kids.
Fishing competitions are often held on Memorial Day Weekend as well as at certain intervals during the year. There is a fish cleaning station near the boat ramp as well as a fish hatchery north of the lake which helps replenish the fish population during the park's closing months.
There are numerous easily accessible hiking trails all over Henry's Lake Park. Be sure to bring your hiking boots as a short hike by sunset or sunrise will give you some of Idaho's most scenic views with the best wildlife opportunities as well.
Visitors can walk the 52 mile Howard Slough Trail to see some beavers, songbirds, moose and red-tailed hawk as well as the shorter 3.1 mile Aspen Loop Trail which will bring you close to deer, a channel of hare burrows and some elk. The iconic 3,000 mile Continental Divide Trail also runs through Henry's Lake Park and hikers can access it on their way to Yellowstone.
Boating is almost as popular as fishing on Henry's Lake. Unpredictable weather often makes the surface choppy but when the lake waters are calm, it makes for a joyous boat ride. There is a boat ramp and a launching dock by the lakeside as well as a boat parking area a few hundred feet from the dock.
Canoes and Kayaks are also allowed on the lake and there are motorboats, canoe and kayak rentals near the lake where visitors can rent any vehicle of their choice for the day. Ranger guided boat tours further down the lake are also available for visitors who wish to experience the full beauty of Henry's Lake.
Henry's Lake is a gold mine of a birding spot. The lake shores and surrounding forests are home to a diverse range of bird species and attract large concentrations of birds during migrating season. Birding enthusiasts will want to bring their binoculars while hiking or down at the lake as the edges of the lake provide marshland habitat for over 200 bird species.
White Pelicans and blue heron are some of the most popular species across the park. Canada geese, hawks, swans and cow birds are also common. Owls can also be heard around the campground at night and early morning hikers can see bird of prey fishing along the edges of the lake.
Taking a day to watch your kids earn their Junior Ranger Certificates is a perfect way to spend an off-season day. The Junior Ranger Program is an activity for kids conducted in most national parks across the country where kids typically of ages 5-13 perform a series of tasks teaching them the significance of The National Park Program and importance of wildlife preservation.
The programs are usually scheduled during opening months with a few being held during off-season just before the close of the park in late October. Junior Ranger Certificates are a great souvenir for a kid to bring home from a vacation and are a perfect way to spend a dry day away from the lake
Henry's Lake and its surroundings are rich in culture and history and visitors to the region can take a tour to some of the park's significant local attractions. The local fish hatchery is a popular attraction among tourists, as well as the amphitheater. Native Americans also resided in the park in earlier centuries, and some of their artwork can still be found on the Island.
Visitors can also take a boat tour further down Henry's Lake to spot rarer bird species breeding and migrating and also have the option of a short 15 mile trip east to Yellowstone to see iconic geysers like Old Faithful and the Fountain Geyser.