3819 Whitecap Drive
Island Park, ID 83429
About Henrys Lake
Henrys Lake is tucked away in the northernmost corner of eastern Idaho, just across the border from Montana and Wyoming, and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Less than 10 miles from the continental divide, it is one of the largest lakes in Idaho and the second largest lake in Idaho. It is a natural lake formed by glaciers and fed by several tributaries and springs.
It is also home to some of the best trout in the West and an irrigation dam that slightly enlarges Lake Henrys. The lake, which was initially considered a small lake with about 1000 inhabitants, has existed in its present form for more than 100 years, according to the National Park Service.
Lake Henrys is an average of 1.50 metres deep, which is unusual for a lake of this size, but ideal for park visitors who want to catch a few trout at the end of their holiday. In summer, the lake forms healthy vegetation, which provides ideal habitat for any number of fish. The altitude and the winter snow make this place probably the only seasonal campsite. Several Indian tribes were driven out of their enjoyment of the lake due to the high altitude, the high water level and the lack of access to water.
Water skiing and motor boating do not seem to be the norm here, and much of the lake's shore is privately owned. Henrys Lake is located in a large shallow valley and is surrounded by Centennial National Park and its foothills. The view from the coast is spectacular from almost any viewpoint, but the coast is located at an altitude of about 1,500 meters above sea level and has a maximum depth of 1.50 meters.
Several wetlands along the coast are home to a variety of birds, waterfowl and wildlife. In addition to some new buildings, the majority of private apartments in the remote lodge are home to houses in the style that occupy the points that overlook the lake, as well as a small number of commercial buildings.
The Henry Fork outlet is still a shallow trout stream that flows far upstream, so the atmosphere around Lake Henrys is calm. Forty to forty campsites are offered and local groups are determined to protect the unspoilt nature.
There is no organized bathing area, but more visitors than usual can go by canoe and kayak to the shore of the lake. Much of the boat ride leads to the edge of the water where it flows into the Henry Fork Outlet, and much of it is swam.
Boat permits and invasive species stickers are required for most boats, and you must pay for the stickers when you wash your boat in the facility.
Henrys Lake is home to an endangered Yellowstone species whose population is jealously protected from possible extinction by prudent fisheries management. Hybrid trout are farmed and bred in Lake Henrys and other lakes in the region. Providing sterile hybrids to the lake will reduce the fish pressure of the native Yellowstone tapeworm.
Lake Henrys is one of the most productive lakes in the state of Idaho for trout fishing, with a population of over 1,000 trout. In a productive lake, trout quickly get fat, and catching trout under five pounds is the norm.
The Henrys Lake Foundation is working with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to improve the habitat for trout. There was once a population of whitefish in the lake, but the fish had not been observed for several years. Other non-native species have also been found living in this lake, such as the introduced rainbow and brown trout, as well as a number of other species.
This issue is being addressed by the state of Idaho and conservation groups to ensure that there is enough water to meet the needs. Under water law, almost all of the water from Henry Fork is used for irrigation. Although Lake Henrys is not in danger of losing too much water, the drainage of the Henry Fork must be controlled to facilitate the spawning of trout in this water. To prevent trout from entering the irrigation systems, a high-pressure water treatment plant and a water filtration plant have been installed.
The 585-acre State Park offers several hiking trails, and management of grizzly bears takes precedence over other uses. Yellowstone National Park, one of the largest national parks in the United States, provides protected habitat for more than 1,000 species of animals including bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars and wolves.
The 2415 hectare lake is managed by the Land Management Office, which has designated areas of critical ecological importance. Lake Henrys has open meadows and wetlands, and rare Idaho silver fir grows on soils believed to be the remains of a floating island recorded by early trappers working in the area.
In winter, Lake Henrys is open for ice fishing, and the snowmobile trails ensure that winter sports enthusiasts have plenty to do to get interested in fishing. Public areas nearby offer access to Yellowstone National Park and a number of other national parks and forests. The Caribbean Targhee National Forest surrounds Henry's Lake with a total area of 2.2 million hectares.
The tiny settlement of Lake Henry is off the highway on the east side of Henry's Lake. The lake is called an island park, and the town of just a few hundred residents was named 33 miles long because Idaho's alcohol laws allow alcohol to be sold only within city limits. It is the site of the Island Park where Henry Fork is seized from the Island Park Reservoir.
The island park is therefore being expanded to include the fishing village of Lake Henrys to serve tourism. For those who want to fish in the lake, there are several shops that offer food and bait for campers and hikers.
The town of West Yellowstone is just 13 miles from Henrys Lake and offers more urban amenities, making it well-equipped with accommodations, restaurants, shops and services. The area around Lake Henrys offers a variety of accommodation suitable for almost any budget.
Many visitors first look at the properties in the area, and not far from Lake Henrys is usually a small airport with a large parking lot for cars, trucks and other vehicles. A small piste also serves the region and Henry's Lake is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers, skiers and snowboarders.
Don't come and try fishing, but the trip of a lifetime will be a trip through life, and not just a trip to Henrys Lake, Idaho.