Henrys Lake State Park

May 21, 2008 

ROGER PHILLIPS

Henrys Lake State Park is about as close as you can get to Yellowstone National Park without being there, but it is no ugly stepsister. It's a beautiful lake at the base of several 9,000-plus-foot peaks, and it offers world-class fishing as well as access to several other streams and reservoirs. Henrys Lake has trophy-sized cutthroat, brook and cutthroat/rainbow hybrids.

Beware of high winds and cold weather. The park is at 6,500 feet, so you probably will have cool evenings, even in summer. It occasionally gets snowstorms in June and frost in August.

How to get there: The freeway route is I-84 and I-86 east, north on I-15, which turns into U.S. 20 at Chester. Take U.S. 20 north to Henrys Lake. For an alternative route, take I-84 to Mountain Home and U.S. 20 east all the way to Henrys Lake. This route is shorter, but it takes about the same amount of time. Expect to drive about six or seven hours.

Activities: Fishing, boating, hiking, biking, guided walks and programs, sightseeing.

Amenities: The park has 45 campsites, 26 with water and electricity. Other sites have central water. All campsites have picnic tables and campfire grills, and there is an RV dump station. Twenty seven sites can be reserved through Labor Day. The campground also has restrooms and showers, a boat ramp, docks and a fish cleaning station. Cabins are available.

Nearest place to get supplies: A store with groceries and gas and some camping supplies is 2 miles from the park. West Yellowstone is 15 miles to the east.

Fees/reservations: $12 and higher, depending on services. Cabins are available for $45 a night. Most campsites can be reserved by calling (866) 634-3246 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. You also can reserve sites at www.idahoparks.org.

Information: Mailing address: 3917 E. 5100 N., Island Park, ID 83429; phone: (208) 558-7532.

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