Big Arm is located twelve miles north of Polson on the “big arm” of Flathead Lake. Big Arm State Park is the largest park on Flathead Lake and is less than five miles north of Big Arm on Highway 93. At twenty-eight miles long and 15 miles wide, Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in the western United States. Flathead Lake’s Big Arm Bay is a popular jump-off point to Wild Horse Island State Park. The Salish-Kootenai Indians once pastured their horses on Wild Horse Island to keep them from being stolen by other tribes. Enjoy swimming, fishing, sailing and boating on the beautiful Flathead Lake!
Big Arm State Park:
28031 Big Arm State Park Rd. Big Arm Montana 59910
Big Arm State Park is located 14 miles north of Polson on U.S. Highway 93. The Park is a popular launch point to access Wild Horse Island. The Park contains 40 campsites along the Flathead Lake shoreline. There are 3 yurts, showers and flush toilets. Swimming, boating, fishing and hiking on the nature trail are fun activities that can be enjoyed without leaving the park.
Services & Amenities include Boat Ramp, Day Use Group Shelter, Dock, Hiking Trail, Picnic Area with Shelter, Picnicking, Retail, Firewood, Retail, Ice, Toilet, Pit/Vault, Wildlife Viewing, Swimming, and Flathead Lake. Check-in time is 2:00pm for campsites and 3:00pm for tipi’s, yurts and cabins. Check-out time is 1:00pm for campsites and 12:00pm for tipi’s, yurts and cabins. Late checkouts may incur additional fees unless prior arrangements have been made.
Wild Horse Island State Park on Flathead Lake:
c/o FWP Region 1 Headquarters
490 N Meridian Rd Kalispell Montana 59901
Wild Horse Island is one of the larger islands on Flathead Lake. It is a primitive 2,200 acre State Park that is only accessible by boat. Wildlife on the island i osprey, bald eagles, deer, big horn sheep, and wild horses. The island is for day use only and maintains about 4 miles of trails.The perimeter of the island contains Private property. Please do not trespass on private property. One of the better public access points in on the north side of the island, Skeeko Bay. It’s in a cove, has a gravel beach and easy access to trailhead. This park resides within the boundaries of the Flathead Nation. Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe fishing license is required for fishing.
Big Arm Montana
The Big Arm Unit is on the southwest part of the lake, on Big Arm Bay. Boat rentals and cruises are available to take tourists to Wildhorse Island. Big Arm Bay has a long pebble beach, where Canadian geese may be seen. It is also nice to sit on the shore and gaze at the boats quietly sailing by. The site has campgrounds, a marina, picnic, and swimming areas. Fishing is good at Big Arm; anglers catch perch, trout, and whitefish. Flathead Lake has a variety of fish species but is best known for its trout. The main species in the lake are bull trout, cutthroat trout, and lake trout. Fishing in Flathead Lake is best from a boat; rentals are available at various locations.
The lower Flathead River exits the lake at Polson and eventually flows into the Clark Fork River of the Columbia. Many people fish the Flathead rivers with fly fishing rods. You might see them casting back and forth, while they stand in the river. They wear hip boots to do this kind of fishing because the water is very cold. Anyone fishing on the Flathead Indian Reservation, needs to buy a tribal day use permit and a tribal fishing permit.