Bird Island - Camping on an Island in Flathead Lake
Updated: Sep 15
Distance from Mt. Forge: 30 minute drive & 30 minute boat ride
FIRES ARE NOT ALLOWED AND PLEASE PACK IN AND PACK OUT
Bird Island recently burned in a wildfire and is currently closed to the public. It is set to be open again sometime in 2021.
When you think about camping on Flathead Lake you usually imagine a state park campground on the shoreline. If you want a truly unique experience, camping at Bird Island is for you. You'll need a boat, canoe, or kayak to get there and it will be well worth it.
The weather finally got warm enough for us to make this trip in May so we loaded up the canoe and headed out in the early evening. The most challenging part of this journey was finding the closest spot to the island that we could put the canoe in and leave the truck overnight. We found a small Lake County managed entry point. There is minimal information online regarding Lake County access points, but we were able to confirm this one is legitimate. You'll need a 4WD vehicle if you want to access this one. Ideally to get to Bird Island you'll have access to a motorboat and can get in the water at several other places.
Once we got in the water it was a short ride in our canoe with myself, Nicole, and our pup Forge. We arrived to the island on the South shore and there were campers already set up, so we moved to the east shore and found a beautiful spot to post up for the evening. The water was low so we walked around the entire island on the shoreline. The best places to camp are on the south beach, the western shore inlet, and then on the eastern shore. If you're not in a canoe or kayak, you probably won't be able to access the eastern shore.
You can definitely fish from the island as we heard fish jumping all night. The western shore has an awesome sunset view and once it got dark we had an unreal view of the Milky Way from the eastern shore. Although the geese were very loud overnight, it was an incredibly peaceful experience that we would strongly recommend for the adventurous spirit!