Island Park truly feels like the heart of America. This small Idaho town has miles of wide open space, which is dotted with the homes and businesses of the less than 300 residents of the city. Though few people live in Island Park, many visit each year. This town’s beautiful countryside and relaxed, friendly vibe has led to it becoming a peaceful getaway destination.
Island Park is a lovely place to visit if you want to unwind, enjoy the area’s untouched countryside, or, as you might guess from the title of this post, get married. Island Park has some seriously gorgeous country scenery that will give your wedding a serene, romantic vibe.
In this post, I’m giving you all my tips on having your wedding in Island Park, ID. I’ll cover Island Park’s best wedding venues, discuss which seasons are ideal for an Island Park wedding, and give you a rundown of the great attractions you can visit while you’re in the area.
Wedding Venues in Island Park, Idaho
Island Park has very unique city lines. If you look at a map of Island Park, you’ll notice that it’s basically a straight line that runs along Highway 20. Because of this, the founders of Island Park liked to say that the city has the longest main street in the world.
Since Island Park is a long line, there are many wedding venues that are right by Island Park but not quite within city limits. So for these wedding venue highlights, I’ll be including wedding venues that are in the Island Park area. This will include a few breathtaking wedding venues that are actually within Yellowstone National Park, which runs right alongside Island Park.
Location: Island Park, ID
First up, let’s take a closer look at one of the prettiest wedding venues within Island Park’s city limits. Lakeside Lodge & Resort is an indoor-outdoor lodge style wedding venue with extraordinary views. Their lodge rests right alongside Henry’s Fork, which is an offshoot of the Snake River, and is surrounded by many tall green trees. The outdoor space at Lakeside Lodge & Resort is right on the edge of Henry’s Fork, so you can enjoy the waterside while you tie the knot. For your reception, you can take advantage of either their outdoor lawn, outdoor patio, or indoor event space (though, weather permitting, I’d say definitely go with the outdoor space!).
Location: West Yellowstone
Union Pacific Dining Lodge is an incredibly beautiful wedding venue that’s located in West Yellowstone, which is just east of Island Park. This event space features a historic building that was once a “beanery,” which is a term they used for railroad restaurants back in the 1920s. The buildings at Union Pacific Dining Lodge are well-maintained and still feature their National Park Service rustic architecture that allows them to look harmonious with the surrounding forest.
Inside this venue, there are two different rooms within the Lodge that you can use for your wedding: the Mammoth Room (usually the ceremony and reception spot) and the Firehole Room (often used for cocktail hours). The Mammoth Room is, as you might guess from the name, the larger of the two rooms and it is spectacular. This room features a huge stone arched fireplace (it’s over 15 feet tall!), rustic stone pillars, and exposed wooden beams set with rustic-style lights. The Firehole Room is smaller but it still backs a big punch when it comes to rustic vibes. This room’s walls are lined with untreated logs and exposed stone, and it also features a charming small fireplace.
Location: St. Anthony, ID
Located just south of Island Park, ID, Three Peaks Lodge is a fun and unique wedding venue. While this lodge is primarily marketed toward those who are having family reunions, it’s also set up to hold your wedding. This space is large lodge with many rooms, including a theater room with a stage, three gathering rooms, four game rooms that are connected by secret passages, a kitchen dining area, and about a million bedrooms.
When you rent the Three Peaks Lodge, you can choose to decorate yourself or hire their on-site consultation to help plan and decorate your wedding. Additionally, this space can be rented just for the full day, but it can also be rented for several days, including nights. And this spot sleeps 40 people comfortably, so it’s an incredible option if you’re looking to have a cozy destination wedding.
Also, there’s a lot to love about the exterior of the Three Peaks Lodge. The lodge is located on a private, 100 acre space that features a baseball field, a full size tennis court, and plenty of wide open grounds.
Location: Caribou-Targhee National Forest
The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is a sprawling public forest that covers over 2.63 million acres. And while there aren’t any dedicated wedding venues in this national forest, you can get married there if you obtain a Special Use Permit from any District Ranger Office.
The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is an absolutely breathtaking forest with some very diverse landscape. There are endless miles of green trees, vast fields full of wildflowers, caves, valleys, hills, mountains, and much more. If you’re a nature-lover who is looking to get married near Island Park, there’s no better place to have your wedding.
Getting married in a national forest does take a bit more planning than going with a traditional wedding venue. However, it’s well worth it to be able to take in the beauty of the forest during your wedding. Also, there are many cabins and campsites you can reserve in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest so, while you will need to bring much of your own wedding accoutrements, there are amenities available in the forest.
Location: West Yellowstone
Bar N Ranch is a charming restaurant wedding venue located on a ranch. This space features an outdoor area by a serene river that can be used for your ceremony, which has incredible mountain views as its backdrop. For your reception, Bar N Ranch has a lovely indoor restaurant space decorated with stone, exposed wood, and lots of antlers, which gives the space a an upscale rustic feel.
Bar N Ranch is a great venue if you’re looking to have a rustic style wedding near Island Park and it’s also an excellent option for those having a destination wedding. Bar N Ranch has a sizable lodge-style hotel and a number of different cabins that your guests can enjoy during your wedding weekend.
A Note on the Seasons in Island Park: When to Visit and When to Get Married
When should you visit Island Park? Island Park is beautiful all year round but the most popular time to visit is in the summer, with spring as a close second. And that makes sense, since getting out into the great outdoors is a top reason people visit Island Park. During the warmer seasons, you can spend time fishing, horseback riding, or just exploring the many natural landmarks of the area— all without freezing. People do still visit Island Park during the fall and winter, though winter beats fall in terms of tourist traffic, thanks to the many winter sport opportunities in the area.
For your wedding in Island Park, I would generally recommend going with spring or summer for your wedding date, largely for the same reasons I mention above. It’s just beautiful out in the spring and summer in Island Park, so why not take advantage of that beauty for your wedding? Another reason why you may want to pick spring or summer for your Island Park wedding is that you’ll have more venues to choose from. While some venues stay open during the winter in this area, a lot close up shop, which can really limit your venue options.
Of course, fall and winter are lovely seasons in Island Park as well. And you can definitely have an amazing wedding if you choose to get married during fall or winter! However, if you’re getting married in Island Park during one of the colder seasons, just be mindful that you may have fewer options for your wedding venue and vendors, so set aside a little extra time during the planning process to make sure you can find somewhere you’ll love.
Things to Do in Island Park, Idaho
Visiting Island Park, Idaho is all about exploring the great outdoors! Let’s take a look at some of the many things to do and sights to see in Island Park.
A caldera is an impressive, large hollow in the earth that is created by a volcanic eruption. And Island Park just so happens to be the home of the world’s largest volcanic caldera, the Island Park Caldera. The caldera is estimated to be over half a million years old and it’s a can’t-miss landmark for nature-lovers.
Visit Mesa Falls
Mesa Falls is one of the prettiest waterfall locations in Idaho and it’s located right below the Island Park’s southern border. There are actually two waterfalls at Mesa Falls: the Upper Mesa Falls and the Lower Mesa Falls, and both are worth a visit. You can explore Mesa Falls by taking a cruise down Mesa Falls Scenic Byway or by hiking the Mesa Falls Nature Trail.
Harriman State Park is a 11,000 acre park and wildlife refuge. At Harriman State Park, you can fly-fish at Henry’s Fork, bike, hike, go horseback riding, or go cross-country skiing during the winter. Harriman State Park is also a great place to visit if you want to spot some wildlife, as its home to many deer, elk, moose, and waterfowl.
While Yellowstone National Park isn’t directly inside Island Park, it’s just a short drive away and it’s seriously worth visiting. Yellowstone National Park was the world’s first national park. This expansive park is famous for its geysers (the park contains half of all the geysers in the world!), including the legendary Old Faithful Geyser. At Yellowstone, you’ll also find hot springs, mile after mile of beautiful trees, and lots of wildlife.
Visit Big Springs
Big Springs is a headwater of Snake River that is known for its many trout, which visitors can enjoy feeding from the spring’s bridge. While at Big Springs, you can also explore Johnny Sacks’ cabin, a historic 1929 log cabin that has been preserved at a part of the National Register of Historic Places.
Note: While there are lots of trout at Big Springs, if you want to do some fishing, you’ll need to head several miles south down past the outlet to Henry’s Lake. You can feed the fish at Big Springs but fishing is prohibited in the area.
During winter, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Island Park. You can go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobile riding. Snowmobiles are big in Island Park and there are over 500 miles of snowmobile trails in the area. On the town’s many trails, you can rent snowmobiles to explore the area on your own or sign up for a guided snowmobile tour.
Your Island Park, Idaho Wedding Photographer
There you have it: all the best wedding venues and attractions in the Island Park area! What do you think of the venues and things to do I’ve highlighted here? If you have any thoughts on this post, please reach out! I love hearing from you.
Also, if you’re planning your wedding in Island Park or the surrounding area and are looking for an Island Park wedding photographer, check out my portfolio! I would love to shoot your wedding and capture the authentic beauty of your special day. While I’m a wedding photographer who is based in Pocatello, Idaho, that’s just a short ways south of Island Park and I’m happy to travel to shoot your Island Park wedding!