WILD HORSE STATE RECREATION AREA
Remote and remarkable, Wild Horse State Recreation Area is open year round. The parks reservoir is a popular fishing site, with rainbow and German brown trout, small mouth bass, yellow perch and catfish awaiting able anglers. Cold winters make the lake an ideal location to ice fish and skate, or to explore on snowmobiles or skis. Extraordinary wildflowers blanket the park in the spring, and summers offer swimming, boating, camping and hiking. Although hunting is not allowed in the park, the campground is a popular base camp for hunting in the surrounding area. Wildlife includes pronghorn, mule deer and elk as well as a variety of waterfowl and upland game birds.
In 1937, Wild Horse Reservoir was constructed and covered what was once Owyhee Meadows. The reservoir was named after the wild horses that roamed abundantly in the area at the time. Ranching has restricted the horses movement, so they may not be seen while in the park, however, but they can still be found on the Owyhee Desert west of Wild Horse.
The stored irrigation water is for agriculture on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. The original dam was found to be weak and a new one was constructed in 1969. This doubled the size of the reservoir. When full, the reservoir has a surface area of 2,830 acres and holds 73,500 acre-feet of water. The spillway elevation is 6,205 feet above sea level.
The campground has 34 sites with a table, shade, a fire pit and a camp pad at each. There are no hookups, but restrooms and showers are available year round. Centrally located water faucets and a dump station are available during summer months only. Pull-through sites will accommodate large RVs, and there is a stay limit of 14 days in a 30-day period.
Situated at the south end of the park, with stunning views of Wild Horse Reservoir and the surrounding mountains, the park has three cabins available for rent year-round.
Fishing is a popular activity at Wild Horse. Most visitors pursue rainbow trout. German brown trout, small mouth bass, wiper, yellow perch and catfish are also in the reservoir. Fishing is often best during the spring and fall. Ice fishing is also popular and can be quite productive in the winter months. Fishermen should be prepared for extreme cold and harsh winter conditions.