Island life is not what comes to mind when thinking about Montana. We've got some terrific lakes, reservoirs, and rivers...but islands? Indeed, and some of them are breathtaking.

There are 115 named islands in the state of Montana. That's nearly as many named islands as are in the Hawaiian string of islands. Some of Montana's islands are quite famous, with luxury homes and family compounds that have been featured on real estate shows. Others are small but permanent year-round piles of sand and rock.

Almost everyone has heard of Shelter Island on Flathead Lake, that sold sometime in 2018...with a listing price of 78 million dollars. (It's unclear what the exact sale price was, but you get the drift.) Shelter Island is a 24-acre luxury compound on Flathead Lake, one of the clearest lakes in the United States.

Some Montana islands are also preserved as parks for the general public. One of the coolest islands in the state is Pirogue Island State Park. Not only is it an actual State Park, but it's pretty well-known in the rock hounding world as a good place to find cool agates. The island is on the Yellowstone River near Miles City, and it has nearly 3 miles of walking trails. Fishing and bird watching are also popular reasons to visit Pirogue Island State Park.

Where to next? Just west of Missoula, you'll find the 648 acre Kelly Island Park. It's undeveloped but easy to get to with three access points. It's also an interesting place to fish, as the island is surrounded by both the Clark Fork River and the Bitterroot River. It's not often you get two rivers touching one island.

Something a little different? You'll find dozens of small, uninhabited (but named) islands on the Missouri River, such as Sturgeon Island and Cow Island. They may be short on activities, but they're great locations for a rest while fishing or bird watching.

The Boy Scouts of America own an island on Flathead Lake called Melita Island. "Melita Island is wholly owned by the Boy Scouts of America, Montana Council, and is a little piece of paradise reserved just for Scouts to have the adventure of a lifetime."

Another interesting thing about Montana's bodies of water is how much diving is done in them. We'll "dive" deeper into this hobby in another article, but check out one of Abram French's YouTube videos. This is one from a dive site called Blue Bay along Flathead Lake.

We may not think of Montana as the land of many islands, but we certainly have plenty of cool ones.

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