This angler is hoping to hook one of the internationally famous wild trout that swim the waters of the Henry's Fork.
Fly fishing the Henry's Fork This angler is hoping to hook one of the internationally famous wild trout that swim the waters of the Henry's Fork. © John Finnell

Places We Protect

Flat Ranch Preserve


A perfect stop during your next visit to Yellowstone.


In accordance with the State of Idaho’s May 1, 2020 “Stay Healthy Order,” Flat Ranch Preserve remains open for public use. However, all facilities, including restrooms, will remain closed. Please continue to follow social distancing recommendations for public health and safety. Stay a minimum of 6 feet away from individuals who are not part of your household. Please do not travel from outside of Idaho to visit the Preserve—recreation is not considered an essential purpose to visit the State. These guidelines are subject to change without notice.


Flat Ranch Preserve

Located fifteen miles west of West Yellowstone, The Nature Conservancy's Flat Ranch offers a great place to view wildlife and learn about the Conservancy before entering Yellowstone National Park. A working cattle ranch owned and operated by the Conservancy, Flat Ranch demonstrates that conservation and sustainable ranching practices can work together to promote healthy grasslands. Through progressive conservation efforts and full-time management, the Ranch has become a wildlife haven, learning and research center, and community gathering place.

Throughout the summer, enjoy our summer lecture series at Flat Ranch (June - August). Take a wildflower walk, gaze at the stars, learn about grizzly bears and more.

Depending on the season, moose, pronghorn and sandhill cranes can often be seen from the deck of the visitor center; a spotting scope is available for use during the center's operating hours.

Migratory birds such as long-billed curlews and ospreys also depend on this lush and fertile basin. The area's water supports large numbers of aquatic insects, providing food for the internationally famous wild trout that swim the waters, including the imperiled Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Over the years these wild inhabitants have benefited from improvements such as planting willows along river banks and restoring historic stream channels.

Enjoy wildlife watching, fishing and hiking at the Flat Ranch from sunrise to sunset year-round.

  • A visitor center, located just off the highway, is open seasonally to the public from 10:00am -2:00pm, Thursday through Tuesday (Memorial Day to Labor Day).
  • A spotting scope is available for use in wildlife viewing during the visitor center hours.
  • Make sure to save time for hiking, wildlife viewing and fly fishing.
  • Dogs are allowed on the preserve but must be kept under close control. This is habitat for sensitive wildlife. Please keep dogs at a safe distance from wildlife to prevent conflicts.

For the latest information on Flat Ranch or the summer lecture series, please contact Matthew Ward, Flat Ranch Preserve manager, at (208) 558-7629 or

Facilities: Parking is available. Portable restroom facilities are available Memorial Day through Labor Day.