15 Top Camping Spots in Idaho – Photos and Videos
There are few things better in life than a gorgeous, fun, relaxing and successful camping trip in Idaho. With ample mountains, lakes, rivers, trees, streams, fish, hot springs, and clear skies with starry nights, Idaho is the place to be. There are 35 million acres of public land and hundreds of private campgrounds and backcountry campsites to choose from. It will actually be hard to find a camping place that is a bad one. I gathered information, reviews and recommendations from 4 different websites to compile this mighty list. (The Dyrt, RV Share, Idaho.gov, Idaho fish and game and Nomads with a Purpose.) Here are the top rated camping spots that are worth checking out.
Pine Flats Campground is located a few miles west of Lowman, Idaho, along the Banks-Lowman Highway at an elevation of 3,700 feet. Enjoy rafting, kayaking and fishing on the South Fork Payette River, and soaking in the hot springs at the river's edge.
Stanley Lake Campground has 19 campsites including 1 double-site situated above beautiful Stanley Lake at the foot of the Sawtooth Mountains. The town of Stanley is close enough to make trips for more food to throw on the grill, and there are several hikes worth checking out in the area around Stanley Lake. “The lake is fantastic! So clear and blue! The scenery is amazing.. Perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming” — The Dyrt camper Melanie S.
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Bonneville Campground is 19 miles east of Lowman, just off Highway 21 at an elevation of 4,700 feet. Warm Springs Creek runs alongside the campground and the South Fork Payette River lies across the highway. Visitors enjoy soaking at Bonneville Hot Springs and fishing in the creek and river. A forest of towering Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir covers the campground. Summer wildflowers dot the landscape. Deer and elk may be seen wandering through the area on occasion.
Last Chance Campground has 20 single and three double sites situated along Goose Creek. Each site includes a fire ring a picnic table. There is typically a campground host on site and potable water available May – September. All sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and camping is limited to 18 days. No hookups or trash receptacles. Please pack out your trash. Campsites are in a mature Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir forest.
Bruneau Dunes State Park is best for fall and spring camping as there are few trees and shade in the area. In summertime reviews there are a lot of mention of the heat. The dunes are some of the largest sand dunes in North America and people say they are a blast to slide down and play around in. At night, check out the public observatory for a stunning look at countless stars above the dunes. A majority of the sites have water and electric hookups. Great for tents or RVs.
Swan Falls Campground is near the Swan Falls Dam on the Snake River about 40 miles south of Boise. The dam was built in 1901 to provide electricity to nearby mines in the Owyhee Mountains and is the oldest hydroelectric generating site on the Snake River. This is one of many campgrounds in Idaho where you can catch catfish and smallmouth bass. Campers can stay the night at first come, first served campsites, located both upriver and downriver of the dam.
Ponderosa State Park is in the middle of Idaho near McCall. It is a peninsula that pokes into Payette Lake. There are fancy cabins that are rentable and the area is loaded with incredible primitive campsites. Enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, and paddling around the lake.
Lake Cascade State Park is only about two hours from Boise and offers two group camping opportunities, including Snowbank group camp and Osprey Point group yurts, 279 individual campsites in 10 developed campgrounds (with power, sewer, and water at Poison Creek and Ridgeview) two dispersed camping areas with primitive camping, several day use areas, and six boat launch ramps.
Iron Creek Campground is in central Idaho and attracts skiers, climbers, and hikers. Iron Creek has quick access to numerous mountain peaks, including McGown Peak, Williams Peak, Thompson Peak, Merritt Peak and Mount Regan. It has 9 campsites alongside Iron Creek located in a lodgepole pine overstory to the south-west of Stanley. All sites are first-come, first-serve so get there early.
These ones are further north in the state:
Farragut State Park is just north of Cor de Lein. Bonus: It is just a short drive from Silverwood Theme Park. hot private showers, swimming, boating, paddling, fishing, disc golf, visitor center and more. Campers report this massive park is the kind of place you can revisit year after year, and the family will never run out of things to do. Bonus: It is just a short drive from Silverwood Theme Park.
Heyburn State Park is the oldest state park in the Pacific Northwest. The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes runs right through with views of Lake Chatcolet. With 5,744 acres of land and 2,332 acres of water, Heyburn State Park is a paddler, fisher, hiker and biker paradise.
Henrys Lake State Park near Yellowstone is a gorgeous mountain lake where anglers fish for cutthroat, brook and cut-bow hybrid trout in what is considered one of the finest trout fisheries in the West. The park has beautiful nature trails for hiking and biking and wildlife and wildflower viewing. The campsites are situated on the shoreline of the 6,000-acre lake. After a long day of fishing and hiking, take a swing on the porch of one of three park cabins.
Priest Lake Campground is an Idaho favorite and just 30 miles from the Canadian border. Named for the Jesuit priests that settled nearby in the 1840s, it’s a 19-mile scenic body of water that is praised for its crystal clear water. There are more than 150 campsites total. Visitors to the park will enjoy the dense forests of cedar, fir and tamarack and will be able to observe the park’s year round inhabitants such as the whitetail deer, black bear, moose and bald eagles.
Here are some in Southern and South Eastern Idaho:
City of Rocks Campground sits very close to the Utah boarder and is one of the most popular campsites in Idaho. It is full of countless climbers, scramblers and hikers year-round. Campsites at City of Rocks Campground are primitive, so be sure to bring all you need on your way in.
Massacre Rocks State Park is full of history an year round recreation. It sits on the Snake River in South East Idaho. Miles of hiking trails, Oregon Trail history, and geologic wonders, world-class disc golf course, scenic picnic areas and more.