One of the least populated states in America, Idaho is the third state that makes up the Pacific Northwest—besides Oregon and Washington. This is a large and wild state, spanning two time zones and stretching from the Canadian border all the way south to Utah and Nevada. Its vast tracts of old-growth forests, various subranges of the Rocky Mountains and Hells Canyon, America’s deepest canyon, make camping in Idaho an essential thing to do during any visit.
Idaho’s wide variety in landscapes and biotopes, from arid plains to towering mountains, from pristine forests to river canyons, attract an equally varied array of visitors. Fishermen are drawn to the state’s abundant and exceptional fish species. It’s the West’s only inland state where you can catch blue-ribbon trout as well as king salmon and steelhead. Mountain bikers, rock climbers, and boaters find delight camping in Idaho’s wildernesses.
Hiking and camping in Idaho is, however, arguably the state’s most popular outdoor pursuit. And it’s available all across the state. A particularly great destination is the Boise National Forest, the location of the awesome Red Mountain Trail. Other fantastic places to go backpacking and camping in Idaho include Craters of the Moon National Monument, the remarkable Bruneau Dunes State Park and iconic Yellowstone National Park, a sliver of which lies in the state’s southeastern corner.
In the middle of southern Idaho lies Shoshone Falls, a series of huge cascades on the Snake River sometimes referred to as the “Niagara of the West”. The Snake River meanders its way further west, making up the northern part of the Oregon and Idaho border, and flows through massive Hells Canyon. Ten miles wide and almost 8,000 feet deep, this is the deepest river canyon in North America, an absolutely natural gem to explore when camping in Idaho.
I spent the night here on a cross country road trip with just me and the dog. It was free which was awesome. It was deserted which was both great and unnerving for a single newbie camper. We woke up to snow and had a great dawn hike on the hike/bike trails. The campsites are well-loved/worn and some were under water/mud. Because it was both off-season/midweek, it didn't matter at all, as I could pick almost any site.
Seven miles off the freeway. Not many sites like five or six. Grassy and flat with a picnic shade. Just needed a place to sleep on our way to Utah. Be aware…bathrooms are locked and water is turned off after 10/1. We did find a open bathroom over by the boat launch.
This is a small campground located just north of the hwy. along the Snake River. Several sites in lower loop have outstanding river views. Sites are mostly well spaced, gravel and level. Some pull through sites good for big RVs. Almost every site had water and elec. Several nature trails and geology trail. Restrooms looked standard but did not use. Small visitor center provides Oregon Trail history of the area and the rocks. About two miles away in a different park of the park is Register Rock showing names of OT settlers located in a nice picnic park. You can make reservations on line but we drove in about 2pm and had a choice of sites. Would have given 5 stars except for some uneven sites. We will definitely come back as we pass by or stay a few days just to enjoy sitting on a rock above the river.
The best of both worlds! Who loves kayaking and car camping? Why not both?? A group of us stocked up our kayak and we trekked out to Kalispell Island! Storms all around us but the views were beautiful. Nature is beautiful. Set up our hammocks, tents and brought out fishing poles.
We camped just outside of Cottonwood Campground. There is an access road to the West that follows the shoreline. Beautiful area and it was great to camp right on the water. The fishing was also good with lots of smallmouth in the lake. Be sure to watch out for the ticks though!
We tent camped, sharing a site with some friends in an RV. Only some of their sites are reservable, others are walk up. We did not have reservations so had to join a lottery to get one of the walk up sites. Despite arriving early in the morning, we did not know until mid afternoon if we got a site. Half way through our stay we had to move sites and again go through the lottery system. Fortunately we got sites both times, others were not so fortunate.
Otherwise it is a well taken care of camp ground. Lots of paved hiking paths, a beautiful beach, and a great play structure. No camp store on site.
Lovely quiet dispersed camping spot by the lake. We had seen other reviews that it was bad for mosquitos but we didn’t see a single one. Room for about 6 sites here with a few prebuilt fire pits. Beautiful views - we loved it.
You need to drive down a dirt road with some pot holes and wash boarding. Would recommend scouting it first if it has been wet and there were some big puddles already.
We were fine in our camper van but big rigs might struggle a little In bad weather.
The campsite was fine, lots of trees down due to pine bark beetles. There was a picnic table on the site, no tent pads but level smooth ground. The hot springs weren't terribly far from the campground. The hot springs were shallow and could only fit about one person per pool but a wonderful place to soak for a few hours.
There were hundreds of flies in the two vault toilets at the campground!!
A variety of site types (some great for RV's, others better designed for tents). A huge sand beach with swimming area, docks with boat slip rentals. Campfire programs both during the day and night, plus the ranger station has fishing poles and nature backpacks to check out for kids for free. Camp store with basic essentials and ice cream.
It occured to me that since I visited this property a second time that I should get perspective on my earlier spring visit. We had a wet spring so it was a bit muddy in places, gravel on these roads would go a long way in keeping the mud down and the hole smaller. Next the grass had not been cut down and was very high, walking around in the morning ment wet shoes plus it made it more difficult to set up and tear down. I only mention these inconveniences because of the high price to stay at the resort. Firewood has to be bought there, but it is a fair price and is delivered directly to your site. If you are tent camping in the far sites the bathroom is a bit of a walk but not terrible, and in my other review they are kept very clean. Even with the minor annoyances, this is a great place to get away and relax and enjoy. And BTW…it's bring your own alcohol, so if you indulge be forewarned. Enjoy!
This site provides everything you’ll need. It can support both tent and RV camping. The sight also provides showers for long stays. The site is right next to town as well, so you can walk there to spend your time. The only problem I found with it is the stream being noisy in the morning, but this could be relaxing for some people.
In far away Downey Idaho is a little resort with hot springs, cabins, wagons, teepees, a RV campground and a nice little eatery and a load of other fun things. It's small but busy so make reservations, when you check in ask about the steak and soak…so worth it especially if you arrive later and only have a few hours. One of the biggest pluses is the cleanliness of the whole property and the level of care throughout. This is a great place for families where parents can relax as the kiddos entertain themselves and you can meet up at the campfire for dinner. This is a high recommendation for this great place.
Sept 18 2019
Willow Bay Resort Campground and Marina
American Falls, Idaho
I'll start with the good. The sites are all very spacious, paved and mostly level. Pull throughs plus back ins. FHU. Pretty sunset.
Now the not so good. This is by no means a resort and there is no working marina. No cable. Cafe was closed for the season. Paid $45 per night. Water level in reservoir was very low. We were told you can launch boats from another side of the reservoir.
The first site we were assigned, the firepit was filthy and surrounded by a swamp. The next site the firepit was full if trash. Wound up in an ok spot. Sites have picnic tables. The bathhouse needs to be demolished and replaced. The floors and walls were in terrible condition. The toilet was dirty as were the sink and shower. The shower was very large. The laundry was bare bones.
The Maple Grove Campground has some beautiful views of Oneida Narrows Reservoir and great access to the shoreline. There are no beaches, but there is a dock that allows swimmers to get away from the mushy shore. The campground is right on Oneida Narrows Rd so it is a little dusty. Most drivers are courteous, some were not.
The camp hosts kept the vault toilets pretty clean and well stocked with toilet paper. The fire pits and grills were well maintained. There was random ash near each of them due to improper cleanup.
It is pretty neat and clean camp ground, although it has limited tent ports but each one have (sort of) personalized water access. And it is very very close to Boise within 20 miles from Airport, so you can virtually forgot all the camping equipment b/c you can buy / rent them quickly as it is so close to big city
Liked it enough to come back. Had a huge group and multiple dogs in the group site. Very clean camp area. Extremely reasonable prices. Bathrooms are really dirty. Water for drinking is available just a short walk or really short drive. Nice fire pits. Close to water for playing in. There are some towns nearby. Would recommend just use the woods whenever possible.
9/14 to 9/17/19
Blackwell Island RV Resort
Coeur d'alene Idaho
Close to interstate, located next to Spokane River and lake. Boat and kayak rentals. Sites are gravel, level, both pull throughs and back ins available, FHU, no privacy between sites. Some nice water front sites. Chairs in place to enjoy the small beach. Nice volleyball and play area. Small BMX course was fun. Cute landscaping near water, small trees within the campground. Picnic tables, no wood fires allowed. No tents of any kind. Very limited store at the office. Town very close with stores and restaurants. Nice restaurant a short distance at the Marina called Cedars. Great private bathroom/with shower. Nice laundry facilities. Free cable and spotty wifi. Moose too!