Caribou Campground is composed of 7 campsites which are first-come, first-serve, and is situated in a pine overstory near the Sawtooth National Recreation Area Visitor Center. Popular trail heads in the area include North Fork, West Fork, East Fork, and Murdock Creek. The trails in Northfork Canyon lead to Murdock Creek, Amber Lakes, Window Lake and into the Hemingway-Boulder Wilderness Area with views of Ryan Peak, Kent Peak, Glassford peak and Silver Peak in the Hemingway-Boulder mountains all of which are over 11,000 feet in elevation.. This is a terrific area for fishing in the Big Wood river and Murdock creek, hiking, and the wildlife viewing is tremendous. RV's and trailers are not recommended for this campground because of the inability to turn around once you enter.
This is a tent only campground(there is nowhere for RVs to turn around, and backing out would be a horrific proposition) with only seven sites. The best sites are the four that are on the creek side of the camp road. There is a vault toilet(not especially clean) and a bear proof dumpster, and lots of signs about bears, but no bear boxes for food storage. The campsites are nicely shaded, but not especially private(you can see most of the sites from each other). This campground is$2 cheaper than the next closest campground(I drove to the other site to check it out and returned here because except for the price, they were about the same). There is a pretty cool avalanche/rock slide up the road that is impressive in size and there are some pretty cool beaver dams and lodges in the creek/marshy area that feeds into the river. Be careful picking a site along the creek as it runs pretty close to the edge of two sites and I suspect the sites get flooded during big rains(due to the beaver dams). Showers are not terribly far away at Redfish Lake Park.
Caribou campground is located at the start of the Sawtooth Mountains just after town. The road this way is rural and goes through a few small towns. Sun Prairie happens to be having an art festival this weekend so it’s active.
The ranger station is right on the road to this campground - stop in and talk. We learned a lot from our visit. You pass Murdock campground on the way here. Go further and you find dispersed camping (there are even restrooms in the first loop on the right).
Caribou has 7 sites on a small road that dips down into a slight valley. The road continues past which means the bouncing vehicle noise competes with the gurgle of the North Fork Big Wood River. The sites are decent size. Each has a picnic table and fire pit. Garbage bin is by the one vault toilet.
Site 6 is at the far end of the loop. I don’t have neighboring campers but they’re visible to the front of my site. A trail runs off the back but just takes you into a boggy wetland area that seems to have an unusual odor.
The ranger told me about a trail further down the road. We drove slowly down a rocky road. Just past the second bridge we stopped. We couldn’t find the trail but we did find one to an organized group camp. We continued driving.
Here’s my suggestion: just after the next small bridge we drove through a bit of water. The campsite on the left was unbelievable! Isolated and settled right next to the river with trees providing plenty of shade, this is a dream spot. We had already paid for our site or we would have settled in here.
Hiking suggestion: drive an hour to Redfish Lake. Take the redfish river trail and cut over to Marshall Lake trail the hike is 11ish miles long and quite sunny. There is a waterfall feeding Marshall Lake. We only saw a couple other hikers on a busy Saturday.
This is a nice campground within driving distance of a cool town at the foot of the Sawtooth Mountains.