Smokey Bear Campground is composed of 8 single-sites and 3 double-sites on beautiful Alturas Lake situated in a mixed conifer setting. All sites are first-come, first-serve. A group picnic area is located on the east side of the campground. Trails at the end of Forest Road #205 lead to Alturas Lake Creek, Eureka Gulch and to Alpine Creek to the north in the beautiful Sawtooth Wilderness. At this campground there is a boat ramp and boat trailer parking area. This is a superb place to spend sunny summer days fishing for trout, sailing, motorboating, swimming, and picnicking by the lake.
Alturas Lake has incredible views and the crystal clear lake is awe-inspiring! I just recommend checking with the national forest registry before booking especially during fire season. My only regret was only staying one night!
I lucked into this empty campground on my drive to Stanley, Idaho. I had my pick of eight sites, a couple of which were double sites. All of the sites were nice with picnic tables and firepits, including site 5, which I occupied. I chose this site as it wasn’t next to the vault toilet (which was clean), there was a nice view of the lake, and it had some nice trees for shade. It was a short walk down to the lake, and there was a nice trail along the lake with good mountain views. There was a family fishing at the boat ramp and a few people out on the lake, but in general it was very quiet. The water was very clear and if the wind had been still, there probably would have been a nice reflection of the mountains on the lake(unfortunately it was a bit breezy).
My visit was wonderful! Beautiful lake access located on the best alcove of the lake. First come first serve can be frustrating but with a little patience and communication this is the better of the 4 campgrounds on Alturas, even better views than the reserve only one. Reasonably priced, bathrooms, dumpsters and fresh water available. The is also boat access and parking close by. Great water stability until about 2pm and then can become a little choppy but I still SUP'ped quite a bit then. Tip: get to know neighbors! We met someone visiting from Belize!