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Title says a lot. Dude put in many power stations, wifi etc all on his own and only wants people to act decent to stay. Lots of room. Old buses for hostels. Shower, water sewer garbage a few feet away. Near town and free. Campfire gatherings most nights. Check it out.
We pulled in and were amazed how nice it was to be right by the creek with covered shelter, picnic table, fire ring, and vault toilet and no charge. Two Tent pad sites, or places to pull in with truck/trailer etc. we thought it was nice and quiet, and the fishing seemed like it would have been fantastic if we would have had some time to stay. Silver creek/Picabo anglers not far up the road and is worth the trip.
Wow! Absolutely the best spot to set up camp if you're looking at doing an alpine attempt on the roof of Idaho, Mt. Borah! The campground sits right around 7200' which is a decent bit cooler than the Big Lost River Valley to the west. There is also a good bit of shade despite there being few large trees. Its kind of a transition between the sage brush and juniper climate zones. There are picnic tables and metal fire rings @ each site but there is absolutely no running water so be sure to fill your water bottles and camelbaks in Mackey which is the closest town. There are vault toilets but no other amenities. The perk of being fairly primitive is that the sites are only $5 a night!
If you're planning on summiting Borah it's a good idea to get an alpine start <6 AM so you don't get baked by the sun as there's no shade the last 2 miles and sparse shade the first 1.5. It is a brutal hike if you're not prepared. The trail ascends 5200' of elevation in just over 3.5 miles. Your legs will probably burn, bring hiking poles for the descent! If you don't feel like hiking there are plenty of rivers nearby in which to fish and great spots to check out the scarp of the 1980's Mt. Borah earthquake, which you drive across on the way to the campground/trailhead.
We were looking for an overnight stay while traveling through Idaho. We didn't arrive until 5pm and were certain the campground would be full. Much to our surprise it was not full but we were not told how many sites were available so pretty much took the first site we saw. It was a huge site for our little rig but we grabbed it anyway. We enjoyed visiting the park in the evening and having it almost entirely by ourselves. We also had a little time in the morning to catch some areas we missed the night before and also had this time to ourselves. Had we not stayed in the park I'm not sure we would have had time to visit on our way (20miles) to the next nearest campground. The park is fascinating and worth the drive.
I lucked into stumbling upon this single site campsite along silver creek. I’m not a fisherwoman, but apparently there is some good fishing in the creek. What I loved about this site was that there was only the one site here, with a clean-ish vault toilet(it was getting close to needed a pump out). No traffic sounds, no campground noise, just the creek and the birds and cicadas and a visit from some mule deer. There was a nice picnic table and a tent pad, and, although there was no where to get firewood, a fire pit and grill. I didn’t see any evidence of fish guts, so I am guessing any fishermen would clean their fish in the creek(?). The next morning as I was leaving the area I found 2 more sites that were more developed with a large gravel parking/turnaround and pavilion covered picnic tables that were handicap accessible. But I am glad I camped where I did for the solitude, just me, Silver Creek, some mule deer, and the cicadas and birds.
Holy Cow! It really was like camping on the moon(except the wind) or on a volcano. This is a barren place due to the volcanic nature of the land, but it was very pretty and the campground was set up in an almost ingenious way to provide privacy for most sites. There were essentially two loops, but the loops had lots of twists and turns and ups and downs in order to squeeze in the most number of sites with the most privacy. I ended up with a deep site where I could set my tent up between some lava rocks to get some semblance of a wind break. From inside my tent I could not see any other sites(which was really nice), but I could see my neighbors from my picnic table. No fires are allowed(which I found interesting since we were camped on a lava flow), and there are no showers(someone told me that maybe I could get a shower at the KOA in Arco, but I didn’t bother). In fact, water is somewhat restricted- there were signs stating RV’s could not fill up, but all were welcome to fill personal water jugs. Even the dish washing station was closed at the restrooms. Speaking of which, the restrooms had flush toilets and sinks with cold water and were fairly clean if a bit outdated. Definitely get some hiking in while you are here. There is a nice trail from the campground that connects to the North Crater Flow trail, and if you have some stamina climb the Inferno Cone for great views(watch the ground for cinders that look like glass!). Get a permit at the visitors center to go into the lava tube caves(its free but required). I only hiked in Indian Cave as I wasn’t comfortable with the pitch black dark of Boy Scout and Beauty Caves by myself. Definitely check out the town of Arco, the first in the nation to be powered by nuclear energy. Not far from Arco is the nuclear power plant, decommissioned, where you can take a free tour. Back at the campground there is one last important note- you have to pay the electronic ranger for your campsite, and NO cash is accepted. Only credit cards.
I loved this campground we showed up in the early afternoon on a Thursday and they had plenty of spots still available. You are completely immersed into the lava landscape at this campground I really enjoyed it. The sites were nice size bathrooms were very clean lots of families and friendly people. A must if you are in Idaho.
Located right by the entrance station, this campground has 42 sites, with only a select number suitable for large RVs or 5th wheels(although we encountered a large RV coming toward us that necessitated us backing into an empty site)! It was very windy the day we were here but don’t know if that is typical. Flush toilets but no showers; typical of national park campgrounds. No hookups or dump station. Sites are surrounded by lava rocks; some were very nice but others not as much (sites 1-5 are right by (and I mean RIGHT BY) the entrance station). Sites 34, 35, 42, and 3 are fully accessible and site 34 has an electrical outlet for use by those with medical needs. Open April-November, weather dependent but water only available in peak months. Limited to no cell service (Verizon). $15 during peak season (half price for senior pass holders and when there is no water). No fee during April and November if open.