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Boise National Forest, IDAHO

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Camping Idaho Boise National Forest
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Site fine but toilets were terrible

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!!

Well maintained and beautiful views

Recent renovations and strong maintenance make this a great stop. Easy access to the northern Sawtooths. Great lake views and easy, well maintained road access.

Close to Boise

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

Clearest water

This campground was amazing. Clean vault toilets and clean sites. Camp host was really helpful and sweet. Garbage bins. Lake is crystal clear and gorgeous. Don’t miss this place! Close to lots of great hiking for all levels and experiences.

Beautiful

Five stars on this campground. Only downside we experienced were disrespectful neighboring campers. In the last 5 days we have 3 that run them 7am to 10pm. No quiet time for us at all. Generators are allowed to run here at 6am…

RV resort

Nice and clean,good people,nice pool,and hot tub.

Amazing Scenery and Solitude!!!

This is an amazing secluded spot deep into the Sawtooth Mountains of Central Idaho.  We've been coming here for years and my fathers been coming here since the 60's.  Not much has changed except for better upkeep of the roads and the occasional vault toilet that are scattered across the area.  The campground is free to stay at and has a dispersed feeling to it.  There are no developed rings or tables but you can tell where people usually set up camp.  For the most part this is an RV campsite mostly because of how the spots are arranged.  You could put a tent in here if you wanted but there are way better spots just up the road out of the RV'ers reaches.  These forests are pretty wild still so definitely keep an eye out for black bears.  We haven't seen any Grizzly in this area but they are definitely in the Salmon/Challis area which isn't too far away.  Also if you're from Idaho this is a good spot to ride around on your motorcycle or ATV and get some pristine alpine fishing in!

Last minute Labor day weekend find

The other reviews really sum up this site. The back sites have easier access to the river while the front are closer to the Hwy.

Great Spot in nature, one hour from Boise

THE BRIDGE IS OPEN.  Grayback aka Grayback Gulch CG was closed for a few seasons while the bridge entering the park was replaced.  Pros: I like this little CG; good spacing between sites, clean toilets, potable water and plenty of hiking and fishing opportunities nearby.   I can leave Boise and be on-site in about an hour. Cons: It's close enough to Hwy 21 that you can hear the bigger trucks, very popular ATV/UTV trail head, so expect a little noise and road dust.

Clean, large sites!

I want to go back! Loved hearing the coyotes howling. We hiked to upper, middle and lower Elk River Falls, drove up to a red cedar grove with a 3000 year old tree, and ate huckleberry ice cream at the grocery store. $20 per site.

Very nice/clean campground

This was a perfect place to stay before going on our backpacking trip. The camp host Rachel was very nice and helpful. She brought us our firewood and answered all our questions. The sites all had fire rings and picnic tables. The sites were spacious.

Peaceful area

Very well kept campground. The camp host was very nice. He delivered the firewood and  directed us to the waterfall. Our campsite was clean and had a cooking stand next to the picnic table. I would very much recommend this campground.

Camp on the Payette River!!

Great sites lined up along the South Fork of the Payette River, pristine waters!  Bathrooms and potable water.  Hot springs nearby.

Gorgeous waterfront

Fish and game property, but managed under YMCA. $15 with no discount for anyone. Picnic table and fire ring. Pit toilet that is in desperate need of a simple fly strip! I had to wipe live flies off the toilet seat to sit down. Haul your garbage out. No electricity. Bear sites in campground but no notifications! No potable water. Seemed a bit pricey ! Perfect for canoes. Boat launch area.

Hawks, ducks, gorgeous waterfront!

Beautiful

Campground full of big ponderosa pines! Small creeks surrounding the campground with wading pools and decent fishing. Commercial hotsprings near by along with some great restaurants.

Serene lake and campsite!

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!

Great time

Dagger falls is amazing. The campground is clean and well kept.

Dispersed with vault toilet

If you show up to Redfish Lake on a busy weekend and all of the campgrounds are reserved/full, no worries. There is a bunch of free dispersed camping all along highway 75. A quick stop at the Forest Service Office down the road and I had a pretty good map of the forest roads in the area, but more importantly, a tip about free camping a stone’s throw away from Redfish Lake and Sunny Gulch campground. The road in is a bit rough with ruts and rocks, but there are several established sites with fire rings. There was a loop to the right with about 8 such sites and a loop to the right with about 5 sites as well as one that was hidden behind the site I chose that you had to walk in to(it was actually a nicer site than the one I chose, but I was tired and set up before I saw it on my explorations. There was one vault toilet that was not especially clean, but free is free, and if you really wanted to, you could walk less than a quarter mile across to the developed Sunny Gulch campground. There are no picnic tables or grills or tent pads, but definitely stone fire rings at each site so no worries as long as you brought your own camp chair. If you need a shower, head into Redfish Lake to use the public pay showers there.

Great camping next to the Salmon River

Just down the road from the entrance to Redfish Lake is where you will find this campground on the backs of the Salmon River. I never did really figure out if this is part of the Redfish Lake campground group or not, but I do know I enjoyed camping here and that this campground is owned by the Forest Service. There are two main loops, an upper and lower, and there is no distinction between tent and RV sites as there are no hookups available. The upper loop is closer to the river but doesn’t really have what I could see as great access. I was on the lower loop, which gets more sun as it is further away from the bluffs on the river (and had less trees). I was able to walk from my site to the river fairly easily even though there were no trails and as a result was able to watch rafting groups float on by. The campground was really well maintained and actually looked very new, though the host said it had been around for several years. The vault toilets were very clean and odor free, and it looked like most sites had nice gravel tent pads. Good steel picnic tables and prep tables(I am loving the prep tables the forest service is installing in campgrounds!!) as well firepits and large car/rv pads were really nice too. Showers and laundry are across the road at Redfish Lake along with great trails, horse rentals, and lake activities. Other nearby activities include hot spring sitting and white water rafting.

Redfish Lake option

This campground is one of the first ones you come to as you enter Redfish Lake. It is also one of the smallest campgrounds in the park, and it is on its own lake, so it fills fast. I snagged site 13, which was just ok as it wasn’t really on the lake or the creek, but it also wasn’t in the middle of the loop and it wasn’t next to the bathroom (with flush toilets and cold water). It looked like the best sites were #4-6 as they were on the creek coming out of the lake and #7-9 as they were on the lake with lake access. A short walk away was a neat wooden bridge over the creek that lead to a trailhead. If you want a shower, drive up into the park and go to the public service area at the horse corrals for public pay showers. I will warn you that those are the only showers for all of the campgrounds in the park, but they were never busy when I was there. You can bring your own non-motorized boat (kayaks and paddle boards were popular) or you can rent one from the lodge to take for a spin on this pretty little lake. This is a good jumping off point for some great hikes as well.

Busy but beautiful

I got lucky with this campsite. Most of the campground was filled, but this site (#36) had a “see the host” sign on it. Turned out it was only available for that one night, which was perfect for me. Most of the sites had been reserved in advance and I happened to catch it on the one between night. I had amazing views of the glaciers in the Sawtooth Mountains across the lake. The campground is a series of loops, with the best sites in my loop where you have uninterrupted views of the glaciers and mountains. The trade off for the view is that you don’t have any trees on your site, so no shade and no hammock. But the tent pad was nice. The bathrooms are nice and clean, if a bit outdated. When you need a shower you do have to drive to the horse corrals to use the pay showers ($2 for 6 minutes, wait a full minute before getting in unless you like really cold water), but that is a small price to pay. Hiking in the park is amazing! And the only place you will have phone service is at the visitor’s center.

Camp right on Alturas Lake

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).

Down on the River

I didn’t camp at this campground but spent a day here on the river. It’s a bit more removed from the road compared to some of the other campgrounds on this road. The river is beautiful, there was a nearby osprey nest with two chicks.

Amazing location

This campground is the only no reservation campground accessible by car on Redfish Lake. It’s great if you are looking to score a campsite without a reservation. It’s a great location on the lake, beautiful view of the sawtooth range and a short walk to the beach. The campsites have flat tent sites, concrete pads for the picnic tables and fire rings and most have trees for some shade. The only down side is the boat and jet ski noise during the day. If you are looking to get away from everything you may want to look at some of the nearby river campgrounds. The bathrooms and campsites were very very clean and the camp hosts were very friendly. If you are looking for a good hike take the ferry from the lodge to the far side of the lake!

Source of the River of No Return

I was surprised to have the entire campground to myself. While this is primarily a group campground, single sites are plenty here as well. I am assuming you can reserve campsites, but the iron ranger was accommodating for me. Sites are either open in the meadow or with nice trees for a hammock(I went with trees for shade), and all sites have the standard picnic tables and firepits. What I like about the firepits is the built in grill. There is no water available in the campground, so pack in(I am not sure about filtering from the river, it’s kind of marshy to get there). The campground was down a very dusty road, but it was near the headwaters of the Salmon River, AKA the RIver of No Return. There is a trailhead a short walk from the campground that puts you on the Idaho Centennial Trail, and I think there is a trail that takes you to the actual headwaters of the river. I didn’t hike much of it as I was alone and without bear spray. In the evening the mule deer and pronghorn come down to the meadow to graze and the river to drink, so there is great entertainment as the sun sets. Not bad for$10 a night(for a single site).

Howdy

Salmon river within walking distance. Clean Would use again

Nice free hot springs

Very cheap. Bring your own firewood. You could easily get multiple sites for big groups. A short hike for the smaller hot springs. You follow the same path to the better springs but it gets slightly difficult at the very end.

Hard to hike to in snow

Nice and clean. Easy to warm up. Some games lots of beds. Firewood included in purchase of renting. One time I went I miss read the reservation date and got kicked out by another group. So we had to hike down in a snow storm. It was still fun.

A short hike

It was nice and warm