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The Sawtooth recreation area has it all. Camping, fishing, hiking, biking, skiing. Ketchum is the nearest town which is an activity all in itself. There are also hot springs in the area. We love it here in the winter. Miles of cross country skiing and snowshoeing. There are numerous campgrounds within this recreation area.
This area is only accessible for the warm months. Be very careful as you navigate these roads because we made a wrong turn and it took a while to get reoriented.
You could show shoe up here but it’s a far distance to the campsite and you would need to be good at navigation when everything looks so similar at that time of year.
This campground is dispersed in nature and has no facilities which is why it’s free. We crossed a small stream of water so you can filter out some liquids in the warm months.
I camped here with my parents in 2018, to hike the trails and go to their “secret” soaking spot.
There are closer spots to get some hot spring action than where we went. If you don’t find a private spot there are plenty more if you are adventurous.
We stayed in an RV, but tent camping is also available at this location.
My parents made the reservation in advance to make sure we could spend some quality time.
You will catch some sulfur smells here and there but that’s expected with the type of geological activity in the area.
There’s seemingly endless places to lounge in the river with plenty of shallow areas.
Our site did not have a table, so bring your chairs and camping kitchen table. Also bring anything you would need if you were dispersed camping with the exception of your poop shovel (there’s some toilets).
I’m not sure if dogs are formally allowed or not but we had no problems when we brought ours.
No one checked up on us, and it seemed to be based on the honor system as far as regulating the spaces.
There did not appear to be many campgrounds here. We were wandering in this area for several weeks and found many many camping options but this was the one we ended up settling at for the night.
The campground was not clearly marked, so keep your eyes peeled if you are looking to stay here. I did not use this app when I visited so I’m not sure if the coordinates are correct and make it easy to find this hidden gem.
This park was our first park to ever camp at, lucked out and caught an opening in the middle of the pandemic, booked it online and left 4 days later for a week of bliss in the woods. My first time to northern Idaho, it's absolutely breathtaking The lake itself is beautiful surrounded by tall pines and Lilly pads. The hiking trails are easy for all ages, though the big loop is something to take slow, and bring plenty of water to drink. The bullfrogs at night help you drift off to sleep. It rained 3 nights when we were there and it was some of the best sleep we've ever had. We had a rooftop tent on our 4 runner and it for perfect in the tent site. You don't have to be an rv to rent a site with water and electricity. It's definitely a spot we will add to our yearly travels.
I stayed here to go horseback riding (very reasonable prices) up to get a good view of the sawtooth mountains. The campground views from the water were spectacular. sure there’s no colorful acid pits, or buffalo, but there is great hiking, and wonderful wildlife around. I saw some black tail deer, big horned sheep, elk and even a mountain lion. I saw no predators in Yellowstone so it made the trip better .
The comet NEOWISE made an appearance and was mind blowing! If star gazing is something you enjoy, this area is amazing. If you plan to see something special, make sure you PLAN AHEAD!
I spent a lot of time barefoot as the area around the fire pit was concrete instead of the usual gravel I’m used to.
About thirty minutes away there’s a wonderful historic town called Clayton. I recommend taking a day to explore the ghost towns and try to visit one of the hot spring areas.
We stayed here last night. I know we’re at the end of the season, so the water was already turned off. There was a sign saying all sites $10. The river (creek) begins the campground was great, drowned out sound of the road. Big sites, 2 vault toilets and easy access to Ketchum.