Sam Owen is a nice place to camp for a few days, or spend some time on the water. It is surprisingly quiet for a campsite, considering it's location! Pend Oreille is a beautiful lake and is a great place for boats, kayaks, and paddle boards! The campsites at Sam Owen have picnic tables and some have fire pits. There are dumpsters and water available as well. I have camped here mid-May and came for day visits during busier summer months and never felt that there were too many people or I needed a reservation. Sandpoint is a charming town and area. Joel's in Sandpoint has some of the best burritos in the Northwest. There is an excess of hiking and mountain biking in the area! Some good trails include Mickinnick and Sam Owen trail.
Talk about a hike! This is a pretty steep trek, with rewarding views at the top. Be sure to read trail reports and weather reports before heading out. North Idaho weather can be pretty finicky, especially at high elevations. Make sure to be aware of wildlife as well! Scotchman's is known for mountain goat sightings, but as they become more accustomed to people they can be a little aggressive. Keep a safe distance!
Whiskey Rock is one of the nicest spots on the lake. It's a serious drive by car and most of the traffic is by boat. I was once here the week before July 4th and even then, there wasn't a lot of people. This spot sits between several mountain ranges and right on the lake. It is quiet and peaceful. Lots of great recreation areas and wildlife in the area. Great views. The campsites are primitive, but there are outhouses on site. No potable water, so bring a filter or a jug!
The place is falling apart and they don't seem to care. If you like being watched while in the bathroom then by all means camp there two way mirrors in both bathrooms. Paint chipping off dirty bathroom and shower only 1 shower. Fish cleaning station overgrown by weeds. When we first got there I was told in a hostile voice that there was no storing anything outside. It was always ok for everyone else to have a bonfire but us. We were on constant alert the entire 6 months there. I asked before bringing a truck to the park if it was alright and she said yes for a week. Then on the fourth night she met us with a pen and paper screaming at me that she was going to have it towed. Oh and our small dog had a small cable leash around the the tree that wasn't ok either. Nothing we did was ok ever! One week doesn't doesn't have 4 days last time I checked. I had bought a truck to replace the other truck we owned after all we lived there for 6 months. I became very sick while there and had to go back and fourth to the hospital never once did they ask how everything was going. Hostile environment even complaining about 5 potted plants. Really why others had them. Long story short if you like to camping in the middle of a subdivision by all means check it out. Be careful not to trip on all the nails sticking up on the docks as they need repair as well then go ahead and see for yourself. I will never go back ever!! Not that they care I think they should sell the place because they don't care.
We tent camped, sharing a site with some friends in an RV. Only some of their sites are reservable, others are walk up. We did not have reservations so had to join a lottery to get one of the walk up sites. Despite arriving early in the morning, we did not know until mid afternoon if we got a site. Half way through our stay we had to move sites and again go through the lottery system. Fortunately we got sites both times, others were not so fortunate.
Otherwise it is a well taken care of camp ground. Lots of paved hiking paths, a beautiful beach, and a great play structure. No camp store on site.
The people of deer lake resort are very rude and unprofessioal to say the least. "The owner' opened the door to our condo without knocking,forcefully pushed past one of the ladies that was staying in the bedroom #2. I asked her who she was and her reply was a rude "I own this place and I'm checking to see if they put the new bed in this bedroom Geez , wouldn't the polite way have been to knock on the door and say, excuse me I'm the owner and I would like to see if the new bed has been set up in that bedroom ,do you mind if I look? Very rude and unprofessional to say the least. The rest of the staff had the same attitude… Like they were doing is a favor buy letting us stay in their condo. We were not offered clean towels or linen the entire 3 1/2 days. I would not recommend this place nor would I ever go back. I could write a book here about everything I am unhappy with but will just leave it as a pretty campground that the new owners will probably run in the ground.
This site provides everything you’ll need. It can support both tent and RV camping. The sight also provides showers for long stays. The site is right next to town as well, so you can walk there to spend your time. The only problem I found with it is the stream being noisy in the morning, but this could be relaxing for some people.
Sept 18 2019
Willow Bay Resort Campground and Marina
American Falls, Idaho
I'll start with the good. The sites are all very spacious, paved and mostly level. Pull throughs plus back ins. FHU. Pretty sunset.
Now the not so good. This is by no means a resort and there is no working marina. No cable. Cafe was closed for the season. Paid $45 per night. Water level in reservoir was very low. We were told you can launch boats from another side of the reservoir.
The first site we were assigned, the firepit was filthy and surrounded by a swamp. The next site the firepit was full if trash. Wound up in an ok spot. Sites have picnic tables. The bathhouse needs to be demolished and replaced. The floors and walls were in terrible condition. The toilet was dirty as were the sink and shower. The shower was very large. The laundry was bare bones.
9/14 to 9/17/19
Blackwell Island RV Resort
Coeur d'alene Idaho
Close to interstate, located next to Spokane River and lake. Boat and kayak rentals. Sites are gravel, level, both pull throughs and back ins available, FHU, no privacy between sites. Some nice water front sites. Chairs in place to enjoy the small beach. Nice volleyball and play area. Small BMX course was fun. Cute landscaping near water, small trees within the campground. Picnic tables, no wood fires allowed. No tents of any kind. Very limited store at the office. Town very close with stores and restaurants. Nice restaurant a short distance at the Marina called Cedars. Great private bathroom/with shower. Nice laundry facilities. Free cable and spotty wifi. Moose too!
We stayed here in July. It's next to Silverwood theme park, so you can camp the night before, hit the theme park early, and then crash after a fun filled day. The spaces are close and very open. Make sure you reserve the correct power hookup for your RV. RV Park does have things for the family to do, outside the theme park.
Not very well publicized RV Park. Hopefully, this will help. We stayed here in July. It's a small park and spaces are close together. There is water and power hookups, and a dump station at the exit. The showers are okay. Could use a more regular cleaning.
We stayed at the Tamarack RV Park in June. It's a surprise, because you're right in town, but the stand of trees it's in, makes you forget that. I agree with the first review. The spaces are small. However, the restrooms and showers are very nice and convenient. Also had a great price.
And if you're in Coeur d'alene, you have to go eat at the Wolf Lodge.
I stayed in the tent part of the campground, and the sites (especially the first few) are awfully close. This is a great campground for camping with friends but I don't recommend it for a quiet getaway.
Regardless, I still enjoyed my time with my dog and the tent sites were nicely shaded so I wasn't baking in them. There's many hiking trails nearby to explore and you're walking distance from the lake.
Great little spot with close access to lake beaches and hiking trails. I stayed for 2 nights with my dog and it was very enjoyable. Creek doesn't seem to run most of the year but that was alright with me. There are a number of sites around a field and a few more further up in the campground and more secluded. I would stay here again!
Pros: The park is beautiful. We had fun boating and swimming on the lake. Lots of bike riding and hiking. A good junior ranger program. A historic museum to visit and some old ruins to explore (in the dark?). FREE hot showers!!!!! Flat, clean campsites. Cons: They don’t allow hammocks. No dogs at the swimming beach. The camp host was not very friendly. The park is really big. It’s divided up into separate campgrounds (we stayed in whitetail) so it keeps the size from being overwhelming. But it still has the feel of a “big park”.
Campground Review: This was our annual trip to Riley Creek Campground and it was probably our favorite one so far. Riley Creek is always so incredibly maintained and toddler-friendly. The campsite (we had #47 this year) was spacious and right on the river inlet. We found a perfect place to hang our hammock and relax with a book (even our 14-year-old finished a book). There was plenty of room for our 2-year-old to roam around without getting into someone else's campsite. The downfall is that this is one of the furthest sites from the bathrooms/dishwashing area. Riley Creek has so much to offer for all ages. The beach area was always busy over the weekend portion of our trip, but everyone was super friendly and respectful. The boat basin area was also fairly busy this trip, but the campground was full so this is to be expected. The basketball court entertained all ages throughout the days; however, the horseshoe pits could have used just a bit of maintenance since weeds are growing in the sandpits (nothing major). The paved paths throughout the entire recreational area were busy with people of all ages biking and hiking, so we are glad our site was not directly on this path this year. In short review, we will definitely return next year, so that should say a lot!!!!
Product Review: As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time- this trip I tested the Fiber Light fire starter via Outdoor Element (https://www.outdoorelement.com/product/fiber-light/)..) Normally I start my fires with newspaper and kindling. This time around I was going simple, I collected two handfuls of fallen twigs and a pinch of the Fiber Light. I tried using the Firebiner to ignite the fiber (maybe did half a dozen attempts) but with a toddler being a handful at the time I grabbed a lighter and it started right away. The fire took a bit to take off and catch the twigs aflame, but it worked just fine. I added larger than I normally would wood to the twigs to really test out this Fiber Light, it worked just fine and the fire was super easy. This comes in a nice metal canister to help reduce its exposure to water, and it's great and compact. We have also used the Outdoor Element's Tinder Quik (https://www.outdoorelement.com/product/tq15/)) as a fire starter, I personally would recommend this over the Fiber Light. It was a faster fire and an easier to handle setup with a toddler trying to "help". Either item gets the same resulting campfire and both are compact for storage.
The park has new showers/restrooms that are absolutely beautiful! Only one in our loop- so quite a jaunt. Playgrounds. Near a lake for those who love water sports.
Checking in wasn’t the best experience. The lady at the desk was cross. When we mentioned we had stayed four nights at a previous location she went off on a tirade asking if we realized that we could only spend 14 consecutive nights in state parks.
We arrived at noon and got the last spot and it was pricy ($35.74). Checkout was 1:00pm but we were not allowed to bring our Popup trailer into the loop before 2:00 because they said the site had to be cleaned and that the hosts got mad if people came earlier.So we sat in the hot parking lot by the visitors center waiting for 2:00pm… only to be told we would probably need to move our vehicles before the lot filled with RVs which were coming in. Where ?
At the campsite, we gave the table a good scrub down.
Walk in sites are rare during peak season. You need a reservation. We were lucky but were told we can only stay one day. We won’t return.
We were hesitant to stay as there were no trees in individual sites, but because if it’s location in a narrow canyon it became shady and cooled down quickly in the afternoon. Clean showers! 3 cabins. Friendly staff. We ended up staying 2 days. The town is small, very historical! Laundromat nearby.
If tenting and on the roadside (vs creekside), be advised of the light overhead which keeps your tent in the light all night.
We used to camp here in the 80s and it was always peaceful and beautiful. And we liked it because its got free showers and the bathrooms are very clean for camping. However,! There used to only about 34ish spots and now there are 51 spots. Its very crowded and people feel like they are right on top of each other. Your fire pit area is right next to your neighbors picnic table and/or their fire pit. They also clear cut all the bushes between spots and threw wood chips down so there is no privacy at all. I know they are worried about fires but good grief. Hence the reason it feels like you are right on top of your neighbors. The day use area is still pretty much the same as it's always been and the lake is just as beautiful but not the camping part. Thanks a lot Idaho fish and game! :( UGH!!!
Stayed for only 1 night in a tent camping spot. All spots were occupied, lots of kids running around and screaming. Showers were great and clean. They do have structures for weather which was nice to consider it started to rain. Also there’s construction going on next to the fence for tent camping… not fun