Todd M.

Pro

Vancouver, WA

Joined September 2020

Grasshopper Campground Ko

This is a nice smaller forest service campground adjacent to grasshopper creek. A great spot to stay if exploring the Pioneer Mountains.

There are 7-8 spaces, most suitable for a trailer or van. We were tent camping as were others. There are vault toilets and the ubiquitous forest service green potable water pumps/drinking fountains.

There are no dumpsters so have to pack trash out. There are campground hosts but they don’t have firewood for sale, so either need to bring or be prepared to do quite a bit of hunting for wood. The area around the campground is picked pretty clean of good firewood.

This is bear country and there are food storage boxes located throughout the campground for shared use. I expect the presence of bears is also why they don’t have any dumpsters on site.

The campground sits at approximately 7000 feet and by late summer gets near freezing temps overnight. Bring your fall/winter sleeping bag if tent camping here in late August or late Spring!

Just a few minutes up the road from the campground is Elkhorn Hot Springs where you can pay a few bucks to use the rustic pool and hot springs.

Yellow Bay campground

This small tent only campground is located on Yellow Bay at Flathead Lake. There are 6 spots, all just 25 yards from a parking area. There is a wheelbarrow for moving your items if you need it. The spots are in an open area without much privacy between them (although there are trees providing privacy from the main road in). There is a small stream running along the side of the campground before dumping into Flathead Lake just 200 yards away.

There are fire rings at the campsites, and a pit toilet at the parking area. Yellow Bay is also a state park, and there are regular restrooms at the parking area just a short walk away from the camping area.

The bay itself is relatively shallow, protected a bit from the wind and the bottom is smooth mid sized rocks, all making for an excellent place to swim. There is a roped off public swim area, along with a small boat dock nearby.

The highway is just above the campsite so there is road noise from time to time but it quiets down at night and the nearby stream drowns out most of it. Good cell service. The closest market is Papa’s Woods Bay Market, about 10 minutes north. They have a basic selection but it works.

Three Rivers Resort in Idaho

So, I’m not sure why “resort” is in the title, this certainly not a resort in the traditional sense. But, this is a great place to stop if headed up the Lochsa River and has something for everyone.

The “resort” has riverfront cabins, double occupancy motel rooms, A frame cabins, RV spots with hookups and a large tent camping area for motorcyclists, bicyclists and hikers. The mix of campers makes thing interesting. Add to this that the river raft guides take out at this location and this is a busy and fun place to spend a night. It has been very busy every time I have stopped, often full of RV’s with families spending a long weekend.

There is a small market, restaurant and bar, and an outdoor pool and hot tub. The market is well stocked with most of what you might have forgot to pack. They sell firewood as well. The bar offers typical burgers and bar fare and was lively enough even in peak Covid. This is Idaho after all, Covid seems like an afterthought in most of central and North Idaho.

The resort is located along a sweeping bend of the Lochsa river, which the highway follows on the opposite side. With the proximity of the highway, the RV’s in the campground, the cabins, etc, this is not a tranquil wilderness campground. It is however a great spot to spend the night while passing through.

I was on a motorcycle and there were probably 8-10 other riders tent camping. Several fires were going and folks were friendly and outgoing. There was no cell service for AT&T, but the market and bar had WiFi that you could access by sitting outside the front door.

I’ve stayed here 3 times and it will always be on my list when passing through this part of Idaho.

Great Campground by the River

This campground is just 10 miles out of Oakridge. Although just off the highway, you can’t tell it is even there. The best spots are those closest to the river. Most have well cleared spots for tents amid towering Douglas fir trees. The sites only have enough room for one vehicle, and many did not appear long enough for a larger motor home over say 20 feet.

The river is the real attraction here. When we were here in June it was low enough to wade and swim, and there were families hanging out in chairs along the gravel bars and floating in the river. Great place to chill with beers after a day hiking or mountain biking.

The only downside is the train tracks are just on the other side of the river and at least when we were there the train went by 4-5 times throughout the night. For whatever reason it blows its whistle repeatedly, hard to tell why as there is no road on that side. It does wake you up for a moment but we were so tired from mountain biking we went right back to sleep.

Although it is only a short distance from Oakridge, we had no cell service at all. Had to get most of the way to Oakridge before we picked it up. We had Verizon and AT&T so maybe another carrier has coverage.

Great campground overall, would definitely come back.

Small Campground close to Bonner’s Ferry

This is a small campground just a few minutes outside of Bonner’s Ferry. Probably 6 spaces, all big enough for a car or van but not suitable for large RV’s. Vault toilets and the ubiquitous green campground pumps/drinking fountain for potable water.

You can’t see Smith Lake from the campground, but it is just a few minute walk through the trees. The lake itself looks decent for swimming.

Although definitely in bear country, there were no food boxes. We were motorcycling camping so made sure to put everything away. That close to Bonner’s Ferry perhaps risk of bears not as great, but hard to know.

The campground is adjacent to private land that has been logged, and there was logging activity while we were there. It didn’t bother us, but the proximity to town coupled with how close it is to homes and other private property makes it not a destination campground in any respect and hardly far enough out of town to constitute getting away. But, it made a good stop for the night on our way to Montana and points beyond.

Excellent Campground especially for RVs

The turnoff for this campground is not far after you cross the beautiful Dent Bridge over the Dworshak Reservoir, headed North. And, your route would very likely be from south to north because the southerly route begins in Elk City, Idaho and is 85% gravel and at times pretty broken up.

After turning off the main road you take a winding road down toward the reservoir. The campground is situated on a gradual slope, so all sites have nice visibility toward the reservoir. All campsites are pull through, and have RV hookups. I was on a motorcycle so didn’t really need them but the potable water was nice to have to re-fill my hydration pack and clean up dinner dishes.

There are small shelters with tables at each site, and fire rings. I found the posted sign on each shelter—“Please Do Not Hang Wildlife of any Type From the Shelter”—kind of funny. They must get big game hunters in the Fall.

There were pay showers, which were great, and everything was very clean. There is a play area with jungle gym equipment for kids.

The boat dock and water’s edge is a short walk away, and there are also restrooms at the boat dock. The reservoir feeds the Clearwater river and it’s salmon runs, and like a lot of similar reservoirs it gets very low in summer because of drawdowns to support the downstream fish population. When I was there in late August the water was probably 100 feet below the normal boat dock, so it’s a bit of a walk down the exposed shore.

Despite being out of the way, this campground was completely full, And probably half of the campers had a motorized boat of some kind. Although full, I got lucky because someone didn’t show up for the first night of their reservation so the camp hosts let me stay for free. As I walked around the campground it looked like every site was booked for the entire coming week. I expect it is that way all summer.

For adventure motorcyclists exploring back roads this is a great stop over, and not far from the #BDR route.