Hit the best campgrounds in Idaho and put your survival and camping skills and tricks to the test!
Best Campgrounds In Idaho You Should Visit Today
Where to Camp in the Gem State
Idaho is a state that often gets overlooked when it comes to summer tourism. But if you’ve never taken an Idaho camping trip, you’re missing out.
When you say “Idaho,” most people immediately think of potatoes. Idaho is a state known for vast expanses of farmland. But it’s also home to the “Gateway to Yellowstone National Park,” as well as beautiful national forests, great fishing, and other attractions.
All these make Idaho a great place for your next camping trip. Here are our picks for the top 10 places to camp in some of the best Idaho State Parks.
1. Basin Creek Campground – Stanley
The Sawtooth/Stanley Basin region is the ultimate camping destination. Truly a best-kept secret cherished by Idahoans, the camping in our region will make you giddy with delight and likely a little in disbelief as to how perfect it is.
You can pitch your tent or pull up your RV to sites on the shores of high altitude lakes, amidst the pines of alpine peaks, or on the banks of the rumbling Salmon “River of No Return”.
2. Farragut State Park – Athol
Farragut State Park is located 30 miles north of Coeur d’Alene on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho’s largest lake.
Once the world’s second largest naval training station, today the 4,000-acre park provides a multitude of recreation opportunities. From the traditional activities of picnicking and swimming to boating, hiking, and camping.
3. Sun Valley Area – Sun Valley, Idaho
The Sun Valley area is surrounded by five mountain ranges: Pioneers, Whiteclouds, Boulders, Smokeys, and Sawtooths. Camping in Sun Valley is a great way to enjoy the beauty of mother nature and the wildlife that lives within it.
There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy while camping: hiking, biking, fishing, bird watching, rafting, and much more.
4. Redfish Lake – Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho
— Grand Adventure (@GrandAdventRV) November 10, 2017
One of the favorite area activities is camping – an experience that seems to flow through the collective culture of Western Families.
We welcome countless campers each summer season and we have a large number of Campgrounds and Campsites that provide an excellent backdrop for any Sawtooth Mountain visit.
5. Black Rock Campground – Idaho City
Black Rock Campground is located 20 miles from Idaho City, on the North Fork Boise River, at an elevation of 4,300 feet. Visitors enjoy fishing, swimming, and exploring local trails.
The campground sits on the banks of the North Fork Boise River, where ponderosa pines tower over the area. Most campsites have partial shade, but little privacy from other campers.
A variety of wildlife makes its home around the campground.
6. Ponderosa State Park – McCall
Beautiful little lake~Huckleberry Bay, Payette Lake, Ponderosa State Park, McCall, Idaho. Photo: David Ryan via 5… pic.twitter.com/Tp1xR7YXh1
— Amazing World (@TopAmazingWorld) December 12, 2014
Ponderosa State Park covers most of a 1,000-acre peninsula that juts into beautiful Payette Lake near McCall. The scenic overlook at Osprey Point offers a spectacular view of the lake.
The park offers hiking and biking trails, guided walks with park naturalists and evening campfire programs.
7. Mann Creek Reservoir – Weiser
— Marty Nelson (@MNPhotoArt) May 1, 2017
The reservoir offers 283 surface-acres of water and five miles of shoreline. Visitors enjoy boating, canoeing, swimming, and trout fishing.
The lands around the reservoir are open to hunting for waterfowl and upland game birds.
8. Henry’s Lake State Park – Island Park, Idaho
One of Idaho’s great high mountain lakes, Henrys Lake is the kind of place that fishers dream about. Anglers fish for cutthroat, brook and cut-bow hybrid trout in what is considered one of the finest trout fisheries in the West.
The park also offers beautiful nature trails for hiking and biking and wildlife and wildflower watching.
9. Hot Springs – Boise
A photo from last week of natural hot springs trickling into the south fork of the Boise River near Pine, ID… pic.twitter.com/FsX7n7jLsx
— Thomas Jay Oord (@ThomasJayOord) December 10, 2015
Hot Springs Campground has three group sites and eight single sites. It is located just east of Garden Valley, Idaho, along the (Banks-Lowman road) State Highway 17 at an elevation of 3,200 feet.
Visitors enjoy rafting, kayaking, and fishing on the South Fork Payette River, and soaking in the hot springs at the river’s edge.
10. Hell’s Gate State Park – Lewiston, Idaho
Hell’s Gate Rapids, Banning State Park, Sandstone, MN. Still very green up here. Will be spectacular in 1-2 weeks. pic.twitter.com/tWwPD5iH5D
— Brian C Shipley 史博琦 (@BrianCShipley) September 13, 2015
How does a jet boat ride up the Snake River in one of North America’s deepest canyons sound?
Or reeling in a steelhead fish, picnicking under shade trees on the banks of the river or a leisurely bike ride on the Clearwater and Snake River trail?
Hells Gate State Park has all these to offer and more.
Watch this video from Discovery for some lessons on surviving Idaho so you can take your camping to the next level:
Now you know where to go in Idaho for camping. Whether you are camping for leisure, or seriously training for survival and camping skills, you have to try the best campgrounds in Idaho to experience different terrains plus amazing views.
Do you have a favorite camping spot in this list of the best campgrounds in Idaho? Let us know in the comments section!
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And be sure to check out the rest of our Best Campgrounds in the US series.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 3, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.