7 of the Best Campsites in Idaho
If you love camping, exploring the outdoors, and traveling places with your adventure van, you are probably always on the hunt for your next outdoor adventure. Countless camping spots across the country have great trails, activities, and amenities. We are sure you have been to plenty of them, but we are here to give you the best seven campsites in the beautiful state of Idaho.
Despite its beauty, national parks, and great campsites, Idaho often gets overlooked in the “best of getaways.” Not anymore! Today, we’re reviewing Idaho’s best campgrounds for a trip unlike any other.
Weekend warriors might want to start with just one of our recommendations. Others might want to hit a few spots in a row for a camping experience unlike any other.
Our 7 Favorite Idaho Campsites
Redfish Lake: Sockeye Campground
Our first recommendation, Sockeye Campground, is slightly over three hours northeast of Boise. There are 23 secluded campsites throughout the Sockeye Campground, and they are all first-come, first-serve.
The amenities include campsite tables, grills, drinking water, vault toilets, and a boat ramp. No showers or electricity hookups are present, so if you have an in-van, portable shower, you’re in luck.
There are plenty of hiking trails that fit every skill level and interest. This area is known for its beautiful mountain views and clear water, stunning all year round. If you are in the mood for a short walk, take a hike on the Fishhook Nature Trail. If you want something longer, check out the Sawtooth Wilderness Trails.
The nearest town is Stanley, which is only a 16-minute drive from the campgrounds. Stanley is a small but profoundly charming town, and you can find most groceries or essentials you need at the Mountain Village Mercantile. Foodies love the Stanley Baking Company for a quick breakfast and Papa Brunee’s for a pizza dinner.
Farragut State Park
Our next suggestion is Farragut State Park, just over seven hours North of Boise on Lake Pend Oreille in the Northern Idaho Panhandle. This state park offers 223 individual camping sites, ten camping cabins, and seven group camps. Reserving a campsite is highly recommended, but a limited number of walk-ins are available if a campsite is still open.
A pressurized water system is available throughout the park and restrooms in every campground, but only the Beaver Bay campground has showers. There are electricity hookups in three out of the four campgrounds, and firewood is available to purchase. Using local firewood is a great way to support your hosts and protect the environment.
There are plenty of things to keep you occupied. The park offers swimming, fishing, boating, disc golf, and hiking.
Don’t pass up the chance to swing by Bayview, a town right on the lake, two minutes away. When we say “right on the lake,” we mean it. Bayview is a little floating community, and this floating village is a famous Fourth of July celebration spot. With water “streets,” you’ll feel like Venice, Italy, traveled to Idaho.
Ponderosa State Park
Ponderosa State Park is only about two and a half hours north of Boise. The main campground is considered the Peninsula Campground, and here you can find 113 campsites, with 23 companion sites.
Each location can find 30-amp electric hook-ups, water, hot showers, flush toilets, picnic tables, and dump stations. You have to reserve ahead of time, and there is a two-night minimum stay. The prices vary depending on the time of year or if you're an Idaho resident.
Within the park, you can find plenty of beautiful hiking trails. Some of the most popular routes are the Payette Lake Peninsula Trail, rated easy in difficulty, and the Huckleberry and Fox Run Trail Loops, rated moderate in difficulty.
Just a five-minute drive south of the park, you will hit McCall, Idaho, where you can stop at Albertsons for any groceries or essentials. Stay a bit longer and indulge in McCall's incredible farmers' markets on Wednesday and Saturday. The town's world-famous Central Idaho Historical Museum is beloved by campers for its fascinating perspective on the forest service and Smokey the Bear.
Falls Campground: Caribou-Targhee National Forest
The Falls Campground in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest is about five hours east of Boise, home of 16 single unit campsites and seven double campsites.
The campsites can be reserved ahead of time or used on a first-come, first-serve basis if they aren’t booked. No electricity hookup or showers are available at this campground, but there is a boat ramp, tent camping, toilets, and drinking water.
This lush National Forest has plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails available. The incredibly popular Darby Canyon Wind Cave Trail is rated hard in difficulty. If you want a more user-friendly hike, check out the Upper Palisades Lake Trail or the Mesa Falls Nature Trail.
The nearest grocery store is in Island Park, Idaho, about 45 minutes away. Head into town, and you’ll most likely run into welcoming groups of fly fishing enthusiasts and cattle ranchers.
City of Rocks National Reserve
City of Rocks National Reserve is roughly three hours Northwest of Boise. Here, you can choose from 64 standard campsites and three group sites. You will have access to a grill and a picnic table at each campsite, and vault toilets and drinking water are available in centralized areas. There are no showers or electricity hookups.
This National Reserve has countless hiking trails accessible directly from the campground. Some of the most popular routes are the Creekside Towers Trail (rated moderate in difficulty) and the South Fork Loop Trail (rated easy in difficulty).
Five minutes from the campground, you can find Tracy General Store in Almo, Idaho — the oldest store in Idaho. Here, you can find most groceries or essentials that you need.
Fall Creek Falls
Five hours east of Boise is the Falls Campground. This campground is only five minutes from the Fall Creek Falls waterfall. You can rely on vault toilets, trash collection, and drinking water at the Falls Campground. This camping trip destination has no electricity or showers.
On the other hand, the recreation areas are complete with boat ramps, tent site camping, and picnic tables, making this a beloved and popular campground. The campground is on the smaller side, so reservations are required.
Fall Creek Falls is off the highway; enjoy a short 0.7-mile hike that will take you to a photo-worthy viewpoint of the waterfall. Get up-close and personal to the waterfall by kayaking or canoeing.
The nearest grocery store is Broulim's in Ammon, Idaho.
The Valley View RV Park Campground is five and a half hours northeast of Boise. Here, you can find tent camping, electric 50 AMP, electric 30/20/15 AMP, bathrooms, a laundromat, and showers. Well-behaved pets are allowed on or off-leash. Reservations are encouraged ahead of time.
Although this campground isn’t inside a National or State Park, like many of our other recommendations, it’s just 25 minutes away from Yellowstone National Park! There are plenty of attractions at Yellowstone, including beautiful hikes.
The Grand Prismatic Hot Spring (rated easy in difficulty) and the Mystic Falls Loop (rated moderate) are some of the most popular trails. Check out Yellowstone’s famous geyser, Old Faithful, for a sight you won’t soon forget.
If you need to grab some groceries or basic necessities, Robin’s Roost in Island Park is only 10 minutes away.
Calling All Weekend Warriors
To all weekend warriors looking for adventure and beauty, check out any or all of these campsites in Idaho. Each offers a good amount of amenities, but some lack showers or electric hook-ups.
To travel with everything you need and nothing you don’t, plan your adventure van accessories ahead of time. Bring your canoe, mountain bike, work-from-home setup, and most importantly, your sense of adventure.
Sawtooth National Forest - Sockeye Campground | USDA
Ponderosa State Park | Department of Parks and Recreation
Farmers Markets | Visit McCall Idaho
Farragut State Park | Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation
Tracy General Store | Visit Southern Idaho
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