When was the last time you planned camping in Idaho? Be it RVing or pitching a tent, and you get a lot of options for exploring the beauty of Idaho.
Idaho is a state known for its rugged beauty and diverse landscapes. From the peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains to the rolling hills of the Palouse, there are plenty of great places to pitch a tent and spend a few nights under the stars.
But, “Why are camping areas in Idaho so popular?” – Camping in Idaho is popular for various reasons, including the state’s natural beauty.
When you reach Idaho, you can see that it is home to a variety of different ecosystems. The diversified landscapes provide endless opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and boating.
Moreover, Idaho is known for its pristine sites and remote backcountry. The state is home to several national forests, wilderness areas, and national parks.
These areas provide a unique opportunity to experience the state’s wilderness and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
So, let’s get to know about the best camping sites near you in Idaho.
12 of the Best Places for Camping in Idaho
Here are 12 places in Idaho for your next camping adventure:
1. Sawtooth National Recreation Area
This 730,000-acre Sawtooth national recreation area in central Idaho is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the state, including the Sawtooth Mountains, alpine lakes, and wildflower-filled meadows. Moreover, there are dozens of campgrounds to choose from, many of which are located near popular hiking and fishing destinations.
2. Craters of the Moon National Monument
This unique volcanic landscape features miles of lava fields, cinder cones, and volcanic caves. There are two campgrounds here, each with a handful of sites, and the area has gained popularity for hiking, rock climbing, and stargazing.
3. Priest Lake State Park
This popular park in northern Idaho offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including fishing, boating, and hiking. So, do carry all the camping tools along with fishing gear. Furthermore, you will find several campgrounds to choose from, including one on the shore of Priest Lake.
4. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
This remote area in the far northwest corner of the state is home to the deepest gorge in North America. You can locate different campgrounds here, including one on the banks of the Snake River. Thus, while exploring the remote wilderness of this area, you must opt for fishing and rafting.
5. City of Rocks National Reserve
This unique landscape in southern Idaho features granite spires and boulders that have been sculpted over millions of years. The place has a diversified campground, and one such is in the heart of the reserve. This place is also called The Silent City of Rocks. Furthermore, the area is popular for rock climbing and hiking, so, do give it a try.
6. Henrys Lake State Park
This park in eastern Idaho is home to a large, high-mountain lake that is popular for fishing and boating. The most popular among the lot is the campground that is located on the shore of the lake.
7. Salmon-Challis National Forest
This vast forest in central Idaho is home to rugged mountains, wild rivers, and miles of hiking trails. There are dozens of campgrounds to choose from, many of which are located near popular fishing and hunting destinations.
8. Coeur d’Alene National Forest
This forest in northern Idaho is home to several large lakes, including Coeur d’Alene Lake, and offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including boating, fishing, and hiking. Moreover, there are plenty of campgrounds to choose from, many of which are located near popular destinations.
9. Palisades Reservoir
This large reservoir in eastern Idaho is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and camping. You must visit the shore of the reservoir, and it is quite popular for its campground. Other than this, you can find many other spots here.
10. Bear Lake State Park
This park in the southeastern corner of the state is home to a large, high-mountain lake that is popular for boating and fishing. Travel to the shore of the lake, which grants a mesmerizing view, along with plenty of other campgrounds.
11. Harriman State Park
This large state park in eastern Idaho is a popular spot for fishing, hiking, and camping. Have you been to the shore of Island Park Reservoir? This rugged landscape is adorned for its beauty. Alongside, you can locate many other camping grounds as well.
12. Ponderosa State Park
This park on the shores of Payette Lake in west central Idaho is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and camping. The shore of the lake has the best site, along with other camping grounds in Ponderosa State Park.
No matter what kind of camping experience you’re looking for, Idaho has something refreshing to offer, be it for beginner or experienced campers.
How Should You Plan Camping in Idaho?
There’s something for everyone, from rugged wilderness camping to more developed campgrounds with amenities like fire pits and picnic tables. When planning your camping trip in Idaho, it’s important to consider factors like the time of year, the type of camping you want to do, and the specific activities you’re interested in.
For example, if you’re interested in fishing, you may want to plan your trip around one of Idaho’s many fishing seasons. Moreover, you might want to target a campground that’s located near a popular fishing spot.
If you’re interested in hiking, you’ll want to choose a campground that’s close to popular trails and offers easy access to the wilderness. And if you’re interested in boating or water activities, you’ll want to choose a campground that’s located near a lake or river.
What is the Best Time for Camping in Idaho?
It’s important to consider the time of year when planning your camping trip in Idaho. Now, that depends on what type of experience you’re looking for and what activities you’re interested in.
- Summer is the most popular time for camping in Idaho, as the weather is warm and dry, and the days are long. This is a great time for activities like hiking, fishing, and boating, and many campgrounds are open for the season. However, summer can also be quite hot and crowded.
- Spring and fall are also great times for camping in Idaho. The temperatures are milder, and the crowds are smaller, making it a great time to explore the state’s many trails and campgrounds. Spring is a great time to see wildflowers blooming, and fall is a great time to see the fall foliage.
- And, if you’re comfortable with colder weather, winter camping can be a great way to experience Idaho. But, it is only recommended if you have the proper camping equipment and gear. Furthermore, always pre-book because, during the winter, many campgrounds are closed, but some remain open for winter camping.
When Can You Reserve Campsites In Idaho?
The availability of campground reservations in Idaho varies depending on the specific campground and time of year. There are free campgrounds in Idaho, private campgrounds as well as paid public campgrounds.
No reservation required
Many of the campgrounds in Idaho’s national forests and national parks are managed by the National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). These campgrounds typically operate on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning that no reservations are required, and you can simply show up and find an available site.
However, some of the more popular campgrounds in these areas may fill up quickly, especially during peak season, so it’s a good idea to arrive early in the day to secure a spot.
Some of the campgrounds in Idaho’s state parks and other public lands are operated by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR). These campgrounds typically have a reservation system in place, and you can reserve campsites online or by phone.
Campground reservations typically open 6 months in advance, and it is recommended to reserve well in advance, especially during the peak season of summer, to ensure availability.
Lastly, there are also private campgrounds in Idaho, which are operated by private companies or individuals. These campgrounds usually have a reservation system in place, and you can reserve campsites online or by phone.
What is the Cost of Camping in Idaho?
The cost of camping in Idaho is relatively low compared to other popular camping destinations. The state has a variety of camping options, from free dispersed camping in the national forests to more developed campgrounds. You can find amenities like fire pits, picnic tables, and showers that can fit any budget.
Overall, the natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and relatively low cost of camping in Idaho make it a popular destination for campers from all over the country.
Idaho offers a wide variety of camping experiences. By considering factors like the time of year, the type of camping you want to do, and the specific activities you’re interested in, you can plan the perfect camping trip in Idaho. Moreover, with so many options to choose from, you’ll be able to find a campground that fits your preferences. We bet it will provide an unforgettable experience.
It’s also a good idea to check the campground’s website or call ahead to find out about reservations, fees, and other important information. Some campgrounds fill up quickly, especially during peak season. So, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and make a reservation if possible.