Great Idaho Camping Spots

A well-loved past-time, summer isn’t quite summer without camping. But survey says: the most well-seasoned campers do not share their favorite sites. For any novice campers, this is a bummer. However, Idaho is thankfully flush with various public camping spots, so we can all dip our toes in and bask in the experience if we’re new to the area, new to camping, or otherwise looking for an outdoor excursion.

Popular among families due to its close proximity to the town of McCall (you can eat at any of the great restaurants or hit the grocery store in a matter of minutes) is Ponderosa State Park. Situated on a thousand-acre peninsula that extends into Payette Lake, the park boasts stunning mountain views.

Here’s what you can expect: There are 173 campsites, including full-hookup, electric, and companion sites. Some sites even have yurts. The park also has nine deluxe cabins (with lake views). Explore the park by hiking or biking; the trails are gorgeous! Enjoy some beach time and cool off in the chilly but beautiful lake. Again, there is something for everyone, which makes this a very popular camping destination.

A little closer to Boise, and featuring a unique landscape, entering Bruneau Dunes State Park makes you feel like you’re on the other side of the world (think Egypt but sans pyramids). With pyramids of sand, Bruneau makes for an entertaining excursion.

Campsites and cabins are available, and some sites are first-come, first-served. You can also make reservations for campsites and cabins in advance. The park boasts the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America, with a peak rising 470 feet above the surrounding desert floor. Explore the dunes in your hiking boots or rent a sandboard from the Visitor Center.

Besides camping, and coasting the dunes, you can fish for bluegill in the lakes at the foot of the dune, take breathtaking hikes, go horseback riding, or plan a group picnic. Don’t miss the Bruneau Dunes Observatory (when available) to gaze at the brilliant night sky through telescopes.

While there are many, many camping options in our great state, we’ll just touch on one more for now. Even closer than Bruneau is Lucky Peak (we’re so lucky to have such amazing and diverse landscapes in our very backyard!).

The beloved Lucky Peak State Park has a few different nooks to set up camp.

Discovery Park: Located off State Highway 21, Discovery Park is a roadside area for picnicking and fishing along the Boise River. It’s a great spot to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Sandy Point: Situated at the base of the Lucky Peak Dam, Sandy Point features a sandy beach and calm waters, perfect for wading and swimming. It’s an ideal spot for families.

Spring Shores: This unit, at the northern end of the lake, offers boat ramps, a marina, and ample parking. If you’re into boating, Spring Shores is the place to be!

The reservoir offers a great place to recreate and cool off!

Remember to check out the camping availability and make reservations in advance… also remember, wherever you land, to bring along your Better Man Beard products to clean up that facial hair after a day in the sand, the lake or the forest!