State Parks of Idaho
There are many State Parks scattered up and down the "Gem State". These public parks are managed by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR).
For camping, viewing historical features including various geological wonders and for your enjoyment of outdoor recreational actvities on land and on water, it's hard to beat the wonderful parks Idaho offers.
See "Idaho State Parks Quick Facts" below for User Fees and overnight camping reservations.
THE STATE PARKS
Bear Lake State Park
This park is a 966-acre facility along the Idaho/Utah state line in the southeast corner of the state. It is popular with visitors who come in the summer to enjoy fishing, boating, water skiing and the huge beaches. There are also winter snowmobiling opportunities.
Bear Lake, at 5,900 feet elevation, is 20 miles long and 8 miles wide. The park has two separate units. The camping unit is located on the east side of the lake and the day-use beach unit is on the lake’s north end. At St. Charles, Idaho on U.S. Route 89.
When you visit Bear Lake, take a fascinating side trip to the largest cave in Idaho, Minnetonka Cave. The Forest Service guides tours through the cave from mid-June to Labor Day. See spectacular stalactites and stalagmites! No handicapped access. Tennis shoes are perfect and a sweater or light jacket is suggested. From the west side of Bear Lake at Fish Haven, take the Fish Haven Creek Road (Forest Road 413) to this popular attraction. See a photo taken inside Minnetonka Cave on the TOP ATTRACTIONS PAGE on this site.
Bruneau Dunes State Park
Located south of Mountain Home, Idaho off State Route 78. The park includes marsh habitat, desert, small lakes and sand dunes including the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America.
Activities including wildlife viewing, bird watching, hiking, fishing, swimming and camping are available. The park has a Visitor Center featuring displays and information on birds, insects, wildlife, fossils and sand dunes. Hiking and equestrian trails are available at this 4,600-acre park.
Castle Rocks State Park
A former ranch, 1,240-acre Castle Rocks is Idaho’s newest state park, featuring early 20th Century ranch structures and incredible scenery. Rock spires, rivaling those at nearby City of Rocks National Reserve, offer exceptional rock climbing opportunities. Camping is primitive at City of Rocks, adjacent to the park. Evidence indicates that both Castle Rock and the surrounding area was favored by various cultures for nearly 2,500 years!
Other than rock climbing, the park offers hiking, wildlife viewing, horseback riding and picnicking. Bird watching is outstanding. Located at Almo, Idaho on the Elba/Almo Highway, County Route 77.
The new Smokey Mountain Campground at Castle Rocks State Park was dedicated and opened on May 26, 2007. The new site features 38 modern campsites with picnic tables, grills and water. The new campsite also has electrical hookups, a central ADA-accessible shower and restroom. Equestrian sites are also included on a separate loop of the new facility.
Coeur d’Alene Parkway State Park
A 34-acre day park located on the north shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene adjacent to Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive. Access by taking Exit 15 (Sherman Avenue) off Interstate Route 90 south of the city.
The park has a boat-launch facility, a picnic area overlooking the lake, an exercise court, hiking, walking and biking areas, toilet facilities and benches for those wishing to enjoy the lake view. No overnight camping or use.
Dworshak State Park
Located east of Cavendish, Idaho off County Route P1, this popular 850-acre recreational facility is on the western shores of Dworshak Reservoir, a 53-mile-long, man-made lake.
The park has three units: Freeman Creek, with over 100 campsites. Three Meadows Group Camp for overnight group functions and group-style cabins. Big Eddy Lodge to rent for gatherings such as family reunions and weddings. Fishing, boating, hiking, camping, swimming and waterskiing are available to park visitors.
Eagle Island State Park
This 545-acre day-use park is a few miles northwest of Boise, Idaho along State Route 44. The park has over 5 miles of horse trails, hiking paths, a grassy picnic area, a popular swimming beach and a waterslide. Horseshoe pits and a volleyball area are also available.
Farragut State ParkLocated off Interstate 95 at Athol, Idaho on State Route 54. Once the world’s second-largest naval training facility, this 4,000-acre recreation area sits on the extreme southern end of Idaho’s largest lake, Lake Pend Oreille.
In addition to the traditional recreational interests of swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking and camping, Farragut offers a model airplane flying field, disc golf, horseshoes, sand volleyball, playgrounds and a naval museum. 184 individual campsites, equestrian camping sites, group sites and available cabins.
Harriman State Park
This beautiful, 4,330-acre site near Island Park, Idaho was once the summer retreat and cattle ranch for the Harriman and Guggenheim families. Originally named the Railroad Ranch, the park lies within an 11,000-acre wildlife refuge, part of the greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The Sandhill Crane and Elk are common in the park. North America’s largest waterfowl, the Trumpeter Swan, is also common here.
Eight miles of what is known as one of the nation’s best catch-and-release fly-fishing streams, the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, meanders through the park. Bring your fly rod! Over twenty miles of hiking trails, winter cross-country skiing, horseback riding and biking routes are available.
Sage meadows, pastures and fields of wildflowers dot the landscape. Bring your camera! Overnight facilities (no pets allowed due to the abundance of wildlife). For day-use visitors, pets must be leashed and are allowed in the day-use parking areas only.
Hells Gate State Park
This park on the Snake River is the gateway to Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America, and Idaho’s Lewis and Clark country. The park covers 960 acres at the lowest point in the state at 733 feet above sea level. The park is located south of Lewiston, Idaho off County Route P2. Jet boat excursions into Hell Canyon leave from the park’s docks.
Tree-sheltered campsites and a large beach provide a good rest area for visitors close to miles of hiking, horseback and biking trails. Exploring the surrounding area by those means is popular. A covered shelter and group area accommodates up to 300 for weddings, meetings, reunions and company picnics.
Henrys Lake State Park
This park, 15 miles west of Yellowstone National Park, features a high mountain lake with excellent fishing. The lake produces brook trout up to three pounds, cutthroats weighing up to five pounds and rainbow/cutthroat hybrids (called cut-bows) up to twelve pounds.
This 585 acre park is located north of Island Park, Idaho off U.S. Route 20. The park was named for explorer Major Andrew Henry. It opens on the Thursday before Memorial Day and closes on October 31st, weather permitting. There are 44 camping sites and camping-cabins to rent.
Besides camping, there are 2 day-use areas, interpretive trails, hiking and boating activities. Fine trout fishing can also be found at the nearby Gallatin, Henrys Fork and Madison rivers.
Heyburn State Park
Opened in 1908, Heyburn is the oldest park in the Pacific Northwest. It is made up of 5,500 acres of land and 2,300 acres of water. The park features three lakes, the Rocky Point Interpretive Center, wildlife and bird habitat, with hiking trails shaded by 400-year-old ponderosa pine trees.
The park has full-service campgrounds, rental cottages, picnic areas, biking and equestrian trails and a marina. Fishing, boating and boat cruises are popular. Located south of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho off U.S. Route 95.
You can take a leisurely cruise on the lakes in Heyburn State Park aboard the cruise boat Idaho. There are scheduled cruises, or you can charter the boat for a party, wedding, reunion or a meeting. Call the park for details at (208) 686-1308.
Lake Cascade State Park
Southwest of Donnelly, Idaho, off State Route 55, this park is popular for boating, sailing and windsurfing. Comprised of 4,450 acres, camping, hiking and biking, boating and awesome fishing opportunities abound. Fish for rainbow trout, coho salmon, small mouth bass and perch on this spectacular lake.
Open year-round, winter activities include ice fishing and x-country skiing. There are 4 reservation-only campgrounds and 4 first-come, first-served campsites. A beautiful park facility.
Lake Wolcott State Park
Located northeast of Rupert, Idaho off State Route 24, this park on the edge of Idaho’s high desert is a popular place for water skiing, power boating, windsurfing, sailing and bird watching. Camping with RV hookups is available. Picnic under hardwood tree stands. Closed from the end of September through April 1st in most years.
Land of Yankee Fork State Park
Formerly Centennial State Park, this 21-acre park encompasses historic, frontier mining sites. Camping is available at nearby BLM and Forest Service campgrounds. Activities include hiking, an Interpretive Center, a museum and a visit to the ghost towns of Bonanza and Custer. Located south of Challis, Idaho on State Route 75.
Lucky Peak State Park
Located southeast of Boise, Idaho off State Route 21. Comprised of four separate units. Discovery Park is a roadside unit for picnicking or fishing on the Boise River. Sandy Point is a day-use unit for beach activities and picnicking. The Spring Shores unit has lake activities for boaters including boat ramps, a convenience store, a full-service marina, and watercraft rentals. The Idaho City Backcountry Yurts unit features overnight camping and trail adventures year-round.
Massacre Rocks State Park
Travelers along the Oregon Trail called the Massacre Rocks area the “Gate of Death” and “Devil’s Gate”. Today’s park visitors call the area beautiful, calm and restful. Found along Interstate Route 86 (Exit 28) southwest of American Falls, Idaho, this 990 acre site is 2 miles from the location of Register Rock, inscribed with emigrant names as they headed west.
Today, this site is a rest area for road-weary people and animal travelers, including a unique rest area for horses. Situated on the Snake River, the park is open year-round. Camping and hiking are popular, as are biking, fishing and bird watching. 40 unit campground with hookups and 4 rental cabins.
McCroskey State Park
Dedicated to pioneer women and their hardships, this 5,300-acre park is located on a ridgeline off Interstate Route 95 north of Potlatch, Idaho. The park’s highlight feature is an 18-mile skyline drive not recommended for RV’s and may be too rough for the family car.
Facilities include primitive camping and picnic areas plus access to 32 miles of multi-purpose trails, with spectacular views of the Palouse country.
Old Mission State Park
This 18-acre park located along Interstate Route 90 just west of Cataldo, Idaho features the oldest standing building in Idaho, The Mission of Sacred Heart, also known as the Cataldo Mission.
The mission was built by members of the Coeur d’Alene Indian tribe and catholic missionaries. This unique structure was built without nails and has walls one-foot thick. The park has a visitor center. For day-use only, the park has a walking tour and picnic areas.
Poderosa State Park
This park is located on 1,515 acres primarily on a peninsula protruding into Payette Lake two miles northeast McCall, Idaho's city center on State Route 55. Full-service camping, hiking and biking trails, a beach and picnic area are featured. It has a beach and picnic area, and wildlife viewing.
It also offers biking and hiking trails, guided walks and evening campfire programs. The park also has kayaking and canoeing opportunities plus two USSA-certified cross-country Nordic skiing areas where the prestigious 2008 Masters World Cup Nordic ski event will be held.
Priest Lake State Park
This park is nestled next to 19-mile long Priest Lake, surrounded by the mile-high Selkirk Mountains and the natural beauty of Northern Idaho. It is located south of Coolin, Idaho off State Route 57. Seeing the wildlife and enjoying the park’s cedar, fir and tamarack forests are among the top features.
The clear, cool waters of Priest Lake are enjoyed by boaters and fishermen in the summer months, while the winters offer groomed snowmobile trails and cross country skiing. Camping is available during the summer months, as is hiking and biking.
Have you ever eaten wild huckleberries? They are delicious and they can be found in the Priest Lake area! The Lion Creek drainage area is usually productive. They ripen at lower elevations beginning in mid-July and at higher locations in late July and early August. Check with park personnel and experience wild huckleberry hunting....and eating!
Round Lake State Park
This park is found on 142 acres of forest around a 58-acre lake 11 miles south of Sandpoint, Idaho. The lake resulted from glacial activity dating to the Pleistocene Epoch. The park is protected by hemlock, pine, red cedar, and paper birch trees.
Summer activities include swimming, boating and fishing (electric motors only). Wintertime offers such activities as ice fishing, cross country skiing and ice skating. Camping is available and hiking and biking are both popular.
Thousand Springs State Park
Close to Interstate Route 84 near Hagerman, Idaho. Thousands Springs is a 110-acre multiple-unit park offering fishing, primitive camping and picnicking. The area is called Magic Valley.
Most of the history in the park is geological, but the historic Kelton Trail runs through the park and history buffs can view wagon ruts and remnants of the Kelton Stage Stop. Units include the Malad Gorge State Park, Billingsley Creek, Niagara Springs and Earl M. Hardy Nature Preserve, all close at hand.
Three Island Crossing State Park
This 613-acre park can be found on Interstate Route 84 at Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho on the Snake River. This location was one of the most famous river crossings for the pioneers on the Oregon Trail, used until Gus Glenn constructed a ferry crossing in 1869 two miles upstream.
The park is the site of the Oregon Trail History and Education Center where visitors can learn about Native American history and the hardships of the pioneer emigrants. Full-service camping facilities and rental cabins. Hiking trails and fishing.
Winchester State Park
This 418-acre , forested park surrounds a 103-acre lake, just off Interstate Route 95 at the town of Winchester, Idaho. Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir trees are predominant. Has full-service camping.
Boating and fishing (electric motors only), picnicking and hiking are popular in the summer months, with cross country skiing, ice fishing and ice skating being popular in the winter.
Idaho State Parks Quick Facts
2010 IDAHO STATE PARKS
- Reserve on the web @ www.parksandrecreation.idaho.gov
- Reserve via phone @ 1(866)634-3246 (toll-free)
- Make reservations up to 9 months prior to your arrival, but no later than 48 hours prior to arrival
- Express check-in: Been confirmed? No need to stop at the office or visitor center. Go directly to your site
- There is no entry fee in 2010 for your motor vehicle in addition to campsite fees
CAMPSITE FEE SCHEDULE
Campsite Primitive: $9 - $11* (plus tax)
No amenities at site, undefined tent or RV pad
Standard Campsite: $12 - $14* (plus tax)
Any defined campsite, either tent pad or RV pad/area (may include table and/or grill)
Serviced Campsite/W: $16 - $18* (plus tax)
Any defined campsite, either tent pad or RV pad/area, with water at site (may include table and/or grill)
Serviced Campsite/E: $16 - $18* (plus tax)
Any defined campsite, either tent pad or RV pad/area, with electricity at site (may include table and/or grill)
Serviced Campsite /W, E: $20 - $22* (plus tax)
Any defined campsite, either tent pad or RV pad/area, with water and electricity at site (may include table and/or grill)
Serviced Campsite /W, E, SWR: $22 - $24* (plus tax)
Any defined campsite, either tent pad or RV pad/area, with water, electricity and sewer at site (may include table and/or grill)
* NOTE: Higher prices include an additional fee for popular destination parks and select premium sites.
For maps and further details
then click on "Parks". Or, for more information, contact the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0065. Phone: (208) 334-4199, or log on to www.idahoparks.org for inquiries and/or reservations.
Leave STATE PARKS PAGE and go to IDAHO INSIDER HOME PAGE