Best Camping in Idaho

Camping in Idaho

By Sara Sheehy

Idaho is a state that flies under the radar for many travelers—until they arrive, that is. Naturally, it's a wonder, with rugged mountain ranges, wild rivers, dense forests, and arid high desert. Home to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, which is the largest Wilderness Area in the lower 48 states, Idaho is a destination that thrills adventurous spirits who thrive off the beaten path.

Closer to civilization, Idaho offers up a handful of cities and even more small towns that surprise first-time visitors with their farm-to-table restaurants, modern art galleries, green spaces, and welcoming locals.

Ready to check out the Gem State? Here's where to camp while you're here.

Idaho State Parks

Sixteen state parks in Idaho welcome campers. The parks are scattered throughout the state, each offering a different landscape to enjoy, with many scenically located along rivers, reservoirs, and lakes.

Idaho State Park camping favorites include Bruneau Dunes State Park, home to the tallest single-structure sand dune in North America; northern Idaho's Farragut State Park, situated on the shore of massive Lake Pend Oreille; Henrys Lake State Park near Yellowstone, just a stone's throw from one of the country's best trout rivers; and Ponderosa State Park, a secluded haven nestled in the woods near the resort town of McCall.

Learn more about Idaho State Parks.

Idaho National Parks

Though no national parks reside entirely within Idaho's borders, there are plenty of other National Park Service lands to explore. Take Craters of the Moon National Monument, for example. Visiting this vast landscape of lava flows, cinder cones, and sagebrush is an otherworldly experience in any season.

Other destinations to put on your bucket list include the City of Rocks National Reserve, a rock climbers paradise, and Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, home to over 200 species of fossils and the famous Hagerman horse.

And don't forget Yellowstone National Park, a sliver of which graces Idaho's eastern border with Wyoming.

Idaho RV Parks

Idaho is a wild place, filled with more remote locations than front-country destinations. That being said, there are a smattering of full-service RV parks that welcome campers of any stripe for a night, week, or season of Idaho explorations.

RV parks abound at Lava Hot Springs, a quirky town that developed around a series of perfectly clear, odorless hot springs. You'll also find several RV park options in Idaho's bigger cities, including Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, and Twin Falls.

Learn more about Idaho RV Parks.

Idaho National Forests

If there's one thing that Idaho does not lack, it's public land. The federal government manages over 32 million acres of public land in Idaho, covering nearly 62% of the state. National Forests make up almost 20.5 million of those acres.

Camping in the National Forests in Idaho is a mix of campgrounds and free, dispersed camping. While you won't find many amenities at the campgrounds, you will find designated campsites, spectacular views, remote corners to explore, and plenty of quiet.

For a taste of National Forest camping, check out Boundary Campground, just minutes from Sun Valley, or French Creek Campground in the Boise National Forest.

Explore the National Forests in Idaho

Dispersed Camping Idaho

With so much public land, Idaho is nirvana for boondockers. We'll even go out on a limb and say that it's easier to find free, dispersed camping in the majority of Idaho than it is to find amenity-rich campgrounds.

While it's near impossible to highlight just a few boondocking destinations in such a big state, favorite destinations include the tiny mountain town of Stanley (and nearby Redfish Lake) in the Sawtooth Mountains, the river-runs-through-it allure of Island Park near Yellowstone, and the wilderness gateway of McCall, with it's easy access to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Learn more about free camping in Idaho.

portable computer displaying map of camping locations
mobile device showing map of camping locations


Become a member & get access to features like:
Cell Coverage Maps
Public Land Overlays
Trail Map Layers
Ad Free

Recent Idaho Campground Reviews

Sep 25, 2021

"A nice campground, very secluded"

active staractive staractive staractive starinactive star
There is water available throughout the camp, but if you want to fill your RV tanks, do so at the Dump on your way into the campground. Make sure you are prepared for a wilderness stay, as supplies and fuel is an hour away (one way). There is a lot of trails available for exploring and vault toilets. The only negative I have is there isn't any...
Read More

Gary Wood
42 reviews
Lava Hot Springs, ID

Lava Campground

Sep 25, 2021

"Great campground"

active staractive staractive staractive starinactive star
We have been to a lot of campgrounds as part of our full-time adventure, but most of them are packed in like Sardines. The really great feature that I like best about Lava is the spread-out campsites. We had room to park our truck next to our camper with even more room to spare. The views are nice and the camp hosts were awesome. If you work...
Read More

Paul Williams
2 reviews
Almo, ID

City of Rocks RV

Sep 23, 2021

"Flys, Flys, Flys!"

active staractive starinactive starinactive starinactive star
We reserved for 2 nights, but due to the fact that we could not exit or enter our RV without a half dozen flys coming in each time, we left rather than stay the 2 nights. We’d just conquer the first swarm just to have the next half dozen enter! The campsites are not cared for or leveled after campers exit, and we found it very difficult to...
Read More

Rhonda Penning
6 reviews
Sep 23, 2021

"Personal touches make it worth the stay"

active staractive staractive staractive staractive star
This is a family-owned campground located on the backside of a small homestead just off US-20, the main thoroughfare from Idaho Falls all the way up to West Yellowstone. It's a great option if you want to cover both Yellowstone NP and Grand Teton NP from one launching point while having full hookups for a reasonable nightly cost. There are 14...
Read More

Joel Smith
1 review
Mountain Home, ID

Little Camas Reservoir

Sep 23, 2021

"Spectacular and sad at same time"

active staractive staractive staractive staractive star
This is remote BLM camping at its best! Two miles down a dirt road and you come to the entrance to the boat ramp. Note: do not take any of the earlier public access entrances unless you have a car sized vehicle - roads are very narrow and rough and there is no place to turn around. When you come to the boat ramp, take the first entrance...
Read More

Julie Hidden
27 reviews