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.

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Recent Idaho Campground Reviews

Coeur d'Alene, ID

Tamarack RV Park

Nov 28, 2023

"Great overnight stop"

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Tamarack RV Park is a great campground. We had full hookups. Communication with Paula was great. She has our paperwork ready when we arrive after hours. We didn't use the bathrooms. It's conveniently located off the I90. Near CostCo. The campground is off N. Government Way, but we didn't hear any road nice. We would definitely stay here...
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16 reviews
Nov 25, 2023

"Friendly family owned campground!"

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This is a smaller family owned RV park. The owners were very friendly and would check in periodically to ensure everything was going good. Spaces are good size and fit our 37' 5th wheel with opposing slides easily. They did not have a shower house/ bathroom, but apparently that is planned with a future expansion. Overall was a great stay and we...
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1 review
Nov 23, 2023

"Free Dump And Decent Priced Diesel"

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This dump spot is free so I wasn’t real concerned on its condition. I did read a review on Campendium prior to using the site and it was a great heads up on the pooling water. It also pools of it’s raining. I was able to dump with ease and just being cautious. The fuel points are easy to navigate if you are pulling a trailer and the prices were...
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6 reviews
Almo, ID

City of Rocks RV

Nov 22, 2023

"Great Camp ! "

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This was our first night in an RV and Steve was very understanding, we arrived in the dark around 8pm and it was not an issue (we were alone). When we woke up, what a stunning view ! Surrounded by mountains ! The park entrance is really really close ! We had a great night. It is quiet and peaceful. As it was our first night we were not...
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1 review
Nov 19, 2023

"Fantastic Spot, Not Many To Pick From"

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This is a beautiful spot by the river. There’s only a few spots and only two are easily accessible to any vehicle. Highway is a little close as well but not terrible.

24 reviews