Pettit Lake Campground

Sawtooth National Forest

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National Forest Development Road 208 Ketchum, ID 83340 208-727-5000 208-737-3200 Official Website

GPS: 43.982, -114.866

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  • Q&A
  • Reviews (1)
  • Amenities

Overview of Pettit Lake Campground

Number of Sites 20

Open Seasonally June - September

Elevation 6,988 ft / 2,129 m

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Reviews of Pettit Lake Campground 1 person has reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Overall Rating
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Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
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BOSN
Boise, ID 27' Arctic Fox 25R Chevrolet 3500HD
15 reviews
“Sawtooth Dry Camping”

Reviewed 9/10/2020

Nightly rate: $8
Days stayed: 3
Site Number: 13
Overall Rating

The road into the campground off of Hwy 75 is a washboarded gravel road for about 2 miles. Pettit Lake Campground has 13 sites for dry camping. Most of the sites will accommodate small to medium size RV's. Sites 12 and 13, I believe, may be a couple of the best sites as they are close to the lake. There was no on-site camp hosts. Although I saw some folks come from another camp ground I would imagine to square away sites on Labor Day. Also, there is no drinking water contrary to what the Sawtooth National Forest shows on their website for the campground...perhaps they are considering the lake water. One couple from Colorado drove 12 miles back to Stanley to try and find drinking water. They had to go to a small store and buy it. Water can be found without buying it by going to either Alturas Lake or Redfish Lake facilities. There is also dump stations north of Pettit Lake at Redfish Lake and also at the Stanley Park Ranger Station, just south of Stanley on the left as you are heading north on Idaho Hwy 75. If you are going south from Pettit Lake, there is a nice dump station at Smiley Creek, just across the hwy from the Smiley Creek Store, near the airfield. There is also dumpsters for trash and recyclables there. It has $5 fee for dumping on the honor system.

The sites all have fire rings and old picnic tables, and the campground has a couple of vault toilets and a dumpster for trash. The campground also is a major trailhead into the Sawtooth Wilderness Area and there is a cul-de-sac parking area that fills up even during the week in the summer with hikers and backpackers' autos. We had a tight situation when I was driving through the cul-de-sac with my 27 ft trailer and someone had parked illegally on the road. So, to avoid that cul-de-sac, take the first loop to the left as you enter the campground as most of the decent sites are in that loop, including 12 and 13.

Of course they charge for the sites. $16 for a single and $32 for a double. Half price for us old guys with a Golden Age pass, all on the honor system it seems, and I'm not sure anyone polices who pay and who doesn't. The same goes for fire restrictions. Although camp fires were prohibited when we were there the week after Labor Day, that didn't stop a few from having one in their fire rings. There is no one to tell them not to, and just having a sign doesn't stop everyone.

There is also several spots where free dispersed camping is found around the campground. Some of the dispersed sites can be found on the road into the campground from Hwy 75, and others on the Yellow Belly Lake road, 365, that goes off to the right, just before you enter the Pettit Lake Campground.

The only advantage that I see with staying in the campground vice free dispersed camping is the proximity to the lake itself and the Tin Cup trailhead to the Sawtooth Wilderness Area, unless the vault toilet and dumpster is a draw.

Pettit Lake is a medium sized clear mountain lake, very pretty, just on the edge of the Sawtooth Wilderness Area. There are private homes with docks and ski boats on the south shore. The water is very clear and I saw some large fish swimming near the bottom while canoeing. There is a boat launch on the lake and power boats are allowed. Fortunately, I and a hand full of paddle boarders had the lake to ourselves during the week late in the summer.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sawtooth/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=5946&actid=29

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BOSN would stay here again

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wealwaysWAnder
Olympia, WA Lance 1055S Chevrolet 3500
26 reviews
Petit Lake - we always WAnder.......

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Scott Cameron Pettit Lake  This peaceful campground sits at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains along th...

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Amenities

Hookups
  • dry camping

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