Idaho State Outdoors

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State Parks
Camping and Hiking
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Idaho State Parks

Ponderosa State Park
Ponderosa State Park covers most of a 1,000-acre peninsula that juts into Payette Lake. The scenic overlook at Porcupine Point offers a spectacular view of Payette Lake. The park offers self-guided nature trails, guided walks with park naturalists and evening campfire programs. The topography of the park ranges from arid sagebrush flats to dense woods. The North Beach Unit has a beach and picnic area. For information call: (208)634-2164


Lucky Peak State Park
The three units of this day-use park are all located near the Lucky Peak Reservoir, just outside of Boise. Discovery Unit is available for picnicking and fishing. Sandy Point, at the foot of Lucky Peak Dam, feature the system's most popular beach, picnicking and concessions. The Spring Shores Unit offers boat docks, a ramp, boat trailer parking, a marina and concession services. For information call: (208)344-0240


Massacre Rocks State Park
Rugged lava rocks with almost 300 species of desert plants and 200 species of birds makes this park a particularly interesting one. Walk along the Oregon Trail for a quarter of a mile and see Register Rock, where pioneers carved their names and the dates in the rocks as they passed through. The visitor center at the park has displays of the Oregon Trail, Shoshone Indians, geology of the area and fur trapping. Memorial Day through Labor Day the park has Living History Campfire programs at which costumed performers act out the pioneer days. Tours are available by arrangement. For information call: (208)548-2672


Henrys Lake State Park
Located just 15 miles west of Yellowstone National Park, this high mountain lake is the kind of place fishermen dream about. The state park, named after explorer Major Andrew Henry, opens the Thursday before Memorial Day and closes September 30th. For information call: (208)558-7532


Priest Lake State Park
Noted for its clear water, Priest Lake extends 19 miles and is connected to the smaller Upper Priest Lake by a placid, two-mile-long river. The stately Selkirk Mountain Range towers nearby. Priest Lake State Park has an abundance of beautiful scenery and recreation opportunities. Park trails follow giant cedar-hemlock forests and crystal clear creeks. By traveling the rugged roads originating from either of the two park units and heading east into the mountains, you may see white-tailed deer, moose, black bear, coyote, or mountain goat (the latter rare). The lake feeds the Priest River, and the Dickensheet Unit at the park is a popular entry point for raft and canoe trips down the river. For information call: (208)443-2200


Camping and Hiking in Idaho

Farragut State Park
Farragut State Park is nestled at the foot of the Coeur d'Alene Mountains in the Bitterroot Range. At 4,000 acres, it is one of Idaho's largest state parks and borders Lake Pend Oreille. Farragut was the second-largest naval training station in the world during World War II. This site was chosen by Franklin Roosevelt as a secure inland naval training site, suitable for training 30,000 men at a time. Lake Pend Oreille's (Pond Oray) incredible 1,152 foot depth served as an inland sea for whale boat training during the war effort. Commissioned in 1942 and named for Civil War Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, over 293,000 naval personnel trained at this massive inland facility. In 1965, this area became an Idaho State Park. A tour through this 4,000 acre park setting gives visitors opportunities for viewing whitetail deer, wild turkeys, and snow-white mountain goats on the rock cliffs above Lake Pend Oreille. There is a Visitor's Center/Museum with interpretive displays about Athol, Bayview, and Farragut. Recreation available: boating, camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, swimming, wildlife viewing. For information call: (208)683-2425


Dworshak State Park
Dworshak State Park is located in a forested and open meadow setting on the western shore of Dworshak Reservoir, a 53 mile long popular boating and fishing spot. The area is known for its moderate summer nights and mild winter temperatures. Recreation available: bike path, boating, camping, fishing, hiking, swimming, wildlife viewing. For information call: (208)476-5994


Three Island Crossing State Park
Three Island Crossing was one of the most famous spots on the Oregon Trail. This is where emigrants had to decide to cross the Snake River or endure the more difficult trail on the south side of the river. The park features full-service camping and an Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Each August there is a reenactment of the river crossing. Contact the state park office for dates and times Recreation available: camping, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing. For information call: (208)366-2394


City of Rocks National Reserve
Granite columns, some reaching 60 stories tall, loom high above this 500-acre valley popular with climbers. Established in 1988, the Reserve encompasses 14,300 acres of land (about 1/2 is privately owned) renowned for its scenic, geologic and historic significance. Take a walk to see inscriptions on the spires written in axle grease by pioneers traveling through on the California Trail. Many of the granite rock formations that are the outstanding features of the Reserve are over 2.5 billion years old, some of the oldest rocks found in North America. The rocks were shaped by weathering forces to form the fantastic shapes you see today. City of Rocks is one of the finest technical rock climbing sites anywhere. About 700 routes have been described to date. One hundred-to-300 foot spires provide most of the climbing opportunities, although there are 600-foot spires which provide all-day adventures. Historical notes: During the Westward expansion the City of Rocks area was an important landmark along the California Trail. Many pioneers left their names written in axle grease on the rocks adjacent to the trail. The Kelton-Boise stage route also traveled through the Reserve. Remains of the station site are still visible. Recreation available: camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing, rock hounding, scenic drive, wildlife viewing. For information call: (208)824-5519


Bear Lake State Park
The 120-square mile turquoise blue Bear Lake straddles the Idaho-Utah border. Bear Lake State Park's two units on the north and east end features 5 miles of sandy beaches for access to swimming, power boating, waterskiing, sailing and fishing. 120-square mile Bear Lake straddles the Idaho-Utah border. Bear Lake State Park's two units on the north and east end features 5 miles of sandy beaches for access to swimming, power boating, waterskiing, sailing and fishing. The lake is known for its turquoise waters, especially when viewed from Highway 89 summit (7,800 feet in elevation) high above Garden City, Utah. Swimmers will enjoy a two-mile-long beach on the north end of the lake, plus a mile-and-a-half of beach on the east side. The gradual slope of the lake bottom provides an enormous swimming area. Anglers can try for a native cutthroat or lake trout in the summer. In the winter, they can come back with buckets and nets when the Bonneville Cisco run. The fish is found nowhere else on earth. The Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located at the north end of the park. The 17,600 acres of marsh, open water, and grasslands provide nesting grounds for duck species such as mallard, pintail, and canvasback, as well as sand hill cranes, herons, egrets, Canada geese, and white pelicans. Recreation available: boating, camping, fishing, swimming, wildlife viewing, overnight camping. For information call: (208)945-2790


Hunting and Fishing in Idaho

Round Lake State Park
58-acre Round Lake was formed by glacial activity nearly one million years ago. A two-mile trail encircles the lake. It is an excellent wildlife viewing area and you can expect to see wildlife ranging from gophers, muskrats and mink to bobcats, black bears and whitetailed dear. The lake is only 37 feet deep, so it warms sufficiently for comfortable swimming. Campsites are shaded by towering western red cedars, western hemlocks, ponderosa pines, Douglas firs, and western larch. Facilities: Boating, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Swimming, Wildlife Viewing. For information call: (208)263-3489


Hells Gate State Park
Hells Gate State Park includes 200 developed acres that border the Snake River. There is plenty of grassy space for picnicking and other activities, and a large swimming beach. Hells Gate Marina has over 100 slips available on a daily to yearly basis. There is also a public boat launch, store, rest rooms, and plenty of parking. Nearby, the Snake River winds through Hells Canyon, the deepest gorge in North America, providing recreation and spectacular scenery. The Snake River is great for sailboats, jet boats, power boats, and water skiing. Anglers come from all around to enjoy the famous steelhead runs of the Snake, Salmon, and Clearwater rivers where record-breaking fish still survive. The steelhead season usually runs through the fall and winter. For information call: (208)799-5015


Eagle Island State Park
This day-use park features a popular swimming beach, a grassy picnic are and a waterslide. Facilities: fisshing, swimming, wildlife viewing. For information call: (208)939-0696


Niagara Springs State Park
Tumbling down the canyon side at 250 cubic feet per second, Niagara Springs is a sight you won't soon forget. The churning water is the icy blue of glaciers. The springs are a National Natural Landmark and part of the world- famous Thousand Springs Complex along the Snake River.The park provides your best opportunity to drive into the 350-foot-deep Snake River canyon, but be cautious. The road is narrow and steep. We advise you not to risk it in a motorhome or while pulling a large trailer. Once inside the canyon, you'll find year-round fishing in Crystal Springs Lake, including a handicap accessible site. Wildlife--especially waterfowl--is abundant. For information call: (208)536-5522


Harriman State Park
Harriman State Park, formerly known as the Railroad Ranch, was deeded to the people of Idaho by Roland and Averell Harriman for the enjoyment of future generations. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation developed a plan for the controlled use of the area and opened the park in 1982. The ranch, with its original structures, offers guided tours during the summer. Wildlife abounds at the park with elk, moose, beaver, muskrats, bald eagles, osprey, trumpeter swans and other waterfowl frequently seen. Henrys Fork, a world-famous fly fishing stream, winds through the meadows of Harriman State Park. For information call: (208)558-7368


Other Idaho Outdoor activities

Idaho also offers the following outdoor activities:
  • Bicycling
  • Boating
  • Climbing
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Golf
  • Horseback Riding
  • In-line Skating
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Skiing
  • White Water Rafting