Free camping near sandpoint idaho

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Free Camping in Idaho: 22 Awesome Dispersed Camping Spots

Map of Idaho with 22 free campsites pinned.

If you’re planning an Idaho road trip and want to take advantage of some free camping, you’ve come to the right spot! This post tells all you need to know about 22 different free camping spots in Idaho.

But before we get into the specifics of each spot, let’s go over a few general notes about free camping in Idaho:

  • These sites are all primitive camping in Idaho, whether found on BLM land or in a national forest

  • This means you have to be set up to boondock or wild camp with no water hookups, no electric hookups, no trash service, and no shower houses. For tips, head over to this post next - Start Wild Camping Like a Pro

  • Become familiar with the 7 Leave No Trace Principles before embarking on any wild camping adventure

  • Always leave sites better than you found them, which sometimes means cleaning up other people’s garbage. Free camping sites are routinely shut down because they cost too much to maintain when people fail to treat these awesome shared resources with respect.. We recommend carrying a few kitchen sized trash bags and disposable gloves

  • Don’t count on consistent cell service throughout Idaho. If you’re dependent on service for work, check out our post with tips on getting better service, including an overview of our personal camping wifi setup

22 Free Camping Spots in Idaho

1. Roman Nose Lakes in the Panhandle

  • GPS Coordinates: 48.634342, -116.568690

  • Cell Service: yes T-Mobile/Sprint/U.S. Cellular with Booster; spotty AT&T with Booster

  • Elevation: 6,007 feet

If you’re looking for national forest camping in Idaho, there are some great choices around Roman Nose Lakes! These dispersed camping sites are in a proposed wilderness area in the Kaniksu National Forest.

Free camping in Idaho panhandle at Roman Nose Lakes.

There are several smaller sites perfect for vehicle or tent camping, as well as one large group site. Each site has a leveled gravel pad, a fire ring, and there is a pit toilet available. 

A trail system connects each campsite to the lowest of the 3 Roman Nose Lakes, and a boardwalk goes around a section of this lake. From there you can do the approximately 4 mile out and back trail up to visit the other two lakes. 

The Roman Nose Trail is great for families. We hiked it in July and our daughter got to play in a little snow, the trail is well maintained and easy to follow, and each of the three lakes are crystal clear and the views are incredible!. 

2. Finlay Flats Recreation Area in Montana

  • GPS Coordinates: 47.722139, -115.428278

  • Cell Service: none, but we were told other sites at the same campground do have service

  • Elevation: 2,335 ft

Although this free campsite is actually in Montana, we’re including it on this list because it’s on your likely route for your Idaho road trip if you avoid interstates like us and are trying to zig zag through the national forests of Idaho.

Free camping in Montana at Finlay Flats Recreation Area

This dispersed camping area is found on national forest land along the Clark Fork River, just off Hwy 200 near the Idaho/Montana border. After turning north onto NF-2654/Finlay Flats Road, which is well maintained gravel, travel under 2 miles, cross the railroad tracks, and you’ll arrive at Finlay Flats.

The free camping spots are large enough for bigger RVs, level, and most of the 10-12 sites have a bit of shade. The spots are close enough together that you won’t have a lot of privacy or feel very secluded, but the views of the Clark Fork River and surrounding area more than make up for it.

You’ll need to be prepared to boondock while staying at this free campground. There is no potable water, trash, or electricity, however, there are pit toilets available.

3. Weir Creek Tent Camping

If you’re a tent camper, you’ll love this free Idaho hot springs camping area! 

But if you camp from a vehicle like us, keep scrolling - no overnight parking is allowed at this location. Unless you want to take a quick dip in the hot springs like we did!

Free primitive tent camping near an idaho hot spring called Weir Creek

Weir Creek Hot Springs and these tent camping sites are located just off the north side of Idaho’s scenic Highway 12.

There’s a bathroom at the parking area, although we didn’t find it to be very well maintained. Of course, bathrooms are the only amenity you’ll find here, as this is free camping in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. 

Start down the trailhead and you’ll soon see some sites off to your right, right along Weir Creek. There were several choices with ample space to set up a tent or hang a couple of hammocks. And if you come here to camp, you’ll definitely want to hike the short half-mile trail to visit the hot springs.

4. White Bird Gravel Pit (South of Grangeville, ID)

This free BLM camping area in Idaho is good for a quick overnight stop. From 95, turn west onto Old Highway 95 and drive for a few hundred feet. You’ll see a large gravel parking lot on your left, right along the Salmon River. This is the free camping area. 

However, if you’re in a truck bed camper or other small camping setup, go to the back of the parking lot and you’ll find a small trail leading to a more secluded spot overlooking the river. Now it’s not so bad!

Go Fast Camper on Toyota truck camper, free camping in Idaho near Highway 95 and the Salmon River.

Although Highway 95 is nearby and you’ll be able to see houses in the hillsides, pulling as far back as possible does help create the feeling that you have a private campsite right along the Salmon River. 

Pit toilets are provided, but other than that, there are no other amenities at this free camping spot in Idaho.

5. Riggins, Idaho Beach Day on the Salmon River

We really enjoyed this free camping area in Idaho!

Free camping near Riggins, Idaho on the Salmon River.

From Riggins, leave US Rte 95/Main Street, and head east on NF-1614/Salmon River Road, which parallels the Salmon River.

If you have a bigger RV, you might want to stop at the free camping area you’ll soon see on your left. It’s a very large gravel parking lot with provided pit toilets, right between the road and the river. Although it does seem to be a pretty popular place for RVers to land, there should be enough room to spread out.

If you’re in a truck bed camper, car, suv, or van of some kind, keep going! Cross the steel bridge ahead, and immediately hang a left onto the dirt road. Follow this until you get to the GPS coordinates given above.

This site is shaded, it’s easy enough to get level, and it’s right next to a gorgeous sand bar - along with wild huckleberries if you’re there during the right season! Needless to say, our daughter loved this place, and so did we! 

Between the views of the river, the backdrop of the mountains, the sounds of the water, the seclusion, and the beach, your family will love this free camping spot too!

6. Free Camping in Seven Devils Mountain Range

If you’re headed up to the Heaven’s Gate area to take in the expansive views and hike a bit, this free Idaho campsite in the national forest should be right in route.

Free camping in Idaho national forest in the Seven Devils Mountain Range.

Roughly, it’s about half way between Hwy 95 and the Snake River, in the Seven Devils Mountain Range. It’s near the developed pay-for Seven Devils Campground, just off NF-517/Squaw Creek Road/7 Devil’s Road (gotta love how each road has at least 2 or 3 names!).

This site is just a large cleared area with a fire ring, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, and expansive views of Idaho. It’s in full sun, and although near the road, we saw only a few vehicles drive by.

7. East Fork Weiser River (Glendale, ID)

We were relieved to have found this free dispersed camping spot in Idaho’s Payette National Forest! Fully shaded and with the East Fork Weiser River running along the side of the site, we really enjoyed staying here and relaxing near the water. 

Toyota with a Go Fast Camper at free campsite in Idaho’s Payette National Forest.

Much like other Idaho national forest camping sites, there aren’t amenities here so be prepared to boondock for the duration of your stay. 

When you leave Highway 95, turn east onto NF-172, following along the East Fork Weiser River. Pretty quickly, you’ll come to a big open site on your left, and if you’re in a larger RV, you might want to snag that site. 

As you continue down the road, you’ll see a couple more free camping options, but the one we stayed at is at the GPS coordinates listed above, and we were very happy with that spot. 

8. Hell’s Canyon Overlook 

The views from this site! Unbeatable. 

Free  dispersed camping in Idaho at Hell’s Canyon overlook, on national forest land.

And because we enjoy long drives through unknown areas and over unmarked roads, we took the scenic route through the Payette National Forest. Be warned! Google maps failed to be accurate many, many times during this drive. So you’ll need some basic navigational skills as well as some paper or downloaded maps. And this route is not for those with Longer RVs as some of the switchbacks are tight and the road is narrow in spots.

If you aren’t looking for that kind of adventure but do want to get to this campsite, we recommend traveling north out of Copperfield, ID on...wait for it...Hwy 71/Brownlee Oxbow Highway/NF-454/Hells Canyon Road, which snakes along the Snake River (haha), weaving across the Idaho and Oregon border. Hint: just put “Hells Canyon Adventure Lodge” into your GPS. Shortly before arriving at the Adventure Lodge, turn right Kleinschmidt Grde/NF Dev Rd 050 and take the switchbacks up to the site.

Phew! Now that you’ve arrived, enjoy! The site is in full sun, the views are breathtaking, and most likely, you’ll see very few passers-by during your stay.

9. Big Bar Dispersed Camping in Hell’s Canyon

If you’re in the Hell’s Canyon area and are looking for some free camping in this part of Idaho, but aren’t up for tackling the wild camping option given above, this one's for you.

Big Bar Dispersed Camping on the Snake River in Idaho.

Also very beautiful, but with views from inside the canyon looking up. All paved roads and very easy to find, these sites are divided into “Areas 1-4” and are right along the Snake River. 

The sites are larger and it’s possible to find some shade. You’ll find fire rings and one shared pit toilet for the dispersed camping area.

Downtown Council, ID Respite 

If you’ve been taking advantage of free camping in Idaho during your road trip, it might be time for a nice restock.

This spot in downtown Council, ID is a great place to stop for a few hours, especially if you’re traveling with your family and/or need to get some work done. There’s a couple huge steam engine tractors for kids to explore, picnic tables in the shade, and power outlets on a post available if you need to work and charge for a bit. 

Rest stop in Council, Idaho during a truck camping Idaho road trip.

There’s a small grocery store across the street to the north and a clean public bathroom across the street to the south. If you need to refill your fresh water tank, there’s a spigot to the left of the bathroom. A true wild camper’s jackpot.

10. Trail Creek Hot Springs Hideaway

If you’re looking for some free camping near Idaho’s Trail Creek Hot Springs (aka Samuel’s Hot Springs), check this one out.

From NF-22/Warm Lake Road, head south on 425. You’ll soon see a free camping spot on your left.

Free hot springs camping in Idaho near Trail Creek Hot Springs.

There are no amenities here, but if you work while on the road, you’ll like this spot! We both had great cell service here. 

There were plenty of trees to provide shade and hang a hammock, as well as an open space for a larger RV. There were no other campsites within eyeshot. 

11. Powerhouse Gulch Payette River

Here’s another great free campsite in Idaho near another incredible (and free) Idaho hot spring!

Toyota truck shell camper at free campsite in Idaho national forest by a hot spring.

The GPS coordinates above are to a small sized site about 10 minutes south of Rocky Canyon Hot Spring. It sits between Middlefork Road/695 and the Middle Fork Payette River. This particular site would not be a great fit for a larger RV, but there are lots of free camping choices along this route. 

Rattlesnake Campground is a forest service campground located a little further north, and they do have potable drinking water and vault toilets if you’re looking for a budget camping option with just a few basic amenities. 

12. Free Camping near Sacajawea Hot Springs (NF-525)

Though we only stopped for dinner at a riverside pull-off where camping was prohibited (GPS coordinates: 44.162056, -115.188722), there are several free national forest camping spots further down NF-525 as you follow it further west, along the southern side of the Payette River. 

Truck camping family using free primitive camping near hot springs in Idaho.

The surrounding area offers spectacular views of the Sawtooth Mountains, and further down Grandjean Rd you can access the Sacajawea Hot Springs as well as some incredible hiking trails in the Boise National Forest.

13. Rough Creek Spots (Stanley, ID)

This free camping spot in Idaho is to the east of Stanley, near Boat Box Hot Spring. So if you’re having a tough time finding an available place to camp right in the middle of the Sawtooth National Forest, this would be a good spot to check out.

From Highway 75, head south on NF-626, crossing the Salmon River right away. The road is gravel and parallels Rough Creek. The GPS coordinates above lead to the free camping spot in the photo. 

Free camping near Stanley, Idaho by the Sawtooth Mountains.

However, we soon realized tents were set up over the ridge and continued up the mountainside until we found a large pull out near the top. Although not technically a campsite (GPS Coordinates: 44.232972, -114.795861), the existing fire ring in the pull out let us know that many before us found themselves with nowhere to sleep in the this part of the Sawtooth Mountains and took advantage of this off-the-beaten-path spot. 

We felt comfortable staying here, and pulled in late and left early after breakfast, only seeing one or two vehicles the entire time. There were several other spots along NF-626 so keep just your eyes peeled as you drive up the mountain.

14. Deer Gulch on the Salmon River

This free campground is 15 minutes south of Goldbug Hot Springs, so if you’re on the hunt for free camping near one of the top Idaho hot springs, this is your spot!

From Highway 93, cross Dry Gulch Bridge over the Salmon River. Right away, you’ll have a choice between going left or right. Both are loops that have many free dispersed campsites to choose from. 

Free camping in a truck camper near Goldbug Hot Spring during an Idaho road trip.

There are enough trees to provide some shade and to feel like you can tuck yourself away in a smaller rig. We snagged a spot right along the river, and although Highway 93 was right across the river, the low amount of traffic didn’t bother us.

There are fire rings and vault toilets.

In the evening we saw a bit of wildlife, from geese swimming up the river to either mountain goats or pronghorn (a great debate between us) scaling the hillside.

We left first thing in the morning to get an early start at the hike to Goldbug Hot Springs, which ended up being a highlight of our trip! 

15. Lake Creek at the Southern Base of the Sawtooth Mountains

A road trip through Idaho isn’t complete without a visit to the Sawtooth Mountains! 

There are gobs and gobs of free camping areas throughout the Sawtooth National Forest, but in most of the Sawtooth area, each individual campsite is marked with a number, and you aren’t allowed to camp anywhere without a designated number. This regulation is wonderful and helps minimize human impact on the land, but it does make securing a spot a little trickier.

The free dispersed camping area at the given coordinates, however, is less regulated, less popular, and very beautiful. There are no shade trees, which opens up the views of the surrounding hills and mountains.

Go Fast Camper on old Toyota, free camping in Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.

It’s found off Highway 75 in the southern part of the Sawtooth National Forest. After turning east onto Lake Creek Road/142, you’ll go through a neighborhood before the road turns to well maintained gravel.

You’ll start seeing cleared spots meant for free camping on your left and right. Some are larger than others and there are certainly choices for even the largest RVs. The spots are spaced out about ¼ mile and the terrain is flat and wide open. So you’ll be able to see other campers but you’ll still have some privacy. 

16. Little City of Rocks Primitive Spot

If it has rained in the past couple days, or if there’s rain in the forecast, the road to this free camping spot outside of Idaho’s LIttle City of Rocks will be closed with a locked gate. Although a high clearance 4WD vehicle isn’t necessary to travel on this road, it probably isn’t suitable for bumper-pull campers or RVs. 

This spot is 20 minutes north of Gooding. Head north on 46 (paved) for about 12 miles, then your GPS should route you left onto an unnamed gravel road. When that road Ys, stay to the right. After just over a mile on the gravel road you’ll be at the parking area for Little City of Rocks. This parking area is the free camping spot.

Free camping in Idaho near Little City of Rocks north of Gooding.

Obviously, there aren't any amenities here. This is a secluded gravel lot with a makeshift fire pit others have created using rocks. There’s a decent chance you won’t be sharing this area with others, as Little City of Rocks is a lesser known attraction and fairly out of the way as compared to other destinations.

There are no trees or shade here! In the summer months, you’ll want an awning and some ways to stay cool while camping. But Little City of Rocks is definitely worth exploring! There’s a trail that goes through it, with tons of awesome rock formations to explore.

17. Balanced Rock County Park

This free campground is tucked between canyon walls and alongside Salmon Falls Creek. And it's super nice, especially when considering that it’s free!

Each site has a covered picnic table, garbage can, fire pit, and grill. There are pit toilets and a small swing set towards the entrance to the campground. Automatic sprinklers come on each night (which explains the bright green grass in the dead heat of summer!) - so check the signs for timing and don’t set your tent up in their path!

Free camping in Idaho at Balanced Rock County Park.

The creek wasn’t one we were going to swim in, but several kayaks and paddle boards went by during our stay. Locals were also heading out on a trail alongside the creek, about 30 minutes of walking from the back of the campground, to get to a larger swimming and fishing hole. 

We stayed at the site furthest back and therefore had no close neighbors, and our daughter loved exploring the giant boulders at this site. Some of the other sites are closer together and may prove to be more challenging for larger RVs to set up in.

If you need to be connected for work, you should start getting service if you turn left out of the campground entrance and head up the road less than a mile to Balanced Rock.

18. Cauldron Linn on the Snake River

  • GPS Coordinates: 42.496089, -114.132214

  • Cell Service: None, but available above the gorge as you drive in

  • Elevation: 3910 ft

Everyone taking an Idaho road trip has heard about visiting Shoshone Falls. But have you heard of Cauldron Linn?

Cauldron Linn is a waterfall on the Snake River, and the surrounding area is completely untamed and natural. We very much appreciated that there aren’t guardrails, paved paths, or any other man-made features.

Woman and child visiting Cauldron Linn waterfall in Idaho near free camping sites.

Some GPS programs will route you to the south side of the Snake River if you search for Cauldron Linn. Don’t follow those directions! You want to come in on the north side of the river to arrive at the coordinates given above. 

This free camping area near Twin Falls, Idaho doesn’t have any amenities, so be prepared to wild camp and pack it out. 

Steer clear of this free camping area during any torrential downpour or if heavy rain is in the forecast, as it is in a flood zone along the Snake River. Lots of people enjoy fly fishing upstream from the falls and kayaking downstream, so bring along your gear!

19. Milner Historic Recreation Area

  • GPS Coordinates:42.521454, -113.995678

  • Cell Service: Yes (Sprint/US Cellular) on booster

  • Elevation: 4137 ft

  • FEE: $5.00 when we visited

Although this place isn’t technically free camping in Idaho, it made our list because the $5.00 fee is so minimal for such a nice camping area. The Milner Historic Recreation Area stretches for 4 miles along the Snake River with primitive campsites throughout. 

The sites are spaced far apart and there are basic amenities at this wild camping area - picnic tables, fire pits, and pit toilets. Because there are 6 different offshoots down to the multiple camping areas, it can take a bit of time if you’re trying to drive around to check out each one. Looking at google maps in satellite view can help you pick out your desired campsite without spending as much time!

Cheap camping in Idaho on the Snake River at Milner Springs Recreation Area.

There are two main entrances to get into the camping area, each one with a pay station. Take the western entrance if your camper needs more than an 11’ height clearance, as there’s a low train bridge you have to go under when using the eastern entrance. The road in is maintained gravel and any length rig should be able to find a spot.

If you’re into history, there’s a hiking trail to historic wagon ruts from the Oregon Trail days in this same recreation area.

20. Black Canyon Recreation Site

This free camping area is really more of a gravel parking area on BLM land in the mountains above Pocatello, ID. The sign posted during our visit stated that it’s only open April 14 - November 16. 

Because no one was there during our quick overnight stop, we enjoyed this place and the great views. There’s a pit toilet at one end of the parking area and several nice tent sites right across the road with covered picnic tables and fire pits.

Free camping area in Idaho at Black Canyon Recreation Area near Pocatello, Idaho.


This is an OHV area, so from what we understand, it can get rather noisy on the weekends from ATV and OHV traffic. If this were the case, I would imagine this free camping area would be suited for nothing more than a late night pull-in and place to lay your head, if that.

There is no exit directly from I-15 onto N. Black Canyon Road, so your GPS will first route you onto Old Hwy 91 in order to get to this free campsite. The gravel road in is a little bumpy but should be fine for all types of vehicles and campers, but is not ideal for larger RVs.

21. Warm Slough Campsite

  • GPS Coordinates:43.871753, -111.867917

  • Cell Service: Limited service on booster (T-Mobile/US Cellular/AT&T)

  • Elevation: 4826 ft

If you’re traveling with kids and paddleboards or tubes, this is a great spot for swimming! Warm Slough Campground is bordered on three sides by Henry's Fork, a tributary of the Snake River. So it’s easy to walk across the campground, get in the river, float around the bend in the river, and climb back out just on the other side of the campground!

Free camping in Idaho at Warm Slough Campground.

This free campground in Idaho has only the basic amenities - pit toilets, fire pits, some picnic tables - but no trash service, so be prepared to pack it out! The spaces are spread far apart and some are very near the water. 

From the paved White Slough Road, you’ll turn onto a maintained gravel road to pull into the free camping area. Any length trailer or RV should be able to get into this campground and find a spot, because it’s a circle drive with a variety of campsite sizes.

22. Last Stop in Idaho

If you’re leaving Idaho and heading into Grand Teton or Yellowstone National Parks in Wyoming, you might find yourself near this free Idaho campsite in the Caribou Targhee National Forest.

Idaho free cmping in truck bed camper with Go Fast.

It's right off Highway 33 near the state’s border. Turn south onto USF FR 239. A left turn would take you to the pay-for Mike Harris Campground, so continue straight. You’ll soon see free camping spots along Mike Harris Creek. 

This free forest service campground has no amenities other than a fire ring, and during our visit the sites were well maintained. They are spaced far enough apart with enough plant growth to provide privacy. 

We hope you find and enjoy some free camping during your Idaho road trip! And don’t forget to read about these 5 Must-Visit Natural Hot Springs in Idaho before you start planning.

 

If you’re a fan of free camping, be sure to check out our post that’ll teach you how toBecome a Pro at Finding Free Camping so that you can find camping for free wherever your adventure takes you!

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Sours: https://www.takethetruck.com/blog/free-camping-idaho

Campendium

By Sara Sheehy

If the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear Idaho is "potatoes," we have a surprise for you. Snuggled in between Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Wyoming, Idaho has everything from high-elevation sagebrush desert to the moody, dense forests of the Pacific Northwest.

It is also home to the largest wilderness area in the contiguous United States, and a whopping 34 million acres of public lands managed by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and regional and local entities.

If free camping is your jam, Idaho has it in spades. Here are just some of the dispersed and free camping sites to explore in the Gem State.

Free Camping Near Boise

Boise is Idaho’s capital city and by far its largest one. It’s also one of the fastest-growing cities in America and is known for its brewery scene, great restaurants, and remarkable access to outdoor recreation.

If you want to be right in the center of the action, a private campground is your best option in Boise. However, if you don’t mind a bit of drive to get into the metropolis, check out the BLM lands at Swan Falls Campground or the free dispersed camping at Bogus Basin.

Free Camping in Sun Valley and the Sawtooth Basin

Sun Valley is the United States’ first destination ski resort and a popular Idaho destination year-round. In fact, if you ask the locals, they’ll likely tell you that they love summer even better than winter! Surrounded by five mountain ranges and plenty of public lands, there is a wealth of primitive campsites in the Sun Valley area.

For those who need cell service, Lake Creek is a crowd favorite for both RV camping and tent camping. If you can escape the connectivity demands and get off-the-grid, check out the epic mountain views in Baker Creek or Prairie Creek.

Just over the pass from Sun Valley is the tiny town of Stanley, home to the stunning Sawtooth Mountains. Big and small rigs can find a home base at Stanley Lake Dispersed or Salmon River #1.

Free Camping in North Idaho

Wild rivers, dense forests, and beautiful lakes await in lush northern Idaho. It’s a big, overwhelming landscape, so first-time visitors would be wise to camp near Sandpoint or Coeur d’Alene for easy access to grocery shopping, river sports, great fishing, and other amenities.

Near Sandpoint, Clark Fork Drift Yard boasts panoramic mountain views on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. Granite Lake Access is a quiet spot in the trees about 20 miles from downtown Sandpoint.

Coeur d’Alene is a bigger city that offers some in-town overnight parking at Cabelas and Walmart in nearby Post Falls, but boondockers looking to stay for longer will find better options at Fernan Saddle and Rose Lake.

Free Camping in Eastern Idaho

Did you know that Idaho holds a sliver of Yellowstone National Park? Combine that with easy access to the tourist hotspot of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and eastern Idaho is an attractive option for adventure-loving campers.

Island Park, which is surrounded by the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, is an eastern Idaho destination in its own right. This small town is known for its world-class fly fishing along Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. It’s also a stone’s throw to West Yellowstone. Free camping in Island Park includes the peaceful sites at Red Rock Pass, the waterfront sites at Romsett Beach, and the pretty landscapes at Targhee Creek Trailhead.

Closer to Jackson Hole are the gorgeous mountain towns of Tetonia, Driggs, and Victor. You can stay for ten days at Big Eddy-Rainey Campground, or get Teton views at Teton Canyon Road (technically in Wyoming, but can only be reached from Idaho).

From the welcoming downtown of Boise to the wild rivers of Island Park, Idaho is a state that will surprise you. With plentiful public lands, you’ll never be too far away from a great, and free, night’s sleep.

Sours: https://www.campendium.com/idaho/free-camping
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Are you planning any end of summer or fall trips this year? Or perhaps, are you looking to get started with trip planning for 2022? If you answered yes to any of the above sections, then we have the perfect next vacation destination for you! The entire state of Idaho is rugged, serene, and beautiful, making it a popular RVing destination for many. With many excellent destinations dotted all over the state, we’re going to focus on Idaho’s northernmost area today, which is known as the Idaho Panhandle.

As one of the least-populated areas of this already-lightly-populated state, the Idaho Panhandle offers tons of outdoor adventures and small towns to explore. With plenty of campgrounds and Harvest Hosts locations to choose from, this is an RVer’s paradise, and we’re prepared to take you there.  So what are you waiting for? Climb aboard, buckle up, and let’s cruise over to the Idaho Panhandle to see what we find!

The Idaho Panhandle is truly spectacular and one-of-a-kind.

Places to Go

In such a beautiful and natural area, you can surely expect plenty to do, see, and experience. Included in this list are places to rest, explore, sightsee, and adventure. When visiting the Idaho Panhandle, consider any of these awesome locations for ideas to make your trip spectacular.

1. Coeur d’Alene, ID

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is an outdoorsy person’s paradise that is perfect for the whole family. The town itself was built around Coeur d’Alene Lake and is known for its water activities such as boating, paddling, and fly fishing. Visitors can enjoy all types of water sports and hiking throughout the year, with plenty of snow sports to enjoy in the winter. Avid golfers must stop by the Coeur d’Alene Resort to play a round on their famous golf course that features a floating green. In addition, be sure to stop in town to grab a meal or some souvenirs. Gorgeous Coeur d’Alene is not to be missed when traveling to the Idaho Panhandle. 

Couer D'Alene is an excellent vacation destination on the Idaho Panhandle.

2. Wallace, ID

A trip out West wouldn’t be complete without a stop in a historic mining town. Wallace, Idaho, continues to be the world’s largest silver producer today, as they have been for the last 100 years. Outside of their scenic downtown lies the world’s largest set of mountain bike, ATV, and snowmobile trails. Be sure to pack your outdoor toys if you want to join in on the fun! Wallace is the perfect base camp from which to explore the Silver Valley and nearby Bitterroot Mountains. 

Wallace, Idaho, is an excellent vacation destination in the Pacific Northwest.

3. Silverwood Theme Park

Located near Coeur d’Alene, Silverwood is the Pacific Northwest’s largest theme park. It’s home to several roller coasters, several thrill rides, a water park, and family-friendly rides for people of all ages. Visiting a theme park in your RV is an unmatched experience. Silverwood RV Park is adjacent to the park via an underground tunnel. They offer full hookups, discounted park tickets, and other fantastic amenities. There’s nothing better than retiring to your own home-on-wheels after a day of visiting a theme park! 

Silverwood Theme Park is a stunning vacation destination in the Pacific Northwest.

4. Lewis Clark Valley

Lewiston, Idaho and nearby town Clarkston are both located in the Lewis Clark Valley. Each town serves as the perfect base camp to explore nearby parks and waterways, including Hells Canyon and Hells Gate State Park. Hells Canyon is home to North America’s deepest river gorge. Here, visitors can partake in guided tours, whitewater boating, and backcountry activities. Hells Gate State Park is an excellent stop or additional basecamp to explore Hells Canyon or partake in fishing, sailing, hiking, and more. As with most state parks, Hells Gate offers an RV campground with full or partial hookups. 

Lewis Clark Valley is an excellent vacation destination on the Idaho Panhandle.

5. Priest Lake State Park

Priest Lake is an adventure vacation destination that is perfect for the whole family! With sparkling Priest Lake set beneath the stunning Selkirk Mountains, it’s no wonder that many refer to it as Idaho’s “Crown Jewel.”  This beautiful, natural wonderland offers opportunities for a variety of outdoor activities, including  fishing, camping, boating, and hunting, as well as snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter months. The state park’s campground has over 100 sites, with many offering electric and a few offering full hookups.

Priest Lake State Park is an excellent vacation destination on the Idaho Panhandle.

Harvest Hosts Locations

In addition to campground and RV parks located across the Idaho Panhandle, there are also numerous Harvest Hosts locations to choose from. When planning a trip to this region of the country, be sure to add a few of these stops to your itinerary!

1. Matchwood Brewing Company – Sandpoint, ID

Matchwood Brewing Company is Sandpoint, Idaho’s neighborhood brewery. Here, they value personal connections that foster positive community change through the positive connections. At Matchwood, the owners and brewers believe that beer brings people together, and they instill this value in every craft brewed and every beer shared here.

Their taproom offers eight varieties of beer, including a Kolsch variety, lagers, sours, a pilsner variety, IPAs, a stout variety, and more, as well as wine and other locally-made beverages, such as kombucha and cider. In addition, they offer a variety of non-alcoholic soft beverages, as well as a full food menu, which includes appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, entrees, and more. With all these incredible options, Harvest Hosts guests are in for a real treat! Currently, they offer two pet-friendly spaces for RVs under thirty feet in length. Be sure to check out their host profile page for the full list of rules and regulations.

Matchwood Brewery is a stunning Harvest Hosts location on the Idaho Panhandle.

2. Riley Creek Blueberry Farm – Laclede, ID

This small family farm in Laclede offers blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, as well as jams, syrups, and vinaigrettes made from freshly-picked fruit. As the name would suggest, Riley Creek specializes in blueberries, growing and selling over 50,000 pounds of them per year. They primarily specialize in selling their fruits directly through their farm, through both we-pick and u-pick operations. They also sell Christmas gift packs that can be mailed anywhere in the US. Harvest Hosts members have greatly enjoyed this stunning and serene location, and many have returned more than once to experience it all over again. Currently, they offer four pet-friendly spaces for RVs of any size, and they also have potable water available for member use.

Riley Creek Blueberry Farm is a stunning Harvest Hosts location in the Pacific Northwest.arm

3. StoneRidge Golf Course – Blanchard, ID

StoneRidge’s vision is to be an environmentally-responsible golf and recreational community by protecting the beautiful mountains and waters of North Idaho. Amid the stunning natural beauty of Northern Idaho, surrounded by conifer forests and blue lakes, you’ll find StoneRidge to be the ultimate destination and the perfect place to get away from it all. Their nineteen-hole, par-71 course was redesigned in 2002, and they take quite a bit of pride in the beauty and design of their location. In addition to their stunning course, StoneRidge also offers a restaurant and a gift shop. Currently, they have four pet-friendly spaces available for RVs of any size.

Stone Ridge Golf Course is a stunning Harvest Hosts location in the Pacific Northwest.

4. Shoshone Golf Club – Kellogg, ID

Located in Kellogg, Idaho, Shoshone Golf Club prides itself in ranking as one of America’s top nine-hole golf courses. Amenities here include a driving range, a putting and chipping practice area, a beautiful clubhouse with panoramic views, and a fully-stocked pro shop and lounge. They are open from mid-April through mid-September each year. They currently offer one pet-friendly space for an RV under twenty-nine feet in length. Keep in mind that the road leading to the course is a bit steep, and plan accordingly.

Shoshone Golf Club is a stunning Harvest Hosts location in the Pacific Northwest.

5. Veterans Assist – Saint Maries, ID

This off-the-beaten-path farm breeds and raises soft-coated wheaten terriers. Some of their wheaten terrier (and Woodles) are raised to serve as service dogs for veterans in need. The property is set on forty acres of farmland, which provides excellent access to hundreds of miles of logging roads that are closed to public automobile traffic. These roads are great for mountain biking, ATVs, UTVs, and horseback riding. The owner encourages visitors to bring their horses, as they have a beautiful, two-acre fenced pasture for them.

About two miles away, there is a great local restaurant in the small town of Emida. In addition, Saint Joe National Forest is also located just about a mile away. They offer two pet-friendly sites for RVs of any size, as well as potable water and firewood. The cell signal here is limited, but previous guests have really enjoyed the ability to relax and unwind on this quiet and spacious property.

Veterans Assist is a stunning Harvest Hosts location in the Pacific Northwest.

6. Rants and Raves Brewery – Moscow, ID

Rants & Raves Brewery is a family-friendly brewery and restaurant in Moscow, Idaho. They are extremely passionate about craft beer, craft sodas, locally-sourced menu ingredients, and overall customer experience. Rants and Raves has been operating for just over five years now, and they take pride in being a family-owned and operated business. They offer nine brews on tap, as well as wine, cider, and non-alcoholic beer, while their food menu includes a fabulous selection of small plates, appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, entrees, and desserts. In addition to their restaurant and brewery, Rants and Raves also offers an outdoor area, as well as a gift shop. Furthermore, they have four pet-friendly spaces available for RVs under forty-four feet in length.

Rants & Raves Brewery is a stunning Harvest Hosts location in the Pacific Northwest.

7. Hunter Moon Homestead – Troy, ID

Hunter Moon Homestead sits at the top of Little Bear Ridge on a gorgeous twenty-two acre property in the heart of the rolling hills of the Palouse. With 360-degree views in all directions, the owners also have a five-acre pond that is home to many bird species, including osprey, bald eagles, woodpeckers, various blackbirds, swans, herons, western bluebirds, and more. They even have occasional visits of elk herds and moose! The stargazing here is magnificent, and the property is serene, beautiful, and scenic. They have produce and herbs available in certain seasons, as well as skincare and hygiene products available at their website. They offer three pet-friendly spaces for RVs of any under thirty-five feet in length, as well as WiFi.

Hunter Moon Homestead

8. Hardware Brewing Company – Kendrick, ID

For owners Doug and Christine, Hardware Brewing Company is a culmination of a dream they had, several years of planning, plenty of determination and a lot of long days and prayer. Everyone is welcome at Hardware Brewing Company, as they are not a traditional bar or tavern, nor a full service restaurant. Instead, they operate as a brewpub, where friends are welcome to enjoy a hand-crafted brew, local wine, great meals, and good company. Their restaurant menu features items such as appetizers, sandwiches, entrees, a burger, desserts, and many other fantastic and unique choices. In addition to food and drinks, they also offer merchandise and special events. They have two pet-friendly spaces available for RVs under thirty feet in length. Be sure to call ahead on the day of your arrival!

Hardware Brewing Co. is a stunning Harvest Hosts location on the Idaho Panhandle.

9. Rimrock Ranch – Genessee, ID

This diversified Northern Idaho-based farm grows a variety of crops, including wheat, peas, lentils, malt barley, food barley, canola, and garbanzos, in addition to raising pork. They offer five-pound bags of garbanzos, lentils, and split peas, as well as shepherd grain flours, sausage, and other pork cuts available. At this time, they are open from April through November and offer tours and hiking opportunities to guests, asking only that visitors re-confirm that they are coming on the day that they plan to arrive. Currently, they have two pet-friendly spaces available to RVs of any size.

Rimrock Ranch is a stunning Harvest Hosts location in the Pacific Northwest.

10. Big Canyon Acres – Peck, ID

Big Canyon Acres sits in a beautiful valley directly beside Big Canyon Creek in the scenic Clearwater River Canyon. They sell apples, cherries, blackberries, pears, plums, walnuts, and hazelnuts on-site seasonally, while also operating a farm-stand featuring local artisans products and produce from June through October. In addition to produce and their farm stand, they offer u-pick, a gift shop, a fall festival, and opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing. Furthermore, they offer one pet-friendly space for an RV under forty-four feet in length, and they ask that all reservations be made a minimum of twenty-four hours in advance.

Big Canyon Acres is a stunning Harvest Hosts location on the Idaho Panhandle.

11. Lindsay Creek Vineyards – Lewiston, ID

Lindsay Creek Vineyards is located on a picturesque plot of land in the middle of a working wheat and garbanzo bean farm. Owners Art and Doug Mcintosh began as humble fourth-generation wheat farmers in the Lewis-Clark Valley, where they were able to combine their farming skills and experience, as well as their knowledge of the land, to begin growing grapes and producing wines. With plenty of trial and error, they are now proud to be producing excellent wines in a beautiful region of the Northwest. In addition to red and white wines, they also offer small cheese plates and appetizers, as well as tours of their facility. Furthermore, they have four pet-friendly spaces available for RVs of any size.

Lindsay Creek Vineyards is a stunning Harvest Hosts location on the Idaho Panhandle.

As you can see, the Idaho Panhandle is an incredible and diverse area with so much to see and so many things to do and experience. This would make for an excellent vacation destination in the summer or fall months, but there is beauty to be found here in each and every season. Be sure to add the Idaho Panhandle to your itinerary for future RV trips!

The Idaho Panhandle is truly spectacular and one-of-a-kind.

Have you ever visited Idaho? Have you made your way up to the Idaho Panhandle yet? How did you like it? What did you do there? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

Tourism and Free Camping in the Idaho Panhandle

Sam Leash

Sam is a seasoned traveler and RVer of 4+ years. She loves adventures of all kinds and spends as much time on the road as she can. When not exploring in her RV or writing about her travels, you can find her reading a good book, cooking a delicious meal, caring for her plants, or hiking with her dogs.

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