North Idaho has your perfect camping spot, from rustic to RV-ready
We bet North Idaho has more campgrounds than you have summer left to savor, but not to worry; the weather stays mild well into fall and that is just as good a time to plan your getaway. Grab your phone or tablet to not only search and secure your spot.
Idaho is covered in federal and state forest lands so start with recreation.gov, a nationwide database of federally managed points-of-interest[MOU1], as well as both day use and overnight campsites. Select Idaho Panhandle National Forest, for example, to discover 170 campsites, from BELL BAY CAMPGROUND[MOU2] on Lake Coeur d’Alene near Harrison to KIT PRICE[MOU3] in the Silver Valley near Kingston to MOKINS BAY[MOU4] on Hayden Lake. North Idaho’s five unique geographical areas reflect the various waterways in the region, from the vastness of Lake Pend Oreille to the mostly gentle, meandering Coeur d’Alene River to the wide expanse of the St. Joe River basin.
The United States Forest Service website not only offers campground information, but it is also an (almost) back-to-school primer on native plants and animals to geography.
You’ll also find some unique cabin rentals on its website. In the Coeur d’Alene River area, for example, consider the 1920’s-era MAGEE RANGER’S CABIN on Tepee Creek, one of several former ranger and fire lookout facilities available seasonally. Sit on the covered porch of this two-story log cabin with a cup of coffee and simply enjoy the view, or explore the more than 34 miles of hiking, horseback riding or mountain biking.
Got a larger group? Several campgrounds and cabin rentals allow for a carload. Or two. And if you also have a boat, look for numerous boat-in Campgrounds like KALISPELL ISLAND at Priest Lake where you’ll feel like a character out of a travel book on your own island.
Find more information about Idaho camping via Idaho Parks and Recreation, or their searchable site for making reservations: idahostateparks.reserveamerica.com. Here you’ll discover HEYBURN STATE PARK, which has three distinct campgrounds from tent to pull-through camping and lots of lake shoreline to explore. Like federal sites, Idaho’s state parks system also rent cabins, including the OSPREY CABIN near the TRAIL OF THE COEUR D’ALENES[MOU5] — so bring the bikes!
State and federal sites are only part of the colorful camping picture in Idaho. Private vendors like WOLF LODGE CAMPGROUND have a combination of rustic cabins, shaded tent sites and easy-access RV spots, plus features like playgrounds for the kids, a dog park, laundry, showers, restrooms and convenient creek access.
LUBY BAY on Priest Lake’s west side is touted for its great beach access, and proximity to dining, ancient cedars, secluded campsites, granite waterslides and numerous trails.
If you want to focus your search for campgrounds to enjoy lake life on pristine Lake Coeur d’Alene, there are an abundance of options. MICAH BAY’S unique boat-in campground has 16 tents camping units, plus mooring docks where you also chose to camp on your boat. Plus, this first-come-first-serve doesn’t require you to make reservations months in advance. BELL BAY, on the southern portion of the lake also offers some first-come-first-serve camping sites, in addition to six reservable family sites. Pitch your tent on the upper loop, and enjoy expansive lake views, or book a site on the lower loop, and be right on the shoreline for easy-access swimming, fishing or kayaking. BEAUTY CREEK CAMPGROUND is located just a half mile from the lake along the peaceful Beauty Creek, and the nearest boat ramp is less than a mile away. Just 15 minutes from downtown Coeur d’Alene, CAMP COEUR D’ALENE is a destination campground with tent space, RV hookups, and rustic cabin rentals. Swim in the lake or the heated pool. Guests can also get on the water with the campground’s pedal boat and canoe. All campers can take advantage of the free firewood provided on-site for a night of s’mores and stargazing.
Show off your knowledge of all things Coeur d’Alene, while exploring downtown at the same time. This interactive trivia trek will have you decoding clues while exploring downtown’s shops and restaurants. Your hard work pays off with a $25 gift card if you answer all the questions correctly. More details on the event calendar at cda4.fun.com.
Coaster Classic Car Show
Classic cars from across the Northwest converge on Silverwood Labor Day Weekend. The 19th Annual Coaster Classic Car Show is one of the best events of its kind in the Inland Northwest. If you like cars that go fast, look good, or just remind you of the good ol’ days, you’ve gotta be there! As a participant in the car show, entry fees are $20 for one-day admission or $35 for 2-days. With entry, each driver and one passenger will get FREE admission into the theme park!(A savings of up to $241.00.) That means competitors can put down the polish and get some thrills on the roller coaster or chill off in Boulder Beach Water Park FREE! Your admission to Silverwood includes admission to view the cars. Register your classic for the car show online.