The wonders that await visitors to the 2.2-million-acre Boise National Forest are amazing. Situated near Boise, ID, the forest sits at an elevation between 2,800 feet and 9,730 feet. Though trees cover 70% of the forest, the streams that run through those trees include 9,600 miles of fun. Lakes and reservoirs cover 15,600 acres of the forest, leaving plenty of room for the 70 campgrounds inside its boundaries along with numerous towns and hamlets where campers can refresh their supplies. Dispersed camping, or boondocking, is encouraged by the U.S. Forest Service that cares for the forest as long as the visitors leave no trace behind. With its proximity to Boise, ID, the forest serves as an educational laboratory for the sciences at several schools, including Boise State University.
Camping at Boise National Forest is practically tailor-made for an RV. You can quickly move from one camp to another easily in an RV, and the U.S. Forest Service encourages the use of RVs for dry camping or boondocking. It is simple to find an RV to rent through RVshare.
Lake Cascade State Park Campground offers 279 RV campsites dispersed among 10 campgrounds. The 500-acre park sits within Boise National Forest's confines and is one of the major attractions that draw visitors to the forest. Lake Cascade, where windsurfers dash across the water when afternoon winds arrive, is the primary feature of the park. Anglers search for trout, smallmouth bass, and coho salmon the entire year. Other activities include hiking and biking the miles of trails, boating, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. Water hookup: Yes Electrical hookup: 50 amps Sewer hookup: Yes Wi-Fi: Yes Pet-friendly: Yes Other amenities: Fire rings, warm showers, restrooms with flush toilets Fee: $28-$32 per night
If you and your family prefer to experience an isolated area within Boise National Forest for a couple of nights, then take a trip to Shafer Butte Campground. The payback is the views of Deer Point, Shafer Butte, and the Mores Mountain summit. Two trails allow hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Water hookup: No Electrical hookup: No Sewer hookup: No Wi-Fi: No Pet-friendly: Yes Other amenities: Picnic tables, fire rings, lantern hooks, vault toilets Fee: $10 per night
Pine Flats Campground offers 24 RV campsites. The campsites are extensive, with ample room for any slide-outs an RV may need. Tall pines cover the area with shade. The South Fork of the Payette River runs alongside the campground with light rapids, making kayaking and canoeing fun activities. Trails wander from the campground into the surrounding Boise National Forest, where birds and four-footed animals live in their natural habitat. A short trail leads from the campground to a hot spring area where campers love to take a soak. Water hookup: No Electrical hookup: No Sewer hookup: No Wi-Fi: No Pet-friendly: Yes Other amenities: Vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables Fee: $15 per night
Stack Rock Trail is heavily trafficked during the late spring, early fall, and summer months. In winter conditions, the trail serves as an excellent snowshoe adventure. Located a short distance outside Boise, the path welcomes hikers, bikers, and horseback riders.
Length: 10.9 miles
The Adelmann Mine Trail is an out-and-back pathway that passes through the low mountains outside Boise, ID. With magnificent views at every turn, this pathway is a must for hikers and bikers. Once you reach the mine, it is easy to wonder at the determination of early miners who endured harsh conditions in the search for gold and other minerals.
Length: 4.7 miles
Blue Lake Trail is a short but steep hike. Along the path are splendid views of Long Valley, Lake Cascade, and Blue Lake. Once at the lake, you can either stop to fish or continue your hike along the 3-mile trail that wanders around the lake.
Length: 1.3 miles
Intensity: Easy to Intermediate
The Gold Fork North Trail travels through open forests that include larch, lodgepole pine, and firs. The in-and-out trail ends at the foundations of the old Gold Fork Lookout. While standing on the foundations, visitors view spectacular panoramas to the south, north, and west.
Length: 3.9 miles
The Wyoming-Fir Creek Trail was previously an open motorcycle trail that allowed comfortable riding up and down the hills by dirt bikes. Lately, fires have ravaged the area, leaving significant blockages of the route for motorcycles. Hikers are the primary users of the trail today. The path crosses Fir Creek and then ascends a hill to its ridge point before dropping into the Wyoming Creek drainage area and Bear Creek.
Length: 8.2 miles
Intensity: Intermediate to Difficult
Waterways run down clefts dug into the hillsides over centuries of runoff, making hiking a wonderful experience that climbs hills, delves into deep valleys, and wanders through the cover of large trees. An astute observer can view the forest through many elevations as a series of environments that crash and collide to form a unique combination where flora and fauna find sustenance. Hiking, biking, or horseback riding the trails allows people to observe nature in its proper form, and geocaching is popular in the more than 2 million acres of Boise National Forest.
Streams seem to appear out of nowhere in every corner of the forest. Fishing, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking are favorite water activities enjoyed by visitors to the forest. Those who wish to run rapids find challenges here, with some streams reaching Category IV levels.
Bird-watchers discover areas in this forest where bald eagles patrol the skies and the lowly finch pecks at the ground to bring out insects—its favorite prey. Timber wolves, once nearly extinct, were reintroduced to the forest. Their packs are expanding, bringing back the howls that echo the past. The air in this forest is crystal clear and free of light pollution at night. Stargazing is one of the favorite activities of guests as they come to realize the meaning of the term “Milky Way.”
Address: 1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200, Boise, ID 83709
Fee: Entry fee $3
Make the most of an RV trip by visiting Boise National Forest. The vast territory that the park inhabits is so varied that your experiences are memories waiting to happen. Using an RV found at RVshare brings you the best opportunity to experience many parts of the forest in one visit.