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 in Boise National Forest
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
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
Other amenities: Fire rings, warm showers, restrooms with flush toilets
Fee: $28-$32 per night
Shafer Butte Campground
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.
Pine Flats Campground
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.
Activities in Boise National Forest
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.”
How to get to Boise National Forest
Address: 1249 South Vinnell Way, Suite 200, Boise, ID 83709
Fee: Entry fee $3.0
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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Boise National Forest
Is there a limit to how long you can camp in Boise National Forest?
Yes, there is a limit to how long you can camp in Boise National Forest. The limit for dispersed camping is 14 days within a 28-day period. Developed campgrounds have their own limits on camping, and campers need to check with each campground on their policy.
Is Boise National Forest open all year round?
Yes, Boise National Forest is open year-round. There may be certain areas that are inaccessible during winter, however.
What is the best time to visit Boise National Forest?
The best time to visit Boise National Forest is in late spring or summer. The weather is warm for hiking and other outdoor activities. Spring is a better option for avoiding crowds, but the weather is also more unpredictable.
What is the closest town to Boise National Forest?
Boise is one of the closest towns to the Boise National Forest. Idaho's capital city has plenty of things to do, places to eat, and stores where campers can restock.
Can you kayak, canoe, or raft in Boise National Forest?
Yes, you can kayak, canoe, and raft in Boise National Forest. The forest is home to 7,600 miles of streams and rivers and over 250 lakes and reservoirs so there are plenty of water activities available.