Best Camping in Idaho – Lake Cascade State Park#PNW . Idaho . Outdoor Recreation . Tent Camping . Trailer Camping . Travel
The Best Camping in Idaho
Visit Lake Cascade State Park
Lake Cascade offers some of the very best camping in Idaho. Centrally located, Lake Cascade State Park is one of Idaho’s largest state park complexes. It offers year-round activities and 10 different campgrounds around the lake. Whether you come to boat, fish, and water ski or relax along the shore, Lake Cascade has amenities for all types of outdoor recreation and activities. And from the cities of Cascade and Donnelly to Tamarack Resort to the Northwest, you’ll find all the services you need to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. Lake Cascade is one of the most accessible lakes in Idaho, with amenities on both sides of the large reservoir and multiple campgrounds and access points to choose from.
Campground Map – Lake Cascade State ParkLake-Cascade-State-Park-Location-Overview
Information About Lake Cascade State Park – The Best Camping in Idaho
Fees & Amenities
Day Use Fees & Passes
- Motor Vehicle Entry Fee: $5 per vehicle.
- Annual Idaho State Parks Pass (in-state): $10.
- Annual Idaho State Parks Pass (out-of-state): $40.
- Visit the Idaho State Parks Website for information about the annual pass and benefits of the unlimited entry passes:
- Unlimited day use access and entry into all Idaho State Parks.
- Boat launch fees included within the State Parks.
- Access to all hiking, cycling, mountain biking, and Nordic ski trials in the State Park system.
- Non-transferable and connected to your vehicle registration.
- Available for purchase from the Idaho DMV.
Camp Site and Cabin Information and Fees
|Serviced camp site||$20-$45 per night|
|Standard camp site||$12-$21 per night|
|Group camp sites||$50-$55 per night for up to 20 people|
|Group yurts||$175-$193 per night for up to 30 people|
- 164 serviced camp sites, 83 serviced camp sites, 32 primitive site and 2 group camps can be reserved online through the Idaho State Parks Reserve America website or by calling 1-888-922-6743.
- 7 camp sites are ADA accessible.
- Limits to Length of Stay: 15 days in a 30-day period.
- Reserve online 24/7.
- Call the reservation center 7 days a week: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm Monday through Friday or 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday.
- Check in at 2:00 pm (camp sites) and 3:00 pm (other facilities).
- Check out at 1:00 pm (camp sites) and 12:00 pm (other facilities).
Group Camp Sites and Yurt Information
The Idaho State Park Website provides detailed information about the 2 Lake Cascade yurt and group camping areas. For both sites, Idaho State Parks requires a $25 reservation fee and a parking tag for each vehicle (annual park passport, Parks and Recreation pass, or day use fee). Day use hours run from 7am to 10pm, and gray dishwater can be disposed in one of the two accessible toilets at either site. For $3, you can shower at either Poison Creek or Ridgeview campground, depending on the group site. Firewood is available in bundles or by the wheelbarrow load for $5-$8.
Osprey Point Group Yurt Camp
- Located on the west side of the lake.
- Check-in 3:00 pm, check-out 12:00 pm.
- 3 large yurts in a common area, 2 on one deck and the third on a separate deck.
- This camp accommodates groups up to 30 people.
- Up to 5 additional RV or tent camp sites available for $10.60 per site (up to 8 people per site).
- Yurts have a cooking table, a dining table, folding chairs, a two-burner Coleman cook stove, and two Coleman lanterns (propane canisters not included).
- Plastic mattress covers available upon request.
- Available sleeping (combination of single and double bunks and double futon couch-beds):
- Bluebird Yurt (20’) sleeps 7
- Appaloosa Yurt (24’) sleeps 12
- Syringa Yurt (24’) sleeps 11
Snowbank Group Area
- Located on the southeast side of the lake.
- Check-in 2:00 pm, check-out 1:00 pm.
- Park vehicles and RVs in a designated 25-space parking lot.
- This camp accommodates groups up to 75 people, not including children under 3 years of age.
- Group camping amenities:
- 1 large common grassy area for walk-in tent camping.
- 16 picnic tables, 16 fire grills, and a 5’ fire ring.
- Central water and vault toilets.
- No RV hook-ups or electricity.
When and Where to Book Sites at Lake Cascade State Park
Book Your State Park Camp Site 9 Months Early
- Plan ahead: federal and state campgrounds fill up FAST. Figure out when you plan to travel and then set a calendar reminder either:
- 6 months ahead (for federal campgrounds through Recreation.gov), or
- 9 months ahead (for Idaho State Parks through Idaho’s Site on ReserveAmerica.com).
- If you don’t get a site in one of the state or federal campgrounds, call the specific campground or look online to see if they have walk-up sites available.
- If no sites are available online or as walk-up sites, look on Reserve America for nearby private campgrounds and RV Parks near Cascade.
Camping Amenities and Services at Lake Cascade State Park
Park Openings, Staffing, Facilities, and Other Services
- Open year round, with limited facilities in spring, fall, and winter.
- Park staff available 8:00 am to 4:00 pm most days.
- Facilities and Services:
- Showers at Poison Creek and Ridgeview Campgrounds.
- RV dump station at Van Wyck and West Mountain Campgrounds.
- Full RV hook-ups at Poison Creek Campground.
- Boating and Marina Access:
- Day-use boat ramps and handling docks.
- Life jacket loaner stations at Blue Heron, Van Wyck, Sugarloaf, Boulder Creek, Buttercup, and Poison Creek Campgrounds.
- Access to the new marina through Tamarack Resort.
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Getting to Lake Cascade State Park – The Best Camping in Idaho
Driving from Boise
- Boise to Cascade, Idaho: 78 miles (126 km).
- Poison Creek Campground from Boise: 94 miles (151 km).
- Boise to Sugarloaf Campground and Boat Ramp: 86 miles (138 km).
Driving from McCall
- McCall to Cascade, Idaho: 31 miles (50 km).
- Poison Creek Campground from McCall: 22 miles (35 km).
- McCall to Sugarloaf Campground and Boat Ramp: 26 miles (42 km).
Our Campground Pick for The Best Camping in Idaho
Poison Creek CampgroundLocation-Map-Lake-Cascade-State-Park-Northern-Units-2-2009
The Best Camping in Idaho – Access to Lake Cascade and Tamarack Resort
Lake Cascade State Park sits on both sides of the lake, East and West, and consists of a series of lakefront campgrounds for tents, trailers, and RVs. On the West side of the lake, near Tamarack Resort, sits the Poison Creek campground, the campground with full RV hookups and access to the resort’s kayak and paddle board rentals and marina. Poison Creek provides the best access to Tamarack Resort, situated just beyond the turnoff to the sprawling mountain complex. It’s also a scenic drive from Donnelly and Highway 55 through Ponderosa and Tamarack pine, across the reservoir and past a popular fishing spot at the edge of the forest.
The Best Camping in Idaho – Full RV Hookups
Poison Creek Campground is also the only campground to offer full-service RV and trailer hookups, including water, electric, and sewer. Level, paved pads and newer shower and restroom facilities make this a comfortable and convenient camp site.
The Best Camping in Idaho – Beach and Boat Access at Poison Creek
The various campgrounds around the lake have beaches and access points to the water, but it’s a little more limited at Poison Creek unless you head straight down to the marina and boat launch area. Inside the campground, marshy areas block much of the shore. Down at the end of the camp, though, there’s a stretch of beach that’s sandy and shallow.
The Best Camping in Idaho – Rest and Relaxation at Poison Creek
At Lake Cascade, you can find any type of campground for your recreational and outdoor interests. The location and amenities of Poison Creek make it one of our favorites. Sit by a crackling fire and watch the stars over the lake after the sun goes down. And when the sun comes up, you’ll be ready to head out on the lake or into the resort, or anywhere else you may want to explore. Poison Creek and the Lake Cascade State Park complex provide some of the very best camping in Idaho.