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7 Places to Camp in East Idaho

Summer is finally here and it’s time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. Swimming, hiking, and biking are all fun activities to do in the summer months, but a favorite for many is camping. Camping immerses you with the outdoors, especially if you are tent camping, but even trailer camping helps you experience nature. If you need a spot to camp, check out one of these campground sites in east Idaho. Most of these campgrounds are open between mid-May to late September.

Victor, Idaho

Mike Harris Campground

Located five miles from Victor Idaho is Mike Harris Campground. This area is beautifully green in the summertime and is ideal for tent or trailer camping. While it can be fun to “rough” it in the wilderness, having a toilet is preferred by some people. If this is the case for you, Mike Harris Campground is perfect, as it has vault toilets available. There is also drinking water available so campers don’t need to load up gallons of water for their trip.

The Mike Harris Campground is perfect for people who want to spend the day hiking or fishing in the Trail Creek or Mike Harris Creek, and then camp at night. There are twelve available campsites that you can reserve, though some days they are first-come, first-serve. The cost of a campsite is approximately $12 per night, though you may need to pay more for extra vehicles. Although trailer camping is available, most sites are standard, nonelectric.

Swan Valley, Idaho

Falls Campground

Swan Valley, a 45-minute drive from Idaho Falls, is a quaint little town just on the outskirts of the Palisades Reservoir. Swan Valley is a recreational wonderland, with places to hike, fish, canoe, float, horseback ride, ride ATVs, and camp. Falls Campground is one of the camping areas in Swan Valley that many people enjoy. Something that makes it so nice is the view. Falls Campground is situated on the Snake River, with a view of Fall Creek Falls just a quarter-mile away.

The campground is located among cottonwood trees and grassy meadows, which provides a comfortable camping spot in partial shade. There is no electricity at any of the campsites, but there are vault toilets, drinking water, and trash collections. The campground has 24 campsites which cost between $12-$50 per night. You can reserve certain spots ahead of time, though some are first-come, first-serve.

Island Park, Idaho

Buffalo Campground

Many east Idaho visitors and locals enjoy going to Island Park. Island Park is well known for its fishing, picturesque scenery, and its close proximity to Yellowstone National Park. Island Park is also a recreational playground, with trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and ATV riding. If you want your outdoor adventure to really be complete, try camping at Buffalo Campground.

Buffalo Campground has 127 different campsites, 50 of which are open for reservations. Some of the campsites have electricity, but not all of them. However, all sites have access to flush and vault toilets, drinking water, and trash collection. Depending on the season, the size of your group, and whether or not you want electricity, you may be paying $20-160 a night. If you plan on using a first-come, first-serve campsite, be sure to show up early as campsites go quickly in Island Park.

Saint Anthony, Idaho

Idaho Dunes

Idaho Dunes RV is a great example of camping strategically close to your activity site. People who stay at the Idaho Dunes RV campground area are usually there to spend a day or two riding ATVs around the Saint Anthony sand dunes. If this is the case for you, this RV site and campground might be a perfect choice.

The campground has 24 full hook-up sites with water, power, and sewage, 32 partial hook-up sites that don’t include sewage, and 25 acres for dry camping, meaning no hookups of any kind are available. For hook-up sites, you’ll need to make a reservation. However, dry camping spots are given on a first-come, first-serve basis. Amenities in the area include a free wifi hotspot, ATV and trailer rentals, food service, shower facilities, and a general store.

Ririe, Idaho

Kelly Island Campground

The Kelly Island Campground is a beautiful camping spot, with the banks of the Snake River nearby, the Snake River Range foothills in the distance, and cottonwood trees all around. This campground is peaceful and serene, so with only 14 single campsites that are all first-come, first-serve, this campground fills up quickly. However, there is one group campsite which accommodates about 35 people which can be reserved. The group campsite is $35 a night, while single sites are $10 a night.

The Kelly Island Campground is partially developed, meaning there aren’t any electrical hookups available, but there is water, vault toilets, and pull-through sites. There are also picnic tables and fire pits so you can have a great campfire barbeque. If you camp at the Kelly Island Campground, be sure to bring your fishing gear for trout fishing on the Snake River.

Ririe, Idaho

Wolf Flats Recreation Area

Though campsites are fairly inexpensive if you are on a strict budget try snagging a spot at Wolf Flats Recreation area. There are 25 different locations to camp and each of them is free. However, there are some rules for visitors including, pack out trash, only burn wood products, do not cut down trees, and do not create new camping areas by driving into vegetation.

Since the sites are free, the camping area is undeveloped. There is no electricity, water, or sewage services. The roads to the campsites are also under-developed and are simple, gravel roads. If you stay at a campsite here, be courteous to other campers by driving slow to prevent dust. Wolf Flats Recreation Area is close to rock-climbing, mountain bike trails, and ATV trails.

Rexburg, Idaho

Twin Bridges Park

Just a fourteen-mile drive southeast of Rexburg is Twin Bridges Park. The park has 31 spots for trailer or tent camping, though it is an undeveloped site, so there is no water, electricity, or sewage services. There are dumpsters for trash though, as wells as vault toilets. Although the campground is more primitive, there are still concrete slabs and picnic tables at each campsite.

Twin Bridges Park gets its name from the two bridges it sits between, which means this campsite is right along the Snake River. However, due to the foliage on the land, there isn’t much of a view. People still enjoy the sound of the water, fishing, and canoeing there though. The nightly rate for a campsite is $10. Due to the close proximity this campground has to Rexburg and Rigby, along with the price, this campground is quite popular. There are no reservations for campsites and you can pay on-site.

Each of these sites has something different to offer, whether it’s the view, the amenities, the location, or the activities. No matter where you camp, you are bound to make some fun, summer memories. Setting up a tent, starting a fire, roasting marshmallows, and sleeping outside is what some summer nights were meant for. If you don’t want to camp in your backyard, look into making a trip to one of these campgrounds.

Hannah Anderson

About the author

Hannah Anderson

Hannah Anderson, a Nevada native, moved to Idaho four years ago to study at Brigham Young University-Idaho where she earned a bachelor's degree in communication. She enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, and exploring all that Idaho has to offer.

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