If you and your family and friends are looking for a Fido-friendly, outdoor group getaway in the southwest area of Idaho’s spectacular Boise National Forest, Cold Springs Campground might just be the paw-fect place for you to stay! That’s if you don’t mind sacrificing a few creature comforts -- facilities at Cold Springs are a little primitive. You definitely won’t find any showers, electricity or RV hookups, and speaking of RVs, there are no spaces to fit a vehicle more than 25 feet in length.
If none of those are dealbreakers, though, you can reap the benefit of Cold Spring’s furrific location! Within walking distance of Lost Valley Reservoir and just across the road from the North Fork of the Payette River, the campground sits in a gorgeous canyon surrounded by ponderosa pines. Not all sites are shaded, though, so plan accordingly! Cold Springs is pretty scenic at any time of the year, but it’s extra special in summer, when the wildflowers carpeting the forest floor burst into a riot of color.
The campground has two group sites -- one that fits up to 50 campers, and a larger one with space for up to 75. The US Forest Service has designated Cold Springs as a heavy-usage campground, so it’s best to make your reservation early. There's no entrance fee to the area, and sites start at $50.
There are plenty of picnic areas around the sites, so if all you want to do is sit around and catch up, you're covered. If you’d like to get a little more active, don’t worry -- there are plenty of op-paw-tunities for outdoor recreation nearby! Keen anglers will be glad to know that Lost Lake Reservoir, just three-quarters of a mile away, is well-stocked with brook trout, rainbow trout, and perch.
If you’re batty about birding, grab those binoculars and keep an eye out for teal, hawks, and kestrels. While the area doesn’t have much to interest serious hound-dog hikers, the one-mile Lost Lake Trail is still well worth a wander, and the route is barely used, making it an ideal option for pups and people seeking a little solitude (or a temporary escape from the family reunion).
WiFi isn’t available at Cold Springs, and cellular coverage varies from network to network. One further note: the campground is located just off the highway, so expect a little traffic noise. Don't forget to bring the doggy waste bags along, and you and Sparky are all set for an un-fur-gettable vacation at Cold Springs Campground!