If you and your buddy are looking for an outdoor camping adventure in northern Idaho, Ponderosa State Park might just be the paw-fect place for you two to pitch your tent! You and your pup can stay surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in the state without sacrificing too many of your creature comforts -- many of the sites have access to electricity, full RV hookups including water and sewer, and clean, well-maintained shower stations.
And when we say spectacular scenery, we really mean it! The park is perched on a peninsula in the gorgeous Payette Lake, and some of the campsites have waterside views. You’ll be well shaded by the trees from which the park gets its name, and in a prime location for birding to boot. Ponderosa State Park might be pretty, but it’s not too far from civilization, either -- the picturesque resort town of McCall, ID is just a ten-minute drive away.
Ponderosa’s four campgrounds offer guests several ways to stay. The 113-site Penninsula Campground is situated in the heart of the park, and 23 sites have access to full hookups. Northwest Passage has lovely views of the lake and contains 22 sites allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, making it ideal for a last-minute trip, and the 50-site RV Group Campground by the main entrance is a pawesome spot for a group getaway with family or friends.
For a more luxurious experience, you can check out the deluxe cabins, but if you do, your pupper will need to sit this one out -- none of them are fur-friendly. Despite the large number of sites, all the campgrounds get quite busy on weekends, so it’s best to make your reservation early. There’s a $5 per vehicle entrance fee to the park, and sites start at $12.
You and your buddy certainly won’t be bored during your stay! The park is something of a haven for hound-dog hikers, and trails wind past wildflower meadows, distinct rock formations (the cliffs in particular are stunning) and dense forest. The Osprey viewing point is a real mutts-visit -- the views need to be seen to be believed! Of course, the main draw to the park is the lake, and Payette provides plenty of op-paw-tunities for anglers. There are also kayak rentals at the north end of the lake.
WiFi isn’t available at Ponderosa (except in the visitor and activity centers), but most cellular networks should receive decent service, making this a grrr-eat choice for those who need to remain in contact (or just can’t wait to upload those vacation selfies). Fires are permitted, and drinking water is available at all campgrounds. Remember to bring waste bags for your four-pawed pal, and have a fur-tastic time!