Campgrounds near the Snake River in Southeastern Idaho
The community of Swan Valley is graced with the delightful waters of the beautiful Snake River. Settled alongside the river water makes for excellent outdoor activity opportunities and an exciting way to spend a weekend. There are many things to do besides hanging out at the river, though for many enjoying a day boating, fishing and swimming will surely make for a wonderful day outdoors. For others, checking out the stunning waterfall display of Fall Creek Falls or perhaps enjoying one of the many area trails is more in line with a day of area exploration. The community neighbors Irwin, Idaho, which is a quaint community of around 216 +/- residents. These two communities share a wealth of outdoor activity opportunities for residents and visitors alike to get outside and take in all the scenic beauty and recreational fun this area has to offer.
Falls Campground - US 26. Irwin, Idaho 83428
Nestled in a secluded area well off the main thoroughfare, sits the remarkably beautiful Falls Campground within a tranquil environment of area tree life, nature combined with the sounds of the river waters. The campsites boast picturesque views of tree-lined river waters with the mountains sitting as the ideal backdrop. Located at 5,100 feet in elevation, this delightful area boasts the ideal opportunity for small watercraft such as a kyack, canoe, or perhaps a raft. Boat access to the water can be found at the nearby Conant Boat Ramp for added convenience.
The campsites are generously sized and provide a fair amount of privacy provided by area greenery. Group sites are available down the road a smidgen and can accommodate up to 150 people. This campsite is quite popular, and reservations are recommended, though there are a few sites the remain first come first serve. Many people are drawn to this area for the waterfalls, the Snake River water opportunities, and area trails. Fishing in this area has been known to bring in the popular cutthroat trout. If fishing is on the agenda, be sure to check the most recent regulations specific to any requirements for catch and release, licensing, and similar standards. Palisades Reservoir is also a top destination for travelers making way through the Swan Valley area. Don’t forget to stop in town and get a famous square ice cream at the local convenience store if you happen to find yourself in the area. It’s not one to be missed.
At Falls Campground amenities include vault toilets and water. The campsites themselves boast picnic tables and fire rings with grills. The main drawback would be the presence of mosquitos, so preparing for mosquitos is advised. The access road is mostly gravel and may have potholes after the winter season. Falls Campground is a designated fee area. The last reported fees for this area are $12/night for a single unit, $24/night for a double unit, $6/each additional vehicle, and $50/night for the group site up to 50 people and $1 per person after that. If headed to the area for ATV’ing, it’s important to know that no ATV’s/OHV’s are allowed in the campground.
Fall Creek Falls Waterfalls are right down the road, about ¼ +/- mile, and the birdlife that can be found from time to time is downright spectacular with Bald Eagles, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Western Grebe, Sharp-Tailed Grouse, Trumpeter Swans, Owls, and the Great Blue Heron as well as a host of others. Wildlife in the area from time to time may include Elk, Mule Deer, Bighorn Sheep, Fox, Moose, Pronghorn Antelope, and Moose. The likelihood is that most of the animals will keep their distance, though closer to the river’s edge, wildlife is frequently spotted. A moose has been reported seen from this campground, though, for the most part, animals are going to avoid the more populated areas.
Palisades Reservoir / Calamity Campground - Bear Creek Rd, Irwin, ID 83428
Described best as a pleasant and scenic campground, the Palisades Reservoir Calamity Campground is situated in this prime location ideal for opportunities to fish and enjoy the refreshing reservoir waters. Located within the Caribou Targhee National Forest, this area is also home to abundant wildlife and nature at its best. The campground sits at the north end of Palisades Reservoir near the Snake River watercourse at an elevation of 5,700 feet. Birding is also a favorite activity in this area as this area is known for beautiful raptors, including the Bald Eagle, Osprey as well as the Peregrine Falcon. The campground is prime for RV’s though it does not feature abundant space for tents.
A regular attraction for many visitors is the nearby dirt bike and ATV trails. The Bear Creek Trailhead is located further along Bear Creek Road just after Tissue Point Boating Site near the convergence of Bear Creek, Red Spring Creek, and Elk Creek. Additionally, there are also various surrounding trails to choose from if simply wanting a trail designated for hiking, biking, and equestrian use. One of those trails is the Palisades Creek Trail, which is geared for hikers, explorers, mountain biking, and horseback riders to enjoy nature, area birdlife & wildlife, as well as the scenic views across the incredible Swan Valley region. Other nearby trails include Big Elk Creek Trail, which is also designated to accommodate hikers, explorers, mountain biking, and equestrian use.
At Calamity Campground amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets, and potable water. The campsites themselves boast picnic tables and fire rings. No electricity is offered at this site. Calamity Campground is a designated fee area. The last reported fees for this area are $12/night for a single unit, $24/night for a double unit, $6/each additional vehicle, and the open season is typically around mid-May. Campsites are reservable at a minimum of 4 days ahead of arrival. ATV’s and OHV’s may only be used to enter/exit the campground. No trailers are allowed on Loop C.
Depending on the route taken, this destination is located approximately 59 +/- miles from the city of Idaho Falls and around 60 +/- miles from the city of Rexburg.
Palisades Reservoir / McCoy Creek Campground - Caribou Targhee National Forest, Forest Rd 067, Irwin, ID 83428
If searching for that ideal secluded campground location, the McCoy Creek Campground may surely accommodate just that! Sandwiched between the waters of the south end of Palisades Reservoir and the forested pines of Caribou-Targhee National Forest, sits McCoy Creek Campground at the base of Black Mountain. This location is ideal for tent camping or a small to a mid-sized camping trailer; larger trailers may find this area snug. This area boasts incredible scenic views and abundant area wildlife. Escape the norm of the weekday into this tranquil environment that nearly requires relaxation. Prepare for mosquitos as this location is close to the water.
Amenities at the McCoy Creek Campground include a primitive boat ramp for smaller watercraft like rafts, kyacks, and canoes. Each site is gravel and boasts picnic tables. The campground offers potable water and vault toilets. There are seventeen total first come first campsites. McCoy Creek Campground is a designated fee area. The last reported fees for this area are $10/night for a single unit, $20/night for a double unit, $5/each additional vehicle, and $5/Day for a day-use fee.
Palisades Reservoir / Riverside Park Campground - Forest Rd 963, Irwin, ID 83428
The grand Riverside Park Campground boasts twenty-two single units and ten double units and sits along the shore of the South Fork Snake River lined by mature Cottonwood Trees and surrounded by forest pines. Most of the sites along the water are double sites and boast scenic views of the dam and make for excellent fishing and swimming-water activity opportunities. Trails across Hwy 20 act as a hot spot for hikers, mountain biking, and explorers alike.
Amenities for some of the sites include electrical hookups (no riverside spaces with 30 amp reported), though there is no water, there is an RV dump station on site. Each campsite boasts a fire pit with grill, picnic table as well as bear boxes on the grounds to keep food secure overnight and secure dumpsters for the safe disposal of trash. The areas designated for tents are on predominantly level ground for added comfort. There are long spacious sites ideal for RV’s. Additional campground amenities include vault toilets and a boat launch. No ATV’s or OHV’s are allowed. The open season for this campground generally is sometime around May. This area can get grassy and a bit dry during the hotter portions of the year. This destination is close to water, thus preparing for mosquitos is advised.
The Riverside Park Campground is a designated fee site. The last reported cost is $12/night for a single unit, $17/night for a single unit with electrical, $24/night for a double unit, $6/per extra vehicle, $6/Day for the day-use fee, and $5/Dump Station Fee.
Depending on the route taken, this destination is located approximately 53 +/- miles from the city of Idaho Falls and around 54 +/- miles from the city of Rexburg.