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Camping at Ponderosa State Park

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Ponderosa State Park is located in the heart of Idaho, enveloping a large portion of the Payette Lake's shoreline in the scenic mountain town of McCall. The park is named after the towering ponderosa pines that dominate the area. It provides access to a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and, during the winter months, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Camping Information

Campsite Types

  • Developed Campsites: Ponderosa State Park offers several developed campsites suitable for RVs, trailers, and tents. Many of these sites provide water, electricity, and sewer hookups.
  • Cabins: For those who prefer a little more comfort, the park has several cabins available for rent.
  • Group Camping: There are facilities for group camping, which can accommodate larger parties.


Reservations are highly recommended, especially during peak season (summer). They can be made up to 9 months in advance through the Idaho State Park's reservation system online or by phone.


  • Toilets: Flush toilets and showers are available in developed areas.
  • Water Access: Potable water is available at various points throughout the campsites.
  • Dump Station: There is a dump station for RVs.

Campsite Rules

  • Quiet Hours: Be mindful of quiet hours, typically from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • Pets: Pets are usually allowed but must be kept on a leash and under control at all times. Some areas might be off-limits to pets, so it's best to check beforehand.
  • Fires: Campfires are allowed in designated areas, but fire restrictions may be in place depending on the season and fire danger levels. Always follow park regulations regarding campfires.

Recreational Activities

Hiking and Biking

The park boasts more than 30 miles of hiking trails, ranging from casual walks to challenging hikes. Biking is allowed on designated trails.

Swimming, Boating and Fishing

With the Payette Lake at your doorstep, water activities such as swimming, boating, and fishing are popular. Be aware of any specific regulations concerning boat launches and fishing licenses.

Wildlife Viewing

The park is a habitat for a rich variety of wildlife. Be sure to observe animals from a safe distance and do not feed them.

Winter Activities

In winter, Ponderosa State Park becomes a snowy wonderland, offering activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. There are groomed trails for Nordic skiing, and snowshoe rentals may be available.

Visitor Center and Educational Programs

The park has a visitor center with informative displays about the local ecology and history. During the summer months, the park may offer educational programs and guided walks.

Things to Remember

  • Weather: Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable. Be prepared for sudden changes, and pack appropriate clothing.
  • Altitude: The park is at a high altitude, so give yourself time to acclimate, stay hydrated, and protect yourself from the sun.
  • Preservation: As with any natural area, it is crucial to practice Leave No Trace principles to keep the park pristine for future generations.

For the most updated information, it's always advisable to check the official Ponderosa State Park website or contact the park directly before planning your trip.

Map of Campgrounds in Ponderosa State Park
Campgrounds in Ponderosa State Park
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