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Best Places to Camp Around Sun Valley

Sara Sheehy's picture
Sara Sheehy

Camping is a quintessential summer activity, and there’s no better place to camp than under America's first Dark Sky Reserve, nestled between the mountains, forests, and rivers of Sun Valley. Whether you prefer primitive camping in a tent or hooking your RV to power for a Netflix binge, we have you covered. Here is our essential guide to camping around Sun Valley.

Campgrounds on Public Land

Best Places to Camp in Sun Valley, Idaho Best Places to Camp in Sun Valley, Idaho

Established campgrounds are perfect for those who want to escape into the wilds without being too far away from basic amenities like water and bathrooms. 

Boundary Campground

If you want the feeling of being in the wild, but like being a bike rides distance away from town, check out Boundary Campground. Located on Trail Creek Road, just past Sun Valley’s Trail Creek Cabin, this campground is in the Sawtooth National Forest. Nine sites are available on a first-come first-served basis, and you can camp for up to seven days. The campground is right on the bike path, making travel into town a breeze. 

Cost: $10/night; Amenities: bathroom, water; Directions: Google Maps

North Fork Campground

Mountain views, the Harriman Trail, and sites along the Big Wood River await those who camp at the North Fork Campground in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA). Stop at the SNRA headquarters to find flush toilets, the best tasting water in town, and a trail map of the area. The North Fork Campground’s sites are first-come first-served, there is a vault toilet and water on site, and the stay limit is 10 days.

Cost: $16/night; Amenities: bathroom, water; Directions: Google Maps

Murdock & Caribou Campgrounds

Miles of trails and great fishing make Murdock and Caribou Campgrounds popular places to stay in the summer. Part of the SNRA, these two campgrounds are located less than a mile apart on Forest Road #146. Murdock is suitable for RVs and trailers, while Caribou is best for tent campers. All sites are first-come first-served, with a stay limit of 10 days. If you are looking for quiet days in the mountains, you’ll find them here.

Cost: $14/16 night; Amenities: bathroom, water (Murdock only); Directions: Google Maps (Murdock) Google Maps (Caribou)

 

Dispersed Camping on Public Land

Best Places to Camp in Sun Valley, Idaho

Dispersed camping allows for a more primitive experience than established campgrounds, but you’ll be on your own for everything from water to proper waste disposal. When enjoying dispersed camping, be sure to only camp in existing sites to minimize impact.

Lake Creek Road

Lake Creek Road is a dispersed camping area just north of Ketchum. Located on Sawtooth National Forest land, Lake Creek is surrounded by rolling hills and miles of excellent hiking. The first portion of the Lake Creek dispersed camping area is restricted to a three-day stay, while the rest has a 10-day stay limit. 

Cost: Free; Amenities: none; Directions: Google Maps

North Fork

Located beyond the established campgrounds of Murdock and Caribou lies open land for dispersed camping along the North Fork of the Big Wood River. This is a popular camping area that fills quickly during the busy summer season. Campers may stay for up to 16 days, and can fill water jugs at the SNRA headquarters.

Cost: Free; Amenities: none; Directions: Google Maps

Warm Springs

Tucked into the canyon behind Sun Valley’s Warm Springs ski area is Warm Springs Canyon, a narrow gulch with limited dispersed camping. The stay limit is three days until the road passes Red Warrior Creek, where the stay limit opens up to 16 days. Don’t miss Frenchman’s Hot Springs, a natural hot spring along the river, for an evening soak.

Cost: Free; Amenities: none; Directions: Google Maps

 

Where to Get Hooked Up

Best Places to Camp in Sun Valley, Idaho

For those who are looking to hook their camper up to services including power, water, and sewer, a private campground is the way to go. 

Meadows RV Park

Meadows RV Park, situated on the Wood River Trail near the St Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, is full of amenities for big and small campers alike. Accommodating big rigs with 60 foot paved campsites, the Meadows RV Park provides 30 and 50 amp power, water, and sewer at its full hookup sites. Other amenities include restrooms and showers, on-site laundry, Wi-Fi, bike storage, and the convenience of an on-site manager.

Cost: $30-47+, Amenities: full hookups, showers, laundry, Wi-Fi Directions: Google Maps

Riverside RV Park and Campground

Providing an option for full hookups closer to Hailey and Bellevue, Riverside RV Park and Campground offers year round camping. 20 and 30 amp power, water, and sewer are available, as well as a handful of tent sites. Cash or check only.

Cost: $23-27+ Amenities: full hookups, bathrooms Directions: Google Maps

 

Provisions and Amenities

No matter where you camp, sometimes you long for a cheeseburger and a hot shower. Don’t worry, we can handle that.

Dump Stations

Dump stations for RVs are located at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters north of Ketchum ($5 per use) and at the Hailey Dump Station on Cedar Street (free).

Showers

To wash the dirt off your face from a weekend of epic mountain bike riding stop by the Wood River Community YMCA in Ketchum, where showers cost $5. If you’re further north, swing through Easley Hot Springs. This commercial hot springs offers showers and a warm soak for $8.

Camping Supplies

Camping supplies like stove fuel, tents, sporks, and sleeping pad repair kits can be found at any of our local sporting goods shops.

Groceries

Groceries are available at the three valley-wide Atkinsons Markets (located in Bellevue, Hailey, and Ketchum), Albertsons and Natural Grocers (both in Hailey), and Village Market in Ketchum.

Quick Meals

Are you sick of cooking on your tiny camp stove? For a quick bite to eat check out Lefty’sf or pub food, Wrap City for a nourishing and filling wrap, or Wiseguy's for a slice of pizza.

Whether you’re in town for a quick weekend getaway, or plan to set up camp for two weeks at a dispersed campsite, you’ll find quiet nights and beautiful scenery awaiting you in the mountains of Sun Valley.

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