The southwest corner of Idaho—which includes the cities of Boise, Nampa, and Caldwell and points south and west to the Oregon and Nevada borders— is large and varied, well worth exploring, and almost devoid of public campgrounds. The Boise-Nampa-Caldwell area is Idaho’s major urban area, where more than a third of Idaho’s residents live. Recreation opportunities close in are plentiful, from skiing at Bogus Basin in the mountains overlooking Boise to floating the Boise River that cuts through town. Boise is the center of many events and activities, such as the River Festival each June, and it has an expanding nightlife as well. Boise has numerous private campgrounds, and several can be found outside of that city throughout the area. Less than an hour south of the city lie the remote Owyhee Mountains, site of one of Idaho’s earliest and most spectacular mining booms. Thousands of people poured into the Silver City area deep in the Owyhees (that name is said to be a corruption of Hawaii), and for several decades late in the nineteenth century, precious metals were extracted. But the area fell into decline throughout the next century, and Silver City remains today as something akin to a ghost town, though some weekend residents do occupy some of the old buildings there, and a few businesses—including a revival of an old hotel—service the tourists who stop to visit. One of the two formal public campgrounds in the area is located in the mountains east of Silver City. But many people camp at remote locations across the Owyhees, a vast region managed mainly by the Bureau of Land Management and containing very few human residents. It is popular among hikers and among enthusiasts of remote rivers. The Owyhee Canyonlands is not one of the most easily accessible parts of Idaho, but those interested in desert rivers consider it to be among the most spectacular in the nation. One entry here, located in the middle of the Boise metro area, falls into a gray area. The On the River RV Park is operated by a private business but located on Ada County property, next door to the Western Idaho Fairgrounds (at Garden City), which is owned and operated by Ada County. The campgrounds in this eTrail include: North Fork, On the River, and Shafer Butte.
We cannot find this location: please try again.
Directions to: Southwest Areaprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Campsites||3 separate campgrounds|
|Season||Spring through fall|
REI MEMBERS: SAVE $20 on a Trails.com Subscription
Subscribe to Trails.com for just $29.95 a year and gain full access to over 49,000 professional trail guides, high-res USGS topo maps & much more!