Tucked away in the Coeur d'Alene Mountains of Idaho, Farragut State Park is the best park you've never heard of. This huge 4,000-acre park has four different campgrounds and over 200 individual campsites and is the perfect destination for an RV vacation. Whether you want to hike, fish, kayak, swim, practice your archery skills, go horseback riding, or just relax and recharge in nature, Farragut State Park lets you do it all year-round.
Many visitors come to Farragut State Park to see Idaho's largest lake, Lake Pend Oreille, but stay to learn about the long history of the grounds they walk on. The area was formerly used for military training during World War II and for a few years after. But thousands of years before that, the peninsula that encompasses the park was originally deposited during the last ice age, meaning the park is overflowing with both geological and cultural history.
Farragut State Park is a perfect destination for families of all sizes and even offers a handful of companion sites so you can camp in larger groups with two RVs. The most difficult part about camping at Farragut State Park is just deciding what to do first.
RV Rentals in Farragut State Park
Transportation in Farragut State Park
The state highway leads directly into the park so you shouldn't have any problems accessing it and the primary roads within the park are paved for your convenience. The campgrounds themselves also have wide enough roads for your RV to fit through, although just be careful in the winter when the roads may be icy or snowy. All vehicles must also fit on the campsite parking spur, so make sure you choose a campsite that can fit your RV. If you bring an extra car and it can't fit on your campsite, you have to park it in one of the parking lots. An extra vehicle parking lot is located nearby each campground, so if you must park in one you're still fairly close to your campsite.
All vehicles you bring to the park, not just your RV, must also be street legal, licensed, and insured and must have a park permit. Motorized vehicles can be used on any of the park roads that aren't closed off or otherwise marked. Since the park is so large it may be easier to get around using a secondary vehicle like a motorbike or scooter. Be sure to read them up carefully when trying to navigate the campgrounds as some roads in the campgrounds are one-way streets.
Campgrounds and parking in Farragut State Park
Campsites in Farragut State Park
Gilmore Campground is located off South Road, near the entrance of the park and offers campsites any RV traveler will adore. Gilmore Campground is the smallest of the campgrounds with only 43 campsites, all of which have water and electric hookups. With five companions style sites Gilmore Campground is also suitable for multi-family camping. Both the Visitor Center and the museum are easy to access from Gilmore Campground and Buttonhook Bay isn't too far away either. Like the other campgrounds, Gilmore Campground offers centrally located restrooms and showers, several gray water disposal sites, and a garbage dumpster far enough away from the campsite, yet not too far to be a hassle. Lastly, the main park trails can be easily accessed while staying at Gilmore Campground. However, if you want to get a campsite at Gilmore Campground you'll have to reserve it in advance. Reservations can be made up to nine months in advance. Pets are permitted.
Whitetail Campground probably won't be your first choice if you're looking to vacation in your RV since it is comprised of 61 non-hookup campsites. Still, it offers a more primitive approach to camping. This campground has 55 individual sites and 10 companion sites and spacious lots with enough room for two tents. Restrooms and showers are within walking distance. If you're planning on launching a boat or throwing around some discs on the disc golf course Whitetail Campground maybe your best bet since it is near both of them. Typically Whitetail does not fill up as quickly as the other campgrounds, but if you don't make your reservations in advance you probably won't be able to get a site. Pets are welcome to stay with you at this campground. This campground is also just a short walk from Bennion Trail, which is a short loop with several educational signs posted along the way to teach you and your family about the historic park. Reservations can be made up to nine months in advance.
The pet-friendly Snowberry Campground is a bit smaller than Waldron and offers a more intimate experience. There are 44 water and electric hookup sites available and no companion sites, making it great for individual families who want a little more space. Snowberry Campground is located close to the the disc golf courses, making it the choice campground for disc golf lovers. It is also fairly close to Lake Pend Oreille and a few trail heads. Restrooms and showers are located in the center of the campground and grey water disposal sites are located throughout. The campground is open year-round, but it's also busy year-round, so be sure to get your reservations before they fill up. No cabins are available at this campground, but there are the Willow Cabins and Locust Grove Group Campground nearby if those better suit your needs. Reservations can be made up to nine months in advance.
Waldron Campground is the largest campground at Farragut State Park and offers 69 water and electric hookup sites, 11 of which are companion style. This means your RV and a friend's RV can share the same lot and both have hook-ups. Restrooms, showers, and grey water disposal sites are scattered throughout the campground so you can easily access one no matter where your actual campsite is. Pets are welcome to stay with you at this campground. Waldron Campground is separated from the amphitheater and model airplane flying field by State Highway 54 and a short walk. As the first campground you'll come across upon entering the park, these campsites fill up quick so make your reservations early. There are also three camping cabins available at Waldron Campground for larger camping groups and a centrally-located volleyball court for recreation. Extra parking is available nearby if you have secondary vehicle you want to use. Reservations can be made up to nine months in advance.
There are no first-come, first-served campgrounds at this state park.
Seasonal activities in Farragut State Park
Besides chilling in your RV, boating on Lake Pend Oreille has got to be one of the most relaxing things, and luckily there are many ways to do it. Not only are there boat rentals are available a few miles from the park, but there is also a boat launch area available so you can easily venture out onto the lake. Scenic Bay is the perfect place for a romantic afternoon or a little family bonding.
One unique feature of Farragut State Park are the large disc golf courses. Disc golf isn't too difficult to master and is lots of fun for the whole family. Several courses are set up in a large field by the Locust Grove group campground and make the perfect activity for a family afternoon during the spring and summer months. Disc golf isn't necessarily a traditional camping activity but can be a great way to spend a few hours goofing around, especially if you've never played before.
Farragut State Park is perfect for hikers of all ages and offers walking trails that are easy and some more difficult trails for seasoned hikers. If you're hiking as a family, especially with small children, squirrel Cache Trail is a great option, since it is only a little over a mile with no difficult terrains. However, if you're looking for the trails with the best views, the High Point Trail gives you some of the best views of Lake Pend Oreille and is only three miles long. So make sure you pack your hiking boots in your camper!
Visiting the Museum
If you're looking to escape the cold, Farragut State Park Museum at the Brig is open year-round and allows visitors to get to know the area better. The brig was originally built when the area was the naval training station during World War II and is one of the few buildings that survived from the era. The museum does a great job of preserving history and teaching visitors what it was like during World War II, not just for soldiers, but also for a German POWs and the brave women that volunteered to serve. The Brig is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a must-see stop for any history buff.
Skiing and Sledding
The flatter areas of Farragut State Park make the perfect setting for skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing in the winter months. This area of Idaho usually gets plenty of snow during the winter and offers ski routes less than two miles long. Although you won't be racing down any mountain sides, you'll get plenty of views of the snow-capped mountains while on the ski trails. For families, there are also sledding and snowshoeing areas that are more suitable for kids.
For all those who own horses and are always looking for new adventures, Farragut State Park is your place. Near the equestrian area is the 10-mile Buggy Trail, which is ideal for horseback riding. This scenic trail loops around the northern area of the park and through the native pines, poplars, and firs, giving you plenty of opportunities to observe all the wildlife that inhabits the area. Depending on what time of year you go you may see deer, hawks, squirrels, owls, bears, and rabbits.