Situated on the banks of the Hawkins Reservoir and known for being a fantastic free dry-camping location, Hawkins Reservoir Campground is a wonderful place to call home on your RV journey in southeastern Idaho. Operated by the BLM, Hawkins Reservoir Campground is one of several free campgrounds that are available on the 600,000 acres that are managed by the BLM Pocatello Field Office. Known for being very easy to navigate to, Hawkins Reservoir Campground is perfect for a quick stay or to call home for up to 14 days.
The main attraction to Hawkins Reservoir Campground is the reservoir itself as it one of the only places in the area where you can go boating. There are no motor restrictions out on the water, so if you are a keen boater remember to make the most of it during your stay. The reservoir is also a great place to do some fishing or have a picnic at the campground or by the water's edge. During the wintertime, the area transforms into an idyllic winter wonderland and the mountains are great for cross country skiing or snowshoeing.
There are a total of 10 campsites at Hawkins Reservoir Campground that are available only on a first-come, first-served basis. It is important to note that there are no water collection or trash disposals at the campground so you will have to come prepared for a primitive camping experience. The campground is usually quiet all year round, but peak season is from April to October.
Located around 10 miles west of Interstate 15, Hawkins Reservoir Campground is a very straightforward place for RVs of all sizes to drive to for a peaceful getaway. Unlike most wilderness areas, the roads leading to Hawkins Reservoir Campground are all paved and kept in great condition, so you won't have to worry about damaging your RV while navigating here.
Although the park is only 10 miles from the Interstate, you will have to travel a little further to get any supplies for your trip, so it is a good idea to stock up on the way to the campground. For visitors coming from the south, you can stop at Downey (around 15 miles away) or Malad City (around 32 miles away) or Pocatello (around 41 miles away) if you are coming from the north. Idaho Falls is the closest city to the park after Pocatello and is 91 miles to the north.
Gaining access to Hawkins Reservoir Campground is super simple since it is on West Hawkins Road. You will be able to see the campground from the road and easily pull into it without having to navigate a difficult entrance. Visiting during the wintertime can be challenging depending on the weather, so if you are concerned about the conditions it is best to call the Pocatello BLM office for an update.
The main attraction to RV lovers visiting the Hawkins Reservoir area is the Hawkins Reservoir Campground. This BLM-operated campground is available for campers to use completely free of charge, so you are welcome to set up camp and use the Hawkins Reservoir Campground as your home base when exploring the area.
The Hawkins Reservoir Campground contains 10 campsites that are all primitive with no electric, water, or sewer hookups available. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and there are several great campground-wide amenities, such as vault toilets, shade shelters, and a boat ramp. Please note that there are no water collection points so you will have to bring your own to the campground.
All of the sites at the Hawkins Reservoir Campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis only and the sites are available all year round.
If you are looking for another free campground near the Tom Mountain area you should consider staying at Goodenough Creek Campground. The campground is a very popular place to stay for travelers in the area and features 10 sites that are primitive with no hookups available.
Five of the sites at the Goodenough Creek Campground are specifically just for tent camping, while the other five were constructed to be RV-friendly. There are no water collection points in the campground but you will be able to use the picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets. You will also have to bring your trash out with you since there are no dumpsters within the campground.
Like Hawkins Reservoir Campground, Goodenough Creek Campground sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis only and the campground is open all year round.
Heading north on the way to Pocatello? The Indian Rocks Campground is located at an old state park just off the Interstate 15 so it is perfect for travelers wanting a place to stay.
There are no major amenities at the Indian Rocks Campground since it is an abandoned park, but you can go dry camping here free of charge since the land is now under control of the BLM. The road into the campground can be a little bumpy since it is made of gravel and you may hear some highway noise since the campground is so close to it. Remember to bring your own food and water supplies with you and to take any trash out with you since there are no dumpsters within the campground. You will be able to stay here for up to 14 days and all sites are on a first-come, first-served basis only.
One of the most popular activities for visitors to Hawkins Reservoir is to bring a boat and enjoy some time out on the water. Hawkins Reservoir Campground contains a boat launch that you are free to use as well as plenty of boat parking and a dock if you wish to tie up your watercraft.
There are no motor restrictions on the reservoir so you can bring any sized boat on your next RV adventure.
The Hawkins Reservoir is also a great spot for anglers looking for some fishing in a peaceful environment. Fishing is allowed all year round and many species call the reservoir home, including rainbow and cutthroat trout.
Make sure you bring all of your own fishing gear with you in your RV since there will be none for rent upon your arrival. You will also need a state fishing license in order to legally cast out a line.
Interested in having a relaxing picnic during your visit to Hawkins Reservoir Campground? The picnic tables at each campsite are perfect for kicking back and relaxing, but if you are looking for a more intimate picnicking experience you can also throw down a blanket near the water's edge and watch the day go by.
There are no grills at the Hawkins Reservoir Campground so you should consider bringing your own portable grill so you can cook up a storm.
Located near the Goodenough Creek Campground is the perfect place for hikers to explore: Old Tom Mountain. Featuring over 8,000 feet in elevation, Old Tom Mountain can be climbed via the south ridge or from the campground. The hike up to the mountain is approximately an eight-mile round trip and will be quite challenging since there are no water collection points or major trees to shade you from the elements. If you attempt to climb Old Tom Mountain, be prepared for snake encounters as they have been spotted on the trail.
For RV lovers visiting the Hawkins Reservoir Campground during the winter months, there are plenty of fun recreational activities available in the surrounding area.
The campground is located only a few minutes from Elkhorn Peak, which is known as the most impressive mountain in the area. Here you will have the opportunity to go cross country skiing and snowshoeing, but if you don't want to tackle the mountain there will also be enough snow in the area to make snowmen or have a snowball fight.
Interested in taking a few pics during your wilderness getaway? The gorgeous mountains near Hawkins Reservoir Campground gives visitors a great scenic background for any type of photography. Sunrise and sunsets are usually the best time to snap some memories when the natural lighting is best, but during the winter any time of day will be suitable.
Since there are no electrical hookups at Hawkins Reservoir Campground or in the surrounding areas, remember to charge your camera batteries before your arrival.