Lake Cascade State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Lake Cascade State Park is open year-round and offers many activities for all seasons. The lake and mountains provide stunning scenery no matter the time of year. Planning to visit in the summer? Take your boat out on Lake Cascade or rent a kayak to paddle around. Fish for record-breaking perch or lounge on one of the lake's beaches. Visiting in the winter? Bundle up to go ice fishing or head to the trails for snowshoeing. When done with activities for the day, warm up or dry off by the campfire.

Lake Cascade is a reservoir that was created by the construction of Cascade Dam in 1948. The lake has 86 miles of shoreline and a surface area of 27,148 acres. During and after the dam’s construction, backwater filled farmland causing highway 55 to be redirected and forcing some residents from their homes. Today, Lake Cascade is well known for fishing and watersports.

During the summer months, you can expect average temperatures to be in the 80s. These months are enjoyable out on the water or at one of the lake’s many beaches. During the winter, expect temperatures to be at or below freezing. These cold temperatures freeze the lake for those who want to go ice fishing. Several feet of snow often blanket the park making perfect conditions for those who plan to enjoy winter activities such as ice fishing or snowmobiling.

This 500-acre park is host to 83 campsites with full hookups as well as 164 standard sites. Campsites are available by reservation only. Reservations can be made online or over the phone. Bring along your pet during your stay. Pets are welcome in most areas of the state park with the exception of buildings and yurts. Your dog will enjoy it out on the trails in the snow or sunshine!

RV Rentals in Lake Cascade State Park

Transportation in Lake Cascade State Park

Driving

Lake Cascade State Park is located in the mountains of Central Idaho about 75 miles north of Boise. The park is located off of State Highway 55. The coordinates to plug into your GPS for directions are 44.5240 N and 116.0510 W.

Expect to see beautiful scenery on your drive to and inside the state park. While you shouldn’t encounter trouble spots during your drive, do keep an eye on the weather especially if visiting in the winter time. The roads are well-maintained during the winter, but be cautious of icy patches. Snowstorms aren’t uncommon, yet for winter visitors, a fresh blanket of snow is welcome for snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

During your stay, you won’t be far from the heart of the rural city of Cascade. Stores and supplies are less than a mile down the road from the state park. You don’t have far to go if you forgot a necessity or simply want to venture out for a meal.

Once in the park, you can walk, bike, or drive to activities and park amenities. There is plenty of parking at the day use areas and near the trails. Footpaths are located in some loops providing short cuts to the restrooms and other areas in the park.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Lake Cascade State Park

Campsites in Lake Cascade State Park

Reservations camping

Camping at Lake Cascade State Park

Lake Cascade State Park has 164 standard and 83 serviced campsites in 10 developed campgrounds. The campsites at the state park have parking pads up to 65 feet in length, so you shouldn’t encounter any issues parking your rig. Most are back-in, though there are some pull-through sites available as well.

Many of the sites in the Poison Creek and Ridgeview campgrounds have serviced sites with full hookups for RVs and trailers. Other amenities at all campsites include a fire pit and picnic table. Dump stations are available in the park for those without sewer hookups.

Park amenities include restrooms with showers, picnic areas, and six boat ramps. You’ll find that the state park has mobile phone service. Additionally, wifi is available in the Ridgeview and Poison Creek campgrounds as well as the Visitor’s Center. Pets are allowed at the state park, but aren’t permitted in park buildings or yurts.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Lake Cascade State Park

In-Season

Fishing

With 41 square miles of surface area on the lake and 86 miles of shoreline, there are plenty of great fishing spots throughout the state park. Lake Cascade is known for its record sized Perch. Anglers can also expect to reel in Rainbow Trout, Coho Salmon, and Smallmouth Bass. An Idaho fishing license is required to fish at Lake Cascade for individuals 14 and older.

Boating

Lake Cascade is over 27,148 acres, making it perfect for boating. There are six boat launch ramps around the state park, making a minimal wait during the peak season to drop in your boat. Kayak and stand up paddle boards can be rented at the Van Wyck boat ramp. Life jackets are available on loan at the park also.

Hiking

Crown Point Trail runs alongside Lake Cascade. The trail is two and a half miles long and offers beautiful views of the lakes and mountains. You’re likely to spot a number of different animals that are known to the park including Deer, Elk, and numerous species of birds. Cougars and Bears have been spotted in and near the park as well.

Off-Season

Cross-Country Skiing

Bring your skis and head over to the Crown Point Trail. The trail is over two and a half miles in length and runs along the lake. The Park Loop is another trail for cross country skiing and is located on the south end of the lake. On either trail, you can expect to find beautiful views of the frozen lake and snow-capped mountains in the distance.

Ice Fishing

If visiting during the winter months, Lake Cascade offers ice fishing. Lake Cascade has a reputation for producing large Perch and holds the state records to prove it. Bundle up, check ice and weather conditions, and take your fishing gear out onto the ice-covered lake. Don’t forget to bring along your fishing license!

Snowshoeing

Cascade State Park offers a two and a half mile long trail called Crown Point. Strap on your snowshoes and expect to find beautiful views of the frozen, snowy landscape. The trail is shared with cross country skiers and snowmobilers. There isn’t much elevation gain along the trail which makes it perfect for all skill levels. Dogs are welcome on the trail as well.

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