McFarland Campground
Guide

Introduction

Nestled between the Lemhi Range and the Beaverhead Mountains, right on the banks of the Lemhi River, in Idaho, McFarland Campground has to be one of the most scenic campgrounds in the region.

This quaint little campground allows campers to stay in a beautiful bubble for the duration of their stay, a bubble with solitude and extremely fun and fulfilling outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, photography, and auto touring.

Since the McFarland Campground is located in Lemhi Valley, where the river has created a riparian zone in the midst of an arid region, this place is also famous for environmental education.

Camping out alongside Lemhi River truly feels like being in the cradle of an oasis. Far away on the horizon, all you can see is arid lands, but you find yourself surrounded by green and blue. It’s a great place for a mini-vacation if you feel like camping in your tents or RVs and enjoying some great fishing experiences, and truly, who wouldn’t feel like it?

While you are staying there, you’ll also be able to appreciate the undisturbed view of the Beaverhead Mountains and Salmon National Forest. Make sure to pack your cameras because wherever you turn, a capturable sight will greet you.

RV Rentals in McFarland Campground

Transportation

Driving

McFarland Campground is located 13 miles north of Leadore, Idaho, and 33 miles south of Salmon, ID, and less than two hours drive away from Bannack State Park.

From Leadore, head northeast on Carbonate Street towards Railroad street. From there, take a left onto ID-28 and head north. Continue down the road and your destination will be on your right. The road to the campground is smooth and easy since McFarland Campground is located right on the Highway. The entrance to the campground is slightly gravel but the rest of the roads leading to the campsites are paved.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in McFarland Campground

Campsites in McFarland Campground

First-come first-served

McFarland Campground

McFarland Campground is one of the many campgrounds maintained by the BLM Salmon Field Office in this area. The campground does not provide any electric or water hookups, but it is a developed campground and provides various other amenities.

McFarland Campground boasts ten campsites for both tents and RVs. The campsites have gravel parking spots

All these campsites are located at the riverfront, providing the campers with their own private access. Campfires are allowed and the campground is pet-friendly. A vault toilet is also available at the campground. Other facilities at the campground include picnic tables and fire grills at each campsite and potable water.

Garbage collection facilities are also provided. Campsites fill up quite fast during the fall hunting season, so we suggest you come as early as possible to claim yours.

Seasonal activities in McFarland Campground

In-Season

Hiking

This place is ideal for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers because the Lemhi Range offers scenic and rugged terrain that calms the eyes and is a joy to behold. The best part about hiking near the McFarland Campground is that the gorgeous area of Lemhi Range is often overlooked, and is often found isolated and untouched – something every hiker and explorer appreciates.

There are several unmarked and undeveloped trails near the campground that hikers can take. Then a little farther up, there are more developed trails such as the Meadow Lake to the Lemhi Divide trail, a lightly trafficked 2.2 miles out and back trail. You can take your dogs to all the trails in the area unless a sign says otherwise.

Fishing

Lemhi River is right in front of every campsite at McFarland Campground. This river is a 60-mile long tributary of Salmon River, which itself is a tributary of the Snake River. Anglers will especially love this campground as the Lemhi Range is known for its big and healthy population of rainbow trout, which can go up to 16 inches in length.

During some seasons, upper Salmon River brings the famous steelhead to the Lemhi River, allowing the anglers a chance to capture the popular fish species without even heading up to the Salmon River. Early fall is the best time to visit if you wish to try fly fishing for trout.

Birdwatching

If birdwatching is your passion, then you are camping at just the right place because just a few miles from McFarland Campground is the Lemhi Backroad Sub loop, a bird trail that will allow you to see raptors, shorebirds, songbirds, water birds, waterfowl, and upland birds in the region.

In the riparian zone of the trail, keep your eyes open for MacGillivray’s and Wilson’s Warblers, Black-headed Grosbeak, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Red-tailed Hawk, Lazuli Bunting, and several more species of birds.

Off-Season

Photography

This place is every photographer’s dreamland. The river offers a picture-perfect scene, and if you end up capturing a bird right in the midst of hunting, that would be a million-dollar picture alone. Then there is the wildlife to photograph and they are everywhere, some found by their lonesome self and others found in herds. Looming over all this, and providing a superb backdrop, are the Beaverhead Mountains with their massive peaks and broad valleys.

Picnicking

The real charm of places like McFarland Campground is how simple activities such as picnicking bring so much quiet and peace. There's nothing quite like enjoying tasty food with the people you love in magnificent surroundings. If you live nearby or happen to pass by the campground, you can always make a little stop, take out your snacks and enjoy a beautiful picnic by the river.

Wildlife Viewing

As stated earlier, the Lemhi Range is often left alone, allowing the wildlife to roam freely and take over the place. While staying at McFarland Campground, you are much more likely to cross paths with a black bear, elk, deer, mountain goats, and moose. As you hike further up into the mountains, you’ll catch sight of more wildlife including cougars, lone wolves, and antelope.