Enveloping the beautiful 103-acre Winchester Lake replete with rainbow trout, catfish, tiger muskie, and other fish species, is Winchester Lake State Park, a popular spot for fishing and other water activities. Located a quarter of a mile west of Winchester, off Highway 95 in Idaho, this state park is a beautiful place to visit on RV vacations. You can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, meandering around the lake in a paddleboat or canoe, and fishing or swimming. Winter brings opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, and ice fishing.
The 418-acre Winchester Lake State Park, which sits at an elevation of 3,900 feet, features serviced campsites, standard campsites, ADA campsites, and yurts, including one ADA-accessible yurt. Partial and full-hookup options are available for RVs at some campsites. The campsites in Winchester Lake State Park are peaceful and surrounded by beautiful ponderosa pines with a number of sites having a view of the lake. Flush toilets and restrooms, showers, a playground, boat ramps and docks, picnic areas, and dump stations are also available in the park. In addition, a group shelter and an amphitheater are available for group occasions and events. Nearby facilities include Nez Perce National Historical Park, Museum of Winchester History, and Historical Museum of St. Gertrude.
RV Rentals in Winchester Lake State Park
Transportation in Winchester Lake State Park
About 234 miles north of Boise, Winchester Lake State Park is located a quarter of a mile west of Winchester off Highway 95 in northwestern Idaho. The park is easy to access by paved roads using RVs, trailers, and other motorized vehicles. Take the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway from Lewiston on Interstate 95 (Frontage Road), which meanders along the Clearwater River Canyon for some amazing views. In fact, you may have to pull over and take some pictures to share on your social media pages. This byway follows the route that Lewis and Clark took when they were exploring Idaho.
Within the park, local paved roads connect the different areas. A part of the park in the south is accessible using a footbridge that crosses Winchester Lake. There are no driving restrictions for RVs and trailers in the park. Winchester Lake State Park has only one designated parking area for RVs and trailers in the southwestern part of the park. All boats, trailers, or other motorized vehicles are required to fit entirely within the campsite parking spur provided. Any equipment that does not fit entirely within the site's designated parking area will need to be parked outside the campground in the designated overflow parking area.
Campgrounds and parking in Winchester Lake State Park
Campsites in Winchester Lake State Park
Appaloosa Loop Campground in Winchester Lake State Park operates a year-round and has 22 standard campsites available for both RVs and tents. There are no hookup facilities in the Appaloosa Loop, but the facilities do have a picnic table and a campfire ring with a grill for cooking. The RV length limit at the loop ranges from 18 to 74 feet, so you can find one to fit your RV no matter how big it is. It is essential to reserve a spot well in advance to get one that is right for your needs because the sites fill up fast. Restrooms and potable water are near most of the campsites. Pets are welcome but must be supervised and restrained at all times. Fireworks are prohibited, and campfires are allowed in designated areas only. Quiet hours are enforced from 10 PM to 7 AM.
Bitterroot Loop Campground in Winchester Lake State Park operates year-round, and it features 24 campsites available for RVs and tents. Two of the campsites have full hookups. The two companion campsites have water and electrical hookups, and the remaining 20 campsites have electric and water only. Companion campsites are sites that allow for up to 16 people with double the amenities, including two picnic tables and two fire pits. The driveways at Bitterroot Loop range from 32 to 74 feet, which means you should have no trouble finding the right size site for your rig. You should reserve your spot as early as possible because they fill up quickly. Restrooms are available in the loop, and an amphitheater is nearby. Pets are allowed as long as you keep them restrained and supervised during your stay. Quiet hours are from 10 PM to 7 AM.
Camas Loop Campground in Winchester Lake State Park consists of 22 campsites available for RVs and tents, and the RVs sites have electric and water hookups all year long. The RV length limit at Camas Loop range from 38 to 62 feet in length. Restrooms are available in the middle of the loop as well as by the parking lot in the park. Each campsite has its own picnic table that seats eight people, a campfire ring with a grill for cooking, and a large cleared space for sitting around the fire.
The Camas Loop Campground has the most secluded campsites, so if you are looking for peace and quiet, this is the campground to choose. You can bring your pets, but they must be supervised and adequately restrained at all times during your visit. Fireworks are prohibited, and campfires are only allowed in designated areas. Quiet hours are enforced from 10 PM to 7 AM.
Seasonal activities in Winchester Lake State Park
There are several trails at Winchester Lake where you can get a great workout on your mountain bike, so make sure you pack your bikes in the RV before heading out. The 3.3-mile Lakeshore Trail is the most popular path for biking as well as hiking. It starts at the entrance of the park and takes you around the entire lake and back to the entrance again. You will enjoy some hills and curves, pass the playground and picnic area, and ride over the footbridge. You can make this ride longer if you want to veer off onto the 0.4-mile Black Pine Trail, the 0.2-mile White Tail Trail, and the 0.2-mile Eco Trail.
The most popular activity at Winchester Lake State Park for RV campers and visitors is fishing. The docks and fishing platforms enhance fishing opportunities for both beginners and accomplished anglers. Anglers and campers enjoy fishing for rainbow trout, catfish, perch, bass, and bluegill in Winchester Lake. The rainbow trout in the lake is stocked by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The excellent nutrients support the abundant perch, tiger muskie, bass, and bluegill in the lake. Although tiger muskies are quite elusive in the lake, campers take on the challenge of finding them during their fishing fun.
Boating and Canoeing
Winchester Lake State Park features five boat docks usable by RV campers and visitors, as well as a boat launching ramp into Winchester Lake. So, you have numerous opportunities to enjoy boating on the 103-acre lake during your RV vacation at Winchester Lake State Park. Small boats and electric boats are allowed on the lake; however, gas engine boats are not allowed. Canoes are available for rental to enjoy paddling on the lake when the water temperature is above 58 degrees.
Winchester Lake State Park features numerous trails for you to enjoy hiking while on your RV holiday at the park. These include the 0.7-mile looped Discovery Nature Trail, which passes through forested regions in the southwestern area of the park, the 0.2-mile Eco Trail, the 0.2-mile White Tail Trail, and the 0.4-mile Black Pine Trail. By far the most popular trail in the park is the 3.3-mile Lakeshore Trail that runs along the entire shore of Winchester Lake, connects to a footbridge, and offers scenic views of the lake.
This new activity is becoming more and more popular recently with all the emphasis on getting kids outdoors. Geocaching is just a treasure hunt for the whole world to enjoy together. To join the fun, all you need is a cell phone and some energy, and you can head out into the park to find a treasure (cache). Each cache is typically a waterproof container like a Tupperware bowl or box that has a logbook inside for you to sign and date. Sometimes there are trinkets or tokens inside that you can trade for one of your own. You do have to put it back where you found it so others can find it too. Then you are off to your next cache.
When you visit Winchester Lake State Park, the forests and woodlands in the park, as well as the beautiful lake, will offer you the opportunity to see various wildlife along the trails. Some of the common wildlife in the park that RV campers see in the park include whitetail deer, squirrels, muskrats, and bald eagles. Other critters you may see include foxes, black bears, and coyotes. Remember to keep a safe distance from all wildlife.
Skiing and Snowshoeing
In the winter, the Lakeshore Trail offers RV campers various Nordic opportunities, including skiing and snowshoeing, so pack those skis and snowshoes in the rig. If you visit Winchester Lake State Park in the winter, be prepared to go skiing on the trail for a great adventure. Campers also get to walk the entire 3.3 miles in their snowshoes while they observe and appreciate the picturesque frozen lake and surrounding vegetation. Keep your eyes peeled for winter wildlife such as whitetail deer and snowshoe hares.
Winchester Lake State Park offers various programs for RV campers throughout the year for RV campers to enjoy and participate in, such as Jr. Ranger Programs, Wolf Education and Research Center evening programs, and the First Time Adventure Program. The Jr. Ranger Program, for example, is designed for children to have fun while learning about the park and how it connects to nature. Kids get to take hikes, identify plant and animal species, hear park stories, and learn how to be safe on trails, rivers, and lakes in the park.