2014 Keystone Hideout
2014 Keystone Hideout
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A quiet RV camping trip is waiting in northwestern Idaho right below the Canadian border. Just 15 minutes from Sandpoint, one hour east of Spokane, and 15 minutes north of Athol, you’ll find the quaint 142-acre Round Lake State Park. At an elevation of 2,100 feet, Round Lake State Park is a getaway for motorhome campers who love seclusion and enjoy the sounds of nature.
This area was formed thousands of years ago during the Ice Age when glaciers carved up the land and formed the lakes, mountains, and valleys you see today. The main draw of this park is its namesake, Round Lake, which covers 58 acres and is home to a large variety of land animals and birds.
Swimwear and fishing gear is a must. Bring your sense of wonder and love for nature and this trip will be one to remember. Just book an RV in Bonner County, set your course, and you’ll be camping in no time.
The backdrop surrounding Round Lake is gorgeous. Towering Ponderosa pines mark the perimeter of the lake and really give Round Lake State Park campers an air of seclusion and privacy. Small electric motorboats are allowed on the river, and human-powered boats are available for rent for park visitors. There are no lifeguards on duty, so park management suggests you swim at your own risk.
Round Lake State Park is teeming with wildlife. At any point during the day, campers can look out and catch a Canadian goose soaring over the lake, or see an osprey or robin riding the wind. Bring your binoculars or your favorite camera and see what other native animals you can find enjoying life around Round Lake. Campers are also known to see frogs, turtles, skunks, beavers, and even the occasional moose.
If the kids are interested in hitting the trails, the park has a program called the Junior Ranger Program, which allows the little ones to rent an Idaho Loaner Backpack. These backpacks are chock full of everything your child needs to learn and explore the wilderness safely. Each backpack comes equipped with binoculars, GPS units, guides, and a few other goodies to help them along the way.
The park also offers an education center, guided walks through nature, and other programs facilitated by Round Lake’s well-trained staff. Canoes, kayaks, and SUP boards are available for rent if your family wanted to paddle around Round Lake. Rentals come with life jackets and paddles.
Nature lovers camping at Round Lake State Park have 16 serviced campsites to choose from which provide 30 or 50-amp electrical hookups. There are also 35 primitive campsites, two of which are ADA accessible. The park can accommodate motorhome rentals up to 24 feet in length. The campground provides many amenities to its guests, including flush toilets, showers, and dump stations.
You can reserve your site at Round Lake State Park as soon as one day in advance or as far out as nine months. Your favorite canine camping companion is also welcome to join you as long as they stay on a six-foot leash (and their best behavior).
For a fun day trip, head up to the city of Sandpoint with the family and discover all the treasures that this place has in store. The Silverwood Theme Park is great for adventure seekers of all ages. Sandpoint is also known for its festivals including the Arts and Crafts Fest, Northwest Winefest, and Festival at Sandpoint. There are also golf courses, driving tours, hiking/biking tours, craft breweries, and so much more. With Sandpoint only an hour away, it will definitely be worth taking the trip north.
If you’re looking for a fun artsy city, look no further than Spokane, Washington. This place is full of unique bars and restaurants, museums, casinos, and shopping centers. Check out the beautiful Spokane Falls or swim in one of the city’s 76 lakes. Spokane also has an amazing nightlife if you’re looking for somewhere to let loose or go dance.
Or head east towards Idaho’s biggest lake, Lake Pend Oreille. Pend Oreille is 43 miles long with 111 miles of shoreline. It's surrounded by state parks and public beaches. Check out Garfield Bay, Whiskey Rock, or City Beach. This area is great for swimming with the whole family or beach lounging with your best friend. Maybe paddle around in a canoe and search for wildlife. You could take your motorboat out to the middle of the lake and toss a line into the water to see what kind of fish you can find.
As far as gas stations go, there are a few right next to the park off Highway 95. You can fill your tank, grab some snacks, and get ready to be back on the road in no time. If you miss the ones near the park and you’re going north, there are a slew of them just over the lake in Dover. If you haven’t gotten your fill of national forests by now, Round Lake State Park is surrounded by seven of them, giving you plenty of opportunities to extend your adventure.