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  • Writer's pictureJenna King


Nature is calling! For those moments when you want to enjoy the great outdoors but stay closer to home, these campsites are located an hour or less from the heart of Boise. You can leave work at 5pm and find yourself soaking your toes in a creek before the sun goes down. There is a reason why outdoor lovers flock to the Treasure Valley!

Bruneau Dunes State Park

Idaho is filled with unusual sights, one of which is Bruneau Dunes State Park! Here you will find the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America. Its peak rises 470 feet above the surrounding desert floor.

The dunes can be explored by foot or on a sandboard (rented from the Visitor Center). Fans of fishing can throw a line in at the lakes at the foot of the dune.

In non-Covid times, you can examine the sky at the Bruneau Dunes Observatory.

Shafer Butte Campground

You will feel on top of the world at the Shafer Butte Campground. This site sits at an elevation of 7,000 feet! Located near Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area, campers can hike and bike on the many trails found in the area.

This campsite is tent-only, with seven spots to choose from. Those with large parties can reserve one of the two group picnic areas that seat up to 50 people.

Macks Creek Park

For campers who want to enjoy the water, Macks Creek Park is a boater’s destination and only about a 30 minute drive from Boise. The campground has 10 campsites, a mixture of both RV and tent-only.

A boat ramp allows visitors to take full advantage of the campground’s location on Lucky Peak Lake. You can catch your own dinner at Macks Creek Park, with fishing lines mostly hooking rainbow trout, Kokanee and smallmouth bass.

Grayback Campground

Only two miles south of Idaho City, Grayback Campground is nestled under Ponderosa Pines. Anglers can catch rainbow trout in Mores Creek, which sits right below the campground. Or campers can lace up their hiking boots and hit the Grayback Loop Trail, a one-mile footpath for hikers.

I hope this list helps you find your next favorite (and close) camping ground. If you are still searching for that ideal spot to pitch your tent or unhook the RV, then check out the Idaho State Parks and Recreation website and the website for federal campgrounds.

As always—if you ever have any questions about the ever-changing marketplace or know someone looking to buy or sell, please do not hesitate to reach out!

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