1. Hit the road.
2. Explore the wilderness.
3. Sleep in your home-away-from-home.
RVing is the best way to stay in the wildest places in Southwest Idaho. With 150+ private and public RV campgrounds in the region, you can set up camp on the edge of deep canyons, raging rivers, windswept sand dunes and so much more.
Ready to hit the road? We’ve got six RV trip ideas that take you through some of the most epic spots in Southwest Idaho.
The Greenbelt & Downtown Boise Food Scene
Just one of the many parks along the Boise River Greenbelt
Set up camp at Boise Riverside RV Campground. Nestled along the shores of the Boise River, these full-service sites are steps away from the Greenbelt — and Downtown Boise is just a bike ride away.
Coasting along the Greenbelt past Whitewater Park
If you bike toward Boise, you’ll find hidden local hangouts along the way, including breweries, parks, wineries and more. Check out our Greenbelt Guide for the best spots on the Boise River.
Pedal into the heart of Downtown Boise and explore restaurants, shops, galleries and more. Hit up 8th street (the heart of Boise’s dining scene), and treat yourself to a farm-to-fork dinner.
After checking out the city, stay close to camp and explore the river. There’s plenty of fishing spots along the river bank, where you can catch rainbow trout, steelhead and more. In summer, you can take out the raft, sit back and relax as you float downriver.
Fishing & Stargazing at Bruneau Sand Dunes
Instagram-worthy sand dunes at Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park
From Boise, take I-84 East and drive through the windswept high mountain desert to Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park. Home to the largest single-structured sand dune in North America, this park looks like a scene taken straight from the Sahara Desert!
It’s also one of the best places in the Northwest to try out a little-known sport — sandboarding. Take out a sled or snowboard and catch some “waves” as you fly down the dunes. Afterward, you can wash the sand off your feet in Bruneau Sand Dunes Lake and wade around in the cool waters.
Exploring the Bruneau Sand Dunes
To set up camp, drive 20 minutes west to Cottonwood Park Campground. You’ll park the RV along the shores of CJ Strike Reservoir, a 7,500-acre reservoir teeming with bass, trout and crappie. There’s docks and a boat marina along the shores where you can cast a line and catch the big one.
Gazing up at vivid constellations at Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park
At night, lay out under the stars for a while before heading to bed. Out here, you’re miles away from the nearest big town, and the night sky is filled with endless constellations. (Check out the nearby observatory on Friday and Saturday nights for a guided tour of the stars!)
Local’s Tip: Looking for great kokanee fishing? Check out Fort Running Bear RV Resort near Anderson Ranch Reservoir.
Wine Tasting in the Sunnyslope Wine Region
Strolling through the vineyards and sipping wine in the Sunnyslope Wine Region
Take I-84 west from Boise and wind through the green vistas of patchwork farmland in Idaho’s Sunnyslope Wine Region. Known nationwide for award-winning wineries, this American Viticultural Area has earned its title as the next top wine destination in the Northwest.
Local winemakers harvesting grapes at Williamson Orchards
During your trip, be sure to explore these vineyards and chat with the winemakers. Check out our Wine Trail Guide for a list of other local wineries in the area.
After exploring wine country, set up camp at Canyon Springs RV Resort just outside Caldwell. Play a game of horseshoes or some beach volleyball. Lay out on the floating dock along the pond, and feel the cool breeze blowing over the water.
For dinner, grill up some burgers and set up a picnic under the gazebo. Nothing pairs better with a sunny evening (and maybe a local wine you picked up along the way) than the smell of BBQ on the grill.
Download our free Idaho Attractions Guide.
SW Idaho Tourist Attractions
Wild Adventures in Weiser, Council and Hells Canyon
Unforgettable views of Hells Canyon taken right from the road
Head north along Hwy 95 and stop in Weiser. Named after the nearby Weiser River and known as the “fiddling capital of the world,” this quiet town is filled with historic buildings dating back to 1863. (If you’re visiting during the month of June, make sure to check out the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest!)
Drive further north to Council and camp at one of the 32 full-service hookups at Weiser River Trail RV Park, just steps away from the Weiser River Trail. Once the route of an old railroad, the 84-mile Weiser River Trail winds through 1,400 acres of rugged, untouched wilderness along the Weiser River. Take out the bike or put on some good hiking shoes and explore.
Taking on the surging waves while whitewater rafting in Hells Canyon
Along with being an important entry to the Weiser River Trail, Council is also known as the gateway to Hells Canyon — the deepest river gorge in the US. If you’re up for even more adventure, take a day trip out to Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. (We definitely recommend taking a guided whitewater rafting trip here. It’s nature’s ultimate roller coaster ride.)
Never been whitewater rafting, let alone in Hells Canyon? Read this
Kayaking and Hiking in McCall and Payette Lake
Kayaking the calmer stretch of the North Fork of the Payette River, just outside McCall
Located along the North Fork of the Payette River, McCall RV Park is just minutes south of Downtown McCall. This campground has a guest lodge and an indoor pool, spa and sauna — perfect for relaxing after being out on the road.
First time in McCall? Read our McCall Weekend Guide!
Downtown McCall is an easy bike ride or walk from the campground. Stroll the streets lined with shops, galleries and cafes, or walk down to the beach. This popular ski and lake town is a great place to wander and explore.
Right along the shores of Payette Lake, you’ll find Ponderosa State Park. It’s within walking distance of Downtown McCall and filled with sandy beaches and hiking trails.
Exploring the “The Meanders”
Curious about exploring the North Fork of the Payette River? Drive to the North Beach boat ramp, take out the kayak and explore the “The Meanders.” This 3-mile stretch of calm waters winds slowly through lush wetlands and pine trees. (If you’re quiet enough, you might spot deer, eagles, foxes and even the occasional moose!)
Hot Springs and Ziplines in Banks and Horseshoe Bend
Taking a deep breath before hitting the ziplines in Horseshoe Bend
Take Hwy 55 to Banks and turn on Banks-Lowman Road. After a few miles winding along the Middle Fork of the Payette River, you’ll find Riverpond Campground. This peaceful campground is tucked away in the lush wetlands bordering the river.
The only thing you’ll hear is the rush of the water and birds chirping in the trees. At dusk, it’s the perfect spot to make a campfire, roast s’mores, and tell stories under the stars.
Soaking up the sunshine in some natural hot springs
From the campground, it’s just a 30-mile drive east along the Banks-Lowman Road to Kirkham Hot Springs. You’ll find steaming waterfalls cascading into shallow pools along the river — perfect for a relaxing soak.
For an adrenaline-filled adventure, turn south onto Hwy 55, stop at Cascade Raft and Kayak Co. and try out their 17-element rope and zip lines course. With the help of a guide, you’ll zip through the forest, walk along suspension bridges and climb rope ladders — all above the treetops!
Make sure to take in every moment of the adventure: the views of the mountains, the river rushing below your feet, the feeling of gliding effortlessly through the forest…All of it.
Zip lining above the ponderosa pines outside Horseshoe Bend
RVing is all about making a home in the wilderness, especially in Southwest Idaho.
It’s about the unexpected detours and the unforgettable nights spent under the stars along the way. It’s about getting a taste of the simple life — even if it’s only for a night or two.
At the end of the day, home is where you park it.
Looking for more RV trip ideas? Talk to the Idaho RV Campgrounds Association.