Thursday, May 26, 2016

Weather looks grand for Memorial Day weekend; Tips on where to go camping!

Classic car camping scenario in the Boise National Forest near Idaho City

Camping along the North Fork Boise River  

Fishing on the Middle Fork is better than the North Fork (Boise NF photo)

Salmon River beach scene - can't go wrong! 
Leslie Gulch is a scenic wonder. Great place to hike and camp. 
Hiking above Succor Creek State Park ... Steve and Drew 
Hi all,

Well, the weather looks great for Memorial Day weekend -- no rain in the forecast -- but it will be on the cool side at night (temperatures near or below freezing), especially in the Stanley and McCall areas, so be sure to bring plenty of warm clothes for the campout.

Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer camping season for many of us. Assuming you're thinking about where to go camping this weekend, here are my recommendations:

  • Developed campgrounds or self-support dispersed camping sites along the North Fork of the Boise River and Middle Fork of the Boise River will be a great location this weekend. Temperatures are forecast to reach into the 70-degree range in Idaho City, so that'll be perfect for hiking, biking, fishing morel-hunting or hanging out in camp! All of the key access roads to reach the North Fork and Middle Fork are open. The Edna Creek Road to Atlanta also was just opened this week. 
  • Salmon River beach camping near Riggins - This is a great spot for hanging out on the spacious white sandy beaches on the Salmon River, upstream of Riggins along the Salmon River Road. Get there early. These spots are choice, so they are popular! Take your kayaks or rafts and do day trips on the Salmon River while you're in the hood. The Salmon River was running 26,000 cfs as of today ... 
  • Camping in the Owyhees or in the Snake River canyon should be great. Places like Bruneau Dunes State Park, Leslie Gulch, Succor Creek State Park, Celebration Park or the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area would all be prime this weekend. See my Owyhee Canyonlands guidebook for details on visiting all of these areas.
  • Stay home and go hiking/riding or running in the Boise Foothills - Trail conditions are perfect in the Boise footies, the flowers are still happening and it's velvety green everywhere. See my Boise Trail Guide for ideas on where to go. 
See the Idaho Statesman's latest camping guide, published on Wednesday, for a rundown on some of their staff members' favorite camping locations in SW and Central Idaho. They also detailed what campgrounds are open or closed at this time of year.

In general, snow levels are at 6,500 to 7,000 feet in the mountains of SW Idaho and Central Idaho. In the Payette National Forest, there is still three feet of snow at Upper Payette Lake campground, and five feet of snow at Lick Creek Summit. Valley County apparently is working on opening the road to Burgdorf Hot Springs as we speak.

In the Sawtooth Valley, the valley itself has been clear of snow for several weeks, but once you get into the forest, you are likely to run into snow quickly. Check with the Stanley Ranger Station 774-3000 if you want more details.

Have a great campout!
- SS  

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