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Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Boise – Idaho’s capital city – is an outdoor enthusiast’s best-kept secret. Whether you enjoy boating, camping, hiking, biking, fishing, or kayaking, there is no shortage of outdoor recreation opportunities around Boise and the surrounding areas. Maybe you’re looking to rent a boat for wakeboarding, or rent a motorhome to spend time with friends and family in one of Idaho’s campgrounds. Whatever your interest, you’ll be thrilled to be spending quality time outdoors!
Popular Recreation Areas Near Boise
Lucky Peak State Park is one of Boise’s most popular boating and camping areas, as it offers a spacious reservoir just ten miles from Downtown. With its cool waters and easy boat access, Lucky Peak is perfect for taking your boat rental out and enjoying watersports such as wakeboarding, waterskiing, wakesurfing, tubing and more.
You can launch your boat from one of several ramps – our favorite is Spring Shores Marina – and a grassy campground is located directly across from the marina. It’s the perfect place to set up a picnic or hang out in the shade. Fishermen will also find Lucky Peak has fish aplenty, including rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and bull trout.
Camping at Lucky Peak is limited if you’re bringing in an RV, but there are countless boat camping and tent camping sites along the reservoir’s banks. You can also head over to Macks Creek Park with 5 RV sites and 10 tent camping sites, but you’ll want to make those reservations early!
A little further to the east is Arrowrock Reservoir, a canyon reservoir offering sixty miles of shoreline and breathtaking views of dramatic rock formations. This reservoir was created in 1915 by the construction of the Arrowrock Dam, which, at the time, was the largest concrete arch dam in the world. Boating is a must here, and campgrounds can be found throughout the reservoir (check out our Explorer Series blog for some RV camping ideas). Come prepared with fishing gear, as Arrowrock boasts bountiful bull trout, whitefish, cutthroat trout, sockeye salmon, perch, Chinook salmon, rainbow trout and smallmouth bass.
Lake Lowell is another boating hotspot in the area, located in nearby Nampa, Idaho. About 20 minutes from Boise, Lake Lowell is a great place for the nature lovers. Opened in 1909, Lake Lowell is in the middle of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Deer Flat National Refuge. The Refuge is home to many species of wildlife and is ideal for bird watching, as there have been over 200 species of birds recorded here.
The lake offers boating, swimming, and fishing for all throughout the spring and summer months. If you need to spend some time on land, Lake Lowell Park and the Lower Dam Recreation Area are great places to catch some shade right off the water. No overnight camping is available, but both locations offer picnic tables, BBQs, and restrooms for day trips. Lake Lowell Park has a disc golf course as well, while the Lower Dam includes a nice beach area.
Camping Hot Spots Around Boise
Looking for a weekend getaway in your camping trailer or motorhome? Try out Givens Hot Springs campsites – perfect for taking your rental RV – or head over to the old mining ghost town Silver City. If you’re looking to get into the trees, experience the Boise National Forest at Creekside Campground in Idaho City. Here you can backpack, fish, hunt, or take your ATV or motorcycle out and explore the incredible mountains.
Garden Valley is also a fantastic camping destination with many available campgrounds and RV sites. Located in the Boise National Forest, Garden Valley is home to many activities, including hiking, fishing, canoeing, horseback riding, biking, and swimming.
Bruneau Dunes and Dunes Lake
Bruneau Dunes State Park is a great place to take an RV or camp trailer and set up camp while checking out the sand dunes of Idaho. The site is also home to Dunes Lake, with fishing, swimming, bird watching, hiking, sand board rentals, and even an astronomical observatory!
These are only a few of the many fun outdoor activities Boise has to offer, so book a rental boat, motorhome, camp trailer, ATV, or RV and start exploring!