RV Camping Near Ponderosa State Park


What comes to mind when you imagine a scenic outdoor state park perfect for a memorable adventure? Perhaps you think of a densely forested peninsula with a lake, gorgeous mountain views, and miles of recreational trails. If so, then a Ponderosa State Park RV camping trip is an experience worth pursuing.

Located in Central Idaho at the center of Payette Lake, Ponderosa State Park is 1,500 acres of outdoor heaven suited for any adventurer. 

If you’re ready to explore one of Idaho’s most beloved destinations, then prepare for your first visit by reading this informative guide. You’ll learn about the best RV parks near Ponderosa State Park, the best time to visit Ponderosa State Park, popular activities, and some tips.

Ponderosa State Park Facts

Familiarize yourself with one of Idaho’s most stunning parks with these interesting Ponderosa State Park facts.

  • The Sheepeater (Native American tribe) once occupied the park’s surrounding area.
  • On September 27, 1906, a resolution was passed to make the land around Payette Lake a state park.
  • Payette Lake was named after Francois Payette, a French-Canadian mountain man.
  • One of the park’s most striking features is the array of Ponderosa pines, which can live up to 500 years. 
  • Several animals inhabit the park, including Columbia ground squirrels, bald eagles, bobcats, and mule deer.

Now that you’ve gained more familiarity about the park with these Ponderosa State Park facts, it’s time to shift gears and focus on Ponderosa State Park RV sites.

Best Ponderosa State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds

To help you enjoy your first Ponderosa State Park RV camping trip, we compiled a list of the best RV parks near Ponderosa State Park.

Black Bear RV Park

Amenities: Located near McCall, Idaho, Black Bear operates as a mountain resort that combines outdoor adventure and city life into one experience. Spend time exploring the well-groomed forest trails nearby or experience live music in downtown McCall. Amenities include a laundry facility, a general store, showers, and Wi-Fi. There’s no need to worry about your Ponderosa State Park RV rental needs at this park.

Capacity: 72 RV sites

More Information: Black Bear RV Park 

Creekside RV Park and Campground

Amenities: Creekside offers visitors a pleasant camping experience in the form of solitude and relaxation. The park is conveniently located within 3 miles of New Meadows, Idaho. Those who visit in the winter can enjoy the Brundage Mountain Resort — a classic ski resort surrounded by 18,000 acres of backcountry terrain. Amenities include electric and water hookups, BBQ areas, a fish pond, and guest showers.

Capacity: 37 RV sites

More Information: Creekside RV Park and Campground 

Payette River RV Park

Amenities: Settle near the mountain ranges of McCall by reserving a spot at Payette River RV Park. You’ll find plenty of areas to explore, including Payette Lake, the Tamarack Resort, and some hot springs. If you prefer something more convenient for a good night’s sleep, then Payette River is one of the best RV parks near Ponderosa State Park. Each site comes with water, electricity, cable, and Wi-Fi. 

Capacity: 157 RV sites

More Information: Payette River RV Park 

Golden RV Park

Amenities: Like other RV parks near Ponderosa State Park, Golden is another good selection for a relaxing vacation. You’ll find plenty of attractions just beyond the campground, including Kelly’s Whitewater Park, Payette Lake, and the Central Idaho Historical Museum. Plus, there are also opportunities for stargazing and sunset viewing. Visitors receive full hookup sites, drinkable water, laundry facilities, and cable TV hookups.

Capacity: 17 RV sites

More Information: Golden RV Park 

Ponderosa Campground

Amenities: Enjoy a couple nights of RV camping in Ponderosa State Park at the Ponderosa Campground. You can look forward to drinkable water, fire pits, outdoor tables, and access to nearby trails. Remember to abide by Idaho State Park regulations. These include no fireworks, only camping in designated areas, and remaining quiet after 10 p.m. Please note that this campground has no hookups, so staying here has a more dispersed camping feel.

Capacity: 10 RV sites

More Information: Ponderosa Campground 

Best Time To Visit Ponderosa State Park for RV Camping

While Ponderosa State Park is open year-round, visitors should expect significant changes to the park’s temperature throughout the year. Here are some factors to consider when deciding on the best time to visit Ponderosa State Park.


If you plan on visiting Ponderosa Park during the winter, make sure you’re fully prepared for an Idaho winter camping experience. Visitors should expect an average high of 33 degrees Fahrenheit with an average low of 11 degrees. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the park receives a large amount of snow. That said, visitors can enjoy more than 12 miles along groomed ski trails, including frozen ponds. Please note that Ponderosa Park closes down its campgrounds throughout this season. 


For the most part, you can still expect cold temperatures during springtime. Expect average high temperatures of 60 degrees with an average low of 18 degrees. While humidity rates remain high during this period, they start to drop as we get closer to summer. Stay cozy by spending a night at one of the Lakeview deluxe cabins the park has to offer.


By summer, visitors should expect temperature increases that make it ideal for water recreation activities. The average high is 81 degrees, while the average low falls to around 40 degrees. You can spend an afternoon lounging around the beach, swim on the shores of Payette Lake, or even go on a picnic with your loved ones. Young children can sign up for the Junior Ranger Program during the summer months.    


By October, temperatures begin to drop as temperatures hover at around 48 degrees. By November, those temperatures drop to the mid-30s. That said, you can spend some quality time looking at abundant wildflowers by hiking on the trails in the surrounding area. Some of these trails are also open to mountain bikers, though you must bring your own bike.

Things To Do in Ponderosa State Park

Ponderosa State’s Park’s dense forests, accessible shorelines, and miles of trails make for quite an outdoor adventure. Here are some of the best things to do in Ponderosa State Park.

  • Hit the trails. Strap on your hiking boots and spend some time exploring the scenic landscape that surrounds the park through its trails. If you’re in the mood to capture some images with your phone, try the Ridgeline Trail — a 0.9-mile trail that takes you through large basalt rock.
  • Try mountain biking. You can enjoy several miles of biking trails at this park. For something simple, try the Sunrise Trail, which crosses over the Huckleberry Trail. If you’re up for a challenge, take the Payette Lake Trail: West Side –– a 7.2-mile trail that has rocky singletrack.
  • Dive into the water. Your options for swimming at Ponderosa Park are plentiful. You can take a dip at the shores of Payette Lake or try the beaches at the Peninsula Unit. Keep an eye out for the floating buoys which indicate where visitors can swim in the park.
  • Consider cross-country skiing. Because of its high elevation (5,050 feet) and long winter seasons, Ponderosa Park has some of the best skiing in Idaho. Visitors can explore up to 14.3 miles of groomed trails. Make sure to obtain a day pass to gain access to these trails.
  • Go picnicking. Sometimes, outdoor activity in the company of others is all you really need. Grab a blanket, pack some lunch, and reserve a shelter. Best of all, these shelters come with picnic tables and running water.

It’s easy to understand why this park remains one of the most popular attractions in Idaho. With so many things to do in Ponderosa State Park, it’s just a matter of making the most out of your adventure.

Tips For Visiting Ponderosa State Park

Make the most out of your first Ponderosa State Park RV camping experience by keeping the following tips in mind.

  • Remain cautious when swimming since no lifeguards are present in the area.
  • If you’re planning on bike riding, make sure you bring your own bike since there are no rentals available at the park.
  • Visitors over the age of 14 must possess an Idaho fishing license if they want to fish in any of Idaho’s state parks.
  • Unlike other campgrounds in the park, the campsites at the Northwest Passage campground are available on a “first-come, first-serve” basis.
  • Remember that winter access fees are charged in addition to motor vehicle entry fees.

Now that you’ve received all the information and guidance you need for a memorable Ponderosa State Park RV camping trip, it’s time to discuss your RV rental Ponderosa State Park needs.

RV Rental for Ponderosa State Park

You never want to wait until the last minute to realize that transportation concerns might delay your adventure. With Cruise America, you get access to a wide variety of RV rentals that come equipped with all the self-contained features you need to enjoy life on the road.

Now there’s no need to cram all of your camping gear into your small SUV. With Cruise America, the journey is as memorable as the destination. Contact us today so we can get you started on your RV rental Ponderosa State Park adventure.