Ahoy, Idaho! Boating in the Gem State

Idaho is truly a sportsman’s paradise. Many RVers decide to stay much longer than they planned on after a few days in Idaho. From a central location, such as Mountain Home, you have amazing lakes within a short drive. Take a three-hour drive, and then plan a few days in your RV basking in the incredible mountain-plus-lake views. RVs and boats are a perfect combination in Idaho and perhaps the best way to enjoy the state. Hook up the boat and go for it!

Mountain Home Reservoir

Once you park the RV, it doesn’t have to stay parked. Less than five miles down Hwy 20 from Mountain Home is Mountain Home Reservoir. With over 40 acres of prime fishing at your feet, you can have bluegill, largemouth bass, or rainbow trout on your plate by dinner time. Spend the day lazing—er, fishing—then, eleven minutes back to Mountain Home, park the RV, and fry up the fish.

C.J. Strike Reservoir

Almost as close, but in the opposite direction, is C.J. Strike Reservoir on the Snake River, a set of linked lakes that will keep you busy for way more than one day. Outside of Boise, C.J. Strike and its linked Bruneau Arm, is an easy 25.5 miles from Mountain Home. That’s less than a half-hour drive.

Some things to know about C.J. Strike: 11,000 acres of fishing, birding, and has a great shoreline. The roads are limited and end in great parking access and boat ramps. The lake is still fun without a boat, for picnics, fishing, and watching wildlife. Improved sites are available for camping. Between August 1 and the end of September, bird dog trials and training take place. Check out all the possibilities at C.J. Strike’s website.

Anderson Ranch Reservoir

Another crowd pleaser is the Anderson Ranch Reservoir. Thirty-three miles, a mere 45-minute drive, away from Mountain Home, Anderson Ranch at first appears to be a desert lake, but the ten campgrounds occupy the forest areas. Four boat launches give you water access for water skiing and fishing.

 Be sure to have your fishing license before you drop a hook into this richly populated fish home. Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, sturgeon, smallmouth bass, and kokanee are some of your potential dinners. Anderson Ranch is long and easily accessible. You’ll need more than one day here RV parking is available in nearby Pine on Hwy 20, 15 miles northeast.

Lake Lowell and the Bruneau Arm

This extensive waterway has 9,800 acres of fishing and watersports and is just outside Nampa, ID. The Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge borders the reservoir, so it truly has something for everyone. Available are fishing, swimming, and hiking embroidered by amenities such as picnic tables, restrooms, grills, disc golf, and even a story trail. Some details: motorized boats can only be used between April 1 and September 30. From Mountain Home, it’s 69.2 miles away, about an 1 hour 19 minutes, toward Boise.

Lake Cascade

This gem of a lake is farther away, about a three-hour drive (135 miles) up Hwy 55, but its 30 acres (47 sq. mi) offers wonderful fishing, and campsites, including RV facilities such as a dump station. With a marina, boat ramps and docks, restrooms and more. Hiking, swimming, biking, and general watersports make Lake Cascade a prime location for fun. For RV parking, you may want to reserve a site through the Lake Cascade State Park website.

Set in the mountains near the Payette Scenic Byway and McCall, Lake Cascade also boasts the Tamarack Resort, on the western side near Donnelly.

Payette Lake

In the same neighborhood is Payette Lake. Head up Hwy 55 north of Lake Cascade, and pass through McCall. Payette Lake has over 5,000 acres (8 miles long) of pristine water, filling a glacier-carved basin and at its deepest point is 392 feet. The Ponderosa State Park borders and preserves half of the lake. Imagine lazing on a sandy beach with snow-capped mountains on the near horizon! Or spending an afternoon whitewater rafting for a real thrill.

Sailing is particularly popular here, along with ice fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking and canoeing, and even two nearby ski resorts. RVs are welcome!


However, you can’t use your boat for ice fishing. Winter it safely and securely at Mountainbound Custom RV Park and Storage. Buy or rent a unit only for boat storage, or for both the RV and your boat. Create a home around your home with a customizable man-cave. Make use of the playground, dog park, café, laundromat and more while you kick back in this mountain paradise.

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