6 Best Places to go Boating in Idaho
There are so many great places to go boating in Idaho! We think the best spots are the state parks, and in Idaho, we have 14, Bear Lake State Park, Coeur d’Alene Parkway, Dworshak State Park, Farragut State Park, Hells Gate State Park, Henrys Lake State Park, Heyburn State Park, Lake Cascade State Park, Lake Walcott State Park, Lucky Peak State Park, Massacre Rocks State Park, Ponderosa State Park, Priest Lake State Park, and Round Lake State Park.
All are wonderful places to go camping, boating, and more, but we’re going to cover six of them here.
Coeur d’Alene Parkway
We’ve written extensively about Coeur d’Alene Lake previously. Here, we’ll focus on boating.
First, this is an amazing place for hikers, cyclists, anglers, swimmers, and boaters who want to spend time on the lake or around the 135 miles of shoreline. There are plenty of places to camp here, plenty of boat ramps, and nine marinas.
Take your boat out on the water and go fishing for chinook and kokanee salmon, trout, bass, and northern pike. Also called The state park is also known as Coeur d’Alene Parkway and you’re bound to have fun here.
Bear Lake State Park
Known as the Caribbean of the Rockies, and found in southeastern Idaho close to the Cache Mountains, is Bear Lake State Park. This popular site brings in 15,000 campers or more every year, and though COVID changed things in 2020, we expect a lot of people to come back in 2021 and beyond.
Bear Lake is 20 miles long and 8 miles wide. Now, half of it is in Utah, but we like to think of it as an all-American spot for boating, swimming, and fishing. If you’re into enjoying the water, Bear Lake is a fantastic place to visit. Don’t just come in the summer, though. In the winter, people come here for ice fishing and to catch a fish that spawns here alone, the Bonneville cisco.
Dworshak State Park
Yes, reservoirs can make excellent lakes, too. Take Dworshak Reservoir. It’s part of Dworshak State Park, which also includes plenty of shady trees, hiking trails, disc golf, and camping.
Of course, you’ll want to go boating here, too. Other water activities people enjoy at Dworshak State Park include swimming, waterskiing, and fishing. You’ll find a boat ramp that even includes a fish-cleaning station, so you can gut and clean your fish before cooking them up for dinner.
Farragut State Park
Once a World War II-era naval training station, this 4,000-acre park now provides camping opportunities with 223 individual sites, 10 camping cabins, and 7 group camps.
On the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of northern Idaho, Farragut State Park offers unique scenery, history, and an abundance of recreational opportunities, including disc golf, a radio-controlled airplane field, fishing, hiking, biking, equestrian facilities, and World War II history — don’t miss the Museum at the Brig during your visit.
Heyburn State Park
Most of our state parks have been around for a long time, but in the Pacific Northwest, Heyburn State Park is the oldest. Founded in 1908, this enormous park is full of shady ponderosa pines, flowery fields, and is home to Heyburn Lake. This lake features 52 miles of shoreline. Visitors love swimming along the shores, and farther into the lake, boating, waterskiing, and fishing are all popular activities.
When you fish here, expect to catch crappie, bass, and catfish. Oh yes, when you choose to camp here, you can stay in a cabin or cottage built in the 1930s, or pick a campsite.
Lucky Peak State Park
Yes, this is another terrific state park for boating. You can also enjoy swimming, fishing, and taking a break for a picnic. Plus, Lucky Peak State Park is ten minutes from Boise and the Boise River Greenbelt.
Lucky Peak Reservoir is where you’ll go boating, fishing, and swimming. You can rent a boat or a jet ski, take a boat tour, and fish for largemouth and smallmouth bass, brook trout, bull trout, kokanee, salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, tiger muskie, trout, and whitefish. Purchase whatever you need in the local convenience store, stop for a picnic in Discovery Park, or play on the beach at Spring Shores.
The park usually allows leashed dogs, but not always. Check the website.
If you need a place to store your fishing gear, boating gear, business inventory, or other items in Idaho, we’ve got you covered at Keylock Storage.