Big Springs - Camp and Hike near Island Park, Idaho
Island Park,Idaho
44.49770600188, -111.25642099367
7.6 miles NE of Island Park, Idaho
GPS: 44°29'51.7"N 111°15'23.1"W
Maps | Directions
State: Idaho

Camp and Hike

There's also a great little walking trail along the river with placards that tell about the ecosystem and history of the area. There's about a 1/2 mile that's paved and then a 1/2 mile of dirt trail. The trail is NOT a loop. The trailhead is on the South West side of the bridge. There's a great spot to feed the fish under the West side of the bridge so bring some quarters to buy fish food. The trail to Johnny Sack's Cabin is on the North Side of the Cabin.

Campground (Fee Required)

This campground Is located on the Ashton·lsland Park Ranger District, comprising nearly 650,000 acres of National Forest System lands. Numerous amenities are offered such as single and double sites which Includes fire rings. utlllty tables. picnic tables, and reslrooms. This campground is situated nen to the beautiful Henry's Fork shaded by Lodgepole Pines. Come In and relax with friends and family. Head on out and explore the Big Springs Interpretative Trail which starts at the bridge Just Outside the campground. Be sure to visit the historical Johnny Sack Cabin, offering a unique Insight Into the history of the Big Springs Area. Just follow the asphalt walkway which will take you to the cabin Just north of the campground. Explore the historical, cultural, geological, and recreational resources this area has to offer.

Take a scenic drive south along the Mesa Falls Scenic By·Way. Stop by the Mesa Falls Visitor Center for an interpretative tour and captivating view of Upper Falls. A two mile Interpretative hiking uall will offer you a view of Canyon Rim.

Length of Stay: Forest Order

Camping or occupying a Single site for a period longer than 16 consecutive days Is prohibited. After leaving a site, a minimum of 7 days Is required before any group or person(s) from that group may reoccupy their original location.

This limit of stay restriction Is necessary to reduce displacment of other Forest desiring to occupy a particular campsite, and reducing the opportunity for visitor or group of visitors from monopolizing a campsite for long periods time (in excess of 16 days).

Fire Safety: Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires

Make sure your fire is DEAD OUT

  • NEVER leave a fire unattended.
  • Keep your fires small. Firewood Is available for sale. See campground host.
  • Check with campground host for current fire restrictions.
  • Use existing fire rings. Scrape away litter end any other burnable material within a l0 foot-diameter circle surrounding the fire ring.
  • Make sure all wood fits inside the fire ring.
  • To put out a campfire, slowly pour water onto the fire and stir with a shovel until all material is cool to the touch.
  • Do not bury your fire. The coals can smolder and re-ignite.
  • Make sure the fire is dead out. Many wildfires have been caused by abandoned campfires.

Bear Country: Required Food Storage Order

Your Safety Is Important to Us

All food and other items that might attract bears must be stored where bears cannot access them at night and during the daytime when unattended. Attended means that a person is physically present within 100 feet and in direct sight of the food.

What are bear attractants?

  • All food and anything that contacted food. This includes full or empty coolers, packaging, boxes, cans, bottles, dirty dishes and silverware, etc.
  • All beverages and beverage containers, full or empty (including water)
  • All garbage, food scraps, and cooking grease. Never dump grease, beverages, or scraps on the ground.
  • Never leave garbage in your fire pit or outside.
  • Pet food and pet food bowls.
  • Gas cans.
  • Grills. Burn grill for at least 5 minutes after use to get rid of any residues. Clorox the grease trap.

Anything with a strong odor is an attractant for bears. Attractants must be stored in a bear-resistant manner. If you are away from your campsite or asleep at night in your test/trailer/RV, these attractants MUST BE STORED. You may be fined if you do not properly store your attractants. If you cannot properly store your attractants, inform the campground host and a bear resistant container may be provided for you.

What is bear resistant storage?

Acceptable places to store and dispose of your attractants are inside a hard-sided trailer, an enclosed vehicle, inside a bear dumpster or trash can (this campground has bear-resistant dumpster). Coolers, tents, underneath your RV/trailer the back of pick-up trucks, boxes, beverage bottles, canned goods, soft-sided trailers, and other containers are not bear resistant. All garbage must go to bear-resistant dumpsters. Garbage must never be left outside unattended. If the dumpster is full, you must take your trash back with you and inform the campground host of the situation.

NOTICE: ATV and Motorcycle use is prohibited

ATVs and motorcycles are prohibited from use in this campground. The following are exempt:

  • Licensed street legal motorcycles.
  • Vehicles used by handicapped individuals.
  • Vehicles used by campground hosts for their official duties.

ATVs and motorcycles may be trailered into the campground, kept in the campsite on a trailer, or parked at a location designated by the campground host.

Educate Yourself

Contact the Island Park or Ashton Ranger Station for information on which areas are open to ATVs.

If you have a Dog: Keep your pet secure at all times

In the national forest, you and your dog could meet people, horses, mountain bikes, ATVs, other dogs, and wild animals. Help make the outdoor experience enjoyable for you, your dog and all the forest's users by following these safety tips:

  • Please remove all feces before vacating your site.
  • Give your dog plenty of water and rest, and watch for signs of stress and fatigue.
  • Keep your dog leashed and under control in campgrounds. Secure your pet in a shady spot and give it lots of attention to minimize barking.
  • If you encounter wild animals, respect them by restraining your dog.

Fireworks are prohibited

Fireworks or other explosives are prohibited within campgrounds and other recreation sites.

Fishing Rules: A fishing license is required to fish in this forest

  • A state fishing license is required to fish in this national forest.
  • A fishing license can be purchased over-the-counter at various stores in the local area. For more information, contact Idaho Fish and Game.

More Information

Add Resource

Link to another great resource

Be courteous, informed, and prepared. Read trailhead guidelines, stay on the trail, and don't feed the wildlife.

Read More
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors


From Island Park, Idaho

  1. Head north on US-20 E toward Forest Rd 139 (5.4 mi)
  2. Sharp right onto S Big Springs Loop Rd (4.7 mi)

In Island Park, ID, from intersection of Koeger/A2 and US Rt. 20, take Rt. 20 north 3 miles to campground sign and S. Big Springs Ave./Forest Rt. 059. Turn right at sign onto Big Springs Ave. and go 4.7 miles to another campground sign. Turn right at sign into campground.

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Guest Review/Comments

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7/13/17 1:02 pm


4/11/17 1:49 pm 9/6/14
We love coming here. This time we took our bikes along the path along the river. My 5 year old son loved reading all the placards which made good resting points along the way. The river here is so clear and beautiful and they've done a lot to keep it pristine. The path is not for bikes. We saw that sign on our way out. Oops! I'm sure it would be just as great walking, especially if the bikes stay off the path ;)


4/13/15 5:02 pm
Somewhere in the back of the camp ground there is a trail that leads to an abandoned fire tower. This is seriously my favorite hike! Uphill but not too steep, it takes about 20 minutes to reach the fire tower (just when you think you are lost, you'll arrive). I've never seen any no trespassing signs. If you are careful you can climb up the broken staircase and enjoy the lookout from the top of the tower. Take a sharpie to sign that you were there and a camera to remember the view. My favorite time to go is either at sunset or in the middle of the night under a full moon. GORGEOUS landscape! It takes about 20 more minutes to get back to the campground.
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