Camping Memorial Day Weekend Just Got Easier
Experts recommend lower-elevation locations to avoid snow and flooding


Well, what a beautiful Memorial Day weekend we have coming our way! Temperatures are supposed to be in the 70s on Saturday, and the 80s on Sunday and Monday in the valley. Hope you are in a position to get out, go camping and really enjoy it!

Memorial Day weekend typically kicks off the beginning of the summer camping season. Because of heavy snow in the mountains, we recommend looking for camping spots in the lower elevations in the Southern Idaho region.

Even though it’ll be warm in the afternoons, it’ll be cold at night, so dress warm. Take your warm sleeping bags. Bring plenty of sun screen.

Be aware that there could be flooding on the Big Wood River as the weather warms up. The campgrounds at the top of the South Hills, such as Diamondfield Jack, are still covered in snow. You can’t reach Mt. Harrison yet, either. But you have options in the lower-elevations!


Here are some last-minute suggestions for camping destinations for Memorial Day weekend:

  • Lake Walcott State Park and Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge – Lake Walcott offers tent camping, RV camping, boating, fishing, hiking, and disc golf, they also have small cabins for rent. You can see pelicans nesting in the wildlife refuge at this time of year, too. Camping reservations are made online via the state parks web site.
  • Castle Rocks State Park/City of Rocks National Reserve – This is a popular car-camping and tent-camping location, so be sure to call ahead for reservations. More information here. While you’re visiting, you can go hiking, biking, rock-climbing, fishing, and learn about the history of Oregon and California Trail emigrants.
  • Craters of the Moon National Monument – Craters has 42 camping sites available, no reservations needed. First-come, first-served system. More information Go hiking while you’re there, hunt for wildflowers and learn about the geology of this austere landscape.
  • Camp in a Forest Service campground – In the South Hills area, Schipper, Steer Basin, Lower and Upper Penstemon, Big Bluff, 3rd Fork, Porcupine Springs, Bear Gulch, FS Flats and Harrington Picnic Area are open.In the Sublett area, Sublett Campground, the dispersed site between reservoir and campground, and Mill Flat Campgrounds are open – no fees are in force. In the Fairfield District, Hunter Creek Transfer Camp, which provides horse corrals, fire rings and a restroom, Bear Creek Transfer Camp and Canyon Campground are open. Most sites in the Fairfield District are closed because of snow, flooding or road damage/closures. Check with the Sawtooth National Forest for more information.
  • Salmon Falls Reservoir – The BLM manages these sites … no reservations are required, so it’s first-come, first-served for a VERY LIMITED number of camping spots. The reservoir level is very high, so that reduces the number of sites available. Bring your fishing pole. More information here.

More primitive

  • Balance Rock – Go hiking around Balance Rock, take a signature selfie next to the rock, and camp in a tent-camping area managed by Twin Falls County Parks and Waterways in a beautiful, secluded setting. See details on how to get there.
  • RV camping in Southern Idaho – There are lots of different RV parks available from Hagerman to Heyburn and points in between. Search for locations here.
  • Wilson Lake – Great spot close to Jerome with 40 camping spots next to the irrigation reservoir. More information here. Bring your fishing pole.
  • Lake Murtaugh – Another popular low-elevation camping spot near the town of Murtaugh. The irrigation reservoir is an excellent destination for boating, fishing and maybe swimming (after it gets hot; water is cold!). The recreation site is managed by Twin Falls County.
  • McClendon Spring Campground, south of Burley, closer to Malta – Off-the-beaten path destination managed by the BLM. More information here.

There you have it! Enjoy the wonderful weather over the Memorial Day Holiday!memorial