Is any lake your happy place? Enjoy camping? Combine the two and it can be pure bliss.
Here are five of the best lakeside campgrounds due to their family-friendly beaches and easy access for watersports recreation, including paddling, boating, and fishing — plus lots of reservable campsites.
Sam Owen at Lake Pend Oreille
Large campground, with four loops, located on a peninsula south of Hope, Idaho, along the east side of Lake Pend Oreille.
Amenities: boat launch, dock, day-use area and beach, sand volleyball court, paddle gear rentals, and dog-friendly beach.
One of the best Inland NW lakeside campgrounds: Sam Owen Campground has a big beach for hanging out all day for paddling and swimming. // Photo: Amy McCaffree
National Forest Campgrounds on west Side of Priest Lake
10 U.S. National Forest campgrounds at Priest and Upper Priest lakes, including boat-in island campgrounds.
Amenities: Shoreline trails for hiking and mountain biking; boat launches; and Luby, Osprey, and Outlet campgrounds are within MTB/hiking distance to Hill’s Resort. (See “5 Adventures on Priest Lake’s Western Shores” for more recreation ideas.)
Paddling and camping at Priest Lake, Idaho: Views from Outlet Campground, both from the campsite and on the water. // Photos: Amy McCaffree
Heyburn State Park
Heyburn State Park, near Plummer, Idaho, includes three campgrounds on Chatcolet and Benewah Lakes, south of Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Amenities: Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, Rocky Point beach and boat launch, rental cabins, Plummer Point day-use area and dog-friendly beach, MTB and hiking trails, ranger station and visitor center near Hawley’s Landing.
Heyburn State Park includes Hawley’s Landing Campground (left) and Rocky Point marina and day-use beach (right). / Photos: Amy McCaffree
Round Lake State Park
Amenities: two docks, large swimming area, ranger station and visitor center, paddle gear rentals, and MTB/hiking trail around lake.
Round Lake State Park: Small, quiet lake with docks, boat launch, and swimming beach. // Photos courtesy of Robin Lewis.
Fort Spokane at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
Fort Spokane Campground is one of many National Park Service campgrounds within Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area at the 130-mile-long lake—a power-boating and fishing mecca. Fort Spokane is the campground closest to Spokane, located at confluence with the Spokane River.
Amenities: boat launch and trailer parking, fish cleaning station, sandy boat-in beaches along lake and river, and Fort Spokane Visitor Center and Museum.
Boat launch at Fort Spokane where the Spokane River flows into Lake Roosevelt (left); Powerboat and tubing fun on Lake Roosevelt. // Photos: Amy McCaffree
Find more stories about lake recreation and adventure destinations in the Lake Guide archives.