U.S. National Forest Campground Guide

Coeur d'Alene National Forest


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Forest Information

The Coeur d'Alene National Forest is one of three forests comprising the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. The other two are St. Joe and Kaniksu National Forests. The Coeur d'Alene National Forest is located in northwest Idaho and is comprised of 726,819 acres. There are twelve developed campgrounds of which seven met the selection criteria.

Over half the surface water of Idaho is found in its northern area or the Panhandle. The accuracy of this statement becomes clear in the Coeur d'Alene National Forest. Most of the Forest's recreational opportunities center around three bodies of water: the Upper Coeur d'Alene River, Hayden Lake and Coeur d'Alene Lake. The abundance of water provides the Forest with such diverse water activities as water skiing on Coeur d'Alene Lake, tubing or canoeing on the Upper Coeur d'Alene River, and wildlife and birding on Hayden Lake.

There are four developed campgrounds along the 55-mile Upper Coeur d'Alene River for canoeists, kayakers, fishermen, and those who want to enjoy the beauty and wonders of the area. Hayden Lake has only one developed campground, Mokins Bay, nestled under mature pines along the eastern shore. The huge Coeur d'Alene Lake has two campgrounds: Beauty Creek and Bell Bay. Near the northeast shore, Beauty Creek campground is set back from the Lake along Beauty Creek. Here the camper has easy access to the Caribou Ridge National Recreation Trail. This 5-mile trail features a moderately challenging climb to two outstanding vistas of the Coeur d'Alene Lake. Bell Bay, located toward the southern end of the Lake and near the small town of Harrison, offers its campers a fantastic view of the Coeur d'Alene Lake. This campground is above a picnic area (on the shore) with two boat docks. There is a short but steep path leading from the campground to the picnic area and docks.

A visit to the town of Coeur d'Alene is fun, too. There is a very long beach in an attractive park. One can rent a paddle boat, go parasailing, ride around the lake in a seaplane, etc. The beach area of the town reminded the authors a bit of a town or two found in Switzerland. The Coeur d'Alene National Forest, with its several bodies of water, offers its visitors many water-based recreational opportunities, breathtaking vistas of a beautiful countryside and great hikes. Go and experience.

SUPERVISOR ADDRESS 3815 Schreiber Way Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814-8363 208-765-7287 RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES Coeur d'Alene River 2502 East Sherman Ave. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814 208-664-2318

Fred and Suzi Dow