Lake Cascade State Park
Lake Cascade view, Lake Cascade State Park
This 4,450 acre state park is located about 75 miles north of Boise off of State Highway 55, in the beautiful mountain country of central Idaho. The state park is centered around Lake Cascade, with 41 square miles of water surface and 86 miles of shoreline. This is a year round park with boating in the summer, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the winter and excellent fishing for perch, smallmouth bass, Coho salmon, and rainbow trout all year round. Camping is allowed year-round, too, but the campgrounds are only open in the summer. Plowed parking lots with open restrooms nearby do allow for campers of the trailer and RV persuasion in the winter (but bring your own water). The Park Office is open from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM year round except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Lake Cascade State Park offers 2 group camping areas plus 175 individual sites (for a total of 300 single, group and RV sites) in 6 developed campgrounds scattered around the lake ("developed campgrounds" means domestic water and restroom facilities). One group area, the Osprey Point Group Yurts (3 yurts, 2 of which share a common deck), often closes for 3 months beginning in mid-February because of eagle nesting activities in the area. Primitive camping is also allowed in several different dispersed camping areas. Pending availability, reservations for most areas can be made from 2 days to 9 months in advance, but you want to plan ahead: this is a busy place in the warmer seasons. There are also 6 boat launch ramps and several day use areas around the lake.
One of the hiking trails, the Crown Point Railroad Grade Trail, is a great hiking, mountain biking and horseback trail in the summer that turns into a dual-use trail in the winter: one side is groomed for cross-country skiing only while the other side is set up for snowmobiling, snowshoeing and dog sledding (there's some 800 miles of groomed snowmobile trails in the area).
The Lake Cascade Lodge
Sailboats on Lake Cascade
Other photo courtesy of the Idaho Department of Tourism