Helende Campground is located 10 miles east of Lowman, Idaho, along Highway 21 at an elevation of 4,100 feet. The South Fork Payette River lies a few hundred yards away. Visitors enjoy fishing and rafting on the river, soaking at nearby Kirkham Hot Springs and exploring the extensive Kirkham Ridge Trail.
The campground is situated in a dense forest of lodgepole and Ponderosa pine, which offers plentiful shade in most sites. Summer wildflowers dot the landscape. Deer and elk may be seen wandering through the area on occasion.
The South Fork Payette River offers whitewater rafting, kayaking and trout fishing. The Deadwood and Danskin River Access areas are nearby.
Popular Kirkham Hot Springs is less than 5 miles west of the campground along Highway 21. A trail with staircases leads down to the soaking pools on the riverside.
Kirkham Ridge Trail is one of the Lowman Ranger District's premier trails. It begins near Kirkham Campground and stretches through beautiful country for 35 miles, connecting with many other trails in the area. It is open to hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Sections of the trail are open seasonally to off-road vehicles.
Numerous natural hot springs pools can be found along the Banks-Lowman Highway, also known as the Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway and Highway 21, the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway. Both byways offer scenic views, wildlife watching, historical information kiosks and several trail opportunities.
Whitewater rafting and kayaking are popular activities on the South Fork and Main Payette Rivers. Several companies in the area offer guided half and full-day trips.
At a Glance
Usually opens in May.
Reservations can be made HERE at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
This is a fee campground.
15 sites / $15.00 per night, $5.00 day use.
The campground contains single-family sites, all of which are accessible. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring with grill. Vault toilets, drinking water and trash collection are provided.
From Boise, Idaho, take State Highway 55 to Banks. Turn east and travel on Forest Highway 24/Banks-Lowman Highway to Lowman. Turn left on Highway 21. Campground is located at milepost 82.