Big Eddy Campground

Big Eddy Campground


Big Eddy Campground is located approximately 15 miles north of Banks, Idaho, just off Highway 55 at an elevation of 4,000 feet.  The North Fork Payette River flows next to the highway, where whitewater rafting and kayaking are popular activities.

Big Eddy used to be a water stop for the old steam engines. The foundation of the old water tower can still be seen across the river.

Big Eddy Campground is one of 4 campgrounds that lie along State Highway 55, on the North Fork of the Payette River between Banks and Smiths Ferry.


Natural Features:

The campground is situated is a scenic canyon just above Highway 55. The mountains are forested with a mix of Ponderosa and lodgepole pines and shade is plentiful within most of the campground. Summer days are warm, reaching 80-90 degrees; nights are cooler.



The North Fork Payette River is a very popular location for whitewater rafting and kayaking. The Payette Whitewater Roundup is held annually in July along different sections of the river.

Anglers will find good to excellent fishing for whitefish and rainbow trout.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 2021 Scheduled to open May 7.
Operational Hours: May  – October
Reservations: No reservations are necessary, this campground is first come, first serve. This campground only has 4 sites and is a very popular area.  Don't expect a site to be open.
Fees: This is a fee campground.  Fee envelopes and a collection box are provided near the entrance.  Please bring cash or check.  4 sites /  $15.00 - overnight   $8.00 day use.  Extra vehicle fees may apply.
Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Horseshoe Bend, Idaho
Water: Not for Drinking
Restroom: Vault
Information Center: Facilities: The campground contains single-family sites, each with a picnic table and campfire ring. Vault toilets are provided. Roads and parking spurs are paved. Because of its proximity to the highway, some noise from passing traffic is to be expected. Three of the units have paved parking and can accommodate small to medium RV's up to a length of 30 feet.

General Information


From Boise, Idaho travel north along State Highway 55 for approximately 38 miles to Banks, Idaho.

From Horseshoe Bend, continue north along State Highway 55 for approximately 15 miles to the campground sign.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Total of 4 sites.

River and Stream Fishing

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game manages the river fisheries. Fishing is good to excellent most of the year. Fishing occurs from the riverbanks. Whitefish and rainbow trout are the predominate species.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Day Hiking

Trails are not in this area. However, trails may be nearby.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Big Game Hunting

Hunting is good on both sides of the river during the legal season. Due to the heavy highway traffic, hunting is best on the higher slopes. Big game (deer, elk & bear) is located throughout the surrounding mountains.
Difficulty Level: Difficult


Picnic tables are in the surrounding area.

Scenic Driving

The area is in high, forested mountains along the North Fork of the Payette River. Highway 55 is a State Scenic Byway.

Boating - Non-Motorized

The Payette River is famous for white water kayaking. There are many small access sites along the river. During the summer you can observe rafts and kayaks on the river every day.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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