Calamity Campground

Area Status: Open
Calamity Campground Sign

Calamity Campground is located along the Snake River drainage at the north end of beautiful Palisades Reservoir at an elevation of 5,700 feet, just 55 miles east of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Visitors enjoy boating, water skiing, fishing and canoeing.

Natural Features: The campground is situated on a hillside above Palisades Reservoir, affording scenic views from many sites. A mixed forest of lodgepole pine, spruce, fir, aspen and maple trees partially shade the campground. Summer wildflowers dot the landscape.

Recreation: Palisades Reservoir offers excellent boating, water skiing, swimming and canoeing. Lake and shore fishing are very popular here as well, with wild and stocked cutthroat trout as the predominate species. Kokanee salmon, brown and Mackinaw trout can also be found. A boat ramp and large parking area are located on-site. 

The Palisades Creek Trail begins nearby, leading hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders to beautiful Upper Palisades Lake and expansive views of Swan Valley.

Facilities: The campground offers several campsites on three loops. All sites are equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring with grill. Some sites have a few stairs from the parking spur to the site pad. 

Vault toilets, drinking water and trash collection are provided, but there is no electricity. Firewood is available for purchase from the host. Roads and parking spurs are gravel.

Nearby Attractions: Big Elk Creek Trail, for hiking, biking and horseback riding, begins at nearby Big Elk Campground and meanders up a beautiful canyon brimming with wildflowers, towering trees and views of the surrounding mountains.

Swan Valley and the Snake River offer more great fishing and boating opportunities, as well as rafting, canoeing and numerous trails for hiking, biking, horseback and ATV riding. Fall Creek Falls is 20 miles away, and the Fall Creek area has hundreds of miles of such trails.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: **Open for tent camping only. Bear Creek road to Calamity is still washed out and impassable. 
Reservations: This site can be reserved by calling Toll Free 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639 or TDD 877-833-6777) or on-line at  Reservations must be made 4 days ahead of arrival.
Area Amenities: Accessible, Boat ramp, Tent camping, Camping trailer, Fee charged for some activities, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water, Parking
Fees: For current fees, please go to
Open Season: Mid May
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Restrictions: No trailers allowed in Loop C. Vehicles must be parked in developed areas only. No ATVs or ORVs allowed, except for entering and exiting the campground. A designated parking area is available next to the campground host.
Water: Potable Water
Restroom: Vault Toilet
Passes: Interagency Senior Pass and Interagency Access Pass will receive a discount on Single sites only.
Operated By: Concessionaire
Information Center: No trailers allowed in Loop C A $6 fee for extra vehicles will be collected at the campground ATVs/OHVs can be used only to enter and exit the campground

General Information


GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
43.32778, -111.215
43°19'40"N, 111°12'54"W

From Idaho Falls, Idaho, travel on Hwy. 26 for approximately 50 miles. Turn right off of Hwy. 26, (just before ascending grade to top of dam) and go ¼ mile, turn right and cross the river following signs to the campground. Distance is approximately 5 miles.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

No. of Sites 41
Reservation Info
Fire Information yes

Lake and Pond Fishing

Palisades Reservoir offers excellent fishing with wild and stocked cutthroat trout being the predominate species. Brown trout, Kokanee, and Mackinaw can be found also.

Open Season: April-October

River and Stream Fishing

The majestic South Fork of the Snake River flows for 66 miles across southeastern Idaho, through high mountain valleys, rugged canyons, and broad flood plains.  The South Fork is known as a premier blue ribbon trout fishery; two sub-species of ancient trout have called this area home about 10,000 years, including the Yellowstone and the Snake River Fine Spot. Other fish species here include rainbow trout, brown trout and whitefish.

General Info:

Permits & Regulations
  • All overnight and day use boaters are required to carry out human waste properly, for example by using a portable toilet or certified waste disposal bags. Portable toilets with snap-on lids (ammo can or plastic buckets) are required to have a rubber gasket in the lid. Plastic bag liners are not acceptable unless they are the Environmental Protection Agency approved WAG bag or RESTOP systems.
  •  In order to prevent additional vegetation and soil disturbances, fire pans are now required.  Fire pans should be elevated off the ground to prevent scorching and should be at least 12-inches wide, with a 1 1/2-inch lip around its outer edge to sufficiently catch fire remains. All ash needs to be packed out with visitor before leaving their campsite.
  • Due to the pristine nature of the river corridor from Conant Boat Access to Lufkin Bottom, camping is allowed only in the 11 designated camp areas.  A free self-issue permit is required and is available at the boat access areas.  Camping is prohibited within a Bald Eagle Habitat area. 

Fees: $3 per day per vehicle for parking at any boat access point on the South Fork of the Snake River
Difficulty Level: Easy to Difficult


Three Day Use areas are available in the Calamity Campground complex for an afternoon picnic with your family and friends.

Boating - Motorized

Motorized boating is available on the Palisades Reservoir and The South Fork of the Snake River.

Boating - Non-Motorized

Drift boats, Rafts and Canoes are a popular sight on the South Fork of the Snake River.





Tent camping: Loop C Tents only
Parking: 2 Areas available - Single Vehicle parking and Trailered Vehicle parking
Boat ramp: Calamity Boat Ramp

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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