Sam Owen Campground

Photo of an RV entering Sam Owen Campground, the largest campground on the IPNFSam Owen Campground is nestled on the banks of Lake Pend Oreille in an open forest of pine and cedar. Popular activities include hiking, canoeing, swimming, boating, wildlife and bird watching.

Natural Features: Sam Owen Campground is situated on a peninsula on the east side of Lake Pend Oreille in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, at an elevation of 2,000 feet. The lake spans 82,088 acres and has 125 miles of shoreline. The well-loved campground shares a peninsula with the Sam Owen Game Preserve, which provides plenty of opportunities to see wildlife up close. Deer are very easy to spot, and watching for unique birds is a rewarding activity.

Recreation: A sandy beach draws crowds of sunbathers and swimmers. Visitors also like to hike the half-mile Sam Owen Trail #4. The trail reaches a beautiful vista of Owens Bay, where hikers can rest on benches and take in the astonishing view. Anglers take pleasure in catching kamloops, Dolly Varden, northern pike, trout and catfish. A boat ramp and dock are located on-site.

Facilities: Amenities include a picnic area, paved overflow parking areas and an information center. Campsites do not have electric hookups but a group picnic shelter has electricity and lights. Accessible flush toilets, drinking water and a trailer dump station are available.

Nearby Attractions: The Pend Oreille Scenic Byway is well worth exploring.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Refer to for latest updates.
Scenic Canyons Recreational Services, Inc. (435) 245-6521
Reservations:  Reservations can be made by visiting
Open Season: Mid May - Late September
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Hope, Idaho
Water: Potable water
Restroom: Flush toilets
Information Center: Extra Vehicles: One vehicle is included in your campsite fee. Each additional vehicle (after a one time 30 minute load/unload allowance) is $8.00 per day. Maximum 2 vehicles per site. Be sure to reserve a site that will accommodate your equipment. The site you reserve is your site. You may not move to another site. The 14 day stay limit is strictly enforced. Camping for a period longer than 14 days during any 30-consecutive day period is prohibited. If you have booked back-to-back reservations, you will be asked to cancel all days after the first 14. Bears frequent the area; keep all food in approved containers or locked inside your vehicle and remove all food from the area after eating. This campground has first-come, first-served sites Limit one vehicle per site; a daily fee will be charged for extra vehicles. No soap, shampoo or use of other toiletries in lake.

General Information


GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
48.21667, -116.28306
48°13'0"N, 116°16'59"W

From Sandpoint, take State Highway 200 east 21 miles. Turn right on Peninsula Road (County Road 1028) and continue 1 mile to the recreation area.


 Accessible flush toilets and accessible picnic shelters

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Attractions include Lake Pend Oreille, fishing, swimming, boating.
No. of Sites Sites are reserved through
No. of Accessible sites 80 camp units

RV Camping

Attractions include Lake Pend Oreille, fishing, swimming, boating.
No. of Sites 59 sites
Reservation Info Sites are reserved through
Hookup - Water No
Hookup - Sewer No
Size Restrictions 20-60 feet
Dump Stations Yes
Hookups - Electric No
No. of Accessible sites 1 accessible unit

Lake and Pond Fishing

Lake fishing on Pend Oreille Lake.
Fish Species Cutthroat and Lake Trout, Kokanee, Bass, Crappie, Perch

Day Hiking

Sam Owen Trail #4 is across the access road to the campground. The first ½ mile of this trail has a hardened surface that is suitable for wheel chairs and strollers. The hardened trail ends at a beautiful vista of Owens Bay and the benches offer a nice place to sit and enjoy the view.
Difficulty Level: Easy


Sam Owen Day Use Area is next to Sam Owen Campground. Amenities include 18 picnic sites, water and electricity, a swimming beach with changing rooms, and a paved parking lot.
No. of Sites 18
Reservation Info This sites operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

Group Picnicking

Sam Owen Group Picnic Area is next to Sam Owen Campground and has 8 picnic sites with tables, fire rings, and toilets nearby, and is currently a site that can be reserved through the National Recreation Reservation Service.
No. of Sites 8
Reservation Info Can be reserved through
Fire Information Fire rings

Boating - Motorized

Explore Lake Pend Oreille by boat! The boat launch is located between the campground and day use area Vehicle/trailer parking is shared with parking for the day use site.
Launch Ramps Yes
Trailer Parking Yes

Boating - Non-Motorized

Sam Owen Campground and day use area is an excellent site from which to explore Pend Oreille Lake by canoe or kayak.


Enjoy the sandy swimming beach at Sam Owen Campground.

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
2000 feet