Recreation

Snowslide lake from shore

So Much To Do & See

Come visit the Payette National Forest spring, summer, fall, or winter for a wide range of recreational activities during any of the four seasons. Hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, skiing, and snowmobiling. You can find a spot on the Forest to indulge your recreational interest. Click here for an in-depth look at the Payette National Forest's niche.

Be Careful With Fire!  Campfire Podcast  (transcript)

Some tips to help you enjoy your recreation experience...

  • FIREWORKS are not allowed on the National Forest.
  • Winter brings snow to the high country. Be AVALANCHE AWARE!
  • When camping or picnicking, please keep your site clean, free from trash and food. Otherwise animals and insects are attracted to your site.
  • Bag your trash and take it home with you. Help us keep our forests clean and green by "Packing It Out!"
  • Never leave your campfire unattended. When you leave, put it out, dead out!  See Forest Orders for any current fire restrictions.
  • Human waste is a big problem when thousands of people converge on the Forest. Please see Leave No Trace - Dispose of Waste Properly for detailed instructions on handling this "delicate" situation.

Sharing the trail with horses

When encountering a horse on a trail, remember it is us humans who have control over our actions and the ability to communicate with each other.  The horse can spook and take an action that may not be desirable.  The best way to approach a horse is to STOP, Communicate with the Rider, and Move to the Side of the Trail.

Driving motorized vehicles on the Forest

Keep motor vehicles on designated routes and areas. If you plan on camping, driving off-highway vehicles, hunting, or exploring the backcountry, get a free Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) to know which roads are open to motor vehicle use. Know before you go.

With your help, we can protect our natural resources for future generations. Thank you!

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Big Creek Campground Open to Visitor
Big Flat Campground Open to Visitor  Big Flat campground is open for the 2017 season with drinking water, full services and full fees.
Brownlee Campground Open to Visitor  Brownlee Campground is open for the 2017 season with drinking water, full services and full fees.
Buckhorn Bar Campground Open to Visitor The upper main water is on for the 2017 season.
Burgdorf Campground Open to Visitor Open with a host on site for the 2018 season.
Cabin Creek Campground Open to Visitor Cabin Creek campground is open for the 2017 season with drinking water, full services and full fees. *As of 9/27/17 no water available.*
Camp Creek Campground Open to Visitor
Chinook Campground Open to Visitor
Cold Springs Campground Open to Visitor
Deadman Bar Campground Open to Visitor
Evergreen Campground Open to Visitor
Four Mile Campground Open to Visitor
Grouse Campground Open to Visitor
Hazard Lake Campground Open to Visitor  
Campground closed for the 2014 season. No water or fees and the campground gate is closed.
Huckleberry Campground Open to Visitor  Huckleberry Campground is open for the 2017 season with full services and full fees.  No water is available.
Jeanette Campground Open to Visitor
Kennally Creek Campground Open to Visitor
Lafferty Campground Open to Visitor Lafferty Campground is open for the 2017 season with drinking water, full services and full fees.
Lake Fork Campground Open to Visitor
Last Chance Campground Open to Visitor
Mann Creek Campground Open to Visitor All recreation sites are accessible and with services.  Water has been tested and is safe for drinking and a campground host is onsite. Most campsites are first come first serve.  There are some sites available for reservation at Recreation.gov.  *9/27/17 until end of season all sites first come first serve.*
Paddy Flat Camping Area Open to Visitor The campground is not accessible for the 2018 season.
Paddy Flat Guard Station Rental Cabin    The campground is not accessible for the 2018 season.
Paddy Flat/Lake Fork Creek Trail #103 Open to Visitor
Ponderosa Campground Open to Visitor
Poverty Flat Campground Open to Visitor
Shiefer Campground Open to Visitor
Spring Creek Campground Open to Visitor Spring Creek Campground is open for the 2017 season with a campground host, full services, drinking water and full fees.   Visitors may encounter Mormon Crickets in and around the area.  Reservations can be made at www.recreation.gov.
Upper Payette Lake Campground Open to Visitor
Upper Payette Lake Group Campground Open to Visitor

Spotlights

Paddy Flat Guard Station Rental Cabin

Image showing the cabin

The Paddy Flat Guard Station is located in the Payette National Forest of central Idaho. Guests enjoy the remote area for its hunting opportunities and abundance of hiking, biking, horseback riding and off-highway vehicle roads and trails, such as the Paddy Flat/Lake Fork Creek Trail #103.  The Kennally Creek trailhead to the east also has numerous trails.  Abundant streams and numerous alpine lakes within travel distance offer fantastic fishing opportunities.

This cabin sits at an elevation of 5,250 feet and is situated within a scenic meadow surrounded by a dense conifer forest. The Payette National Forest contains some of Idaho's most beautiful and diverse country. Located in west-central Idaho, north of Boise, the 2.2 million-acre forest extends 100 miles west to east, from Hells Canyon to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, and 70 miles north to south, from the Salmon River to the Weiser River.

Kitchen utensils such as a coffee pot, frying pans, and silverware are not provided, so please bring your own. Firewood gathering is available in the forest areas surrounding the Paddy Flat Guard Station, although none is available on site.

Areas & Activities