Farragut State Park is a large park in the panhandle of Idaho and is situated on the southern portion of Lake Pend Oreille. There are over 200 campsites spread over about 4 campgrounds and the park offers over 45 miles of hiking and biking trails. These trails are used for cross country skiing in the winter as the park and campgrounds are open year round. There are a variety of activities in the park with disc golf, swimming, boating, hiking, biking, remote controlled plane airfield, archery, etc. Always something to do as evidenced by the fact that we keep returning.
We spread our visit out to two different campgrounds, the Gilmore campground which is a bit more wooded and Waldron Nighthawk Campground which had a combination of both trees and sun. We enjoyed both campgrounds and would stay in either of them again.
Campground: Gilmore Campground and Waldron Campground
Location: Athol, Idaho
Site: Gilmore – 335 and Waldron Nighthawk – 192 (both back-ins)
Comments: Another one of our favorite parks. Great hiking, close to Lake Pend Oreille which is the largest lake in Idaho and absolutely beautiful.
Gilmore campground is closer to the lake and has more shade and therefore, less chance of receiving a satellite signal. But the sites were welcoming and mostly level and the shade from the trees is much appreciated during the summer heat of high 90s and low 100s.
Other sites around Gilmore campground:
Waldron campground had 3 loops named Kestrel, RedTail, and NightHawk. RedTail loop seemed the most open of the three campgrounds.
Other sites around Waldron campground:
There are two dump stations in the park, a visitor centers, a museum, and multiple group campgrounds. The other non group campgrounds (WhiteTail and Snowberry) had smaller sites and not really suitable for a bit rig. The Whitetail Campground had an outdoor amphitheater and offered presentations and nature movies a few times a week during the summer.
The history of the state park is very interesting and a day spent at the Museum of the Brig is well worth the visit. The park was a very large naval training camp during World War II and housed over 55,000 people. Almost 300,000 sailors received basic training at Farragut and it was the second largest naval training facility in the world at the time. The 30-minute movie inside the museum is quite interesting and full of facts regarding the facility.
The Museum also provides backpacking adventures such as geocaching, wildlife, insects, geology, etc. where they provide you a backpack for the day to experience different aspects of the park. We selected a geocaching backpack for our grandsons and spent the day searching for caches letting the boys read the GPS and lead the way. This meant lots of hills and brush we hiked through to find the treasures. No trail hiking for us! They did an excellent job and found all the caches and left some treasures behind.
Bayview is the closest town and about a 5 minute drive and offers a small convenience store and a few small restaurants with charm and character on the waterfront.