Smokey Bear Campground is a small, lakeside campground on the shores of Alturas Lake in Central Idaho in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Alturas Lake is an alpine lake, one of the many in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The lake is surrounded by a mixed conifer tree line. Smokey Bear Campground is situated at an elevation of 7,050 feet, and is on the north shore of Alturas Lake. It is one of three campgrounds on the lake, and is the most scenic. Hiking, biking, and fishing are popular activities at Smokey Bear Campground and Alturas Lake in general. There are sandy beaches available on the lake as well.

Each campsite of the 12 campsites at Smokey Bear Campground come a picnic table, fire ring, and access to bathrooms and drinking water. Smokey Bear Campground is also home to the only developed, concrete boat ramp on Alturas Lake. Motor boats are allowed on the lake, but jet skis and other personal water craft are not.

Smokey Bear Campground Bottom Line

Smokey Bear Campground is a an ideal place for camping at a developed, organized campground. The setting on the lake is very pretty, there are lots of activities, and the campground is small enough that even with full, you can still get some privacy. However, the campsites at Smokey Bear are sunny campsites, with little shade, and do not have any significant barriers between them, and other campsites will be visible from your campsite. There used to be more trees to separate the campsites, but the trees became infested with Bark Beetles causing many of the trees to die. As a result all of the infested trees have been logged, leaving a wide open, sunny campground.

Some of the campsites at Smokey Bear sit inland from the lake, but campsites 4-7 & 10 are closest to the lake and have a view of the lake.

Smokey Bear Campground Features

Campground Type: Organized
Number of Campsites: 12
Cost: $15/night, $30/night for Double Campsites.
Use Level: Medium
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Fire Rings: Yes
Drinking Water: Yes
Toilets: Yes – Vault Toilets
Showers: None
Trash/Dumpsters: Yes
Hiking Access: Yes
Beach/Lake Access: Yes
RV/Trailer Length: 16 Feet
RV/Trailer Amenities: None
Cell Phone Service: None
Wifi: None
Operating Season: Campground open year-round, but is only maintained May to Early September.

Getting There

Geo Coordinates: 43.919784, -114.862662
Nearest City/Town: Ketchum, Idaho
Elevation: 7050 Feet
Location: Blaine County, Idaho
Paved Road Access: Yes
Proximity to Stores: 21 miles to Stanley, Idaho
Directions: From Stanley, Idaho, go south 21 miles on ID 75, then west about 2.5 miles on Forest Road #205.


Phone: 208-737-3200 Facebook:
Web: Sawtooth National Forest Twitter:
Reservations: Not Available

When To Go

Summer – Little Bear Campground is not used heavily and a is a great Western Colorado summer camping destination

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What To Do

Hiking and Biking – There are several trails accessible from Smokey Bear Campground.

Fishing – Alturas Lake has rainbow and westslope cutthroat trout, as well as kokanee salmon.

Image Credits: NOAA Fisheries West Coast

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Justin is an IT Professional, focused on cloud, mobile, and infrastructure management and security with his consulting business, as well as chief bottle washer for this website. In addition to, Justin also runs and writes for the technology infrastructure-focused blog, and the mobile device-focused blog


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