List of Idaho state parks

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Idaho Locator Map with US.PNG
Map of State Parks of Idaho
Hold cursor over locations to display park name; click to go to park article.

This is a list of Idaho state parks. The U.S. state of Idaho currently has 30 state parks. This count includes the state-managed City of Rocks National Reserve and four parks which are managed jointly as Thousand Springs State Park. Heyburn State Park, the oldest, was created in 1908, the first state park not only in Idaho but the Pacific Northwest.[1] Total visitation across the system is more than 4.5 million annually.[2]

The state park system is managed by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. Their mission statement is "To improve the quality of life in Idaho through outdoor recreation and resource stewardship."[3] The department has the dual duty of "protecting and preserving the resources of the state park system and of providing recreation opportunities and facilities for public use."[4] The park system includes four classifications: natural parks which preserve significant natural resources, recreation parks which offer opportunities for outdoor activities, heritage parks which preserve and interpret sites of cultural importance, and recreation trailways.[4]

History[edit]

For much of the system's history it was managed by the State Land Board, and briefly by the Idaho Transportation Department in the late 1940s. A professional park management agency wasn't created until 1965, this being a qualification both for the donation of Harriman State Park and for federal Land and Water Conservation Fund money.[5]

Those federal grants, largely raised from fees charged to oil companies for offshore drilling, brought $60 million into Idaho for city and county parks as well as state parks.[5] In 1981 the Department of Parks and Recreation began charging entrance fees, which support park operations and maintenance.[5]

List of parks[edit]

Park Name Website County or
Counties
Size[6] Elevation[6] Year Established[7] Remarks[6]
acres ha ft m
Bear Lake State Park [1] Bear Lake 966 391 5,900 1,800 1969 Comprises two properties on the shore of Bear Lake.
Bruneau Dunes State Park [2] Owyhee 4,800 1,900 2,470 750 1970 Showcases dunes rising up to 470 feet (140 m) above several small lakes.
Castle Rocks State Park [3] Cassia 1,440 580 5,620 1,710 2004 Features granite spires and an early-20th Century ranch at the base of 10,339-foot (3,151 m) Cache Peak.
City of Rocks National Reserve [4] Cassia 14,407 5,830 5,720 1,740 1988 Showcases granite spires and monoliths popular for rock climbing.
Coeur d'Alene Parkway State Park [5] Kootenai 34 14 2,187 667 Provides a walking and bicycling path along the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene, as the east end of the North Idaho Centennial Trail.
Coeur d'Alene's Old Mission State Park [6] Kootenai 18 7.3 2,200 670 1975 Interprets the oldest standing building in Idaho, finished in 1853 as a Jesuit mission to the Coeur d'Alene people.
Dworshak State Park [7] Clearwater 850 340 1,600 490 1989 Comprises three properties on the shore of the reservoir created by the Dworshak Dam.
Eagle Island State Park [8] Ada 545 221 2,724 830 1977 Features day-use recreational facilities, including a swimming beach and water slide, near Boise.
Farragut State Park [9] Kootenai 4,000 1,600 2,054 626 1964 Features recreational facilities on the southwest arm of Lake Pend Oreille, on the site of a former U.S. Navy training base during World War II.
Harriman State Park [10] Fremont 11,000 4,500 6,120 1,870 1977 Preserves expansive wildlife habitat, a historic ranch, and fly fishing in Henrys Fork within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Hells Gate State Park [11] Idaho 960 390 733 223 1973 Contains the mouth of Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America.
Henrys Lake State Park [12] Fremont 585 237 6,470 1,970 1973 Adjoins a high mountain lake named after explorer Andrew Henry, located 15 miles (24 km) outside Yellowstone National Park.
Heyburn State Park [13] Benewah 5,774 2,337 2,128 649 1908 Preserves three lakes in the oldest state park in the Pacific Northwest.
Lake Cascade State Park [14] Valley 4,450 1,800 4,825 1,471 Comprises properties dispersed around Lake Cascade's 86 miles (138 km) of shoreline.
Lake Walcott State Park [15] Minidoka 65 26 4,700 1,400 1999 Provides water recreation opportunities at the northwest end of Lake Walcott.
Land of the Yankee Fork State Park [16] Custer 520.9 210.8 5,001 1,524 1990 Interprets Idaho's frontier mining history, including the ghost towns of Bayhorse, Bonanza, and Custer.
Lucky Peak State Park [17] Ada 2,750 840 1956 Comprises three day-use areas just outside Boise on Lucky Peak Lake and the Boise River.
Massacre Rocks State Park [18] Power 990 400 4,400 1,300 1967 Preserves a boulder field on the Snake River where emigrants on the Oregon and California Trails feared ambush by Native Americans.
McCroskey State Park [19] Benewah and Latah 5,300 2,100 3,039 926 1955 Offers a scenic drive along a ridge overlooking the Palouse.
Ponderosa State Park [20] Valley 1,515 613 5,050 1,540 1973 Preserves a peninsula jutting into Payette Lake.
Priest Lake State Park [21] Bonner 755 306 2,440 740 1973 Comprises three units around Priest Lake in the Selkirk Mountains just 30 miles (48 km) from the Canada–United States border.
Round Lake State Park [22] Bonner 142 57 2,122 647 Surrounds a 58-acre (23 ha) lake.
Thousand Springs State Park [23] Gooding 1,500 610 2,800 850 2005 Comprises multiple units in the Hagerman Valley where numerous springs charged by the Snake River Aquifer flow out of the eastern valley wall.
Three Island Crossing State Park [24] Elmore 613 248 2,484 757 1968 Interprets the site of a famous ford over the Snake River on the Oregon Trail,
Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes [25] Benewah, Kootenai, and Shoshone Comprises a 73-mile (117 km) paved rail trail across the Idaho Panhandle.
Winchester Lake State Park [26] Lewis 418 169 3,900 1,200 1969 Surrounds a 104-acre (42 ha) lake known for its rainbow trout fishing.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. "Heyburn State Park". Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  2. ^ Idaho State Parks. American Park Network. 2011. 
  3. ^ Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. "Meeting the Challenge: The 2010-2014 Strategic Plan for the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  4. ^ a b Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (2005). "Park Classification System" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  5. ^ a b c Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. "History of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation". Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  6. ^ a b c All data come from respective Idaho State Parks webpage unless otherwise noted.
  7. ^ "State Lands in Idaho: History". Idaho Museum of Natural History. Archived from the original on 2013-02-23. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 

External links[edit]