August 2, 2009 in Outdoors

Cure for cabin fever

Idaho parks offer host of options for cabin campers
Pete Zimowsky Idaho Statesman
 
File photos photo

Several two-bedroom cottages are available year-round at Heyburn State Park. Each cabin sleeps up to eight and has a furnished kitchen (appliances, cooking utensils and tableware for eight are included), dining area, living room and furniture. Two one-room “camper cabins” are also available year-round overlooking Chatcolet Lake.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

A surefire fun way to introduce a youngster to the outdoors is spending a night under the stars at an Idaho state park. Or how about spending the night under a roof and peeking out at the stars from a swing on a cabin porch.

Cabin camping is a plush, off-the-ground way to enjoy Idaho’s state parks.

Accommodations vary from park to park, from cabins to cottages.

“We now have a bunch of new cabins with new amenities,” said Jennifer Wernex, communications director for the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

“As a mother of a 2-year-old, I can attest that those cabins make going out and camping very convenient,” she said.

The 12-by-12-foot cabins sleep from five to six and have electricity, lockable windows and doors, heat and air conditioning.

Pick your place:

Bruneau Dunes

What: Two cabins, $45 a night each. One-room cabins sleep up to five on bunk beds and futons. Cook outside on a grill-covered fire pit. Cabins have power, heat and air conditioning.

Where: South of Mountain Home.

Cool for kids: Climbing on sand dunes, fishing for bluegills in the ponds, star gazing at the observatory.

Dworshak

What: Four cabins, $45 a night each. One-room cabins sleep up to five on bunk beds and futons. Cook outside on a grill-covered fire pit.

Where: North of Orofino.

Cool for kids: Boating, swimming and fishing in Dworshak Reservoir. Hiking trails for kids, archery range. Don’t forget a tour of Dworshak Dam.

Farragut

What: Ten cabins available, $45 a night each. One-room cabins sleep up to five on bunk beds and futons. Cook outside on a grill-covered fire pit.

Where: North of Coeur d’Alene.

Cool for kids: Swimming, boating, hiking, mountain biking trails, playground and disc golf. Kids might be wowed by the old Navy brig at the Farragut Naval Training Center Museum or the model airplane flier’s field.

Harriman

What: This is plush. The Ranch Manager’s House is a historic, four-bedroom log home, which has a modern kitchen, a rustic knotty-pine living room with a stone fireplace and a screened sun porch. Fully furnished, $190 a night for four adults.

Additional adults up to a maximum of eight are $12 a night per person.

The Cattle Foreman’s House is a furnished, three-bedroom cabin within the historic Railroad Ranch, has wood-burning stove, complete kitchen, bunk beds, two queen-size bed; $140 a night for four adults, extra for up to six adults.

Where: North of Ashton.

Cool for kids: Heaven for a budding fly fisher. The park is on the bank of the famed Henrys Fork of the Snake River.

Park also has more than 20 miles of trails for hiking, biking with a vendor for guided horseback rides. Lots of wildlife. Watch for moose.

Hells Gate

What: One-room cabins, $45 a night, sleep up to five on bunk beds and futons. Cook outside on a grill-covered fire pit. Powered, heat, air-conditioning.

Where: Lewiston.

Cool for kids: One of the most bike-friendly parks in the state with miles of paved pathways along the Snake River. Also fishing and jet-boat excursions.

Henrys Lake

What: Three one-room cabins, $45 a night each, sleep up to five on bunk beds and futons. Cook outside on a grill-covered fire pit. Power and heat.

Where: North of Ashton.

Cool for kids: Near Yellowstone National Park and other tourist attractions. Check out Mesa Falls. Good fishing in Henrys Lake.

Heyburn

What: Several two-bedroom cottages available year-round; each sleeps up to eight and has a furnished kitchen (appliances, cooking utensils and tableware for eight are included), dining area, living room and furniture. Also have charcoal grills and picnic tables for outside dining.

Cost $115 per night (plus tax); five-night minimum stay required June 15-Sept. 15.

Two one-room “camper cabins” also available year-round overlooking Chatcolet Lake. They rent for $45 a night. Each sleeps five; with power, air conditioning, heat, a microwave and a porch swing, plus picnic table and a fire pit with grill.

Where: Just east of Plummer.

Cool for kids: Canoeing, swimming and the main attraction: Endless bike riding on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. (Only five trail miles to ice cream at Harrison.)

Lake Walcott

What: One-room cabins, $45 per night, sleep up to five on bunk beds and futons.

Cook outside on the grill-covered fire pit. Power, heat, air conditioning.

Where: Near Rupert.

Cool for kids: Disc golf course, easy hiking and water sports.

Massacre Rocks

What: Four one-room cabins, $45 a night each, sleep up to five on bunk beds and futons. Cook outside on grill-covered fire pit. Power and heat.

Where: Near American Falls.

Cool for kids: Hike and learn about Oregon Trail history.

Ponderosa

What: Four cabins along the shore of Payette Lake sleep up to six, have fully equipped kitchens (full-size stove, refrigerator and dishwasher, cookware, dinnerware, utensils, glasses, cutlery, bakeware, coffee maker and toaster), a bedroom with queen bed, a double hide-a-bed in living room, mattresses in the loft and one bathroom (linens provided). Decks have great views and lake and beach access.

Cost is $135 a night (plus tax).

Where: McCall.

Cool for kids: Great kid-hiking trails for kids, plus roads for bicycling. Outfitter offers canoeing lessons.

Priest Lake

What: Several cabins rent for $45 a night. Two-room cabins sleep up to six; one-room cabins sleep five. Cook outside on a grill-covered fire pit.

Where: North of Priest River.

Cool for kids: Lake with crystal-clear water, white sandy beaches, mountain biking, hiking. Explore the two-mile thoroughfare connecting the main lake to remote Upper Priest Lake. Huckleberry picking.

Three Island Crossing

What: Eight one-room cabins, $45 per night each, sleep up to five on bunks and futons. Cook outside on the grill-covered fire pit. Power, heat, air conditioning.

Where: Glenns Ferry.

Cool for kids: Oregon Trail pioneer wagon location; visitors center with history and displays.

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