Like many unique destinations, I discovered Henrys Lake State Park on Instagram (thanks to @hitchedheatherly). I was looking for a campground near Yellowstone, with mountain views, low nightly cost, advance reservations, and availability for the dates we already had set in stone. With Henrys Lake State Park in Island Park, Idaho I was able to check off every item from that list.
Here are all the things we loved about our experience there:
Like many of the campsites in the park, our spot (#60 on the Cadis loop) backed up directly to the meadow and pond area, behind which was the lake and then the mountains. It was spectacular.
Location, location, location. Henrys Lake State Park campground is only 20 minutes from the West Yellowstone entrance to Yellowstone National Park. This quick jaunt gave us flexibility in deciding how to spend our day. While it may not be the closest campground to this entrance, the better quality of the campground made the extra few minutes of driving well worth it.
Sites were spacious
I’ve learned from our camping experiences that not every campground offers the same space to spread out and relax. At Henrys Lake State Park, this wasn’t a concern. The site easily accommodated our 33’ trailer and crew cab pickup. It also offered a wide patio area, picnic table, fire ring, and large grassy areas.
Additionally, tent sites and cabins are available for rent.
Whether surrounded by trees or on a waterfront site, with a more natural setting I feel like I have a fuller camping experience. The campground at Henrys Lake State Park was a great balance of clean conveniences with remote surroundings. Nature trails cover miles of the park for an enjoyable hiking experience. There’s a boat ramp with easy access to Henrys Lake for those that like to boat or fish. With almost no light pollution, this was a great site for star gazing. We had a wonderful time practicing astrophotography and could even see Mars from our site. And, we were lucky enough to spot a momma and baby moose exploring the meadow behind our camper. It is bear country, though so be sure to pack bear spray.
Clean and well maintained
I’ll be honest. One of the reasons I really pushed for us to get an RV in the first place was my need for a clean bathroom. I’ve spent one too many bathroom trips trapped in a tiny stall with spiders. Unless they’re exceptionally clean (or I’m desperate) I really try to avoid campground bathrooms.
At Henrys Lake State Park, the bathrooms were immaculate. The closest bathhouse to our site seemed relatively new and the park took really good care of it. They had recently painted, the sinks were made of high quality stone, and best of all no bugs in sight. The large showers stalls were lockable private rooms with tile floors and included a changing area. The dressing area featured a bench and hooks, making it easy to hang towels or set down clothes. Then a wall divided dressing area from shower, which included a shelf for toiletries. I poked my head into the bathhouse at the other end of the campground also. The layout wasn’t quite the same, but they were also spotless and well maintained.
Aside from the bathrooms, the campground itself was really well taken care of. The grass areas of the sites were trimmed neatly, the roads were kept up, and the RV pads were made of asphalt instead of gravel. We never saw trash in the areas. They even planned the layout of the dump station really well.
Check the camp website for the most recent pricing, but at the time of our visit it was roughly $29 per night for electric and water. This also gave us access to a dump station. The park charges an additional Idaho state fee (waived with a state pass) and taxes. We ended up paying around $37 per night total, which was half of what we paid at another campground on this trip. For the views, proximity, and atmosphere I felt like it couldn’t be beat.
Henrys Lake State Park Campground
3917 E. 5100 N., Island Park, ID 83429
Phone: 208-558-7532 (Summer), 208-558-7368 (Winter)