Can You Camp Anywhere in the Sawtooth National Forest?

The Sawtooth National Forest, located in central Idaho, is a gorgeous outdoor playground that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an avid hiker, mountain biker, or just looking for a tranquil place to relax, the Sawtooth National Forest is sure to have something that will appeal to you.

Many people are drawn to the area because of its abundance of camping opportunities. With over three million acres of public land and hundreds of miles of trails and roads, the possibilities for camping are seemingly endless.

The Sawtooth National Forest offers a variety of camping experiences ranging from primitive backcountry sites to developed campgrounds with amenities like restrooms and running water. Some campsites require reservations while others may be available on a first-come-first-served basis, but all are sure to provide an unforgettable experience. The forest also has plenty of dispersed camping options available where you can set up camp anywhere in the forest outside of designated campgrounds and other areas.

Where Can You Camp in the Sawtooth National Forest?

You can camp at designated campgrounds within the Sawtooth National Forest as well as designated dispersed campsites outside of developed areas. All campsites must adhere to certain rules and regulations including having a fire ring or stove for cooking food, keeping pets on leashes at all times, and disposing human waste properly. Additionally, you must adhere to posted signs about staying within certain boundaries or avoiding sensitive areas like meadows or wetlands.

The forest also provides ample opportunities for backcountry camping away from developed sites. Backcountry camping requires more preparation than car camping as food must be packed in and out and there is no running water or restroom facilities available. However, if you’re up for the challenge, backpacking through this stunning landscape can be an incredible experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


In conclusion, it is possible to camp anywhere in the Sawtooth National Forest with some preparation and adherence to rules and regulations. Whether you’re looking for a primitive backcountry experience or prefer a more luxurious car camping setup at one of their many developed sites, the Sawtooth National Forest has something for everyone.

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Samantha Mckinney