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Chinook Campground in Idaho: A Guide

Welcome to Chinook Campground in Idaho! Located in the heart of northern Idaho, Chinook Campground is a beautiful, isolated site near the Secesh River. With nearby views of the surrounding mountains and tranquil lake (the campground sits at an elevation of over 5,500'), it's no wonder Chinook Campground is a popular spot for camping, fishing, swimming, and more.

This guide will provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your time at Chinook Campground as well as give you some recommendations for what to do nearby.

Chinook Campground


Heading 36 miles north on Warren Wagon Road (21) from McCall, Idaho, visitors will find a sign for the Chinook Campground. Follow Forest Road #378 for one mile to the campground and you'll find yourself at the Chinook Campground in Idaho.

Chinook Campground Map

Here is a map to help find your way to Chinook Campground in Idaho.

What You Need to Know

Chinook Campground in Idaho is situated along the Secesh River at an elevation of 5,650'. Each of the nine sites includes a picnic table and fire ring, and some are equipped for stock use. Potable water is typically available from June - September.

The campsites are $10 each.

Payette Lake
Visitors to Chinook Campground often spend time at Payette Lake

All sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis; however, the Interagency Pass and Golden Age Passport are accepted at the Chinook Campground in Idaho. Keep in mind that there are no hookups or trash receptacles, so visitors should pack out their trash from Chinook Campground reservations.


Here are the amenities you can expect to find at the Chinook Campground:

  • Stock use equipment

  • Picnic tables

  • Fire rings

  • Potable water in the summer (from June to September)

  • 2 vault toilets

Payette Lake View
The nearby Payette Lake is a wonderful destination in the summer


Payette National Forest is a great destination for outdoor recreation and Chinook Campground in Idaho is the perfect place to stay while exploring the area. You can enjoy:

  • Fishing

  • Wading

  • Swimming

  • Biking

There are a few different hikes in the nearby area that you might want to check out. These include:

  • Goose Creek Falls - 3 miles, 1.5 hours

  • Boulder Lake Loop - 7 miles, 4 hours

  • Payette Lake Peninsula Trail - 4 miles, 1.5 hours

  • Louie Lake Trail - 5 miles, 4 hours

You might also want to checkout the nearby Loon Lake Trail. It's very close to the campground and is also known as Loon Lake Trail #081.

Payette River
The nearby Payette River


1. Make sure to get there early because the sites are first come first serve.

2. Bring plenty of bug spray as the area can be prone to mosquitos during certain months.

3. Don’t forget to pack layers of clothing as temperatures at night can drop quite low.

4. If you plan on fishing in the nearby rivers and lakes, be sure to bring the appropriate gear and secure the proper licenses.

5. If you’re bringing a pet, make sure to keep them on a leash at all times, and pick up after them whenever necessary.

6. Pack plenty of food and water as the nearest store is a few miles away.

7. Take some time to explore the trails that wind around the campground, as they offer stunning views of the area’s natural beauty.

8. Campfires are allowed, but be sure to use fire rings or fire pans when building them.

9. Dispose of all trash properly, including any recyclables, in the designated bins around the campground.

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