Harriman State Park is a hidden gem tucked away in the serene landscape of eastern Idaho. This beautiful park provides a wealth of outdoor activities, stunning views, and a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you’re looking to get out and explore nature in the Pacific Northwest, Harriman State Park is the perfect place for you!
In this guide, we'll provide all the essential information you need to know about visiting Harriman State Park, including hikes, campgrounds, things to do, weather, location, directions, and facts.
Harriman State Park in Idaho might not be the most commonly visited state park around, but it is well worth a trip. Most people stop in this area on their way to the larger parks in the area. In fact, it makes a great place to stop and camp for the night.
Address: 3489 Green Canyon Rd
Permits Needed?: Yes, $7.00 per vehicle and $6.00 per person in the winter. You can also get a winter pass.
Facilities Onsite: Bathrooms, picnic areas, hiking and mountain biking trails, horse trails, skiing, and snowshoeing trails, warming hut, and historic buildings. Lake and river access.
Where to Park: 44.322622353058726, -111.46039779702086
Hours of Operation: Day-use areas are open from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
Call (208) 558-7368 for more information
Harriman State Park Information
Harriman State Park is a 16,000-acre wildlife refuge located in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The park offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, fly fishing, and winter activities such as Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking. Harriman State Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including moose, elk, and Trumpeter Swans.
The park has a long and storied history dating back to when it was owned by Union Pacific Railroad investors and the Harriman and Guggenheim families.
Overnight facilities are available at the park, including yurts and cabins. Visitors can also take part in tours of the historic Railroad Ranch buildings and interpretive nature programs that are offered on weekends and holidays.
Location and Getting There
Harriman State Park is a large, recreation area located in Fremont County in eastern Idaho. The closest city to the park is Island Park, Idaho. To get to the park, use the Harriman State Park Map below:
The park is accessible throughout the year. You can visit for winter and summer activities and the temperate ranges considerably in relation.
In the summer, highs are in the 80s, and lows are in the 40s and 50s. In winter, highs are in the mid-30s and lows in the 10s.
Hikes in Harriman State Park
While it's not Idaho's best-known state park, it is a gorgeous place to seek out some short day hikes and longer multi-night backpacking adventures. There are more than 22 miles of hiking trails to explore in the park. You can also mountain bike and ride horses! Here are a few of the best hikes to explore in Harriman State Park:
This is one of the best, easy hikes in the park. It's suitable for almost all hikers, considering that it barely gains any elevation along its nearly 2-mile length.
The hike starts at the campground before making a loop north by Silver Lake and the river. It's partially paved and is popular throughout the year.
Silver Lake Trail and Thurman Creek Loop
This is one of the harder hikes on this list, mostly due to its length. But, like all hikes, depending on your fitness you may find this trek easier or harder.
The trail only gains around 200 feet, meaning it's almost totally flat, but runs for nearly 7 miles. This makes the trail popular with runners and those looking for a nice hiking distance without much uphill.
Harriman Ridge Trail Loop
This is another trail that's a bit harder. It's 6 miles long and gains almost 500 feet of elevation along its length.
The trail can be challenging depending on one's fitness and the time of year. But, it's quite rewarding. You'll get beautiful views of Silver Lake and get to explore some of the hills to the northeast of Moonshine Mountain (6,929').
Golden Lake Loop
The lovely Golden Lake Loop is another trail that's around 6 miles long. This hike is further north than others on this list, taking you all the way to the edge of Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
This hike allows you views of both Silver Lake and the hike's namesake, Golden Lake to the north. You'll walk along the lake's edge before looping back down into the heart of Harriman State Park. Like most of these hikes, it starts at the campground.
This is the only winter-specific trail on our list. It's around 6 miles in length and is the most fun if you come from November to March.
Along the trail, you'll get views of Silver Lake and Henry's Fork Snake River. But, be careful if you're bringing a four-legged friend with you as the dog-specific trails are sometimes hard to spot.
Harriman State Park Campgrounds
Harriman State Park in Idaho is the perfect place to immerse yourself in nature. There is one commonly used campground within the park and some others nearby that you might be interested in.
The Harriman Campground offers sheltered camping sites, from bungalows to standard yurts. The campground is the ideal spot to take advantage of the park's many activities, such as hiking, biking, fishing, and horseback riding. With all these options, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
When camping at Harriman State Park, it is important to check state and local fire regulations before having a campfire and be sure to properly extinguish your fire after use. With so much to explore, Harriman State Park is the perfect destination for a camping getaway.
Henry's Fork Dispersed Camping
Coordinates: 44.32195050379268, -111.43128979671218
To the southeast of the state park is Henry's Fork Dispersed Camping. For the uninitiated, dispersed camping refers to a camping area where you can camp (usually for free) but has no amenities. This means you'll need to bring water, food, and anything else you'll need. You should not expect to find toilets or any RV-specific equipment. Sometimes there are firepits.
West End Campground
Address: Forest Rd 465A, Island Park, ID 83429
Slightly out of the way, this larger campground is a good option if you don't want to stay in Harriman State park and are interested in seeing what else this area of Idaho has to offer. It's located along the shore of the Island Park Reservoir and is about 40 minutes from the state park.
Box Canyon Campground
Address: Caribou Targhee National Forest, Forest Rd 284, Island Park, ID 83429
Box Canyon is yet another campground near Harriman State Park that's worth checking out. It's also located to the north, along Henry's Fork River, and very close to Rosie's Waterfall Overlook area. It's also located within Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
Things to Do
Harriman State Park in Idaho offers a variety of activities for everyone to enjoy. For the outdoor enthusiast, there is plenty of hiking, camping, and fishing to do. Camping is also available at Harriman State Park with over 40 campground sites in and near the park. Fishing is also a popular activity in the park and there are several lakes where you can catch trout, bass, and other species.
If you're looking for some fun indoors, Harriman State Park offers a variety of programs and workshops. These include educational classes about the park’s natural history and wildlife, as well as art classes and more. There's also an interactive museum featuring exhibits on the area's history, plants, and animals, as well as a theatre showing films related to the park.
For those looking for something a little more adventurous, Harriman State Park also offers horseback riding and kayaking.
How much does it cost to get into Harriman State Park?
It costs $7 per car, per day. Or you can get an Idaho State Park Pass if you're planning on visiting many parks throughout the year.
Can you pitch a tent in Harriman State Park?
At Harriman State Park, you can camp at Harriman Campground where tent camping is permitted.
What town is Harriman State Park in?
The closest town to Harriman State Park is Island Park, Idaho north along Highway 20.
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