Flickr album link: Swinging Bridge Campground
Out west in the mountains, the roads tend to follow the rivers and this presents endless recreational activities for all that pass through. In the Boise National Forest in Idaho, Highway 55 parallels a lengthy section of the Payette River through the mountains and the setting is as majestic as can be. The Payette River is a whitewater rafting and kayaking paradise and with the road right next door, the local river rafting excursion companies have an easy time organizing both day trips and overnighters. Rentals can be found in communities along the river, so delving into this extreme sport is easy to do.
Along the Payette River there are a few roadside campgrounds that are perfect for setting up a basecamp for river rafting adventures. These camping spots also appeal to fly fishermen and the Payette River definitely boasts having some world class angling opportunities. No matter whether you seek hair raising thrills or traditional rest and relaxation, these campgrounds will come into play when making plans, but it is best to make reservations during the peak summer tourism season if possible.
One of the best of the Payette River roadside campgrounds is Swinging Bridge. This convenient basecamp site is only open during the warm weather season and the campsites are offered on a first come-first serve basis. The Swinging Bridge Campground fees are a bit pricey by standards, but this campground definitely is where the action is, especially when the Payette Whitewater Roundup takes place in July. There are only 11 campsites equipped with chargrills and picnic tables, while basic facilities and drinking water are available onsite. The tall pines provide plenty of shade and the lodge pole pines are perfect for slinging a hammock. Fishing and whitewater rafting are the main activities, since exploring the back country is nearly impossible because of the very steep mountain slopes. For this reason, all the focus is placed upon Payette River recreation, which sounds like a dream come true for visitors traveling from the drought stricken regions of the west!
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