Blackfoot Reservoir Campground

Hi it’s TR with a feature that I like to do occasionally and that’s campground tours. I do these when I find a hidden gem like today’s or ones that are a little obscure. Basically I want to provide tours of camps there is little coverage of on social media.

Recently I had the chance to visit a fairly new BLM campground in far southeast Idaho called The Black Reservoir BLM Campground. This thing is a real gem and not that far off the beaten path. 

Blackfoot reservoir is an irrigation control reservoir with a usable storage capacity of 413,000 acre feet of water when full and covers about 18,000 acres.

Water stored in Blackfoot Reservoir is used to irrigate lands on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation and other lands in the vicinity of Blackfoot, Idaho. Blackfoot Reservoir is managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in Fort Hall.

Blackfoot Reservoir Campground and 5 campgrounds along the Blackfoot River are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Both BIA and BLM are agencies in the U.S. Department of the Interior.

As I mentioned there are 5 other campgrounds that the BLM manages along the Blackfoot River that I am showing you here that I did not visit because when I was there it was quite rainy and in fact snowed while we were at the campground. I know this area and the roads, although gravel can be difficult to travel in wet weather. I’ll be back to this camp soon and I’ll visit them when I return.

Which brings me to a note that you should come prepared for all weather conditions when you visit this area. As I mentioned I was there in early June and we had about 4 inches of snow fall overnight.


Blackfoot originates from the fur traders that trapped and traded in the area. It is a reference to the Blackfoot Indians that used the area for centuries before they arrived. The first use of the Blackfoot River followed shortly after the area was inhabited by white settlers in 1866.

The earthen dam was completed in 1911 by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, with a height of 55 feet and 304 feet long at its crest. It impounds the Blackfoot River of Idaho for flood control and irrigation water storage primarily for the Fort Hall Indian Reservation and other lands in the vicinity of Blackfoot, Idaho.  The dam is owned and operated by the Bureau.

You get to this little hidden gem by taking Idaho Highway 34 about 9 miles south towards Jackson Wyoming. Turn left on China Cap Road and follow the signs. It’s about 2.5 miles off the main highway and the road is paved.

Here are crossing the dike across the south end of the reservoir. It was built in the 1920 to solve a seepage problem. Turning right into the camp puts you at the fee payment station and information signs. The costs are very inexpensive with the lower developed sites costing $10.00 a night and the upper undeveloped sites costing $5.00. There is power available in the lower campsites and that costs an additional $5.00 per night

Just past the fee station is the large group site with toilets and a sand box for the kids to play in. Just a bit further down the road is of the two boat dock’s on the reservoir. There is a $5.00 per day use fee for all vehicles and an annual pass is available for $50.00. There are pit toilets and another informational sign and fee payment area.

Fishing in the area is renowned for Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout as well as Carp fishing.

Here’s an insiders tip : Visit early in the year for the best reservoir experience. Because this is an irrigation reservoir later in the summer the water will have been used and the views are not as pretty.

Let’s look around and let you see some of the sites and the views from up here on top of the hill!

It has 16 developed and 12 undeveloped campsites, with water and a dump station available in the campgrounds. Note the water is not at your site but conveniently scattered throughout the campground. Do what I did, fill your tanks when you arrive and your good to go.

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