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Blackfoot Reservoir Campground Review

Hi, it’s TR with a feature that I like to do occasionally, and that’s campground tours. In this article I am reviewing the Blackfoot Reservoir Campground in southeast Idaho.

Map locating Blackfoot Reservoir Campground

The Blackfoot Reservoir Campgrouind is located about 12.3 miles north of Soda Springs. To get there, simply take Idaho Highway 34, heading north from Soda Springs. After approximately 12 miles, you’ll want to turn onto China Gap Road. From there, it’s just a short 3.9-mile drive to the Blackfoot Reservoir Campground. This route offers a scenic and convenient way to access the beautiful surroundings of the reservoir, making it an ideal destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway in southeast Idaho.

Blackfoot Reservoir Background

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 Blackfoot Reservoir is nestled within the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and stretches over 18,000 acres. It was created back in the early 1960s, following the construction of the Blackfoot Dam. This reservoir now serves as a water supply for irrigation, flood control, and hydroelectric power. But for visitors like us, it’s a fantastic place to escape and unwind amidst the natural beauty of South East Idaho.

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.

BLM Campgrounds

The BLM manages in addition to the Blackfoot Reservoir Campground 5 other campgrounds along the Blackfoot River 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 at this camp soon, and I’ll visit them when I return.

The earthen dam 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 of Land Management. Below is a video tour of the Blackfoot Reservoir Campground you might want to check out!

This 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 snowfall overnight.

 

Campground Tour

Here are crossing the dike across the south end of the reservoir. It was built in 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 are the large group site with toilets and a sandbox for the kids to play in. Just a bit further down the road are the two boat docks 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, another informational sign, and a fee payment area.

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

Here’s an insider’s 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.

Official Links:

https://www.blm.gov/visit/blackfoot-reservoir-campground

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