One can enjoy Idaho’s outdoors without strenuous activities or expensive gear. Everyone likes to eat, and a picnic is a good reason to get away from the house for a while. Here are some interesting spots to visit close to Boise:
Lucky Peak Dam. State Park with beach, picnic areas. Entrance fee: $5 per vehicle. East of Boise on Hwy 21.
Three Island Crossing. State Park on banks of the Snake River at Glenns Ferry. $5 per vehicle. Follow I-84 to Glenns Ferry.
Bruneau Sand Dunes. State Park with star observatory. $5 per vehicle. Observatory is open Friday and Saturday nights during warm months. $3 per person fee at the observatory, no fee for small kids. Park is east of Bruneau: go south on Hwy 51 from Mountain Home.
C.J Strike Reservoir. There are three Idaho Power Company campgrounds, no fee for day use. Between Grand View and Bruneau on the Snake River. Go south from Mountain Home on Hwys 67 or 51.
Celebration Park. County Park on Snake River. Indian rock art. $2 per vehicle. South of Melba. Follow Hwy 45 south from Nampa, follow signs to Melba, pick up Can-Ada Road east of Melba, south on Can-Ada, then west on Victory Lane.
Lake Lowell. Picnic areas and boat ramps at upper dam (S. Middleton Road) and lower dam (Wagner Road). No fees. Follow Hwy 55 south from Nampa, turn south on either Middleton or Wagner Roads.
Lake Owyhee. State Park by Owyhee Reservoir in eastern Oregon. $5 per vehicle. Park shaded by canyon walls on summer afternoons. From Caldwell, go west on Hwy 19 to Homedale, follow Hwy 19 to Oregon state line, it connects with Oregon Hwy 201. Go south on Hwy 201 to turnoff for Owyhee Reservoir. It’s 22 miles to the park on a narrow, winding road. Hwy 201 also goes to Succor Creek, home of “thundereggs” and Leslie Gulch. Succor Creek road is unpaved, and it loops over to U.S. 95.
Farewell Bend. State Park on Snake River west of Weiser. $5 per vehicle. Follow I-84 past Ontario, park is at state weigh station on I-84.
Hells Canyon. Idaho Power Company parks have no fee for day use. Follow U.S. 95 north to Cambridge, then west on Hwy 71.
Black Canyon Dam. Park below dam , NE of Emmett. No fees. On Hwy 52 along Payette River between Horseshoe Bend and Emmett. Use Hwy 55, then follow Hwy 52 west.
Boise National Forest. Campgrounds have picnic facilities. Fees vary, plan on $5 per vehicle for day use. Get maps and information at 1249 S. Vinnell Way, Ste 200 (Off Overland Road, just west of Wal Mart).

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