In this edition of our campground review series we will be reviewing Juniper Campground located in Ririe, ID.
This was our first stay at Juniper Campground and we booked one full week in May 2023. This stop on our journey was just supposed to be a short layover on our way to bigger things. As it turns out, we might have discovered a hidden gem that we would like to return to some day.
Juniper Campground is located off Idaho state highway 26 which you can catch out of Idaho Falls. Finding the resort isn’t too difficult, but it is a pretty good distance from the time you get off Interstate 15 until you arrive at the campground. Just a heads up, you will also take a country road through farmland down to the campground. It’s paved, but it’s remote. When you are 40 ft long and towing a vehicle getting on the back roads can be a little sketchy. It’s a lot of trust to put into a GPS system that has failed us before. Needless to say, we were extremely happy when we cam around the bend and saw the reservoir and the campground ahead of us.
If you’re looking for a glamping location, this isn’t it. Juniper Campground is a good size state campground and the amenities include whatever you brought with you and the lake. There is no wi-fi unless you bring your own so plan accordingly.
However, what the campground lacks in services it more than makes up for in beauty and the peaceful ambiance. For us, it was the perfect change of pace and exactly what we needed after months in or near cities.
Juniper Campground is a good size state park with three camping loops. All three loops have a combination of pull-thru and back-in sites and most of them are full hook-ups. There are a few spots that are water and electric only or no have no utilities at all. From what we saw all of the sites are paved with asphalt.
We stayed in loop A which is the only loop for which visitors can reserve a spot. If you can’t get a spot reserved in loop A then you can try the other two loops that are first come, first serve. Additionally, loop A is the only loop that has views of the lake so if that’s important to you then make sure you book early.
When booking a site we suggest that you pay close attention. Obviously we all compare the length of our RV’s to the size of the site. However, for visitors at Juniper Campground you also need to consider the accessibility of the site. Some sites might be long enough for your rig, but beyond your ability to maneuver into it safely.
When we arrived the camp host came out to assist us and immediately said we might not be able to get into our site due to a large tree near the entry side. He was very courteous and took us up to the site so we could see it and decide if we wanted to give it a try. He offered to move us to another site in the C section if we didn’t want to chance it. Luckily we were able to swing around the tree and get situated without incident, but we wouldn’t suggest putting yourself in that situation to begin with if you can avoid it.
As we said, Juniper Campground is a good size state campground. The common areas only consist of the lake, public restrooms in each loop and a large grassy areas in loops A & B.
Obviously the jewel of the campground is the lake and everything that comes with it. We did a little bit of fishing with some success, but if you have a boat then you can take full advantage of the lake. We saw people waterskiing, wakeboarding and trolling almost every day. Some days we just sat outside and watched people out on the lake having a good time.
Juniper Campground is very well kept and we didn’t see any trash or debris laying around the campground. The dumpster was far enough away that we didn’t have any issue with foul odors. It seems visitors here make sure to leave everything as they found it, if not better. This should be what every camper does no matter where we are, but some people are just disgusting and lazy.
If you are looking for a quiet relaxing place then look no further. As we said, this was exactly what we needed and at the right time. Once we got settled in it didn’t take long for us to sink into the peaceful bliss of the lake view and the smell of the trees. It didn’t matter if we were sitting indoors with everything open or outside in the bright sun, we were happy to be there.
There is, however, one slight thing we think people should know before visiting this gem. Be on the lookout for and prepared to see snakes! During our visit there were a lot of them in the campground and surrounding areas. They appeared to just be bull snakes or gopher snakes which are pretty harmless, but there we a good amount of them.
Maybe it was just the timing of our visit to the season. We feel it’s important for our readers to have this information and make their own decision. It’s wouldn’t discourage us from visiting again, but we will be more vigilant next time.
This was our first time staying in a state campground and the surprising part was how affordable it actually is. For RV’s that elect for a site with full hookups the cost is only $30 a day. If you are in a tent or dry camping then it’s only $20 a day. There are no additional charges for electricity which makes it even better. And there are no additional nonsense charges that come with staying at corporate RV parks. Just your daily fee and that is it!
The only caveat, there is a 14 day maximum stay limit so it goes by quickly. So enjoy it while you can.
When we booked our stay at Juniper Campground we just wanted a place to pass the time until we headed further north. It looked nice online and we figured it would be a decent place to give a state campground a chance for the first time on our journey. What we got was a diamond in the rough and a place that peaked our interest into staying at more state parks in the future. This is definitely a place we would like to return to in the future.
The only real drawback with being more remote is that we had to drive a little to get groceries or supplies. But to us, the hassle of driving further was well worth it for the peaceful ambiance of the campground. And if you plan it well enough you might not need to make that trip more than once, if at all, as your stay is capped at 14 days anyway.
Of course the other slight drawback are the slithery creatures. Mrs. RVF is not a fan of snakes and I thought their presence might end our stay early. Either that or she would never come outside until we moved on. But, as we said they were of the harmless variety and after a few encounters it became a non factor. Like seeing bison in Yellowstone, it’s exciting at first, but after awhile you’re over it.
Did someone say Yellowstone? I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE going to Yellowstone National Park! And Mrs. RVF knows that if we are even remotely within driving distance we are going on a trip. And that’s exactly what we did!
Juniper Campground is just a short two hour drive from Yellowstone National Park’s west entrance. And if you haven’t made the drive up route 20 to West Yellowstone, Mt. before make sure you do it because it’s beautiful. We left a little early and used our America The Beautiful pass to go right inside the park. We decided to avoid most of the tourists and tour the north loop and were home by diner time. Long day? Yes. Absolutely awesome day? Heck yeah!
That’s what this lifestyle is all about!
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