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A fifth-wheeler managed to tackle the North Fork Boise River Road and find an excellent campsite along the river.

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You’ve got to eat dust for 20 to 30 miles. The washboards on the road will rattle the dishes in the camp trailer. You’ll have to gear down — to slow down — for the curves going down Rabbit Creek road.

Despite the dust and stuff, undeveloped campsites along the North Fork of the Boise River from Black Rock campground to Deer Park cabin are popular.

And rightly so. Where else can you camp along a crystal clear river with little wild rainbows just itching to hit the yellow stimulator on the end of your fly rod?

The campgrounds are also popular for ATVers and trail motorcyclists interested in exploring hundreds of miles of dirt roads and designated trails east and northeast of Idaho City.

Actually, the North Fork Boise River area is fairly close to Boise — 37 miles to Idaho City along Highway 21; and then, just north of Idaho City, taking the Granite Creek turnoff for another 20 or so miles over the Rabbit Creek grade to the North Fork. It’s close in mileage but time consuming crawling along on the gravel roads. Watch for those little tire-puncturing rocks on the road.

The North Fork of the Boise River is in ponderosa pine and Doug fir forests providing a lot of shade during the day. There are lots of willows along the river bed. It’s a beautiful setting.

Hunters and anglers know this and use the campsites. But more and more RVers are tackling the rough road to enjoy this unique backcountry experience close to Boise.

Good campfires and don’t forget the marshmallows and extra spare tire.

Pete has been writing about the outdoors in Idaho and the Northwest for decades. Give him a shout at

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