Beginning July 1, 2017 Horsethief camping will no longer be free. The fee will be $15 per night and fewer campsites will be available(probably 85).
The Horsethief Reservoir Fishing Access Area is owned by the Idaho Dept of Fish and Game. It is not a state park as some other sites indicate. There are 270 acres on the north and west sides on the reservoir. Horsethief Reservoir is almost 2 miles long and one half mile wide. It is surrounded by gently rolling forested hills. During the summer the lake is very crowded and fishermen are lined up along the banks. Even though there are 120 campsites, there were no vacancies when we were there and there were campers anywhere they could squeeze in. The YMCA has a large facility on the south end of the reservoir that is off limits to the general public. The east side of the lake is private property and is posted "Do Not Trespass".
Campsites: There are 9 camping loops with a total of 120 campsites. Groups are limited to 25 persons.
Host on Site: There are volunteer hosts scattered through the 9 loops.
Water: There are hand-pumps on several wells throughout the campgrounds to provide drinking water.
Garbage Services: This is a "Pack it in, Pack it out" campground.
Restroom: Vault Style outhouses are available.
Handicap Accessible: Yes, the outhouses are handicap accessible as are the new docks.
Firewood: Bring your own. Gathering firewood from the property is prohibited.
Pets: Pets are allowed on a leash only.
Picnic Area: There is no picnic area.
Recreation: People come here for the free camping and fishing. However, many also come for the trail riding, hiking, bird watching and other fun.
Fishing: Horsethief Reservoir was drained in 2006 to get rid of the perch that had taken over. It has since been restocked with trout.
Boating: Boating is allowed and there are several docks and ramps.
Swimming: I am sure campers swim, however there is "no swimming" area.
Wildlife: Deer are commonly seen. I have never heard of bear bothering this campground, but one would be wise to use caution with your food and garbage. Wolves are in this area so watch your dogs.
Additional Camping Opportunities: Warm Lake Area Campgrounds are available 20 miles up Warm Lake Rd with 3 campgrounds. There are many hunting camps in the National Forest all along Warm Lake Rd. Primitive camping may appeal to you, and I have seen people camping in these areas all summer.
Fee Schedule: Starting July 1, 2017 single campsites will be $15 per night.
Campground Reservations: Not reservable.
Phone service: We had cell service until we got right to the campground. The nearest pay phone would be at Cascade, Idaho.
Nearby Services: For services such as gas, ice, pop and food, I would recommend driving to Cascade.
RV Dumping Site: There is no RV Dumping Station. Cascade would be your nearest location for a dumping station.
Location/Driving instructions: If you check google for directions from Cascade, it will give you 2 routes. I recommend Warm Lake Rd. Warm Lake road is well developed and paved. As you leave Cascade heading north on Hwy 55, Warm Lake Rd is a right-hand turn about a half mile out of town. Follow it about 6 miles to Road 443/Horsethief Rd, also a right-hand turn. It is about 2 miles on this road to Horsethief Reservoir.
Elevation: 5070 Feet
Reviewed: July 2010
This information is accurate as of the date of the review.
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