Kirkham Campground and Hot Springs is located along the South Fork of the Payette River northeast of Lowman. This area burned awhile back so there are few mature trees here. The elevation is less than 4000 feet, so the summer sun heats things up. This campground is across the Payette River from Hwy 21, offering little privacy. People don't seem to mind the public atmosphere as the hot springs is always busy.
Campsites: There are 16 tent / RV camping sites. Many of the sites have a covered picnic table and all have a fire ring with grill. The road and driveways are paved. This will be a pleasant campground when the trees mature. 10PM to 6 AM quiet time.
Host on Site: There is a host on site.
Water: The water in Kirkham Campground is on a pressurized system and is better than most.
Garbage Services: There is garbage service here.
Restroom: The toilets are vault style outhouses and are very clean. In fact, they smelled disinfected.
Handicap Accessible: Kirkham Campground is much more accessible to the handicap than most campgrounds.
Firewood: Firewood is not available. You will need to provide your own.
Pets: Pets are allowed in the campground on a leash, but are restricted from the hot springs area.
Picnic Area: There is a picnic area at the parking area if you are using the hot springs. There is a $5.00 fee to use this area.
Recreation: The primary recreation at this campground is Kirkham Hot Springs, but one could fish, hike, ride the trails, view wildlife, practice your photography, and many other mountain activities in the nearby areas. Kirkham Ridge Trailhead is 1/4 mile east on Hwy 21 if you are ready for a hike.
Fishing: Fishing is available up and down the Payette River. However, the banks at the campground are very steep and rocky.
Boating: Rafts and Kayaks are the "boats" of choice here. There are no facilities at the campground for them.
Swimming: No swimming! The river is very swift at Kirkham Campground.
Wildlife: There could be deer and bear.
Additional Camping Opportunities: There are 6 other campgrounds in the area: Deadwood, Bonneville, Pine Flats, Park Creek, Mountain View and Helende Campgrounds. There are also several primitive camping areas available, especially around the Lowman Fishing Ponds Day Use Area.
Fee Schedule: Double sites are $30.00, single sites are $15.00, and your extra vehicle or day use is $5.00 per day.
Campground Reservations: These sites are reservable at recreation.gov. I would never suggest that you not reserve your site ahead of time, but Kirkham Campground had many open sites on a Saturday in the middle of July.
Phone service: I had no cell reception on my ATT phone. There is a pay phone to the west at Lowman, and another at the Sourdough Lodge which is about 9 miles east on Hwy 21.
Nearby Services: I recommend the Sourdough Lodge for your camping supplies. They have ice, pop, gas, propane and even burgers. The lodge is about 9 miles east on Hwy 21.
RV Dumping Site: There are no dumping stations in this area that I have found.
Location/Driving instructions: From Boise, I would recommend taking Hwy 55 to Banks. Then the Banks Lowman Road to Lowman. Turn left on Hwy 21 and the campground is 4.4 miles east of Lowman. If you are traveling light, it is quicker to take Hwy 21 to Idaho City and up over Mores Creek Summit to Lowman. It is a very steep road down from the summit to Lowman if you are taking this route.
Elevation: 3972 Feet
Reviewed: July 2010
This information is accurate as of the date of the review.
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