White Sands Campground is set along the upper Lochsa River and a small lake. It is only about one mile south of Hwy 12 on Elk Summit Road. The area is forested with open meadows scattered about. The Lochsa River bottom is fairly wide here, and the land seems to be more rolling than the high mountainous country it really is. The campground is not well maintained. From the disabled well to the badly rutted road and campsites, it is in sorry shape. The campers we saw were younger and were "roughing it" in tents. There were quite a few children running around and fishing at the lake.
Campsites: We saw 7 tent / RV camping sites, each having a picnic table and fire ring with attached grill. The road and driveways are dirt/gravel. There was ample shade and privacy at the sites.
Host on Site: No.
Water: No, the pump was disabled.
Garbage Services: Yes.
Electricity Available: No.
Restroom: There is a vault style outhouse and it is well maintained.
Handicap Accessible: The outhouse is the only thing handicap accessible.
Firewood: You will need to provide your own firewood.
Pets: We didn't see any pet restrictions, however, most campgrounds where a fee is charged do require your pets to be leashed.
Picnic Area: Yes, but there are no improvements. It is just a grassy area along the lake, no picnic table or fire pit.
Recreation: Camping and fishing in the nearby streams and rivers as well as the lake which is stocked each year with trout are the primary activities for those campers we saw. We didn't make it to visit Lolo Pass which is only 12 miles or so to the east on Hwy 12. You may want to check out the Visitors Information Center.
Fishing: The lake is a "Family Fishing Water". Check the regulations on our Fishing Page. There are several streams and the Lochsa River for fishing. However, check the regulations for restrictions.
Boating: Rafts are allowed on the lake, no motors.
Swimming: Yes, swimming is allowed in the lake, but there is no lifeguard.
Wildlife: Whitetail deer, elk, moose and black bear are fairly common in this area. There are also fox, wolves, cougar, squirrels and many species of birds.
Additional Camping Opportunities: We have reviews for these nearby campgrounds; Powell Campground, Whitehouse Campground, Wendover Campground and Jerry Johnson Campground. There are some free primitive camping sites on the secondary roads.
Fee Schedule: The posted fee schedule was $8.00 per day per site and $2.00 for your extra vehicle.
Campground Reservations: No reservations available here.
Phone service: We could find no cell phone reception. However, there is a pay phone at the Lochsa Lodge.
RV Dumping Site: The nearest RV dumping station is at Wilderness Gateway Campground on Hwy 12 to the west.
Location/Driving instructions: White Sands Campground is off of Elk summit road a mile from Hwy 12.
Elevation: 3451 Feet
Reviewed: June 2010
This information is accurate as of the date of the review.
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