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part ofNez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Sun Nov 01 2015   Season Dates


Powell Campground provides direct access to the Lochsa Wild and Scenic River, one of Idaho's most scenic waterways. The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness lies on the opposite side of the river. The campground is within walking distance of a variety of stores, services, restaurants and lodging, as well as the Powell Ranger Station.

Natural Features:

Lochsa is a Nez Perce word meaning "rough water." The 70-mile river and its tributaries have no dams and the flow is unregulated from its headwaters near the Powell Ranger Station in the Bitterroots, to Lowell, where it joins the Selway River to form the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River. The Lochsa is one of the world's best for continuous whitewater.

The campground is situated in a dense forest in north-central Idaho at an elevation of 3,400 feet. It is across the river from the border of the 1.5-million acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Famed explorers Lewis and Clark passed through on their way to the Pacific Ocean in September of 1805.

Elk, deer, moose, bear, cougar and mountain goats make the steep canyon country their home.


The Lochsa River provides visitors with opportunities for fishing and other water-related recreation. Cutthroat and rainbow trout, chinook salmon and steelhead swim in the clear waters. The Lochsa is world-famous for its exciting whitewater rafting opportunities. A permit is not necessary to float the river, but technical expertise is a must.

A variety of hiking and horseback riding trails are available in the wilderness area. The 1.5-mile Powell Complex Trail begins near the campground and leads west through cool, shady cedar and larch trees, making for a relaxing day trip. Hunting is also a popular activity in the rugged and primitive landscape.

Highway 12, also known as the Lewis and Clark Highway, winds along the narrow river canyon through evergreen trees and past large rock outcroppings. Visitors enjoy the scenic drive and historic sites along the way.


The campground offers single-family sites for tent and RV camping. Some sites offer electrical hookups (50 amps) and parking surfaces are paved throughout the campground. Additional sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis

Each sites is equipped with a table and campfire ring with grill. Accessible vault toilets and drinking water are provided throughout the campground. An accessible flush toilet is adjacent to the day use area. Firewood is not provided and it is often not available.

Nearby Attractions:

A variety of services are available in the rustic resort area near the river, including stores, lodging, food and fuel. Fishing licenses are also available for purchase.

The nearest free dump station is 40 miles west on Highway 12, at the Wilderness Gateway Campground.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Flush Toilets
  • Accessible Vault Toilets
  • Amphitheater
  • Day Use Area
  • Drinking Water
  • Dumpster
  • Electrical Hookups
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding Trails
  • Host
  • Kayaking
  • Paved Roads
  • Picnic Area
  • RV sites
  • Rafting
  • River Access
  • Tables
  • Trash Collection
  • Vault Toilets
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Wildlife Viewing
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Fishing Licenses
  • Fuel Available
  • General Store
  • Grocery Store
  • Ice
  • Lodging
  • Pay Phone
  • Ranger Station
  • Restaurant
Within 10 Miles
  • Hunting
  • Visitor Center
Know Before You Go
  • A $2/day fee is charged for extra vehicles
  • Click here for more information on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit dontmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
46.50194, -114.71722
46°30'7"N, 114°43'2"W

The campground is located 160 miles east of Lewiston, Idaho, and 60 miles southwest of Missoula, Montona. From Lowell, travel east on Highway 12 for about 65 miles, to milepost 162.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

162 HIGHWAY 12
POWELL  ID  83539

Phone Number:

Project Office: (208)942-3113
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