Wednesday, May 4, 2016
First Camping Trip of 2016 Grandjean Idaho Campground
Last Friday (April 29, 2016) Anthony, Jay and I pulled the R-Pod out of storage and hit the road for the weekend. It was so great to head to the mountains as my sinuses were really acting up from all the pollen in the air in the Treasure Valley. Because of the cooler temperatures up north less is in bloom and I literally breathed a sigh of sinus relief. No sneezing, no watery or irritated eyes and no sinus congestion. Our destination was Grandjean campground. Anthony called the forestry department to ensure that the road was clear and that the campground was open before we set our sites on this location as there is still a lot of snow up north. There is nothing worse than heading out and finding yourself without a camp site when darkness falls.
Grandjean Campground is in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area on the edge of the Sawtooth Wilderness Area. There is also free range (disbursement) camping sites before you reach the actual campground but we were not familiar with the camping options so we set our sites on the established campground. We were not the only ones at the campground but there were only one or two others camping and it looked like a few folks were hiking and backpack camping from the trail head. We also noted several free range sites were occupied when we drove around to take a look at everything after hiking on Saturday. It's good to know our options for the future.
The campground is first come - first served (no reservations). We were not completely sure about the layout of the sites so we just made ourselves at home after clearing a tree or two out of our way. It was obvious that we were the first campers in the spot we selected for this camping season. There is a spot designated for a camp host (closer to the trail head) but no one is in place yet.
To reach the campground from Boise take Hwy 55 North to Banks, Idaho, about 34 miles. Turn right onto the Banks Lowman Road just past Banks. Follow the Banks Lowman Road to Lowman, Idaho, another 33 miles. Turn left on Hwy 21 and travel 21 miles to the Grandjean Road (#524) on your right. It is 5.6 miles to the Grandjean Campground.
Since there was rain in the forecast for Friday night I planned a dinner menu that did not require a fire to cook over but we were thrilled to have the weather hold and enjoyed a relaxing evening around the fire roasting marshmallows and watching the evening grow dark under the stars listening to the river flowing in the background. Boy have we all really missed the mountains and camping. It felt wonderful to get back out again even if it was only for a couple of nights.