Camping Confidential: Blue Lake RV Resort

Surrounded by mountains and lakes, Blue Lake RV Resort is filled with opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

By Adventurtunity Family
Camp Ambassador

Glacier National Park and surrounding towns such as Coram, Hungry Horse, Columbia Falls and Whitefish are unequivocally some of our most favorite areas to visit. So much so that we summered there for two and a half months and decided to return the following summer as well.

After spending so much time in that area, we got to make friends with some of the locals, to whom we expressed our love for the area. They then suggested we explore a little farther into western Montana and northern Idaho. The terrain and scenery are just as beautiful, and there are lots of trails and places to explore. So, we decided to check out places like the Kootenai National Forest and Lake Pend Oreille.

We learned early on that listening to the locals and their recommendations is usually a great idea, so we decided to create a route to Glacier National Park that included a few weeks in north Idaho.

Digging into our north Idaho research, we homed in on the Sandpoint area at the north end of Lake Pend Oreille. What we found was that the recommendations to visit seemed to be spot on in terms of a similar look and feel to West Glacier, with quaint little towns surrounded by mountains and lakes.

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

Just north of Sandpoint, Idaho, and an hour south of the Canadian border, is the little town of Naples. There we found the Blue Lake RV Resort nestled off the main road just on the outskirts of the Kootenai National Forest.

When you first pull into the resort, you are greeted with a serene blue lake that sort of looks like a large pond. However, after spending time at the resort we learned that the lake is actually a kettle-style lake formed by a glacier during the last ice age. It’s a freshwater lake fed by an underground aquifer, and it has earned the nickname “The Bottomless Lake” as they have yet to find the true bottom! The resort has even had universities come study the lake in an attempt to determine the depth, but so far, they have been unsuccessful.

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

Along the lake’s shoreline are a few fishing docks, yard games, watercraft rentals and life vests to borrow. Out in the middle of the lake there was a floating platform for sunbathing or jumping into the water. It’s a great lake to cool off in on a hot summer day with a swim or a paddle. And there are plenty of trout and bullhead catfish (catch and release) to cast after if staying on the shady shore is more your speed. No rod? No problem! Make friends with the resident painted turtles in the late afternoon with a handful of turtle food. It’s actually quite relaxing!

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

Beyond the lake is the camp office and store with an adjacent bar and wine deck. The wine deck and bar overlooking the lake area is open in the evenings. Additionally, the camp store offers ice, firewood, and ice cream treats for purchase. They even have a small DVD library for overnight movie rentals, a huge bin of toys for the kids to play with, watercraft and yard game rentals and our son’s favorite, the turtle food coin machine.

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

We’re pretty sure our son single-handedly kept the turtle food coin machine in business during our two-week stay! Each evening he would load up with turtle food and head to the dock to feed and catch/release the painted turtles and catfish. It was by far his favorite activity at Blue Lake RV Resort.

The RV resort has several camp spots available, including pull-throughs and back-ins, 30-amp and 50-amp options, large rig sites, tent sites and even a few cabin rentals. Most of the campsites are peppered throughout the trees, which offer pleasant shade that is especially nice during the summer months.

On-site amenities include individual bath and shower units, laundry facilities, an open-run dog area, a fenced-in dog park and fire rings at each campsite. And a bonus for full-time or extended-stay travelers: The campground allows you to ship packages there, too!

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

One of the things we appreciate most is when campgrounds/RV resorts provide you with local information and recommendations. Upon arrival, Blue Lake presented us with an 11×14-inch nicely printed map of the area with suggestions on hikes, lakes and places of interest.

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

Based on their recommendations, the first hike we tackled was Snow Creek Falls, conveniently located just a few miles away from the resort. It was a relatively easy 2-mile round-trip hike to the upper and lower falls. Prior to our visit, the area had received an uncharacteristically wet start to summer, so the falls were roaring and quite the sight to see!

We also attempted the 8-mile round-trip Beehive Lakes trail, which wasn’t far in distance from the resort, but it did take an hour to get to the trailhead due to the gravel washboard roads. We saw firsthand how wet their summer season had been since most of the trail was covered in snow! That was certainly a first for us, hiking miles in snow during the month of June. We even saw a few hikers on the trail with their skis. Needless to say, we didn’t all make it to the lake. And the few that did only made it to the overlook as the lake was still mostly covered in ice!

While in the area we, of course, had to spend a day along Lake Pend Oreille. In hindsight, we could have found a better location along the lake, as the one we went to was in the center of town. It was very pretty but crowded, and the beach area was covered in goose droppings.

(Photo: Adventurtunity Family)

During our stay we went into town a handful of times to get groceries, enjoyed a few beverages at MickDuff’s, caught the new Top Gun movie at the local theater, spent an evening at Matchwood Brewery and even signed our son up for a three-day soccer camp in Sandpoint. We absolutely loved the area and how many of the spots were unique, locally owned establishments.

Since the north Idaho border is so close to Washington and Montana, we were able to explore areas in both states while staying at Blue Lake RV Resort. We spent one day earning a new state for us and hiked around Liberty Lake just across the Washington border. Then we spent another day in Libby, Mont., hiking to the Kootenai Falls and Swinging Bridge.

We had an absolute blast visiting the northern Idaho area and are very thankful for the recommendation to visit. Blue Lake RV Resort was definitely our kind of campground, with a little rustic outdoor feel, plenty to do and the necessary amenities. If you ever find yourself in the area, be sure to check it out!

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