Last Updated on 05/11/2024 by Glynn Willard

Coordinates For Free Dispersed Camping Along Forest Rd 146
43°49’38.3″N 114°25’14.5″W
This is without question, one of the most beautiful locations where we’ve boondocked!

This is a mixture of designated boondocking locations and several campgrounds all off one road.

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The above (older) video shows some good footage of this location at 1:38-2:30 and 10:25-10:45.

The Boondocking Details

  1. Time Of Year Visited
    Early June.

  3. Permit Required To Camp At Sawtooth National Recreation Area?

  5. Government Agency
    The US Forest Service manages these grounds.

  7. Presence Of Law Enforcement Along FR 146
    We crossed paths with forest rangers on several occasions.

    Rightfully so since there’s a Forest Service Office perched at the entrance.

    We spoke to one ranger when we were unsure if our rig could fit further back on the service road and he kindly assured us that we were good.

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  9. Road Conditions In And Out Of Forest Rd 146

    The road grows more rough as you progress.

    The road is passable by a standard passenger car, but I recommend your rig have a higher clearance and good tires.

    There are a lot of sharp rocks all along the road on the way to the dispersed camping locations.

    The road thins to one lane in several locations with a drop off on one side. It can be a nail biter if there’s oncoming traffic and you’re towing.

    Otherwise it’s a fairly well maintained road.

    There are multiple locations you can turn around if you’re in a bind.

    The end of the road has a small turn around, which is also parking for North Fork Wood River Trailhead. It’s tight, but there’s enough room to navigate most large rigs.

  11. Is Sawtooth National Recreation Area Big Rig Friendly?

    Yes, but I would not take a 42′ high end Class A through the terrain.

    Most Class C’s, fifth wheels and travel trailers will be fine if you’re a skilled driver.

  13. Cell Strength & Carriers Around FR 146
    The cell reception is poor in this area since all the spots are nestled in the valley between two steep mountains.

    Our T-Mobile did not work even with a Weboost. But I hear Verizon and AT&T function better there, but are still spotty because of the terrain.

  15. Does Sawtooth National Recreation Area Have A Starlink Friendly Sky View?
    No. There’s no view of the horizon. Just beautiful mountains!

  17. Crowds Around FR 146?

    We were there during the week and it was not busy at all.

    That said, the ranger mentioned this area gets busier on the weekends (for obvious reasons).

    There are enough spots and open land, you should be able to find something even when it’s busy.

    The above statement is of course subject to change based on the growing popularity of the area.

  19. Did We Feel Safe Boondocking At Sawtooth National Recreation Area?

    Absolutely. At no point did we feel we were surrounded by shady or suspicious characters.

    In fact, there was no one around us the whole time we were there (4 nights).


  21. Wildlife And Insects Around FR 146
    I would expect June to be a peak insect season, but we did not have any issues with insects.

    There was obvious evidence of bears in the area, but that’s nothing unusual about that region of Idaho.

    Carry your bear spray and pack your food/trash appropriately and you’ll be fine.

  23. Dump Station And Potable Water Near Forest Road 146?
    Boondocking in Idaho
    Yes, the entrance of the forest service road has a free large dump station with potable water available.

    We love boondocking in Idaho since they have so many public dump stations!

  25. Interpretation And Review Of Sawtooth National Recreation Area

    Waking up nestled between the mountains was extraordinary!

    There was plenty of firewood for a nightly campfire. The kids were able to run, climb and explore.

    And I was even able to wake up early and do interval sprints up the mountain every morning.

    If you feel like leaving your camper and exploring, the beautiful Redfish Lake near Stanley is just 50 miles north on Rt 75.

    We would revisit this boondocking location again and again!
    Find this spot on Boondocker’s Bible boondocking locations map here.

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