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5 Idaho State Parks with Cabins for Big Families


    “Idaho’s state parks represent the great variety and beauty of the state, and our park rangers are proud to share some of our state’s splendor with you. It is my pleasure to join them in welcoming you to Idaho. I hope you will return often to experience the excitement and diverse opportunities we have to offer.”
    -Governor Butch Otter

    Idaho has 30 state parks to enjoy. Twelve parks have cabins, however, only 5 state parks have accommodations for big families.  That’s okay though, your big family will love a fun-filled vacation at any of these spectacular state parks.

    Castle Rocks State Park

    Evidence suggests that folks have been coming to Castle Rocks for nearly 9,000 years. Campsites are nestled among Idaho’s largest pinyon pine forest on the east slope of the 7,500-foot Smoky Mountain.

    The Lodge at Castle Rocks Ranch accommodates up to eight people. Pets are allowed at the cabin which has a fully equipped kitchen, four bedrooms, and a living room with a fireplace. An outdoor area includes a deck with gorgeous views of the park.

    The Bunkhouse is located next to “The Lodge at Castle Rock Ranch” and can be rented as a package deal at a reduced rate. The bunkhouse can also be rented as a standalone unit for 12 people. Guests may use showers at Smoky Mountain Campground. Guests must supply their own: sleeping bag, cooking equipment, food, towels, and other personal gear.

    Two yurts, the Sage and Pinyon will sleep six. Yurts are equipped with a wood stove, electricity, including a fan, light, and receptacles. Two bunks with a double bed on the bottom and twin bed on the top. Bedding is not provided. Furniture includes a table, six stools, a hutch for storage and food preparation. Cooking Stove is not provided. Water is located at an outside spigot near parking (seasonal May 1-Sept 30). Campground showers and flush toilets nearby (seasonal May 1-Sep 30).

    Harriman State Park

    Owned by Union Pacific Railroad investors from 1902 to 1977, the park acreage served as a cattle ranch and private retreat for the Harriman and Guggenheim families. Today, Harriman State Park provides visitors a perfect setting to enjoy the unique history and natural beauty of the area.

    The Bunkhouse
    This four-bedroom house has 7 beds and will sleep 13. A full kitchen, electric heating, and indoor plumbing make this riverfront lodge a great choice.

    The Ranch Manager’s House
    This historic four-bedroom log home at Harriman State Park has a modern kitchen, a rustic knotty-pine living room with a stone fireplace, and a screened sun porch. Perfect for that once-in-a-lifetime fly-fishing vacation, the cabin is fully furnished. Rent is based on four adults, additional adults up to a maximum of eight are an additional $12 per night per person. There is a non-refundable $25 reservation fee.

    The Cattle Foreman’s House
    The Cattle Foremanís House is a beautifully furnished three-bedroom cabin located within the historic Railroad Ranch. A wood-burning stove, complete kitchen, bunk beds, and two queen size beds make this historic cabin an incredibly comfortable way to enjoy Harriman State Park, winter or summer. The Cattle Foreman’s House rents for 4 adults, additional adults up to a maximum of six are an additional $12 per night per adult. There is a non-refundable $25 reservation fee.

    Dormitory House
    All winter overnight guests must park at the maintenance area, and ski or snowshoe to the facilities along with all supplies, the distance is 1 1/4 mile. Walk-in distance outside of winter months is approximately 150 yards.  Up to 40 guests can sleep in 20 bunk beds in this house with electricity and indoor plumbing.

    Two yurts sleep six, the Cygnet and the Wyethia. Each yurt is equipped with a wood stove, propane stove, two bunks with a double bed on the bottom and twin bed on the top. Campers must bring their own propane canisters. Water outside the yurt. Vault toilet midway between yurts 100 feet away.

    Heyburn State Park

    Created in 1908, Heyburn State Park is the oldest park in the Pacific Northwest. Towering ponderosa pines give way to flower-filled meadows and placid waters. Visitors can enjoy the peaceful serenity of cottages, cabins, and campsites and admire the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps who built many buildings within the park in the 1930s.

    Cottages – Lakeview, Chatcolet, Rocky Point

    Each two bedroom cottage sleeps up to eight and has a furnished kitchen (appliances, cooking utensils, and tableware for eight are included) with furnished dining area and living room. Each cottage has an outdoor charcoal grill and picnic table. Visitors need to provide their own linens and sheets (full size) blankets or sleeping bags, pillows, and towels.

    Ponderosa State Park

    Ponderosa State Park covers most of a 1,000-acre peninsula that juts into beautiful Payette Lake near McCall.
    The scenic overlook at Osprey Point offers a spectacular view of the lake. The park offers hiking and biking trails, guided walks with park naturalists, and evening campfire programs. There are several ways to have a great time while visiting Ponderosa State Park.

    Six cabins are nestled along the shore of Payette Lake. Three cabins sleep six and one sleeps eight. Each has a fully equipped kitchen (full-size stove, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, cookware, dinnerware, utensils, glasses, cutlery, bakeware, coffee maker, and toaster), a bedroom with a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed in the living room, two twin mattresses in the loft. The decks have awesome views and easy lake and beach access. Pets are not allowed in the cabins. Additional camping is not permitted in the cabins. A $10 registration fee and $100 cleaning deposit is also required.

    Bear– Sleeps six, located near the Visitor Center; has open view of the lawn area and views of the lake.

    Wolf– Sleeps six; situated on a small bluff with an open view of the lake.

    Fox– Sleeps six; sits on a bluff adjacent to the Wolf cabin with an open view of the lake.

    Elk– Sleeps eight; nestled in the trees with filtered views of the lake.

    Priest State Park

    Priest Lake State Park lies just 30 miles from the Canadian Border, nestled deep below the crest of the Selkirk Mountains. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Northern Idaho and mile-high mountains, Priest Lake State Park sits along the eastern shores of Priest Lake, a 19-mile long, over 300-foot deep lake.

    Play in the crystal clear water and on the sandy beaches of Priest Lake during the day, and spend the night in a rustic log cabin. The two-room cabins sleep up to six people; the one-room cabins sleep five. Cooking is outside on a grill-covered fire pit. All are heated so you can cross-country ski in the winter.

    Grizzly – Two-room cabin has electricity and electric heat. It sleeps up to six in a double bed and 2 bunk beds. Amenities include a table and benches, picnic table, and fire pit. Picnic table and fire pit outside with water nearby.


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    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa Jorgensen is a mother to four children including twins. She recognized the necessity for a comprehensive resource of hotels that cater to big families with rooms and suites for 5, 6, 7, or 8 people in a single room while traveling with her own family. In 2008, she established SixSuitcaseTravel to compile a database of such hotels. Over time, the website has grown to include travel advice, itineraries, road trip suggestions, national park guides, and more. Theresa takes pleasure in assisting other big families in creating unforgettable travel experiences.