After our long detour driving day and the overnight campground stay with mosquitos, it was short drive north through New Meadows, ID and into Payette National Forest. The camp area is just 2 miles off the main highway and about 20 minutes to McCall, ID.
Last Chance Dispersed
There’s both a developed campground and some dispersed sites in the area we headed. They are all creekside along Goose Creek. After the 2 mile drive on a well maintained dirt road, we located two smaller roadside pull offs. These were just before my GPS coordinates for the dispersed area, but being too close to the road, meant no privacy. So, we proceeded further and around the next turn, was a side route to the creek. This is the dispersed area we were targeting; it’s a nice, big tree covered area on the creek. There’s a campsite capable of holding 1 group and was very private site plus 3 other sites closer together. This is where we were planning to camp, but there were 3 camp groups already settled in.
We ended up driving by the developed campground and trailhead parking area. Last Chance Campground was closed, so that wasn’t even an option. We continued driving onward about another mile before turning around. We headed to the only worthy option I saw while driving past the closed campground. There was enough space to setup camp just outside of the closed campground gate, off the road and next to the creek.
The area had been through some decent forestry clean out and had stumps, piles of brush and branches around. But there was enough space for the truck camper to pivot around and we set up camp.
Hike to Goose Creek Falls
AllTrails reports this as a 3 mile trail with 685 foot elevation gain. It was an easy 6 mile out and back hike from the trail head located at the Last Chance Campground.
As the trail approaches the bottom of the falls, there is an alternative route if you take the left fork. It’s a good uphill climb to the top of the falls.
The trail included numerous boardwalk water crossings making for a pleasant walk though the Payette National Forest.
Where to next?
Following these few days in the forest it was time to head back into civilization. We were looking forward to the next several days to Southern Idaho. We’re planning a couple of days in the Boise area (1st time for us) and 3+ days in the Twin Falls area (a return visit). Before we get all the way to Boise, we’ll spend a day near Cascade lake. Lots of water places coming up and we’ll have to see if we can get some paddling in!
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