McCall Logo

A Visitor’s Guide to Lake Cascade State Park

The Best Rental Cabins, Homes, Lakefront Estates and Romantic Getaways in McCall, Donnelly, Cascade & New Meadows

Explore nature’s playground when you visit the gorgeous Lake Cascade State Park in southwest Idaho. Only a short drive from your Done Right rental home, this park is a perfect example of Idaho’s incredible natural beauty.

Lake Cascade State Park is a must-visit for your Idaho vacation, offering a wide variety of outdoor recreation, such as hiking, boating, and fishing, as well as jaw-dropping views that take a casual picnic from good to unforgettable.

This is your guide to one of Idaho’s most treasured natural spaces!

About Lake Cascade State Park

  • Address: 100 Kelly’s Pkwy, Cascade, ID
  • Website:
  • Hours: Open year-round, and day-use areas are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Admission: Entry fees for all Idaho state parks are $7 per car, or you can purchase the $10 Idaho State Parks Passport for entry to all of the state parks.

Lake Cascade State Park is located near Cascade, Idaho, about 78 miles north of Boise. This scenic park boasts 500 acres of unspoiled nature with 86 miles of shoreline on Cascade Lake. If you are looking for a peaceful and beautiful location for hiking, fishing, swimming, and other outdoor recreation during your vacation in Idaho, Lake Cascade State Park is the place to go.

It is good to know that the state park is split into multiple areas, each offering unique recreation opportunities. Some of these include the Sugarloaf, Van Wyck, Blue Heron, Crown Point, and Poison Creek areas, all with day-use areas.

Whether it is your first time at Lake Cascade or your annual vacation destination, there is always something new and wonderful to discover. Due to its proximity to your rental cabin, it is easy to visit the park multiple times throughout your stay.

Lake Cascade State Park Activities

Lake Cascade State Park is the ideal place to go for Idaho’s most well-known outdoor activities.


Photo Credit: lzf

The most popular hike in the park is the Hidden Lake and Lost Lake Trail. This 3.5-mile out-and-back route is considered challenging due to the elevation change, but it is well worth the effort. The hike provides gorgeous views in every direction, and there are multiple lakes along the trail where you can stop for photos, lunch, or simply to catch your breath.

Along the lake, you can find a handful of ADA-accessible short trails. These paved trails are a great option to allow your whole group to enjoy the park’s beauty.

Even walking along the roads throughout the park allows you to take in the incredible scenery of this spectacular area. You can download maps of the park, showing roads and trails.


The fishing opportunities at Lake Cascade State Park are world-class and sure to delight any angler. It is common to catch rainbow trout, coho salmon, and small-mouth bass here, and it is possible to fish year-round if you’re willing to bundle up and do ice fishing. Bring your own watercraft or rent boats from nearby outfitters, and get ready for some unforgettable fishing!

Please remember that an Idaho fishing license is required for anyone over the age of 14, whether you are fishing to keep or doing catch and release. Familiarize yourself with the catch limits on Lake Cascade before you go.


It’s hard to resist taking a dip in the cool, clear water of Lake Cascade when you visit on a hot summer day! There are great beaches in the park where you can sunbathe, swim, and enjoy the beauty surrounding you. Amenities make things comfortable here – you will find restrooms, showers, and picnic tables at the swimming areas.

Please note that leashed dogs are welcome in the park but are not allowed on the beaches!

Boating & Watersports

Explore the beauty of Lake Cascade by boat! Bring your own motorboats, kayaks, canoes, or stand-up paddleboards, or rent watercraft from a local outfitter. There are six boat ramps along the lake’s perimeter for easy access.

Waterskiing, windsurfing, tubing, and wakeboarding are great activities that will delight the whole family. Enjoy the wind on your face with a jet ski rental and make lifelong memories as you jet across the water.

For a quieter day, choose a non-motorized boat and have a peaceful paddle in the lake’s sparkling waters. This is a great way to spot wildlife in and around the lake, such as raccoons, black bears, badgers, elk, eagles, and many types of waterfowl.

A couple of zones on Lake Cascade prohibit motorized vehicles, perfect for those seeking calm waters. Birdwatching is a popular activity here, and doing it from a kayak is the best of both worlds!


Photo Credit: Swimba – Fan Page.

Lake Cascade State Park and its surroundings are wonderful for mountain bikers of all experience levels. Check out the Crown Point Railroad Grade Trail for a 2.7-mile route with fantastic views of the lake. The trail is fairly flat, making it perfect for children or those new to mountain biking.

Explore more by biking the roads that wind through the state park. Around every turn is a new, stunning view that will confirm you made the right choice vacationing at Lake Cascade!

Winter Sports

If you are traveling in the winter months, you can still enjoy the great outdoors at Lake Cascade National Park! There are miles of cross-country skiing (Nordic skiing) and snowshoe trails, maps of which can be downloaded from the Idaho Parks and Recreation.

Snowmobiling is also popular here, and when the ice is thick enough, you will often see brave adventurers snowmobiling across the lake itself. The frozen lake also makes ice fishing possible for those willing to brave the frigid temperatures out on Lake Cascade, a truly unique and exciting experience.

Tips for Visiting Lake Cascade State Park

Bring Your Leashed Dog

Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash and cannot go on Lake Cascade’s beaches.

Pack for the Weather

The weather in central Idaho varies wildly depending on the season, so it’s good to have an idea of what to expect when packing for your trip. Summer trips mean you will need lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics, and don’t forget your sunscreen and bug spray! Nights can still be chilly, so a light jacket is recommended.

Proper clothing is essential in the winter as the weather can be intense in this area. Heavy, water-resistant clothing and winter boots will protect you from the cold and wind. Scarves, hats, and gloves are a must. If you plan to venture out in the snow, you might want to bring snowshoes or cross-country skis.

Prepare for Wildlife Encounters

The abundance of wildlife is one of the major draws to Lake Cascade State Park, but always remember that wildlife can be dangerous and must be respected.

Black bears and grizzly bears call this area home, so brush up on your bear safety and always carry bear spray. Stay at least 25 yards away from large animals like elk, and don’t let your children or pets wander away from you!

Escape to Lake Cascade

Prepare for an unforgettable getaway when you book a stay near Lake Cascade State Park. Whether you want to try your hand at riding a jet ski across the sparkling lake or opt for a relaxing hike with jaw-dropping scenery, you are sure to make lifelong memories as you explore this gorgeous park.

So go ahead and book your stunning accommodation with DoneRight Management and pack your sense of adventure to get ready for a dreamy Idaho getaway at Lake Cascade State Park!

Have a question?