I’ve talked to several people about Lake Walcott State Park and the response was the same. “I’ve seen the sign on the freeway, but have never been there.” Now that we have ventured off the freeway to visit, I would summarize it as a nice enough spot, but not necessarily worth the side trip.
Lake Walcott State Park is a small park about 30 minutes north of I-84 near Rupert, Idaho. The drive to the park follows the Snake River and is quite pretty; which explains why there are several mansion-type houses along the way. Lake Walcott is formed by a small dam in the Snake, so one of the main activities is fishing. The lake isn’t that large though, more like a wide part of the river.
State Park Overview
Overall, we give this state park two stars.
If you live in the area, I could see coming here a lot. But unless you are really into frisbee golf, I don’t know that you should take time to travel to Lake Walcott State Park.
- Not well known
- Pretty views of the Snake River
- Good frisbee golfing course
- Not a huge amount of water
What To Do
- Frisbee golf
- Restrooms, although a little rundown
- Picnic tables
The park features a frisbee golf course and lots of places to have a BBQ or picnic on the grassy areas. Please check out the Idaho Parks and Rec website for Lake Walcott State Park for a list of all amenities.
The Crowd Situation
When we showed up, we were shocked at the crowd. It turns out we happened upon a large frisbee golf tournament. However, a little away from the festivities we only saw two other families other than a few frisbee golfers on the course. A frisbee golf tournament is most likely not an everyday affair, so we feel confident in recommending this park for non-people people. It doesn’t seem like this you’re going to be ever be overwhelmed by the masses here.
Unique to Lake Walcott State Park
Ummmm….the dam? The frisbee golf course seems like a big draw also.
A Little History about Lake Walcott State Park
Lake Walcott was formed by damming the Snake River in 1909. That’s about all the information we could find about this place…and believe me we looked. If you happen to know more about this place, please fill us in.
- Massacre Rocks State Park is located about an hour to the east.
- The Minidoka National Historic Site is located about an hour to the west.
- A little over an hour to the south is both Castle Rocks State Park and City of Rock National Reserve.
- Burley, Idaho, is about 30 minutes away. It is your best bet for lodging and restaurants.
- The Gathering Place, a quilting shop in Rupert with a robust fabric selection.
Our experience(s) at Lake Walcott State Park
Google took us a little off the beaten path to get here; in all of our time on the Idaho State Parks Challenge, we’ve been very successful following the brown state park signs. The drive from the freeway didn’t pass any of these, but the route was really pretty as it followed the Snake River up to the Lake Walcott State Park.
We eventually made it to the park and were confused/surprised by people all around. We made a drive through the throngs, just to see what was happening, and discovered a frisbee golf tournament had just happened. I didn’t know frisbee golf tournaments were a thing, but they had booths and t-shirts for sale and a whole slew of people, presumably frisbee golf fans(?).
Picnicking at Lake Walcott State Park
We continued down the road from the festivities and saw a dramatic decrease in the number of patrons at the park. Our designated activity for this park was a picnic, so we found a nice grassy area with a view of the water and set up shop. It was nearing the golden hour in the evening, so the lighting was pretty and the temperature was just right for a summer evening.
There were some fisherman on a pier just down from where we were eating, and a group of frisbee golfers (didn’t look like the competitive variety) were playing behind us. We saw some barbecue grills, so this would be a nice place to grill and chill. There wasn’t a beach that we saw, so the water here would be more for fishing and looking rather than swimming. We also didn’t see any boats, so maybe the boaters hang out by the camping spots and ramp.
Lake Walcott State Park would be a nice park to visit if you lived near the area. Or maybe it would be a destination if you were into frisbee golf tournaments and that is where it was being held. Since we would pass several other state parks along the way if we were leaving from Boise, I’m not sure it would be worth it to drive all the way to Lake Walcott.
We visited Lake Walcott State Park as part of our Idaho State Parks Challenge. The challenge consists of visiting all of Idaho’s state parks in one year. We made up this challenge to see a bit more of our beautiful state and help alleviate the restlessness caused by Covid-19 travel restrictions. Feel free to join the challenge!
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