Visiting Dworshak State Park, Idaho

Dworshak State Park
Dworshak Reservoir

I decided a few years ago to visit all of the Idaho State Parks. As a native of Idaho, who still lives in Idaho, I felt it was my responsibility to check this off my to-do list.

During the Summer of 2017, I visited 11 of the 27 parks. It was a good effort, but I still have some work to do.  Luckily summer is on the way and Boomer and Jovi are already ramping up for some summer road trips around the state of Idaho.

Before we head out this summer, mostly because it’s still the dead of winter, I will reminisce about our visit to Dworshak State Park.

Dworshak State Park is located near the bottom of the Idaho Panhandle. The nearest larger town is Lewiston, just over 48 miles away.

Dworshak is tucked away and was slightly hidden from my GPS. Meaning it took a few wrong turns to find the park. However, if I would have followed the signs instead of listening to Samantha, my always questionable GPS, it would have saved me some extra miles and some swear words directed at her. She’s used to it. She knows giving directions is not her forte, even though it is her soul purpose.

Dworshak Dam

Samantha’s misdirection did afford me a trek down to Orofino where we spotted the 717 foot, Dworshak Dam. The Dworshak Dam is the highest straight-axis gravity dam in North America.   

Dworshak State Park
The dogs setting up camp

The dogs and I returned to Dworshak State Park and found that the ranger had headed home for the night. Before leaving, they tacked our camping site information to the bulletin board. We proceeded on pulling into the first loop and found our camping site in a fairly empty campground. It was July, so it was a little bizarre it was empty, but maybe others were having trouble with their GPS as well. We did get a kick-ass view of the Dworshak Reservoir from our site, so being in a fairly empty campground worked out to our favor.

Dworshak State Park

Dworshak Reservoir

We had a quick dinner at our campsite and then the dogs and I milled around the campground. Although swimming time had been wrapped up for the day, much to Boomer’s dismay, it didn’t stop him from trying to dart into the lake for a quick after dinner swim. But no one likes sharing a tent with a wet dog, so I crushed his dreams and banished him to the shoreline.

The park is full of wildlife and proved to be challenging as I tried to manage the two dogs, who ended up having to be tethered to the picnic table while I set up camp to prevent them from disappearing into the woods.

The wildlife did get the dogs back as they stomped through our campsite around 2 am which scared Boomer. The stomping only bothered Jovi as it briefly interrupted her beauty sleep. She is pretty good once she has bedded down for the night. However, if she is left alone, that is another story.

And that story did arise during our trip when I went to use the facilities in the middle of the night. You would think I would figure out to stop drinking beer so late. But I never will.

When I walked out of the restroom I expected to see Jovi sitting by the door waiting for me. She wasn’t. I did realize once I got back to the tent, that she was working on it.

As I approached the tent it looked like the Tasmanian Devil was inside.  The tent was violently tossing back and forth with lots of rustling inside.  Jovi was trying to escape from the tent but quickly settled down once I unzipped the door and peered inside with a raised eyebrow. Boomer gave me side-eye when I crawled into the tent. Which I was not sure if it was for leaving him alone with Jovi or he wanted to make sure I knew he was not the devil.

Dworshak State Park
The aftermath of Jovi

When daylight broke I realized that the “Tasmanian Devil” had ripped some holes in my tent.  This resulted in a trip to REI later that week for a patch kit for the tent. 

I also realized that camping with my dogs will always be an adventure. I should be grateful that they were only small holes in the tent.  Jovi has enough determination to do whatever she wants. Which could include ripping apart an entire tent if she found that necessary.  I took her with me in the morning to the restroom to prevent any further damage to the tent.  She was pleased with my decision.

After grabbing a quick lakeside breakfast I wrangled up the dogs for a hike before it got too hot. For some reason, the central to lower part of Idaho is like an inferno during the summer. The dogs and I are lucky to live in Northern Idaho. None of us like living in an inferno.

Dworshak State Park
Big Eddy Trail #210

We headed out on Big Eddy Trail #210. The trail traces the shoreline of the reservoir for a total of just over 9 miles one way. As far as we went on the trail there was no water access for the dogs to hop in the reservoir, although there was some creek access.

Dworshak State Park
Views from the Big Eddy Trail

The trail for the most part was in the shade, traversing along a hillside of moderate inclines and declines with spectacular views of the creamy green water that popped against the rocky shoreline.

Once we had traveled as far as we were going to go, we turned back to the trailhead. It was more the humidity than the heat that hindered our hike. I am a sissy when it comes to humidity. It has resulted in me avoiding visiting the majority of the South and mid-western parts of the United States. I’ll get there eventually but I’ll be dabbing my brow for sure. This west coast gal loves low humidity.

We wrapped up our visit to Dworshak State Park, which for the most part was fairly successful minus the “Tasmanian Devil incident”. I love her regardless of her downfalls.

Jovi keeping one eye on me at all times

And really, is it a downfall when all she wants is to be with me all the time? I think not.  

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2 Responses to Visiting Dworshak State Park, Idaho

  1. Meghan says:

    Love the picture from the trail! I’m also right there with you on humidity. We swore after this summer that we wouldn’t go east of the Mississippi again.

    • I don’t know how you guys do it, building all those houses in the heat. I’d be melting!! Dworshak is a place I want to for sure go back and explore some more…. in the early springtime…. when there is less moisture in the air 🙂

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