Location: McCammon, Idaho
Type: BLM Dispersed
Access: Interstate 15 to E. Merrill Road
Coordinates: 42.661079, -112.215359
Elevation: 4,700 Feet
Road Conditions: Gravel Road
Phone Coverage: VZW 3/5
Amenities: None. This is a primitive camping area.
We recently discovered an unusual camping area in southern Idaho, conveniently located just yards from an Interstate 15 exit. We had been experiencing difficulty finding camping that met our needs in Idaho (peace, quiet, nature, and a decent Verizon data signal), and decided to look further to the south. As it happened, we both stumbled upon the same unusual listing while looking along the I-15 corridor.
Indian Rocks BLM Camping Area, formerly Indian Rocks State Park, and more formerly yet an apparently-unnamed BLM area was reportedly open for free, dispersed camping. Considering its proximity to I-15 we anticipated a reasonably good likelihood of it also having decent phone coverage.
Indian Rocks met our needs so well that we stayed for about 10 days. In fact, the only reason we did not stay for the entire 14 days at this site was that Hurricane Rosa was pushing its way through Arizona and into Utah. We wanted to set up at our next camp ahead of the torrential rain that was expected in the coming days.
Our only complaint at Indian Rocks was traffic noise from I-15. The traffic noise was pretty much constant, though it was not really noticeable inside the van when the doors and windows were closed at night. Otherwise, this area was quiet and peaceful.
We saw several locals during our time at Indian Rocks, but they were quiet and respectful (one rancher, one man walking his dogs, and one man riding through on a mule). Only two other people camped here during our stay, and one was our friend, Colleen. The other was so far up the road that we could not even see her rig unless we were driving out for errands.
Since this is an abandoned state park, there is a decent gravel road that goes in from the pavement. The gravel road is nearly 1.5 miles long and runs north-south parallel to I-15. There are a couple of pull-offs to the right as you travel down the gravel road, and then at the end is a large loop that was once the camping area in the state park. There are numerous gravel pads around the loop in varying conditions (some are quite overgrown).
The first pull-off on the right after entering the site is where the “Indian Rock” petroglyphs are located. Apparently the rocks are not native to this site, but were moved here from another nearby site. It appears that they were just dumped at the current site and surrounded by a rusting, metal fence.
Our research indicates that Idaho purchased the land for Indian Rocks State Park from the Bureau of Land Management in 1968 – 3,000 acres of land for the meager sum of $2.50/acre. The park was closed in 1983 during a budget crisis. After the park closure, the land was transferred back to BLM and all structures were subsequently removed. The site is somewhat reminiscent of Slab City in that it was a government facility until being abandoned with everything but the slabs/pads removed.
Interestingly, the land still shows as Indian Rocks State Park on most maps and GPS apps, despite the fact that the state park has been closed for 35 years.
Take Interstate 15 to McCammon, Idaho. Turn west onto E. Merrill Road (away from Flying J), and then turn right into the Indian Rocks BLM Camping Area.