Exploring the Best of Boise: Lucky Peak State Park
Posted by Lisa Kohl on Monday, June 17th, 2019 at 6:37pm
Just eight minutes outside of Boise sits a local gem: Lucky Peak State Park.
With sandy beaches for swimming, picnic pavilions, a marina, boat ramps, fishing, and outdoor fun, the Lucky Peak recreation area is a favorite weekend spot for Boise residents for good reason. It’s an oasis, a welcoming escape from city life, just minutes from the doorstep of most local’s homes. The Boise River Greenbelt ends at Lucky Peak, making it a favorite destination for cyclists and runners.
Lucky Peak is made up of three distinct day-use areas, and this chain of outstanding parks is an icon of the Boise area. Bring the whole family to Sandy Point for a day at Boise’s beloved beach and enjoy the swimming and shaded picnic areas.
Experience a day on the water and relax at Discovery Park, a roadside park where dogs are welcome and clear, calm water invites you to canoe, fish, kayak, and play.
Launch your boat on Lucky Peak Reservoir and take advantage of the full-service Spring Shores Marina, including a convenience store, fuel, supplies, and rentals. Whatever floats your boat, you’ll find it at Lucky Peak.
Lucky Peak: Plan Your Trip
Lucky Peak State Park is situated around Lucky Peak Dam and features three popular day-use areas: Sandy Point, Discovery Park, and Spring Shores Marina.
Sandy Point has a recognizable horseshoe shape, giving the rest of the area the “lucky” vibe it’s named for. In the summer, pack sunscreen, hats, and plenty of extra drinking water. If you visit the park in the winter for disc golf, fishing, and wildlife viewing, be sure to dress warmly and pack appropriate safety gear.
During the spring, Lucky Peak offers another attraction: the “rooster tail,” an impressive display of water shooting up to 150 feet in the air at the dam. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the water flow in and out of Lucky Peak Reservoir, and when water levels exceed the amount that can be used for power generation, the rooster tail comes out in full force, usually for a couple of days and hours at a time.
- Fees: All Idaho State Parks require a $5.00 fee for incoming motorized vehicles (or free entry with an Idaho State Parks passport sticker).
- Activities: Water sports, boating, swimming, picnicking, fishing, biking, volleyball, horseshoes, in-lining skating, disc golf.
- Amenities: Flush toilets, changing areas, outdoor showers, picnic pavilions, grills, picnic tables.
One of the most well-loved spots at Lucky Peak, Sandy Point sits at the base of the dam and is a favorite with Boise residents. Lounge on the beach, soak in the cool water or play a game of beach volleyball.
The shallow water at Sandy Point is almost always the perfect temperature for a dip, especially when Treasure Valley temperatures climb into the 90s and residents search for a place to cool off.
Families love that Sandy Point’s water level remains low throughout the year, making it a safe spot for kids to play. Brightly colored water toys sit at the shoreline of the main swimming area, inviting parents to relax while little ones splash. The “mushroom fountain” lies in the middle of the eastern part of the swimming area, and most adults can comfortably walk out to get a refreshing shower from this icon.
Sandy Point features several covered picnic areas on a first come, first serve basis, and has an expansive lawn of soft grass with shade trees. Note that pets aren’t allowed at Sandy Point, although they’re welcome in other parts of Lucky Peak State Park.
Fishing and hard-bottomed boats are prohibited in this part of the park (check out Discovery Park for water adventures besides swimming). Be sure to plan ahead for your trip since this area is often congested and busy on peak weekends during the warm months: arrive early to for easy parking and a prime spot on the beach.
During the cooler months, Sandy Point’s new disc golf course is open from October through May, and the park is still a hotspot for cyclists, runners, bird watchers, and wildlife enthusiasts.
- Location: 9723 ID-21
- Activities: Swim, picnic, volleyball, bird watching, bicycling
- Amenities: Picnic shelters, picnic tables, charcoal grills, restrooms, changing areas, outdoor showers, disc golf
- Pets: No
- Hours: Park hours change seasonally; call ahead to verify operating hours (208) 334-2432
For the fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and boating enthusiast, Discovery Park is the place to be. It’s an idyllic spot for picnicking and fishing, where magnificent views of the rocky canyons and the towering trees invite you to take a break and relax.
Discovery Park sits along the Boise River just downstream from the Lucky Peak Dam on a calm, flat portion of the water, excellent for kayaking, fishing, and canoeing. Waterfowl, owls, songbirds, and even bald eagles are frequent residents and visitors to this area during all seasons.
Discovery Park is five acres of beauty, with a shaded lawn area and several swimming holes. Stand-up paddleboarders, kayakers, and swimmers find this spot ideal for hot summer afternoons and quiet mornings. Volleyball courts and horseshoe pits invite you to take a beat and have some fun. Group picnic shelters at Discovery Park are available to rent for events and weddings, starting at $50 a day.
- Location: 9725 ID-21
- Activities: Fish, swim, kayak, canoe, paddleboard, volleyball, horseshoes, fishing, picnic, bird watch
- Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables, grills, group shelters
- Pets: Yes, on-leash when not playing in the water
- Hours: Sunrise to sunset, year-round
Spring Shores Marina
Boating and water sports find their home at Spring Shores Marina in Boise. Situated off the shore of Lucky Peak Reservoir, Spring Shores Marina is a full-service marina, with longterm moorage, equipment rentals, fuel, a convenience store, and supplies. Rent a stand-up paddleboard, boat, or personal watercraft, and enjoy a day in the sunshine.
Because Lucky Peak is a reservoir, water levels vary throughout the year. Before bringing your boat to the park, be sure to check current water levels to verify ramp access.
Spring Shores features 298 rentable moorage slips available for annual rental and usage May through August. These highly popular slips are available through filling out an interest form and joining a waitlist.
- Location: 74 ID-21
- Activities: Boat, stand up paddleboard, jet ski, water ski, water sports
- Amenities: Convenience store, moorage, equipment rentals, fuel, supplies
- Pets: Yes, on-leash when not playing in the water
- Hours: May - September 8:00 AM-9:00 PM, September - April 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Whether you arrive by car, by bike, or on foot, and whether you have a boat or a dog and a picnic basket in tow, Lucky Peak is an ideal place for outdoor adventure.
Lisa Kohl is a top Idaho Realtor and creator of WeKnowBoise.com. From Southeast Boise to the North End, up to Eagle and west to Meridian, or right in the middle of the Boise Bench and downtown - We Know Boise. Whether buying or selling a home, we provide full-service real estate solutions dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals.
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