With the sun really starting to heat up here in Rexburg (and by “really heat up,” I mean 70 degrees), we decided to spend the first REAL weekend here up at Ririe Reservoir. I had never been before, but it’s definitely worth the trip. Roughly 45 minutes south of Rexburg, approximately 5-6 miles past Ririe, is the reservoir. It was actually kind of surprising that there was even water there. You drive through Farmer’s fields for a few miles, and as you turn the corner, the water sort of sneaks up on you.
Sadly, there aren’t any sandbars or long beaches to just lay out and soak up the sun. As you pull into the park, you’re greeted by a toll gate where it’s $3 per car per weekday, or $5 for weekends and holidays. You can then take a left which will take you down to the boat ramp, or you can take a right which will take you to a large field of campsites. As you pass the campsites, you’ll go down an 11% grade (it’s steep, so go slow!). At the bottom of the hill is a small parking lot. Park there, and then you can follow the small trail that goes down to the docks. To your right is the dam.
Unfortunately, the main dock is gated off, as it’s used for private boats. When we went, there was another smaller dock off to the left side that we hung out on. We laid out blankets and just spent the day there. The water was BEAUTIFUL. At the end of the day, we drove back up to the grassy areas with camp sites and we made dinner over the fire. Most of the fire pits belong to campsites, so be sure not to impose on anyone. However, there are two pavilions on the West side of the park that have fire pits you can use, as long as nobody else is there.
Overall, it was a fun day. I wished that there were longer stretches of beach or something so that you can have a little more privacy when the park is full. However, for $3, it’s pretty fun. If you have a boat or jet skis, then you won’t have to run into that problem. Because we went at the end of May, the water was freezing still, so we didn’t get in. I can’t say how warm it is during the summer months, though.
1. From Rexburg, get on the Yellowstone Highway going south.
2. Take a left turn onto the Archer Highway (the one that takes you past Big Juds)
3. Follow this road straight (although the road curves) until you get to Ririe
4. As you enter Ririe, the speed limit drops to 25 mph. Take a left onto Main St.
5. Drive slowly through Ririe. You’ll pass the High School on your right side.
6. Take a left onto the Swan Valley Highway (there should be a Sinclair gas station on your left side).
7. Drive a mile and a half, and you’ll see signs pointing to the right, leading you to the Ririe Dam.
8. After turning, following this road for a few miles. You should see the park entrance with a toll station on your right side.