Cataldo, ID

Cataldo Mission
Cataldo Mission (Cataldo, ID)

In the late summer of 2016 on the drive back from Yellowstone I wanted to get near the Washington border. I was several hours behind schedule and the goal was to get somewhere around Cataldo, ID. Since my last name is the same as the name of the town I just had to visit.

The driving hours rolled by and I got near the goal and started looking for campsites. It was Memorial Day weekend so I knew spots would be at a premium but I was hoping to find a more backcountry spot to pitch the tent. All campsites that I found were full and I thought I passed the town of Cataldo. I decided to continue and find a Walmart parking lot near the Washington/Idaho border. While on the way I saw the sign for Cataldo, ID and decided to try to find a campsite.

Mission Inn (Cataldo, ID)
Mission Inn (Cataldo, ID)

The town of Cataldo is small and the only restaurant that we found was the Mission Inn. It was past 9 pm and they were closed but the door was still open. The staff was super friendly and I told the owner that we were in a bit of a pickle and were looking for a campground for the night. I then showed him my driver license (Tony Cataldo now in Cataldo, ID) and he asked if I was related to Father Cataldo. I said that I was not sure but I need to do some genealogy research after the trip. He said we could camp in the picnic area adjacent to the restaurant. He also said that they open at 11am but he would be there early and he would cook us something for breakfast. To say that we were appreciative was an understatement. After a good night’s sleep I spent some time in the morning walking around the area and taking photos. After breaking camp we explored the Old Cataldo Mission which is the oldest mission in the state of Idaho. We returned to the Mission Inn and had a hearty breakfast. They specialize in ribs with homemade BBQ sauce. I asked if I could sample the BBQ sauce and it was pretty amazing. The restaurant has since changed ownership and in 2019 it was called Timbers Roadhouse.


In 2019 we drove to Cataldo, ID on the way to the Banff area in Alberta, Canada. As we looked for a place to camp we found the Kahnderosa RV Park and Campground. They were renovating the camping area and did not have any campsites available. While inquiring about a campsite I saw that they had a tremendous number of hummingbirds buzzing about. They did not seem to be frightened of us and I was able to get some pretty remarkable photos. The camp host told me about a campground about 20 minutes down the road so we got back in the car and ventured forward.

The first two miles were on paved road and then it was about 7 miles of gravel road. The road was mostly smooth and very easy to drive. We arrived at the Lost Moose campground and setup camp. The caretaker greeted us and we paid our fee at a small store in the campground. They had T-shirts with Lost Moose, Cataldo, ID and we had to buy some. The camp is a good distance from the main roads and it is bordered by fast flowing stream. It was not tourist season so the campground was nearly empty. There were all sorts of fun things around the campground, large Sasquatch plywood cutouts, various old machines and farm equipment, carved benches, and lots of other fun things. I highly recommend this campground if you are in the area.