McCall, Idaho Travel Guide

Posted by Hughes Group Blog Team on Sunday, August 1st, 2021 at 1:51pm.

 



Approximately 100+/- miles north of Boise lies one of Idaho's favorite resort towns and winter destinations, McCall, Idaho. This vibrant, rural city is situated on the southern shore of beautiful Payette Lake, surrounded by towering pine trees, remarkable landscapes, and snow-capped mountain peaks reaching over 8,000+/- feet in height. With roots in recreation, mining, forestry, and agriculture, McCall has since transformed its cityscape to accommodate a plethora of year-round outdoor recreation and adventure enthusiasts alike.

Prime Vacation Seasons

Winter

During the winter months, the town of McCall has some of the highest average snowfalls in the state, making for excellent snowmobiling, alpine, Nordic, and backcountry skiing opportunities. Conveniently located less than 10+/- miles away from downtown, local ski resorts offer over 2,300+/- acres of skiable hills and vertical slopes ranging from 1,800+/- to 2,800+/- feet making for an ideal winter vacation. To top it off, McCall also hosts an annual Winter Carnival, attracting many from in and around the area to enjoy incredible snow sculptures, warm hot cocoa, parades, live music, comedy shows, art auctions, races, and even more on the day-to-day schedule!

Summer

This four-season vacation destination is by far one of the most enjoyable escapades come summertime. Residents and travelers alike enjoy the mild day temperatures and pleasant summer nights ideal for live outdoor music, lakeside activities, shows, in particular, the annual 4th of July Firework Show and summer festivals that take place. A popular attraction and city center point, Payette Lake is excellent for everything from boating, sailing, jet-skiing to cooling off in the crystal clear water. Not to mention, the Payette River also cuts through McCall, providing kayakers and canoers access to world-class whitewater, level V rapids, and miles of beautiful, lush, scenic backcountry. A natural sanctuary and outdoor lovers paradise, McCall is home to just about every type of outdoor activity from hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, camping, golfing, ziplining, a range of guided tours, horseback riding, birding, fishing, hunting, and even more!

Community

McCall, Idaho is prospective to many considering a home or investment property in the area for its high quality of living and access to many big-city amenities, including luxury shopping, fine dining, and rich cultural opportunities. With a population on the smaller side, the close-knit community still works together to provide excellent educational opportunities, a full-service hospital and medical clinic, a municipal airport, and a range of city-sponsored recreation and sporting events. Look no further and start planning your next vacation to McCall, Idaho!

Things to Do

This picturesque town is full of things to do, from scenic tours to miles of wilderness pedestrian trails, glamping, and a repertoire of chock-full of ideas to make a memorable trip. Below are a few favorites to consider adding to the list.

Kayak Payette Lake

Surrounded by pine-covered mountains, Payette Lake provides a beautiful backdrop to the heart of downtown McCall. Carved by glaciers, this gem-colored body of water offers room for tons of activities close to town, including boating, jet-skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, and swimming. Find access to paddleboards, kayaks, and more water rentals in town for a fun sun-soaked day on the lake. Capture a unique perspective and hop aboard a sunset cruise for an unforgettable evening on the water.

Hike at Ponderosa State Park

Located off the southeast shore of Payette Lake, Ponderosa State Park stands as one of Idaho's best state parks with access to several developed facilities, including maintained hiking trails, guided nature tours, over 100+/- campground sites featuring water & electric hookups, boat docks, deluxe waterside rental cabins, and more. Making up around 1,500+/- acres of the peninsula that shapes Payette Lake, this public space offers ample grounds to explore and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Hiking is a popular pastime in the area, and the park provides a great access point to an extensive network of trails following the shoreline and marshy surroundings. Trails to consider checking out might include Ridgeline Trail, a relatively short 1+/- mile trek across a lava rock field with breathtaking views of the lake at Osprey Point, or Huckleberry Trail, a 3.4+/- mile out-and-back path that lines the eastern shore of the park.

Mountain Bike at Jug Mountain Ranch

Situated in the charming community of Jug Mountain Ranch lies one of the most popular destinations to find a network of forested, public mountain bike trails and well-maintained singletrack routes. Courses range in varying difficulty from beginner-friendly to expert-level navigation. Benefit from access to convenient shuttle operations, bike rentals, and a full-service bike clinic for all your adventure needs! With nearly 1,000+/- acres of preserved as open space, discover a range of outdoor recreation opportunities from golfing, hiking, nordic skiing, and more.

Hit the Slopes

Brundage Mountain Resort is one of the many excellent winter destinations in the area with over access to around 2,000+/- acres of slopes accessible by ski-lift and over 8,000+/- acres of backcountry hills. With an annual average of 300+/- inches of snow, there's a surplus of ways to enjoy McCall's powder-packed slopes. If you're up for a drive, head just 20+/- miles south, near Lake Cascade, to find Tamarack Resort. Another great option for winter enthusiasts, this fully equipped Resort features seven chairlifts and over 1,100+/- acres of ski slopes. This four-season retreat is a gateway to cozy lodging options, waterfront cabanas, gourmet eats, ziplining, classes, rentals, and more!

Explore the North Valley Trail

This lovely pathway runs for 3.5+/- miles south of McCall from River Ranch towards Heinrich Lane. An excellent option for beginners or those interested in a scenic journey, the average travel time is between 45-60+/- minutes and is best suited as a morning route. Open to pedestrian traffic and horseback riding in the summer, this beautiful trail is accessible all the way from downtown McCall where it begins as a paved pathway and turns into an easy dirt trail. Travel through rolling pasture and McCall's scenic backcountry to discover picturesque landscapes and wildlife viewing opportunities. Additionally, many enjoy extending the morning adventure into a picnic lunch at Riverfront Park, accessible from the downtown portion of the path at the intersection of Mission St.

Soak in Geothermal Springs

Natural mineral pools scatter McCall's forested landscape and offer a serene escape just a short drive from town. Take the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing experience soaking in a variety of pools ranging from developed to more primitive options. Popular established hot springs destinations may include Burgdorf Hot Springs, Mundo Hot Springs, and Gold Fork Hot Springs. Each location offers a variety of pools and nearby amenities, from rental cabins to spa experiences. Explore nearby natural thermal springs for an authentic outdoors experience and checkout Rocky Canyon Hot Springs located on the Payette River for convenient roadside access.

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