15 Best Things to Do in McCall, Idaho

15 Best Things to Do in McCall, Idaho

When someone mentions evergreen forests, we think of trees with green leaves and beautiful appearances through all the seasons. What if you ask for a tour location where you can enjoy all the seasons? Well, today we are here with a place just for you- McCall Idaho.  Located on the western part of Idaho valley, McCall is a wonderful getaway if you are looking for short romantic destinations. Lakes like Cascade and Payette surround the small town making it an ideal picturesque location.
Whether you want to dive into a refreshing mineral Hot Spring on a cold morning, touring one of the largest Smoke Jumper bases in the U.S,  a family-friendly bike tour, or listening to a live music concert on a fine evening. There are endless things to do here at McCall. Well, did we get you all excited? Pack your bags and mark the maps we are here to tell you the top 15 things or places you must visit when you are at McCall Idaho.

Set sail on Payette Lake

Payette Lake
Arne Beruldsen / Shutterstock.com

Introducing with small knowledge, Payette Lake is a natural lake here, formed by the glacial activity and drains into the Snake River.  It is elevated approximately 5,000 feet and is specially designated for boating.  Visitors can perform activities like jet skiing, paddle boarding, swimming, and even sail on a cruise or you can attend events like the Payette Cup Regatta in June.

Okay, you want to spend a slow and romantic evening with your partner. Dawn at the Payette lake with a guitarist or a pianist (Tuesdays and Thursdays respectively) to provide live soundtracks to your evening is the best moment you can have. Want to spend a chill evening? You can simply book the McCall Lake Cruises, board it, have your favorite beverages, and enjoy the soothing sunset from the middle of the lake.

Go on an adventurous tour to the Ponderosa State Park

Ponderosa State Park
BlisfulBreeze / Shutterstock.com

We get it. You are not the person who chill on a lake or create romantic moments with your partner. You want an adventure! Well, McCall also has various things to offer you.  Let’s go hiking in Ponderosa State Park.  Venture a bit north from the town of McCall and you will find yourself in the region of Ponderosa State Park. Also, it park offers scenic views of Payette Lake.

This is a promising and popular destination for hiking. Your hiking would not get boring as it would be accompanied by wonderful scenic beauty, wildlife, and some amazing lake views. If you want not an adventure but fun, this state park allows you to enjoy cycling, picnicking as well as Camping. Well if it’s winter, you are lucky enough to enjoy snowshoeing and country-side skiing. You would find the entire park covered with Pine trees, western larch, lodgepole pine, Douglas firs, and grand firs. You would also find wildlife like bald eagles, deer, beaver, and many more.

The largest Smokejumper base in the U.S.

What are smokejumpers? The firefighters who risk their lives by saving the trees from massive forest fires by jumping from planes are known as smokejumpers.  This base is the largest and the most active one in the U.S. The tourists are led by the current smoke jumpers only by appointment. The tour guide lists their rigorous training methods, activities, history or victories, and much more.

It’s ski time at Brundage Mountain

Brundage Mountain
CSNafzger / Shutterstock.com

Skiers and snowboarders, McCall is one of the prime destinations for you. It is said that this quaint town receives the maximum snowfall in Idaho. Excited? Pack your bags and come to the Brundage Mountain Resort. Located quite close to McCall, tourists willingly drive 10 miles just to come and see the snowfall. Well, there is an awful lot of other activities too.

You may find around 46 named runs, two terrain parks, five lifts, and some unpatrolled backcountry terrains for experienced ski enthusiasts. Okay, you are completely new to skiing? Don’t worry for the Brundage Mountain Resort also has arrangements for newbies.  If you are here in summer, this place offers you to enjoy mountain biking or playing disc golf or you can even enjoy a scenic beauty in ropeways.

Play a few rounds of Golf at the McCall Golf Club

The McCall Golf Club has been offering a mountain golf experience to its visitors.  They have three courses with nine holes each: Birch Course, Aspen Course, and the Cedar Course. This place is located close to Ponderosa State Park.  You can also see local wildlife along with the course. You can play and enjoy golf with some fantastic mountain views.
There are also some dining options here that you can check out.

Make friends with wild elks

Okay, enough of adventure and playing golf! Want to spend some quality family time? Do you mind a sleigh ride? Enjoy the best sleigh rides of your life at Donnely. Depending upon the weather conditions and snowfall, you can enjoy the horse-drawn sleigh-rides and enjoy seeing the elks in their natural habitats. Do not worry, the elks are pretty much comfortable with the people and would run alongside the sleigh. They also allow you to feed and pet them.

Hurray! It’s the McCall Winter Carnival

McCall Winter Carnival
CSNafzger / Shutterstock.com

Enjoyed the scenic beauties, Natural lakes, and habitats and played enough golf? Now let’s go to the largest and most astonishing carnival of the year in Idaho- the McCall Winter Carnival! This carnival occurs in late January or early February and is indeed the city’s most popular and awaited festival.  It attracts more than 60,000 visitors from across the globe, every year.

There are so many events and features available for you to participate in as well as enjoy them.  There are snow sculpture contests, snow bike races, parades, wine tastings, and fireworks over e Payette Lake and so much more for you to enjoy.

Rugged Rafting in Salmon Lake

Thrill lovers! This one is specifically for you. How about some water-based adventure? Here at Salmon River, you can enjoy whitewater rafting on crystal clear water, white sand beaches, and deep canyon gorges.  The Salmon River is considered the longest flowing river in the lower 48 states due to its length which stretches over 684 kilometers.

Families can also enjoy rafting with kids under the strict inspection of the tour guides and bay watchers meanwhile risk-takers are allowed to push their limit(although under strict inspections).  If not rafting, you can also sit under the sun on the beach and enjoy the warmth, and have your free sunbath. You can also explore the canyons with the tour guides around.

Explore the city lights at Downtown McCall

The downtown consists of many shops and boutiques to lay gigantic options in front of you to select.  You can also visit the Legacy park where you can take a lake cruise or spend a lazy afternoon laying on the sandy beach. Go shopping, have a fine dinner at an authentic restaurant, and walk downtown along the waterfronts.

You can find one of the best breakfast meals at the Pancake House and Christmas Shop. You can enjoy some of the most delicious pancakes made of organic eggs, hash browns, omelets, waffles, burgers, and many more. While at the Christmas Shop you may find all sorts of decors and displays for your house.

Learn some history at Central Idaho Historical Museum

The Central Idaho Historical Museum was built to educate the public about the local history and culture of the place.  The Museum consists of artifacts, written as well as oral remains of the history of McCall. Eight buildings belong to the National Register of Historic Places. Out of them, the most prominent is the Fire Warden’s House, which was built in 1937. It contains a great example of rustic American Architecture.

Fish at the McCall Fish Hatchery

Let us first make it clear that you cannot fish in here,  but that does not make it even one-bit boring! Watch the beautiful salmons instead! McCall Fish Hatchery is a beautiful place that rears and preserves salmons like it is their true home.
Back in 1979, when dams were constructed on the Lower Snake River, it was a huge problem to save the salmons as a lot of them lost their lives. However, the McCall Fish Hatchery was constructed for this very reason. There are a lot of private tour operators that offer hatchery tours. However, you can organize a trip for yourself too. Summers and Springs are beautiful in the hatchery.

Relax at the Hotsprings

Natural Hot Springs in McCall
CSNafzger / Shutterstock.com

As stated before McCall houses some of the best Hotsprings in the States. There is something about dipping yourself in the warm natural waters during the winter. However, have you imagined how spring would feel like? Relaxing in a hot spring with the best natural scenic beauties surrounding you? After all, everything is gorgeous during the spring.

Here, the Gold Fork Hot Springs is one of the rare hot springs that are available even in spring. A 30-mile drive away from Mc Call, Gold Fork Hot Springs offers you six mineral warm pools to immerse your body in! It is an extremely clean facility and the pools are well maintained, being open for 12 months.

Camp at Lake Cascade State Park

Cascade Lake is one of the main attractions of McCall. Often, Cascade Lake is the very reason people flock to this town of Idaho. But, why is it so popular? Cascade Lake is a natural lake that has snowy mountains all around it. Imagine camping on a lakeshore, watching the starry night with the white mountains surrounding you!
There are also a lot of other activities in Lake Cascade State Park other than just admiring nature- you can go boating in this gorgeous lake or just sit along the shoreline and fish!

Want some beached? Cascade Lake has that for you too! Two of the campgrounds named Van Wyck and Boulder Creek have beaches near them too. There are a plethora of options here. Enjoy to your fullest.

Try out water activities at Kelly's Whitewater Park

Kelly's Whitewater Park
Joshua Denniley / Shutterstock.com

Are you someone who loves the water too much? Not satisfied with the whitewater rafting at Salmon Lake? Kelly’s Whitewater Park has some of the best options for you! Bonus point: They all have something to do with water!

Paddleboarding, kayaking, rafting, tubing, volleyball beside the water, and many other adventure activities can be done here. And, the best part about everything? The park has zero entry fee. Even if you don’t have the types of equipment required, with you- you can always rent one!

Spend a night at Tamarack Resort

If you are someone who does not want to spend the night in a tent in Cascade Lake, then Tamarack Resort is just for you! It’s even better for it has some of the best activities along with its luxurious rooms!

Originally being a ski resort, Tamarack Resort even has its own zipline! It also offers a spa and lodging. There are several mountain biking trails about Tamarack Resort which you can use fully. Also, they create certain packages that include the water activities in Cascade Lake along with local sightseeing. These were some of the best things you can do on your visit to McCall, Idaho. Be it skiing, snowboarding, feeding the elks, enjoying the hot springs, or walking around downtown- McCall is a spot to satisfy all your cravings. Still sitting at home? Enjoy the next weekend in this perfect slice of paradise.