Overlooking Payette Lake, McCall is an all-season Idaho resort established as a logging town in the late 19th century. It’s surrounded by the rugged Rocky Mountains and the Payette National Forest, where you can hike, mountain bike and ski. McCall is famed for its 10-day Winter Carnival, which features ice sculptures and a Mardi Gras parade.
Things to do in McCall
Comprising eight buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places is the Central Idaho Historical Museum, which showcases the region’s cultural heritage. Learn about the historic McCall Mill and meet the local mascot “Smokey the Bear”, then admire “The Worker”, a bronze statue honouring the young men of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
In the summer months, Payette Lake provides an idyllic setting for boating, fishing and swimming, with several sandy beaches to choose from. Hiking and biking trails wind through Ponderosa State Park on the lake’s eastern shore while sunset cruises allow you to enjoy the mountain scenery while spotting Canadian geese and bald eagles.
McCall provides a gateway to the Brundage Mountain Resort, which receives more than 750 centimetres of snow each year. In addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding, there are also kilometres of backcountry trails to explore and sculpted tubing lanes at the McCall Activity Barn. Outside of the snow season, you can take advantage of the resort’s hiking trails, disc golf course and chairlifts for scenic views across the mountains or just enjoy a meal at Smoky’s Bar & Grill.
Getting around McCall
McCall is around 2.5 hours’ drive from Boise and Boise Airport, which has flights to destinations across the United States. Seasonal flights from Boise land at McCall Municipal Airport, which is a five-minute drive from the town centre. Buses travel to McCall and the town is small enough to explore on foot.