Things to do in McCall

McCall is a resort town on the western edge of Valley County, Idaho, United States, the town is named after its founder, Tom McCall, it is situated on the southern shore of Payette Lake, near the center of the Payette National Forest. The population of McCall in 2010 was 2,991 as of the 2010 census up from 2,084 in 2000. The total area of McCall is 9.92 square meters (25.7 km square), the area covered by water is 0.86 square meters (2.2 km square) and the total area covered with the land is 9.06 square meters (23.5 km square). The population of the town estimated in 2019 that is 3,597. The density of the town is 396.98 square meters (153.27 km square). McCall is now an all-season tourist destination for outdoor recreation. The resort town is known for its Winter Carnival, extended winters, and McCall is one of the highest average snowfalls in the state.

McCall experiences a dry-summer continental climate with cold snowy winters and warm, relatively dry summers, the town has slightly less snow cover than the surrounding area, which has snow cover from around November 20 until early April, with 3-4 feet of snow by early February. Native Americans were the first inhabitants of the McCall area, the settlement of McCall was established by Thomas and Louisa McCall was established by Thomas and Louisa McCall in 1889, for a cabin and assumed rights to the 160 acres (0.65 km square) of land, they traded a team of rights. Tourism continued in the early 20th century, in June 1902, Boydstun Hotel in nearby Lardo opened as a place to stay and camp on Payette Lake. In 1906, Charlie Nelson opened a tented camping area which is known as Sylvan Beach Resort along the west side of Payette Lake. In 1907, Lardo Inn opened for business. The arrival of the Oregon Short Line Railroad (a subsidiary of the Union Pacific Railroad) in 1914 secured McCall as a viable community and tourist destination. The Town of McCall was officially incorporated in July 1911.

The town’s annual winter carnival started in 1923-24. Reports vary between hundreds to thousands of tourists visiting the festivities, the beauty of McCall and Payette Lake drew attention from Hollywood in 1938 when it was selected as the filming location for the Academy Award-nominated Northwest Passage, starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Young, and Walter Brennan. In 1965, a 1,000 acres (4.0 km square) peninsula 2 miles (3 km) outside of McCall became Ponderosa State Park, home to large old-growth trees. McCall is the destination for outdoor recreation and adventure enthusiasts, with the highest average snowfall in the state, best time to visit McCall in the winter for its snowmobiling, alpine, Nordic and backcountry skiing. If you are visiting McCall in summers then you can take a sunset cruise around Payette Lake abroad Idaho with McCall Lake Cruises, smell a Ponderosa Pine, hop on the lift at Brundage for a Scenic Ride you can also tour the Smokejumper Base, there are several things to do in McCall you just need to plan your vacation with your family and friend.

What to eat in McCall, Idaho

Every town or city has something special to serve the people. McCall also has many amazing restaurants which you need to add to your things to do on the McCall list. The Cutwater on Payette Lake is famous for its American cuisine and they also have bars in the restaurants, Pueblo Lindo is quite famous for its Mexican and Latin cuisine, FoggLifter Café is a must add to your things to do in McCall list because you don’t want to miss their amazing coffee and American food, if you are the one who can’t complete their day with some delicious pizza then you have to visit Home Town Pizza it serves the best pizza in the town, so these restaurants are must add in your things to do in McCall list because your trip will remain incomplete without this delicious food.

Things to do in McCall, Idaho

Payette Lake

Things to do in McCall

Payette Lake provides a beautiful northern backdrop to McCall, the glacier-carved body of water also provides tons of things to do in McCall. Popular activities include boating, fishing, and swimming from sandy beaches, and the lake bounded by mountains. Ponderosa State Park protects half of the 5,330-acre lake, spanning from the southern shore, the state park provides several developed facilities, like hiking trails, campgrounds, and boat docks. McCall Lake Cruises is one of the unique ways to get on the water, the charter company features various adventures abroad on their 65-foot vessel, the two-hour sunset cruise offered between May and September it is one of the most popular. The Southern Idaho Sailing Association also hosts their annual regatta at Payette Lake every June, so the place is worth visiting.

The McCall Winter Carnival

Things to do in McCall

The McCall Winter Carnival is the best cold-weather celebration in the state, this 10-day event draws thousands of visitors from across Idaho and the Rocky Mountain region, it offers an excellent way to enjoy the short days of the winter season, the Winter Carnival ranks high as one of the top winter things to do in McCall, Idaho. Inspired by the regional Payette Lakes Sports Carnival of the 1920s, the McCall Winter Carnival has been going strong since 1965, the carnival offers a wide range of activities like a Mardi Gras-style parade, live music in the evenings, and fireworks over Payette Lake, the Carnival is also host to the world-renowned Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championship, so if you are planning a trip or vacation to McCall then you have to see this famous carnival.

Ponderosa State Park

Things to do in McCall

On the southeast shore of Payette Lake within city limits, Ponderosa State Park is one of Idaho’s best state parks. Hiking is popular at Ponderosa, with an extensive network of trails touring the lakeshore and marshy environment, wildlife is abundant along these trails, especially around Lily Marsh, where birds soar in all directions, the wildlife sightseeing includes bald eagles, Canadian geese, and mallards, the state park also offers guided nature walks to help identify local flora and fauna if you want some adventure on your vacation you can’t miss Ponderosa State Park and you have to add this place in your things to do in McCall list.

Brundage Mountain Resort

Things to do in McCall

Brundage Mountain Resort delivers with downhill winter endeavors less than 10 miles from McCall, with ski-lift-accessible acres, plus 18,000 backcountry acres accessible by snowcat, this family-friendly resort earns its reputation as one of the best ski resorts in McCall, Idaho. The resort also features non-downhill things to do m, especially at the onsite McCall Activity Barn. This popular ski spot also features amenities like dining, daycare, and equipment rental, you don’t want to miss doing ski-in McCall, Idaho so Brundage Mountain Resort is the best place for you to enjoy your ski and if you are the one who loves ski then you have to add Brundage Mountain Resort in your things to do in McCall list.


McCall, Idaho is best known for its winter carnival, ski at Brundage Mountain Resort, you can spot some wildlife at Ponderosa State Park, can do hike in Bear Basin, you do mountain bike with your friends at Jug Mountain Ranch. The food in McCall, Idaho is amazing and delicious you can easily find restaurants that serve the best American, Mexican, Italian cuisines you can enjoy dining in at downtown McCall there are pancake houses and some amazing café. Winter is the best month to plan your trip or vacation in McCall, Idaho you can also enjoy summers there but most past tourists suggest winter over summer in McCall, there several things to do in McCall and explore the town.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here