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5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho

01.02.18

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5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho

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  • The beautiful Payette Lakeshore.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Burgdorf Hot Springs. - 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
  • Photo courtesy of McCall Area Chamber of Commerce.- 5 Must-Do Winter Adventures in McCall, Idaho
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If you love winter, then McCall, Idaho, may already be on your radar; if not, prepare to add this Idaho gem to your bucket list. Only two hours north of Boise and tucked between rugged peaks and gorgeous lakeshore, this small mountain town boasts year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure - but with over 300 inches of average snowfall, three local ski resorts and miles upon miles of snow-scaped trails, winter in McCall is a truly magical experience. 

Here are our five must-do winter adventures for your next trip to Mccall:

1. Time it right and enjoy the annual McCall Winter Carnival

As the name suggests, this is essentially a giant 10-day party in celebration of all things winter! This year's theme: "There's snow place like home." If you're lucky enough to make it over to McCall near the end of January, you'll have your pick of fun, daily activities and festivities - including snow sculptures, parades, live music, comedy shows to art auctions, snowbike races, plus much, much more. Learn more here and start planning your trip!

2. Relax in the local hot springs

Soaking in a hot spring is a favorite pastime in McCall, and residents are lucky enough to have loads of options nearby! Whether you're looking to earn your soak with an adventurous hike-in or you prefer a more developed hot spring that the whole family will enjoy, like the popular Burgdorf Hot Springs, this region of Idaho has you covered. After all, nothing quite beats an good soak after a full day of playing in the snow.

Check out our 7 favorite McCall hot springs and get soaking!

3.  Get outside and get moving

McCall and the surrounding area offers endless ways to get outside and move; whether that means snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or fat biking is up to you! Help yourself to local hiking trails that transform into snowshoeing winter wonderlands come December, or even take a trip to one of the local resorts to enjoy miles of both groomed and ungroomed trails through the gorgeous mountains that McCall calls home. 

To get you started, here are some great options to get your legs moving and fill your lungs with that crisp, mountain air: Ponderosa State ParkJug Mountain Ranch , Bear Basin Nordic CenterTamarack Resort and The Activity Barn.

4. Take a trip into the backcountry

While McCall is situated right next to three ski resorts that are definitely worth a visit, we wouldn't consider any trip to this region complete without a good romp in the backcountry. Idaho's West Central Mountains offers a variety of terrain, making for superb touring options in both the sidecountry and backcountry.

To get an even better sense of the what the mountains offer around McCall, we recommend taking a guided ski trip with one of the local outfitters and guiding companies. One of our favorite options is Brundage Mountain Snowcat Adventures, offering snowcat day-trips on an expansive 18,000 acres of Payette National Forest backcountry. If you have more time, we highly suggest checking out Payette Powder Guides, where you can take a memorable multi-day trip to one of their backcountry yurts and explore over 30,000 acres of untracked pow. 

No matter what, make sure to check the snow conditions and have the correct gear and training before heading out!

5. Finish it all off by following the McCall Ale Trail

McCall is home to three breweries, and the locals won't let you forget it...but why would you want to when they make some of the most delicious brews in the state? Have some fun, enjoy some tasty beverages, and have your chance at winning cool prizes by following the McCall Ale Trail; all you need to do is pick-up a Passport, visit at least 10 participating vendors, and drink really good beer - it's that easy! 

Interested in learning more about McCall, Idaho?

Visit McCall's Chamber of Commerce website and find everything from favorite eateries and lodging options to year-round recreation ideas for everyone in the family.

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McCall, Idaho is big on adventure and small town charm. In the winter, smooth corduroy and deep powders stashes define the season. With three ski resorts, 60 kilometers of Nordic trails, endless routes for adventurous snowshoers and fat bikers, we promise you won’t be bored. After a day in the snow, warm up in one of our natural hot springs or enjoy an après outing at one of our local breweries, bistros, or eateries. As the snow melts, McCall transforms into an idyllic lake town. Paddle boarding and canoeing on Payette Lake, world class whitewater, five golf courses, mountain biking, and hiking are what summer in McCall is all about.

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