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Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.
Katherine Donnelly | 12.15.2017

If you're looking for a small mountain town that packs a big, family-friendly adventure punch, you've come to the right place. McCall, Idaho, boasts countless miles of year-round recreation trails, gorgeous lake access, and three local ski resorts, and all offer wonderful activities that are perfect for everyone in the family. Find a cozy hideaway to sleep two or 20, all with modern amenities, so you can celebrate the season together. 

So load up the car, pack extra layers, and head to McCall for a winter weekend getaway both the kids and parents will love!

Day One

Kick off your holiday adventure with a morning at the ski hill - whether you choose to visit Brundage Mountain Resort, Tamarack Mountain, or the Little Ski Hill is up to you. Brundage Mountain Resort boasts a great beginner area that is FREE for those looking to learn, making it a great option for the first-time family. Just down the road, the Little Ski Hill is an action-packed ski area featuring a T-bar with access to 405 feet of vertical terrain. It is also the only place in the McCall area to offer night skiing, so keep that in mind in case you still have some legs left later in the day! And, last but not least, Tamarack Resort boasts 2,800 feet of vertical packed with long groomed runs and glades full of powder stashes. It may not be the best choice for those looking to take it slow, but if you're entire family loves to charge, then Tamarack will have everyone smiling from ear to ear. 

After an awesome day on the mountain, you deserve some rest...and where better to take a minute to yourself and recharge than at one of the local hot springs? Our recommendation for families is Gold Fork Hot Springs, offering the amenities to make for an easier trip with the tykes. Set in the snowy hills just outside of Donnelly, Idaho, six mineral-rich pools await to sooth, rejuvenate, and keep that winter chill at bay. If Gold Fork doesn't look like your cup of tea, don't fret; you have many more springs to choose from, all within a short drive of town. After all, there really is no better way to wrap up an adventure-filled day than with a good soak in some gorgeous, natural springs!

If you find you have some extra time to fill before heading back to your weekend accommodations, a good old-fashioned horse-drawn sleigh ride is a great way to wind down and see the town in a fun way. The sleigh experience lasts 90 minutes and takes you through post-card-perfect scenery. Sleigh blankets are provided, but plan to dress in warm layers and bring extra blankets, hats, mittens, snacks and your camera to capture the evening magic! 

Day Two

Start your second day in McCall off with a romp in the snow, whether its on cross-country skis or snowshoes. If you're looking for groomed trails that the entire family can enjoy, look no further than Bear Basin Nordic Center, which offers miles of gorgeous trails that are open to skiers and snowshoers of all abilities. From Bear Basin's trails, you will have an unbeatable backdrop of the surrounding peaks throughout your adventures.

For something a little more exciting, try a hike to Goose Creek Falls. While this route is popular in the summer, it is also a beautiful trail to take when the snow falls; just strap on some snowshoes and get goin'! The trail meanders through snow-covered Douglas fir and down Goose Creek Canyon along a clear mountain stream. The trek is about 2 miles out and back with a 650-foot elevation gain. To access the trailhead, head up Goose Lake Road like you are going to Brundage. Turn left into the Gordon Titus parking lot and find the trailhead at the northern end of the parking lot there.

Not feeling up for a snowshoe or cross-country jaunt? Check out the new and improved McCall Activity Barn. A new snowmaking system and 600-foot conveyor have allowed McCall’s Activity Barn to open sooner and accommodate more snow tubing enthusiasts than ever. Snowmaking and grooming crews have now crafted two additional 700-foot tubing lanes at the 6-acre site just outside McCall and purchased 100 additional brand new snow tubes! Fun for the whole family and those craving a little more “woo” factor in their day.

If you're in need of equipment, choose one of these local businesses and outdoor experts: Gravity Sports, Hometown Sports or McCall Sports Exchange. Rent your snowshoes, cross-country or skate skiing equipment and head for the hills!


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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