Groomed trail
Elevation Gain
400.00 ft (121.92 m)
6.40 mi (10.30 km)
Warming hut
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Ponderosa State Park occupies the whole large peninsula that juts out into Payette Lake, forming the lake into a shape like a pair of lungs. Just 2 miles from downtown McCall, the park is easy to access and a favorite for locals and visitors alike.

In the winter, Ponderosa Park closes down the campgrounds and battens down the hatches on the lakeside cabins, but the trail system continues to get use by the hardy cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Once there is enough snow, usually around mid-December, the groomers get to work making a gorgeous set of trails that are both fun and challenging. The park features views of Payette Lake, beautiful forests, frozen ponds, and many hills from short to challenging (the climb up to Osprey Cliff Overlook is well worth the sweat).

There are around 13 miles of trails groomed for skiing in the winter and another 3+ for snowshoeing only. The Lakeside Trail is a favorite with its fun rolling hills and location close to the lakeshore.

Dogs are only allowed on one of the trails, Rover's Round-A-Bout, a flat, 1-mile loop right next to the parking area. Dogs can be off-leash as long as they are under voice control. This loop is a great place to practice skijoring.

Stop by the Visitor Center on your way into the park to purchase ski passes, since they usually don't staff the hut at the entrance during the winter. Ski passes cost $5 per person per day. Check the grooming report for the most up to date trail condition information.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee


Beautiful location. Beautiful views. Well-groomed trails for skate and classic skiing. Variety of difficulty.


No dogs allowed on all but one trail. Tends to be icy under the trees. Outdoor school program crowds trails with kids. Trail maps are a little confusing.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

5,018.00 ft (1,529.49 m)

Highest point

5,305.00 ft (1,616.96 m)


Family friendly
Near lake or river
Big vistas
Bird watching
Rental facilities
Vault toilet

Trail type


Typically multi-day


Snowmobiles allowed



Nearby Adventures


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