The natural beauty of McCall is just the beginning. Once you start to explore and uncover all the gems McCall has to offer — from mineral pool hot springs to the skiing slopes of Brundage Mountain — you will hardly be able to wait for your next adventure.
To get you started, here are some of the best things to do in McCall, Idaho, no matter the time of year. As you soak in your new adventure, always remember that it’s just the beginning. With some curiosity and a little free time, a new escape will always await you here in McCall.
Explore McCall Fish Hatchery
If you love the great outdoors and fishing, then a trip to the McCall Fish Hatchery will be joyous.
Built back in the late 1970s, the hatchery came to the rescue of Chinook salmon and other mitigatory fish impacted by changes to the environment and the construction of several dams along Lower Snake River.
The fish now thrive thanks to McCall Fish Hatchery and you can see all up close and personal during a daily tour. Tours tend to be extra busy during the spring and summer. Go in for a tour between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. anytime during the year. You can also embark on a self-guided tour or call ahead for a special arrangement.
Go on cruise
Payette Lake is quite the destination, especially for its summertime sunset cruises.
You and your loved one can hop on board for a special two-hour sunset cruise on the Idaho on Payette Lake.
Imagine the gentle breeze swirling around you as you enjoy your go-to beverage and watch the sunset over the beautiful lake. On some outings, a guitarist or pianist will provide additional entertainment and help set the mood.
It can get a bit chilly out there, even on a summer day, so you want to dress for the occasion. If it gets too cold, you can take in the views from the heated cabin, which is fully stocked with your favorite drinks.
Tours are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Be amazed by McCall smokejumpers
If fighting a fire isn’t enough — imagine the skill and bravery it takes to do it from the air.
That’s what smoke jumping is all about. In McCall, there’s a special group of firefighters who act quickly to battle forest fires. They will parachute from planes very close to the fire’s hotspots. McCall’s base is one of the largest and busiest facilities with skilled and brave smokejumpers who respond to fire emergencies across the western states.
Here’s your chance to learn directly from smokejumpers on what it takes to battle the largest kind of wildfires around. Attendees will learn about the challenges, training and gear that goes into each unique firefighting situation.
Try out the hot springs
Dip into the heavenly pleasures of a mineral hot spring. The sensation and bliss will only increase if you try this on a chilly morning.
Visitors and residents will find a number of hot springs year round. Gold Fork Hot Springs, which is a short 30-mile drive from the heart of McCall, boasts six beautiful mineral pools and they’re hot. The temperatures range from 85 all the way to 110 degrees. Everyone in the family will also have a blast and splash in the separate kid-friendly pool.
If you head up during winter, you will have the peace of mind that the roadways will be well maintained and plowed for safe travels.
Gold Fork Hot Springs is open throughout the year, with some exception: They are closed on Tuesdays.
Go to McCall Winter Carnival
Each year around February, tens of thousands of people come to celebrate one of the city’s biggest crowd-pleasing gatherings: the annual McCall Winter Carnival.
There’s a snow sculpture contest, fireworks show over Payette Lake, snow bike races, wine tasting, snowshoe golf, parades and the list goes on.
For a place that’s known for cold weather, McCall sure knows how to make the most of this part of the year. One of the most popular things to do at the carnival is the snowshoe golf game, which of course is played in the snow.
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