McCall is a popular vacation spot for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Known for being one of Idaho’s most popular destinations in the summer, McCall in recent years has gained widespread recognition for being the perfect winter getaway as well.

Things to Do

Ski at Tamarack
Cruising through powder and catching some air at Tamarack Resort. Photo courtesy of Tamarack Resort.

Tamarack Resort: Grab your board and your buddies and shred through endless piles of fresh powder. Adult lift tickets are $62 for a full day up on the hill. To view all lift ticket prices click here.

Manchester Ice and Event Center: Twirl and glide on McCall’s fantastic indoor ice rink. Be sure to check the ice schedule and remember to have loads of family fun out on the ice.

Ponderosa State Park: Grab a pair of snowshoes and trek through old-growth forests, pick up the pace and tear through remote backcountry on a snowmobile, or try your hand at Nordic skiing on Ponderosa State Park’s Nordic Trail system.

The McCall Winter Carnival

McCall Winter Carnival
Snow sculpture at McCall Winter Carnival.

If you’re unfamiliar with the McCall Winter Carnival, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. This winter celebration has essentially become a statewide holiday bringing in droves of people from all over the Northwest. It was originally inspired by the Payette Lake Winter Games, began in the 1960’s and has snowballed into a massive winter event bringing in over 60,000 people a year. This year the carnival will take place between January 29, 2016 – February 7, 2016.

The activities are seemingly endless with Torchlight and Mardi Gras Parades, famous snow sculptures, outstanding food, live music, art auctions, and comedy shows, to name a few. To view the calendar for this year’s event click here.

Where to Quench Your Thirst

McCall is the perfect place to find solace during the cold winter months. Once the lifts close for the night up at Tamarack and Brundage the skiers and snowboarders flood into town and elbow up at the local bars and breweries. Fill your belly with fresh sushi or house burgers while enjoying a beer from a curated list of regional brews.

Relaxing at Tamarack
Relaxing at Tamarack. Photo courtesy of Tamarack Resort.

A popular destination amongst those who travel to McCall on a consistent basis is the Broken Horn Brewing Company. This brewery is a little bit off the beaten path, but it’s well worth hunting down. They have amazing dry hopped IPAs and a one of a kind tasting room. During your visit, be sure to try the Sturgeon Tale Ale, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re in town for an extended stay, you can also quench your thirst at McCall Brewing Company and the Salmon River Brewery.

Where to Stay

Snow blankets the Shore Lodge in McCall.
Snow blankets the Shore Lodge in McCall.

You have the option to stay in luxury resorts such as the Shore Lodge or you can rent a lakeview cabin in Ponderosa State Park. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time accompanied by breathtaking scenery.

To view the full list of lodging options click here.

A McCall Must-Visit

Downtown McCall
Picture perfect sunset in the heart of downtown McCall.

Make sure you find time between skiing and snowshoeing to visit My Father’s Place on North Third Street in McCall. You’ll experience one of the most mouthwatering burgers you’ll ever sink your teeth into. The burgers are always fresh and cooked to perfection, and the fries are golden brown and have just the right amount of crisp and buttery crunch. You’ll never have a bad experience there as the staff is friendly and helpful.

Deals, Specials & Packages

Vacations to McCall are highly sought after and competing for a hotel room during the peak seasons can be hectic at times. So be sure to plan ahead of time and search for deals and packages on lodging, events, free night stays, and ski and snowboard passes. The McCall Chamber of Commerce Deals & Packages page is an excellent resource if you’re looking to keep your traveling costs at a minimum.

This author is a paid content writer for Idaho Tourism.

Tyler Schnur

Published on January 21, 2016