Picture this: You’re sipping hot cocoa as you stroll the streets of a snowy alpine village, surrounded by pine trees and towering snow sculptures.
You can feel the snow crunching under your feet and hear the wind whistling through the trees. You look up toward the snow-capped mountain peaks, covered in endless ski runs and fresh powder.
Welcome to McCall, Southwest Idaho’s winter wonderland. Here, the adventures don’t stop when winter hits, so we’ve put together a 4-day visit full of skiing, snowmobiling, hot springs and more.
Sledding along the shores of Payette Lake.
Arrive in McCall and wander along the snow-covered sidewalks to see the colorful displays in the windows of the charming storefronts along Main Street. Walk across the frozen waters of Lake Payette, grab a cup of hot cocoa from any of the charming cafes in town or glide across the ice rink.
Local’s Tip: If you visit in January, the town will be filled with towering, intricate snow sculptures carved by the hands of local artists for the Winter Carnival.
Hotel McCall is right in the center of Downtown McCall.
When your hands start to get cold, walk into the warm, inviting lobby of Hotel McCall. After checking into your cozy lakeside suite, head back downstairs to the library, grab a good book and curl up next to blazing fireplace.
Skiing down fresh powder at Brundage.
Start the morning off by hitting the slopes at Brundage. Here, you’ll find more than 46 groomed trails, acres of lift-served backcountry, and powder-packed glades for skiers and snowboarders alike.
After gliding through the mountains, warm up at the Bear’s Den, a small wooden lodge perched along the mountainside that serves up warm sandwiches, steaming soups and cold brews.
Local’s Tip: Reserve a spot at a Bear’s Den Dinner After Dark for an unforgettable meal at 6,500 feet.
If hitting the slopes isn’t your thing, head south to explore miles of nordic trails winding through forested backcountry. At Jug Mountain Ranch, you can rent a mountain bike, Nordic skis or snowshoes and venture out into the snowy paradise surrounding the jagged peak of Jughead Mountain.
Snowmobiling at the wilderness near Burgdorf.
Feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins as speed through meadows, forests and rolling hills by snowmobile. Brundage runs all-day and half-day tours.
When your fingertips are just starting to get numb from the cold, cannonball into the steaming pool at Burgdorf Hot Springs. Soak in bathwater-temp water as the snowflakes begin to fall, melting just before they hit the surface.
Towel off and crank up the heat as you drive back to McCall for dinner. Dine at Rupert’s for flavorful dishes just steps away from your suite at Hotel McCall.
Driving home along the snowy banks of the Payette River.
Sit down to a plate of golden pancakes drizzled with maple syrup at the Pancake House. During the winter months, this cozy cabin lodge is filled with colorful decorations and serves up holiday-themed breakfasts you just have to try.
As you head south out of town, stop along the road at McCall’s Activity Barn. Sled down an 800 foot-tall hill, with the winter wind whipping through your hair and butterflies in your stomach.
Watch the mountains fade into the distance as you drive over the river and through the woods back home.
In Southwest Idaho, you’ll find adventure all year long. Whether it’s skiing, snowshoeing or soaking in hot springs, one thing is for sure: You won’t get cabin fever here.