McCall is an extremely special place for me and one of my all-time favorite spots in Idaho in the winter. It’s also super fun in the summer.

Every year when I come to McCall I get a little giddy inside because of the small town charm and beautiful scenery. Plus, there is so much to do and so many ways to relax, it’s hard not to have a good time. The best part? It still hasn’t lost it’s small-town vibes yet like Vale or Aspen and is the perfect mountain getaway.

brundage mountain

The Best Things to Do in McCall, Idaho in the Winter


The Shore Lodge – This is McCall’s most famous resort. It’s located right on the Payette lake and has gorgeous views, great amenities, and wonderful restaurants. If you’re looking for a bit more of a luxurious stay, then hands down stay at the Shore Lodge! I’ve loved it every time I’ve stayed. See most recent prices here.

Airbnb Cabin Rental – I highly recommend booking a cabin if you can find one close to the lake or close to town. Use my link for $40 off your rental! My grandparents have a cabin in McCall, so I’ve always gotten lucky to get to stay with them, but I’ve also rented a few different cabins in McCall and it’s always been so much fun. See all of the open cabins here.

Rent a Yurt – Jack and I rented a yurt one weekend, this one to be exact, and it was an adventure. It’s not quite in McCall, but close to Jug Handle Mountain and we had a blast. We even had to melt our own snow! Use my code for a discount on your first Airbnb.

Hotel McCall– One of the cutest boutique hotels in McCall is hands-down, Hotel McCall. They also usually have a deal with Brundage Ski resort to get free passes with a night stay, so check that deal out. It’s also located in the heart of downtown and walking distance to all of the wonderful ice sculptures and restaurants of the small downtown area. See most recent prices here. 
mccall Idaho winter
mccall Idaho
McCall Idaho


McCall Winter Carnival

This was a first for me this year and so much fun! Yes, it’s one of the most crowded times to come up to McCall, but it’s so fun and the ice sculptures truly are amazing. Check out my weekend guide to the McCall Winter Carnival.

Go skiing or snowboarding at Brundage Mountain or Tamarack Resort

Brundage Mountain is super fun! The lodge is a little janky, but I grew up going here so there’s a bit of charm, plus it’s really close to McCall! Tamarack Resort is closer to Donnelly, Idaho (I haven’t been here yet, but heard it amazing).  

Go on a sleigh ride to see reindeer

Aching to see some wildlife? This sleigh ride is magical with Hap and Florence Points sleigh rides. I’ve done it a few times and every time I just love it because it takes you right to where all of the reindeer (elk) actually live! You can see them in their natural habitat and it’s just super cool to be so close to them!

Hit the trails on a snowmobile

Rent snowmobile’s at Cheap Thrills and go snowmobiling to Burgdorf Hot Springs or McCall’s back woods.

Go to the Activity Barn for tubing, or fat biking

I’ve been to the Activity Barn to go tubing a few times and it’s always a blast! I’ve also always wanted to try fat biking. Check out the Activity Barn for all of these fun adventures.

Take a dip at the local hot springs

There are a few hot springs around McCall, but some of the ones that you can actually pay to go to are Burgdorf Hot Springs and GoldFork Hot Springs. They both can get crowded during this time of year, especially during the Winter Carnival, so just be conscious of this. Remember to be respectful of these hot springs and don’t trash them! Idahoans take their hot springs really seriously. 🙂

Have a night out on the town

McCall brings out all sorts of wild and fun crowds depending on when you are there. Head over to Foresters or Yacht Club for some interesting nights. If you’re looking for something more casual, go to Salmon River Brewing or McCall Brewing Company.

Have a spa day at the Shore Lodge Spa

Looking for some luxury inside? Go to the Shore Lodge spa for a relaxing and delightful spa day on the water.


* indicates required

idaho hot spring
idaho hot springs
mccall Idaho winter



Ruby’s Kitchen – Their breakfast is so yummy and they have great breakfast bowls that you can’t miss!
The Pancake House – This place is one of the most popular breakfast places in town. Stay for their giant cinnamon roll. 🙂


My Father’s Place – The burger’s here are insanely good. Make sure to get some fries and famous Idaho fry sauce to go along with them!
Salmon River Brewing – Want an après ski spot? Check out this brewery for a flight and some pub grub.


The Cutwater @ Shore Lodge – I love their food so much and the views are amazing.
Steamers – This is one of the most popular spots for steak and seafood in town.
The Sushi Bar – I haven’t been here yet, but everyone I’ve talked to has said it’s an amazing new sushi spot in town.

Ruby's Kitchen
Ruby's kitchen

I hope you have a fun time in McCall, Idaho in the winter. Let me know if you’ve discovered any other really fun activities to do there in the comments below!


Mccall idaho winter travel guide


* indicates required