Post Summary: Things To Do In McCall, Idaho In The Winter (Hot Springs, Lodges + The McCall Winter Carnival!)
When you think of Idaho, what comes to mind?
Geothermal pools? Backcountry escapes? Lazy evenings paddling on the lake?
In McCall, Idaho, you can experience all of that and more! This gorgeous resort town is full to the brim with outdoor adventures of all types, but McCall really comes alive in the winter season.
They even have an entire McCall Winter Carnival to celebrate this season!
McCall, Idaho is packed with adventure, sports, and the coziest of winter activities, so we were excited to experience it all.
In this post, we’re sharing fun things to do in McCall, Idaho in winter and all the things this town provides to adventure lovers!
Awesome Things To Do In McCall, Idaho In Winter
Thank you SWITA and Brundage Mountain Resort for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions, photos, and comments are our own.
Ski/Snowboard On Brundage Mountain
Brundage Mountain is one of 18 ski resorts in Idaho, but this one stands out from the rest. It’s known for being family-friendly, with lots of trails for any level of skier.
Heading to the mountain for the day is one of the most popular things to do in McCall in winter.
Make sure to check off the “Lakeview” bowl for fantastic views of Payette Lake!
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a little more adventure, they have that too!
Six separate ski lifts give visitors access to over 1,900 acres of terrain to explore and over 18,000 (yes, you read that right) acres of epic guided backcountry skiing via Snowcat.
Brundage Mountain offers so many gorgeous views of the surrounding area, you will always find something new to see.
We easily spent 3 hours of our morning on Brundage and I’m confident when saying it was the most fun I’ve had on a mountain!
Read More: 40 Essentials For Every Winter Travel Packing List
View The Annual Ice Sculpture Contest
Every winter, McCall, Idaho comes together and holds an ice sculpture contest. Of all the things to do in McCall Idaho in winter, this is it!
Anyone can enter and if you win a place up to 10th place, you could even receive prize money!
The town delivers snow to your site, and you can get a group together to make your own unique creation.
They invite professionals to create sculptures in Depot Park too, so stop by this place near Hotel McCall to see some amazing sculptures.
The town of McCall, Idaho creates an ice sculpture map around town so that you can drive around and see them all.
Berty and I spent one morning driving around and finding our favorite ones.
The most memorable one for us was the Moose/Idaho Tribute – which naturally won the people’s choice award. We were so impressed with the detail!
Read More: 40 Essentials For Every Winter Travel Packing List
Enjoy The Annual McCall Idaho Winter Carnival
Every winter (usually late January), the town of McCall, Idaho hosts a Winter Carnival to gather people together and celebrate the wide array of activities to do in this area.
There is everything from bingo and trivia nights to ice sculpture contests (like stated above), a full-scale parade and restaurant deals all over town!
We were pleased to come during this festive time – the town felt so alive!
Here are just a few things you can enjoy every year when you visit The McCall Winter Carnival:
- Playing bar games and eating burgers at the Yacht Club
- Talking a walking tour of McCall and the Ice Sculptures
- Trivia Night at Brundage Mountain
- Beer/Wine Spirit Tastings
- Attending The Craft Fair
The town of McCall created an online and printed calendar sharing all the carnival events, locations, and activities going on around the area.
You can find more information on the Winter Carnival on this website!
Read More: 11 Stunning Places To Visit In The Inland Northwest
Soak It All In at McCall Hot Springs Around The Area
What better way to end an exciting day on the slopes than with a good soak for your sore muscles?
We were impressed with the close proximity of several hot springs near McCall, Idaho– we could count at least four that were within an hour’s drive of the town!
This area of Idaho is rich in geothermal activity, and there’s a handful of natural pools to soak in during your winter stay in McCall, Idaho. Make sure to brush up on your hot springs etiquette too – it’s essential to be good stewards of these places!
Here are some hot springs near McCall, Idaho:
- Burgdorf Hot Springs (1-hour drive north of McCall)
- Trail Creek Hot Springs
- Gold Fork Hot Springs
- Kirkham Hot Springs
- The Springs Idaho Resort and Spa
Get Cozy At Hotel McCall
Built in 1904 by Pioneer Tom McCall, Hotel McCall is one of the oldest hotels in Mcall!
Located in the center of everything, it’s been able to uphold its historic charm by preserving original furniture, antiques, and beautiful paintings throughout the hotel.
Still a family-owned business, Hotel McCall is currently owned by the Carey Family who gives it the warm touches and hospitality that I’m sure has been a long-standing tradition here.
We stayed here during our few days in McCall, Idaho. Our room absolutely exceeded our expectations!
We had a large and cozy fireplace, a big desk for working, a luxurious shower (with four shower heads!), and a delicious continental breakfast and coffee served every morning.
Next time we are coming to town, we are absolutely staying here again!
Need More Idaho Destination Inspiration? Check out these 10 amazing weekend trips from Boise, Idaho!
Enjoy Brundage Mountain’s “Dinner After Dark”
Every winter season, Brundage Mountain Resort hosts an event called “Bear’s Den Dinner After Dark” where a small group of people are escorted up the mountain to an outpost to enjoy an extraordinary meal prepared on-site.
The Bear’s Den Dinner After Dark hosted by Brundage Mountain was a truly unforgettable experience.
We started the evening with 12 couples in the main ski lodge and made the journey up to an alpine mountain outpost in a Snowcat for our meal.
Even the ride itself was an experience! It was our first time riding in a Snowcat, and it made the evening feel more special knowing it was an adventure to get there in the first place.
In our cozy lodge in Idaho, we were treated to a four-course meal created by executive chefs, who curated the menu specifically for the evening!
Every detail of the dinner was perfect – from the low-light ambiance, the family-style long wooden tables, even down to the rugged lanterns provided for a safe journey to the restrooms outside.
Sitting next to attendees from all over the USA (one couple came from Texas!), people that once were strangers easily became friends by the end of the night.
Here’s a little snapshot of what we were able to enjoy at dinner:
- Appetizers: Deconstructed Poke with Ahi Tuna, Avocado, wonton strips, Macadamia nuts, and more.
Soup: Butternut squash soup with Masiman curry and coconut milk.
Main Course: Elk Tenderloin in dark beer, hoisin, and ginger. Sweet potato mash, stir-fry bok choi and veggies.
Dessert: Blackberry Mochi Flambe with passionfruit curd and fresh blackberries. Quite the show!
Book your own Dinner After Dark here with Brundage Mountain!
Rent A Snowmobile and Explore Burgdorf Hot Springs
We know, we mentioned this area earlier, but we think Burgdorf Hot Springs deserves its own section because it’s that awesome!
If you’re looking for hot springs near McCall, Burgdorf Hot Springs is probably the closest one!
This rustic Idaho backcountry oasis is the perfect way to unwind after a long day at the slopes or simply just a day to get away from it all.
With two piping hot small pools, a steamy large one, and a bonus bathroom in the stream, you won’t get bored here!
Don’t want to leave? You don’t have to! Rent one of their 15 rustic and historic cabins – just be prepared to go “camping indoors” because there are no lights, electricity, or running water. (Read our complete guide to renting Burgdorf cabins here)
Winter Notice: Burgdorf is only accessible in the winter months by snowmobiles only. There are many places to grab snowmobile rentals in McCall Idaho and they are familiar with these kinds of trips.
Read More Here: What To Expect When Visiting Burgdorf Hot Springs in Idaho
We’re quickly discovering that there are so many amazing things to do in McCall Idaho in winter!
Idaho is one of the few places in the world where we feel we can truly relax…it has that certain quietness about it.
The kind with sleepy mornings in the mountains, quiet forest walks, and secret hot springs that keep us coming back for more!
If you are wondering what to do in McCall Idaho, we hope this post could give you a little insight into all the winter activites it has to offer!
What are some of your favorite things to do in McCall Idaho in winter? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
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