Recommended Stay: 3 to 5 days
Roundtrip miles from Boise 215 miles/Total Drive Time: 5 hours
Trip Cost Estimate: $375 to $750
McCall is a short 2.5 hour drive from Boise and contains great lakes to explore and trails to ride on or hike. Ponderosa State Park is a prime place to camp, but you will find numerable other campgrounds in the area.
1) Boulder Lake - The Boulder Lake hike is a short 2.5 mile hike to a nice lake tuck into the alpine. You will only gain about 800ft so the hike is not very strenuous. The fish is very good at the lake and if you can manage to get a float tube in then you will have some great success.
2) Loon Lake Trail - This trail is the shortest way to Loon Lake and also the best way to go see the B-26 bomber that sits on the end of Loon Lake. The grade is fairly mellow and you will fast progress.
The McCall area has a variety of trails to choose from. Hit the lifts at one of two resorts or check out the many short and long trails in the McCall area. There are two ski resorts that run lifts in the McCall area. Tamarack turns on the lifts on June 25th and Brundage turns on June 18th. Tamarack has more flow style trails and Brundage has some more old school style technical trails and has been working hard to add more flow options. Check both resorts websites for the most current trail maps. At Tamarack we recommend Super G for your first run since it will give you a good idea of your ability level compared to the trails. Off of Super G you will find more challenging options including Rock Star and ESR for your second run. At Brundage the classic trail is hidden valley and is worth checking out to get the Brundage experience.
If you want to leave the lifts behind then Bear Basin or Jug Mountain are great options. Bear Basin was all built by the local mountain bike club CIMBA and the crown jewel is the Drain Trail. You can ride the entire Bear Basin trail system in 2-3 hours and it would be easy to pair these trails with some lift service at Brundage Mountain.
Jug Mountain Ranch is another great option just south of McCall. There is a shuttle service on certain days and an amazing restaurant. The trails all start from the club house and this makes a great place to return for some beer and food. The patio at the club house has some amazing views of the valley. On the trail we love Berm-Erine and Doubleshot. The Shoreline trail was just finished and is a great option higher up on the mountain for a little more xc feel.
Do you want to get a little more remote? Then the Eagle's Nest Trail is going to get you away from the main roads and resorts. There are a couple ways to ride Eagle's Nest and the most popular is the short loop. The short loop involves a climb up a dirt road to a pass where you will see the singletrack on the left. The singletrack will then wind and twist down the mountain. At the bottom watch the turns since the trail crosses some old logging roads. For those who want a little more challenging day then you should defiantly check out the rest of the trail in sections depending on your strength. You can do the remaining sections as out and backs or ride around on the road to provide access.
1) Eagle's Nest Trail - Just outside of Cascade is the Eagles Nest Trail which is a classic in the area. There are a couple ways to ride this trail butthe short loop is the most popular. The short loop involves a climb up a dirt road to a pass where you will see the singletrack on the left. The singletrack will then wind and twist down the mountain. At the bottom watch the turns since the trail crosses some old logging roads. For those who want a little more challenging day then you should defiantly check out the rest of the trail in sections depending on your strength. You can do the remaining sections as out and backs or ride around on the road to provide access.
2) Loon Lake Trail - The Loon Lake trail is a classic backcountry ride in the area with a great alpine lake and then a old bomber to explore on the other side of the lake. This ride is best done in the morning since the dirt road portion can get busy in the afternoon. When you get back to your campervan take the short drive up to Burgdorf Hot Springs for a nice relaxing dip.
3) East Fork of Lake Fork - This trail is just an out and back, but it is a blast and is one of my favorites for a short ride. The trail does continue beyond what is shown on the map, but it tends to get rougher.
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