What To Do In the McCall Area Before and After Your Trip

All river trips with Confluences River Expeditions start and end in beautiful McCall, Idaho. While McCall’s popularity has grown regionally in the past few years, folks coming in from outside of the area may not be familiar with the boundless summer opportunities this little lake town has to offer. So, we figured we’d give you some local tips to bookend an amazing week on the river.

photo courtesy of bearfoottheory.com

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

For a small town, McCall has a great dining scene including James Beard nominated chefs, lakeside patios, and local, mom-and-pop favorites. Here are just a few to get you started:

Ruperts, Steamers, Bistro 45, and the Shore Lodge all offer incredible fine dining options made with locally sourced ingredients, prepared by award winning chefs, and topped off with incredible lake views. Definitely an amazing way to start or end a great vacation.

If you’re looking for something at a slightly lower price, but still want to sit down with the family, Salmon River Brewery, Sushi Bar, and Crusty’s Pizza all offer fantastic food, great drink selections, and even better mountain town vibes. 

Trying to feed the family on the fly? My Father’s Place has been serving up some of the best burgers and fries in town for over 30 years, KB’s offers killer burritos and other options for the whole family, and Growlers serves up pizza, burgers, and sandwiches in a family friendly atmosphere. Don’t forget to top off the evening with a stop by the iconic Ice Cream Alley, which has been stacking mountain size scoops in a fun outdoor venue for over 3 decades.

Stretch the Legs

McCall is situated on the pristine Payette Lake, which offers a number of sandy, public beaches and lakeside playgrounds. Rent a SUP or kayak and explore the bays, islands, or the flatwater inlet to the lake for a little more fun on the water. Likewise, you can take the short drive to Cascade, Idaho and drop by Kelly’s Whitewater Park to brush up on your whitewater skills.

If 5 days on the Main Salmon is enough water for one week, take a hike or bike through the old growth Ponderosa Pine and Aspen forests of Ponderosa State Park. Speaking of biking, there are plenty of options to rent bikes in town, whether you just want to cruise around the lake, or want to hit the phenomenal mountain bike trails at Jug Mountain Ranch, Bear Basin, Tamarack Ski Resort, or Brundage Ski Resort.

Music in the Air

Part of the charm to McCall is that there’s so much outdoor recreation that there is no bowling alley or movie theater. But, what we do have is free, live music almost everyday of the week in the summer. Venues such Crusty’s Pizza, Forester’s bar, the Ludwig Terrace, Mile High Marina, and Brundage Ski Resort cycle nights they offer live music, so no matter when you happen to be passing through, there’s always an opportunity to catch live tunes.

Be sure to check visitmccall.org, or call or email us, before your visit to see what kind of happenings are taking place during your added bonus vacation in McCall!

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Confluences River Expeditions has offered world-class Idaho rafting trips on the gorgeous River of No Return since 1982. We give personal service from the first phone call to the last rapid. Book your unforgettable Main Salmon River adventure today!

Confluences River Expeditions does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or national and ethnic origin in its operations of trips, or in its employment practices. Confluences River Expeditions is an equal opportunity service provider and operates on special use permits from the Salmon-Challis National Forest. You can read more here.