Dive into millions of acres of trails, white water rafting and mountain biking. Travel high up into the mountains to this lovely fall retreat.


 How to Get There

A little more than seven hours from Salt Lake, McCall is an easy drive on I-15 North and then I-84 West toward Boise. Take exit 46 and soak in the aspens as they change from green to gold and red as you travel ID-55. We recommend leaving early and stopping in Boise for lunch.

Where to Stay

Embrace that small-town, everybody-knows-your-name feel at Hotel McCall, the city’s focal point. You’ll be treated like family when you step inside the historic 19-room hotel. Splurge on a lake-front suite, where you’ll wake up to sweeping views of the pristine Payette Lake. 1101 N. Third St., 208-634-8105, hotelmccall.com


The Pancake House

Carbo-load before an activity-filled day at The Pancake House. Flapjacks the size of your head will keep your energy up and your stomach full all day. Dig into sourdough pancakes filled with fresh huckleberries and dripping with homemade maple syrup. Oh, and if you’re already humming “Jingle Bells,” stop into the connecting specialty boutique, The Christmas House, where you can stock up on all things St. Nick year round. Scenic Hwy. 55, 208-634-5849, mccallpancakehouse.com

Payette National Forest

Spend a day exploring nature’s playground in Payette National Forest–2.3 million acres of sprawling trails, hiking, white water rafting, climbing and mountain biking. Don’t miss the Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area, where you can stand on the canyon rim and gaze 8,000 feet down into the Snake River. Acrophobes need not apply. 800 W. Lakeside Ave., 208-634-0700

Bistro 45

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, and there’s no better spot to partake of happy hour revelry than the patio of Bistro 45, the neighborhood wine bar and café for a light bite and choice of the wines lining the walls. Sample a glass or two...or three. Order the mixed cheese plate and finish with a perfectly pressed open-faced panini to satiate your stomach. 1101 N. 3rd St., 208-634-4515, bistro45mccall.com


Salmon River Brewery

What trip is complete without a local brew? Beers are brewed in house with water straight from the Salmon River and you can tour the distillery. 300 E. Colorado St., 208-634-4772, salmonriverbrewery.com

Gold Fork Hot Springs

Hiking brings sore muscles. Good news awaits at the Gold Fork Hot Springs, where you can soothe your aches by soaking in one of six mineral pools. 1026 Gold Fork Rd., Donnelly, Idaho, 208-890-8730

Lardos Grill and Saloon

Before you head out of town, saddle up to the bar at Lardos for a great burger in a cool old saloon. Yee-haw! 600 W. Lake St., 208-634-8191, lardogrillandsaloon.com