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Ponderosa State Park, McCall

#2 of 22 in Things to do in McCall
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
A 1,000-acre peninsula that juts into beautiful Payette Lake near McCall makes up the main unit of Ponderosa State Park. Osprey Point is the scenic overlook that offers a spectacular view of the lake. The day use area at the Visitor Center has one of the largest sand beaches on the lake. The North Beach Unit of the park also has a huge sand beach, picnic area and campground. The topography of the park ranges from arid sagebrush flats to dense forests. Wildlife that can be viewed at the park includes Canada geese, osprey, bald eagles, wood ducks, mallards, songbirds, deer, moose, beaver, muskrats and even bear. When the snow melts and the temperatures rise the park comes alive with various wildflowers.

Home to one of Idaho’s Premium Nordic Ski destinations, the park boasts 12 miles of groomed trails - 19.3 kilometers. Nordic trails range from recreational to competition to accommodate all abilities. Also within the park are 3.4 miles of designated snowshoe trails through the forest that offer viewpoints of the lake.
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Ponderosa State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
284 reviews
  • Cleaning up the beach at the south end of boat rentals! And the porta potty is the worst we have ever encountered. Yes, a lot of people, but it didn't look like it had been cleaned for days. For...  more »
  • Outstanding views of the Payette Lake. Appears to be several nice areas for camping. Vistor's Center was minimal, with very little to see / do / nothing interactive.  more »
  • One of the most well-maintained parks in Idaho. As popularity in McCall continues to grow, the state and staff show their maintenance muscle. Every year, the park implements major improvements to areas that need repair or optimization. The park offers a plethora of areas to explore including beaches, forests, waterways, biking and walking paths. Frequent education programs directed for adults and children are offered (usually) for free. There's a scenic overlook which can be hiked, biked, or driven to. Park staff are kind and are often local residents who will gladly point you in the right direction. Ponderosa has access to most of the peninsula, so you are welcome to explore most areas and enjoy the far-but-not-too-far from home relaxation. The park's proximity to McCall makes it work even better. This means you have the ability to camp without having to worry about packing everything. A 5 minute drive will take you into town and you can grab a few groceries or a bite to eat. Other attractions include a Marina and several equipment rentals, as well as an ice rink and a strip mall.
  • This place is gorgeous! It's close to all McCall has to offer, the beach side lake access, nice biking trails throughout the park, and memorable places for a picnic. The facilities aren't as well taken care of in the camping area, but it's more from age rather than cleanliness. Going on the biking trail you can find lesser used beach areas with blocked off swimming areas. Go explore and see what you can find! We went in July and found huckleberries around camp, and lots of deer to watch.

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