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Boise to McCall Idaho, what's that drive like?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
We're headed to McCall Idaho for 6 days on Feb 26th. Flying into Boise and wondering what that 100 mile or so drive to McCall is really like.

Is it flat, or are there mountain passes and potential poor road conditions to deal with en route?

I'll most likely rent an SUV, just wondering what to expect.
Thanks!
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Tell View Post
We're headed to McCall Idaho for 6 days on Feb 26th. Flying into Boise and wondering what that 100 mile or so drive to McCall is really like.

Is it flat, or are there mountain passes and potential poor road conditions to deal with en route?

I'll most likely rent an SUV, just wondering what to expect.
Thanks!
I have done that drive many times-much of my family is spread out between Spokane and Boise.

You will be driving on hwy 55-this is a tortuous 2 lane road which is very windy. Allow 2 hours in winter..4WD/AWD is a good thing on this road-no real passes except for the big hill outside of Boise (Horse Shoe Bend) just narrow/curvy/icy

McCall is very nice as is Brundage-enjoy
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cal to colorado View Post
I have done that drive many times-much of my family is spread out between Spokane and Boise.

You will be driving on hwy 55-this is a tortuous 2 lane road which is very windy. Allow 2 hours in winter..4WD/AWD is a good thing on this road-no real passes except for the big hill outside of Boise (Horse Shoe Bend) just narrow/curvy/icy

McCall is very nice as is Brundage-enjoy
Thanks for the info!
We plan to ski at both Brundage and Tamarack that week.

Any recommendations for restaurants/bars in McCall would be appreciated too.
post #4 of 17
One of the prettiest drives you'll ever do. Like all mountain roads in winter, have plenty of warm clothing on board (with luggage, this will be a given) and a half a tank is an empty tank. In other words, make sure you have enough gas to keep the car warm if you're stuck all night (observing Carbon monoxide safety procedures, etc...)
post #5 of 17
Its definitely not "flat," but "tortuous" is also a little strong. The difference is that its not just a "pass"--the road can be bad for most of the way up. As long as you're prepared with a vehicle that can handle snowy/icy roads, you'll be fine.

McCall's a fun little town, although you won't be overwhelmed by the options. McCall Brewing Company is a good bet, and Lardo's serves some deliciously greasy food on the way back from Brundage right as you get back into town. The Mill is underwhelming as a steakhouse, but it has lots of mountain town charm. The Yacht Club--the main bar/club in town--is hit or miss. If you're more interested in a big breakfast than first chair, the Pancake House serves up plenty.

You'll have a great time at Brundage...
post #6 of 17
A group of us are heading up to Brundage mid-February. We are going to start at Tamarak, do the overnight Cat Ski trip, and finish up at Brundage. This will be the first time we have skiied any of these areas. We are all advanced skiiers and would appreciate any info on places not to miss. Does anyone have any experience with the Cat Ski trip?
post #7 of 17
Slowing done abit if the road is snowy or icy goes along way in making you NOT one of the people ending up in a ditch.

When your cruising along at a safe speed in poor conditions and some fool passes you there is nothing more satisfying than seeing him in the ditch a few miles down the road. Hopefully, lesson learned. I know.... I'm an evil person.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmusil View Post
A group of us are heading up to Brundage mid-February. We are going to start at Tamarak, do the overnight Cat Ski trip, and finish up at Brundage. This will be the first time we have skiied any of these areas. We are all advanced skiiers and would appreciate any info on places not to miss. Does anyone have any experience with the Cat Ski trip?
Brundage has great open tree skiing across most of the mountain. There are two main drainages that I would recommend exploring first. One is pretty much under the main lift, accessed via Ranger Trail (from midway down Main St.), midway down what is now called Sidewinder, and/or various other points (you can clearly see most of the area from the lift). The other is skier's left of the Centennial liftline (listed on the map as Meadow Bowl, but you can also head in from 45th Parallel). Hidden Valley also has some nice drops, and some good lines if you hike a bit from the top of the main chair. There are plenty of other areas to check out, but that's a decent starting point. There aren't many places where you can get in much trouble (other than getting sucked into a tree well), so just go explore...

[Edited to add that I've only been cat skiing at Brundage, so I can't offer any experience with the Tamarack trip...have fun!]
post #9 of 17
Ta&Idaho,

Thanks for the info. We are starting the trip with a day of skiing at Tamarak to get our mid-western legs warmed up. The Cat trip is out of Brundage, so any advice you can give would be appreciated. We are finishing the trip with a day at Brundage. We will take your advice and do some additional exploring as well. If the snow pattern continues, it looks like it should be a great trip!
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Tell View Post

Any recommendations for restaurants/bars in McCall would be appreciated too.
Spent a few days there in February last year, and loved McCall. Definitely a Snowmobile town though. Anyway, there is a great place called Crusty's Pizza which had great pizza with thin crusts. It doubles as a place called Bonsai Bento, which does Bento boxes. Apparently, this used to be just one night a week, but was going every night when we were there. It was perfect as I liked pizza, my girl liked bento (Japanese). We ended up eating there twice. They also had good beer on tab, although not quite as good as at the McCall Brewing place.
http://www.crustyspizzamccall.com/

Bento website indicates that they are closed temporarily, but the pizza place looks fine.

Can't wait to get back there, but it won't happen for a few years for us.
post #11 of 17

Trip to McCall/Hwy

You will find the drive really beautiful. AND, its no big deal, slow down in winter conditions, try not to do it at night and use some common sense. Good 2 lane road without a lot of traffic. Watch out for the deer however.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all of you for the great advice. I promise a dual trip report when we return.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
One other related question if anyone knows.
We may have a friend join us there and was wondering about airport transportation/shuttles etc from Boise. Is there something like the services offered in Colorado from Denver?
Searching for these on the web just got a bunch of crappy links.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Tell View Post
One other related question if anyone knows.
We may have a friend join us there and was wondering about airport transportation/shuttles etc from Boise. Is there something like the services offered in Colorado from Denver?
Searching for these on the web just got a bunch of crappy links.
I used to take Greyhound between Boise and McCall occasionally, but the station is downtown (~10 min from the airport), and that was many, many moons ago.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Still trying to find a shuttle for a friend between Boise airport and McCall. I did find one that only goes in the other direction (which seems kind of odd).

Any help appreciated.
post #16 of 17
Since it looks like the snow machine is off this week, what type of conditions can we expect Wed - Sat (2/20 -2/23). We are taking the cat trip out of brundage on Thursday and I'm hoping there will still be some good snow out there. Any current info would be greatly appreciated.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmusil View Post
Since it looks like the snow machine is off this week, what type of conditions can we expect Wed - Sat (2/20 -2/23). We are taking the cat trip out of brundage on Thursday and I'm hoping there will still be some good snow out there. Any current info would be greatly appreciated.
With all the snow they had in Jan and early Feb it's hard to imagine there not being some serious stashes out there. I'll be there a week later than you and am hoping the conditions are still outstanding.
Good luck to you.
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