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5 Reasons to Visit Payette Lake This Summer

Fishing, sailing, and trails galore—this gem of a spot is Idaho’s hidden treasure



​1. It’s an exquisite hideaway

Savor the summer on Payette Lake, a 5,330-acre expanse of stunning views, sandy white beaches, and exclusive luxury in McCall, Idaho. Its clean, glacial water sits at an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet, the pinnacle of lake life in the mountains.

2. The activities are endless

There aren’t many outdoor adventures you can’find on Payette Lake.

On trail:

  • Hiking/trail running
  • Mountain biking
  • Picnicking

On/in the water:

  • Swimming
  • Boating/Sailing
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Stand-up paddle boarding
  • Water skiing/jet skiing
  • Jet skiing

Bring plenty of sunscreen and enjoy the lake a different way every day.

3. It’s prime fly-fishing territory

Get your fishing gear ready because McCall’s lakes and rivers are renowned for some of the best fly-fishing in the Rocky Mountain West. Payette Lake is stocked with numerous fish species; recommended game fish include cutthroat trout, kokanee, lake trout and rainbow trout. All waters are open year-round, and there are no special rules for fishing on Payette Lake. Learn more on Idaho’s Fishing Planner.

4. Not all who wander are lost

After spending a day on the lake, head for dry land and get another perspective. The area is strewn with groomed hiking and mountain biking trails like Payette Rim Loop, and surrounded by sprawling nature preserves like Ponderosa State Park, the Payette National Forest and the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. A journey into the wilds of McCall will leave you breathless in more ways than one.

5. It’s brimming with history

Originally occupied by the Shoshone, Nez Perce, Paiute and Bannock Native American tribes, the area was then settled by early pioneers in the 19thcentury—one of whom was Francois Payette, the Payette River’s namesake. These settlers established trading posts, towns and farms, relying heavily on logging and agriculture for their livelihoods. 

While the area still boasts reminders of its storied past—as any good ski town should—present-day McCall, Idaho, is rich with character, culture and ample outdoor activities. In the summertime, Payette Lake is the place to be. 

Jocelyn Kidd is the Club Director at Whitetail Club, Idaho’s premier private community, offering a luxurious, adventure-based lifestyle and incredible homes. View their profile, or contact Jocelyn at 208.630.0216 or via email at Jkidd@WhitetailClub.com

Content for this article provided by Whitetail Club.

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