3 Summer Adventures in Central Idaho

​Whether you live in McCall or are planning to visit the area soon, these 3 action-packed itineraries are sure to please

Photo courtesy Burgdorf Hot Springs
1. A rustic, backcountry soak and stay at Burgdorf Hot Springs

A 30-mile drive from the center of McCall and surrounded by the Payette National Forest, Burgdorf Hot Springs is a true rustic getaway. Enjoy a swim in the large, sandy-bottom pool of hot spring-fed natural mineral water, or visit one of the two smaller “hot pools”—one for the kids and another for solo bathing with a stunning meadow view.

After your relaxing soak, you can stay for the night in one of the property’s 15 rustic cabins. Sans electricity, these historic accommodations include wood stoves, firewood, beds and basic furnishings, but be prepared to bring your own sleeping bags, cookware, and lighting for a true “camp in a cabin” experience. 

You’re encouraged to lean into the backcountry experience and bring your own food, but the on-site Burgdorf Café and the nearby Secesh Stagestop tavern (7 miles away) can come in handy for a hot meal or cup of coffee. During winter months, Burgdorf Hot Springs offers even more adventure; the property is accessible only by snowmobile (thankfully, you can rent one from Cheap Thrills, CM Backcountry Redline Recreational Toys, and Brundage Mountain Resorts in McCall). 

Burgdorf Hot Springs
404 French Creek (USFS #246)
McCall, Idaho 83638

Mondays – Thursdays: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fridays – Sundays: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

The Gist:
3 pools
15 rustic cabins
accessible by car

$5/children age 17 and under
Free for cabin guests

2. Early summer rafting expedition with Mountain River Outfitters

Photo courtesy Mountain River Outfitters

If you’re looking for some thrill and action-packed adventure to welcome summer, look no further than a whitewater rafting adventure when the water is high and the adrenaline is pumping.

Not for the faint of heart, this full day rapid-filled fiesta on the main fork of the Salmon River will plunge through Class IV and V rapids with some headwaters reaching over 20 feet during high runoff. 

You’ll take a break on one of the Salmon’s pristine white sand beaches around lunchtime for a gourmet meal prepared by your guides and take some time to relax and catch your breath. In between the fun-filled rapids, you’ll gain some bits of historical knowledge as you float by historic mining operations, early housing developments from over a century ago and more. Bon voyage!

Riggins, Idaho
(Main fork of the Salmon River)

Late May to Late June/Early July
Full Day (7:45 am – 5:30 pm)

Ability Ranking:
Thrill Seekers, Ages 12+, comfortable with class IV – V


Personal river gear, i.e. swimsuit, sunscreen, hat, etc.  Wet Neoprene footwear and splash jackets provided by Mountain River Outfitters.

3. A flight sightseeing tour and breakfast at Sulphur Creek Lodge

Photo courtesy Sulphur Creek Lodge

Take a sightseeing tour of the area by air and have a bird’s eye view of Central Idaho’s “backyard.” You may even get ideas of where you might like to go on another adventure by observing from the sky different river canyons, ridges and valleys that make up McCall’s outdoor destinations.

Arrive in Sulphur Creek for a backcountry breakfast in a fantastic setting, before returning to the air for the flight back to Long Valley. 

McCall Airport/ Sulphur Creek Lodge – Frank Church

July 1 to September 31
Approx. 4-5 hours

$225/ person, gratuity not included

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

Content for this article provided by Whitetail Club.

Categories: High-Country Communities