Glide along classic tracks or skate the lanes of McCall's six magnificent Nordic skiing venues and you will see why Nordic skiing is a very popular and fast growing winter sport of Ski Town USA! Dogs are welcome on designated trails in all venues.
Nordic skiing is affordable whether you pay as you go or if you purchase an annual "McCall Area Pass" good at Ponderosa Park, the Little Ski Hill, Little Bear Basin, Jug Mountain Ranch, and the Activity Barn. The pass costs $135 for individuals and $250 for a family pass. No better deal exists in McCall or elsewhere!
McCall is a dream come true for Nordic skiers at all experience levels. Area trails and venues are diverse and expertly maintained, whether for classic or skate skiing.
Ponderosa Park (www.parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/parks/ponderosa.aspx)
There's one very good reason Ponderosa Park was chosen as the site of the 2008 Masters World Cup, the premier worldwide Nordic skiing competition - Ponderosa Park and McCall are home to some of the best cross country trails in the world!
Fourteen miles of cross country ski trails run throughout Ponderosa Park which is located on a 1,000 acre peninsula that splits Payette Lake just two miles north of downtown McCall. Trails are heavily forested with level and rolling hills to ridge tops that offer spectacular views of Payette Lake. At no additional charge, dogs are welcome on the "Rover's Roundabout" trail and if you have a Park 'N Ski pass the $4 entrance fee is waived.
Ponderosa Park's Nordic Trail
Little Bear Basin (www.littleskihill.org)
Little Bear Basin opened in November 2005 and is as popular as Ponderosa Park for its natural beauty, varied terrain and miles of beginner to advanced trails. Lyle's Loop is absolutely magnificent with Brundage Mountain views and wonderful open meadows. Dogs are welcome on nearly 6 km of designated trails for a modest fee.
We say Ski the Bear for excellent early and late season conditions due to its higher elevation. Especially late season, Lyle's Loop is the premier spot for crust skiing under cobalt blue skies.
The parking lot for Little Bear is on the north side of 55 as you travel to Brundage Mountain from McCall-look for the marked entrance at North Club Hill Boulevard. For a trail map, click here.
Jug Mountain Ranch (www.jugmountainranch.com)
Jug Mountain Ranch grooms 25 km for cross country, skate ski and snowshoe trails, all open to the public. The trails were designed by Lyle Nelson, one of McCall's Olympians and offer splendid views of Long Valley and Jughandle Mountain. A mixture of flat, open stretches, gentle gradients and occasional short hills are scattered throughout forested areas making this a prime venue for beginner to advanced skiers. Dogs are welcome on all trails.
Activity Barn (www.activitybarn.com)
About 10K of groomed trails on rolling terrain meander on a frosty plateau above and along the North Fork of the Payette River southwest of McCall. Dogs are allowed on all trails which connect into the River Ranch subdivision with great views of Jughandle Mountain and the West Mountain Range.
Tamarack Resort (www.tamarackidaho.com)
Tamarack Resort's Nordic and Snowshoe Center is located in the lower level of the Lodge at Osprey Meadows. The resort offers over 26 km of trials, lessons, repairs, waxing, guided tours and camps. The trails feature a variety of terrain, scenic viewpoints, open meadows and forests and dogs are welcome on all.
For more information on cross country skiing visit Cross Country Ski World and the McCall Nordic Ski Team.