About the Area

General Information about the PNF and the Communities that are located nearby

The Payette National Forest spans 2.3 million acres of rugged, timbered and remote land in west-central Idaho, and is bordered by two of the deepest canyons in North America—the Salmon River Canyon on the north and the Hells Canyon of the Snake River on the west. The topography is characterized by rough mountains, deep canyons, mountain meadows, rivers and streams, high mountain lakes and wilderness. One can easily access hot, desert-like areas as well as heavily forested alpine regions through an extensive system of Forest roads and trails. The Forest has 5 ranger districts that offer a wealth of year-round recreation and tourism opportunities.

The Intermountain Regional Office in Ogden, Utah provides administrative oversight and support to thirteen National Forests and one National Grassland in Utah, Nevada, western Wyoming, and southern and central Idaho and covers 31,816,792 acres in the National Forest Systems. There are approximately 2,200 permanent employees in Region 4.
 


McCall

The McCall Ranger District Office is located in McCall (Valley County), which is 100 miles north of Boise on State Highway 55. At elevation 5,000 feet, it occupies the south shore of beautiful glacier-formed Payette Lake. The population swells from 2,700 in the winter to 10-20,000 in the summer. McCall is popular for tourists, summer homeowners, and winter recreationists. Snow usually stays November through April. Total snowfall is over 10 feet, but less than 5 feet are on the ground at a time. Winter temperatures are 10-30s, with a few days of 10-20 below zero. Summer is ideal; 70-80s, a few days in the 90s. Wind is gentle and air quality excellent. Sunshine is common in all seasons. Pines, firs and larches grow throughout town.

McCall is a full-service community that fills most needs. It has a regional hospital, a medical clinic, an integrative health clinic, dentists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, optometrists, and pharmacies. Numerous churches are located in the surrounding area. McCall also has several service stations, two grocery stores, convenience stores, motels, banks, lumber yards, restaurants (Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Bistro, micro-brewery, and others), sports club, several espresso shops, clothing stores, book store, library, ice skating rink, 18-hole golf courses, tennis courts, health food store, and an airport. There is a Forest sponsored day-care center in McCall. The community has a grade school, new middle school, a high school, and an alternative school. Boise State University offers evening continuing education classes throughout the year in McCall.

McCall is a mecca for outdoor recreation. The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area and Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and Wilderness are located nearby. Popular activities during the summer and fall include hiking, camping, backpacking, climbing, mountain biking, motor biking, 4-wheeling, golf, tennis, sailing, motor boating, water skiing, canoeing, whitewater kayaking and rafting, fishing, and hunting. During the winter months, residents and visitors alpine ski at Brundage Mountain and Tamarack ski resorts, Nordic ski, snowmobile, ice skate, and ice fish. The indoor ice rink hosts youth hockey, curling, and figure skating. McCall is famous for its winter carnival and snow sculpture contest. Five minutes from McCall is the Little Ski Hill, known for its youth ski programs and Nordic skiing. Brundage Mountain and Tamarack ski areas are both located about 30 minutes from McCall. Ponderosa State Park covers 1,000 acres next to town, with nature trails, groomed Nordic ski trails that are lit at night, swimming beaches, a campground, visitor center and interpretive programs.

The community supports an array of music, drama, art, craft, and other cultural events. Tamarack brings world class musical entertainment to the area. The McCall Folk Music Society sponsors a three day music festival each July with eclectic entertainers from around the world. Brundage Mountain hosts jazz concerts each summer.

Real estate prices in McCall and the surrounding area are high and steadily increasing. Most local realtors have websites with current listings. For more information on McCall and adjacent communities, see http://www.discovermccall.com/
 

New Meadows

New Meadows is located in Adams County, Idaho. The primary industries around New Meadows are logging and ranching. About half of the District employees live in New Meadows. The remaining half live in McCall located 11 miles southeast of New Meadows.

New Meadows has a population of 600. The town is at an elevation of 3,800 feet. Rainfall averages 26 inches annually. Temperatures vary from an average low of seven degrees in January to an average high of 84 degrees in July. The average frost-free growing period is 40 days. New Meadows has a grocery store, two service stations, several restaurants, motels a new library, a medical clinic, two bars, a combined antique shop/espresso bar, a post office, and a lumber store. Meadow Creek Golf course is located close to town.

The McCall/New Meadows area provides incredible outdoor recreation opportunities. The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area and Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and Wilderness are located nearby. Popular activities during the summer and fall include hiking, camping, backpacking, climbing, mountain biking, motor biking, 4-wheeling, golf, tennis, sailing, motor boating, water skiing, canoeing, whitewater kayaking and rafting, fishing, and hunting. During the winter months, residents and visitors alpine ski (Brundage Mountain & Little Ski Hill), Nordic ski, snowmobile, ice skate, snow shoe, and ice fish.

For more information on McCall and adjacent communities, see http://www.discovermccall.com/
 

Council

The Council Ranger District is approximately 400,000 acres in size with a few patches of private land in-holdings. To the west, the District boundary is the Oregon/Idaho State line in Hells Canyon, and to the East the District boundary is the top of the West Mountains. Elevations on the District range from 1,700 to 9,000 feet.

Council is a community of approximately 850 people located in a large picturesque valley with timbered slopes on each side. Elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, turkeys, and grouse are abundant. Hunting is excellent. Other recreation opportunities in the surrounding area include skiing, boating, wilderness use, riding, fishing, four-wheeling and rodeo. The spectacular Hells Canyon Recreation Area is adjacent to the district. Long warm summers and pleasant autumns typify the climate. Snow is common from November through March. The elevation in Council is 3000 feet.

Council is the Adams County seat and has two grocery stores, modern schools, a hardware store and many other small businesses. Medical services include a clinic, dental office and Life Flight. Council supports 5 churches. Cable television and Internet service are available. The housing supply around Council is limited, but prices are reasonable with 2-3 bedroom homes ranging from $150,000 to $325,000 and up. A few rental homes are available and prices vary greatly. Government housing is not available. Council is about 80 miles from Ontario, Oregon and 120 miles from Boise. These cities offer excellent shopping, entertainment, restaurants, and other services.

Council is a community with an economy based on ranching and timber management. There is a strong, positive community spirit. It is a traditional small western town where activities center on families, school and church activities, rodeos, hunting and fishing.

For more information on the community, see http://www.councilidaho.com/
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Weiser

The Weiser District is a timber, range, wildlife, and dispersed recreation district of about 115,000 acres, characterized by high mountain ridges, interspersed forest and grass slopes, and deep canyons. The district is home to deer, elk, bear, turkeys, grouse, flammulated owl, goshawk, whiteheaded and pileated woodpeckers and redband trout. The Weiser District is a relatively small district with 18 permanent employees and between 15 and 20 seasonal employees. The District Office is located in Weiser, Idaho.

Weiser is a full service rural community of approximately 5,300 residents and is the county seat of Washington County. It lies in the desert valley about 15 miles south of the national forest with mild winters, pleasant springs and autumns, hot dry summers, and a long growing season. It has an active recreation department with beautiful city parks, volleyball, softball, baseball, and soccer programs for kids, and a city pool. Weiser is geographically located at the confluence of the Snake and Weiser Rivers. Outdoor recreation opportunities abound with excellent hunting for upland birds, waterfowl, deer, and elk. Fishing in the Snake River and Brownlee Reservoir are renowned. Snowmobiling, mountain biking, horseback riding, water skiing, camping and ATV riding are all popular in the area. Bogus Basin and Brundage Mountain ski areas, and extensive groomed snowmobile trails are within a two hour drive. For additional information regarding the community of Weiser visit the following web site: http://www.weiserchamber.com.

Krassel Work Center

is located 32 miles east of the town of McCall. McCall is located on the shores of Payette Lake in a high mountain setting of 5100 feet. McCall is a full service community with primarily a recreation, tourist economy. Recreation opportunities are four seasons and varied.

Krassel Work Center is located in a remote setting. It has housing for 16 personnel, with no power or phone service. The base is home to one Type 3 helicopter and 16 rappellers. The helibase is serviced by two road systems, one from the north and one from the south each requiring a 1.5 to 2.5 hour drive.

 

Highlights



https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/payette/about-forest/about-area