Recreation

Winter Scenery Black and White

Winter on the Payette National Forest

The Payette National Forest offers a variety of winter recreation activities. High elevation terrain throughout the Forest receives an abundance of annual snowfall that allows for snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing among numerous additional activities.

The McCall area boasts 500 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and 19,000 acres of backcountry skiing and snowboarding terrain. Snowmobiling continues to increase in popularity and the Payette National Forest has identified 245 miles of snowmobile trails available for grooming. The Payette National Forest hosts two ski resorts providing some of Idaho’s best inbounds skiing and snowboarding. The Forest also maintains 25 km of groomed Nordic routes that range in skill level from beginner to expert. For more information, click Winter Sports in the column on the left. 

Avalanche Awareness

Snow in the mountains implies that avalanches are an ever-present threat. They’re nondiscriminatory; meaning it doesn’t matter if you’re hunting, hiking, Nordic skiing, or snowshoeing.  The Payette Avalanche Center publishes frequent advisories during the winter months. Visit www.payetteavalanche.org for current avalanche conditions in the mountainous terrain surrounding McCall.   

Check out the Winter Recreation brochure for the Payette National Forest! 

Driving Motorized Vehicles on the Forest

The Payette Winter Travel Map is the legal document that identifies designated routes and “open play areas” for over-the-snow vehicle use throughout the Forest.  Specific travel restrictions and designations are implemented to provide a diverse range of opportunities for visitors.

The map is geo-referenced and available for download through the Avenza Map store for free. Using Avenza enables visitors to download the Payette Winter Travel Map to their smart phone or tablet and use their Global Positions System (GPS) to track their location and navigate fluidly while exploring the Forest. 

Paper copies of the Payette Winter Travel Map are available at District Offices throughout the Payette National Forest.

Additional information available here regarding motorized use on the Forest.

Winter Weather

Weather and snowfall amounts vary greatly throughout the Payette. Elevation and localized topography play a huge role influencing our weather with certain areas recording over 300 inches of average annual snowfall. Weather Resources  

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Big Creek Campground Closed to Visitor
Big Flat Campground Closed to Visitor
Brownlee Campground Closed to Visitor
Buck Park Cabin Closed to Visitor Check availability and make reservations up to six months in advance at: Recreation.gov.​
Buckhorn Bar Campground Closed to Visitor
Burgdorf Campground Closed to Visitor
Cabin Creek Campground Closed to Visitor
Camp Creek Campground Closed to Visitor
Chinook Campground Closed to Visitor
Cold Springs Campground Closed to Visitor Check availability and make reservations up to six months in advance at: Recreation.gov.
Cold Springs Group Campground Closed to Visitor Sites may be reserved up to 12 months in advance at: recreation.gov.
Deadman Bar Campground Closed to Visitor
Evergreen Campground Closed to Visitor
Four Mile Campground Closed to Visitor
Grouse Campground Closed to Visitor Check availability and make reservations up to six months in advance at: Recreation.gov.​
Hazard Lake Campground Closed to Visitor
Huckleberry Campground Closed to Visitor
Jeanette Campground Closed to Visitor
Justrite Campground Closed to Visitor
Kennally Creek Campground Closed to Visitor
Kiwanis Campground Closed to Visitor
Lafferty Campground Closed to Visitor
Lake Fork Campground Closed to Visitor
Last Chance Campground Closed to Visitor
Mann Creek Campground Closed to Visitor
Paddy Flat Guard Station Rental Cabin Closed to Visitor Check availability and make reservations up to six months in advance at: Recreation.gov.​
Paradise Campground Closed to Visitor
Ponderosa Campground Closed to Visitor
Poverty Flat Campground Closed to Visitor
Secesh Campground Closed to Visitor
Spring Creek Campground Closed to Visitor
Upper Payette Lake Campground Closed to Visitor Check availability and make reservations up to six months in advance at: Recreation.gov.​
Upper Payette Lake Group Campground Closed to Visitor Check availability and make reservations up to 12 months in advance at: Recreation.gov.​
Areas & Activities
Recreation.gov logo

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Front page of the 2020 Visitor Guide

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/payette/recreation