Outside is the New In – Are You In?

“The outside is the only place we can truly be inside the world.”
― Daniel J. Rice, This Side of Wilderness

There’s something to be said about falling asleep under the stars; unplugged, and instantly plugged into nature the moment the sun rises over the mountains range.  Long gone are the ringtones that dictate your next step.  Long gone are the texts that demand your utmost attention. 

Welcome to the new “in” – where play day is every day in the great outdoors, unplugged, and plugged into everything that awaits you and your family … just a short scenic hike, bike, or scenic drive from your cabin or mountain home at River Ranch.

Sleep. Eat. Camp. Repeat.

Our family at River Ranch home development in McCall, Idaho has always had a passion for pushing our vacations into the great outdoors.  And with good reason.

Camping isn’t just about being in an entirely different environment than consumes our lives on a daily basis (yet that in itself sounds convincing to us), it’s about developing an appreciation for nature and teaching our children about respecting the land.

So when we decided to write this blog about camping in Idaho, we started in our backyard in McCall, Idaho.  And didn’t need to go much further to provide you with an impressive list of options for the novice to the most advanced.

Did we mention that most campsite fees run around $15 a night?  Now that’s an exceptional value for an extraordinary getaway.

Perhaps John Muir said it best: “The mountains are calling, and I must go.”

This summer escape the heat and head to the cool crisp mountain air to experience every reason why so many families have chosen to leave their tech behind and trek into the hills and mountains of McCall.  To get you on your way, we’ve picked some of our favorite spots for camping in Idaho’s land of adventure right here in our back-yard at our ranch home development along the Payette River in McCall.

Brundage Mountain

By far one of our favorite recommendations is Brundage Mountain which has developed into a year-round playground for locals and visitors from around the world.  In addition to their popular mountain biking, hiking, and music fests, Brundage operates two campgrounds:

Huckleberry Campground for RV’s and Tent Camping

Camping permits are sold at the Brundage Mountain Resort Guest Services Office from 9 am – 5 pm.  It’s located in the Plaza of the Main Lodge.  Although there are no water or electrical hook-ups at this campground, there are restrooms available at the base lodge during the day – and, this is a base camp of all base camps as activities in and around Brundage offer a one-stop-shop for endless on-site adventure and entertainment.

Creekside RV Park and Campground

This is a beautiful spot wrapped with the clear running streams of Meadow Creek and Goose Creek – both of which run through the full-facility campground’s natural mountain and meadow landscape.  It is owned and operated by our friends at Brundage Mountain and is eight miles west of McCall and just a short drive from Meadow Creek Golf Resort, Brundage Mountain Resort, and Downtown McCall.

Upper Payette Lake Campground

Located on the shores of one of our most beautiful attractions, this Payette Lake campground is another excellent option for a single, group, or family campsite.  In addition to its lake-side setting, you can set up your tent and call it home to lazy days of fishing, canoeing, or swimming in this clear mountain lake.

Grouse Campground

For those who love to fish, this is a local’s choice for some of the best opportunities to “actually catch fish” while you’re enjoying your vacation while camping in Idaho.  Small motor boats or float tubes are welcome as are SUP’s, canoes, and kayaks.  There are vault restrooms and potable water sources as well.

Top Tips for a Safe and Memorable Camping Trip

Whether you choose to stay at an organized camp facility or venture out to the endless miles of trails that await you and yours, be sure to plan ahead and keep the following tips in mind:

  • Leave No Trace.
  • Drown Your Fire.
  • Contain Your Food.
  • Control Your Dog.
  • Respect the Need For “Space”
  • Oh, and unplug. You’ll be glad you did, although there is excellent service if you do need or want to keep in touch.

For some of the best information about camping in and around McCall, we encourage you to visit these websites:

Idaho Parks and Recreation

McCall Chamber of Commerce

US Forest Service / Payette National Forest


So Close, Yet So Far Away.

No matter where you chose to get away and camp out this summer, we certainly welcome every opportunity for you to contact our team at River Ranch for more advice as to where to camp in and around McCall Idaho this year.  If you happen to be in McCall, stop in for a cool and refreshing glass of water at River Ranch and get the insight face to face.

While you’re here, be sure to ask about the many opportunities we have right on site for you to build your own mountain cabin or ranch home in our private community development in McCall and just on the edge of town.

Too busy to think about building a home or vacation retreat in Idaho on your own?  With our new ’design-build-finance’ partnership program, we are here on site, every day, to help you build your own ‘base camp for life.’

Happy camping!

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