Go Off-Road in McCall, Idaho

If you’re looking for a place to take out your ATV or UTV, look no further than McCall, Idaho. With diverse terrain and hundreds of miles of roads, it’s the ideal place to get “off the beaten path.”  Find three of our favorite rides, find information on rentals, and make sure you are road-legal before you hit the trails!

A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE RIDES

Kimberly Mine

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Looking for a great day trip? We recommend the Kimberly Mine ride. The mine is in the Marshall Lake mining district and sits at an elevation of 7,300 feet near the head of Bear Creek on an alpine lake. The mine got its start in 1900 when “The Jewel Group” staked a claim and mined free-milling gold ore using a two-stamp mill. The mine was in operation until 1966, changing ownership many times. Today, several old buildings can be seen and the stunning scenery is well worth the trip!

Access this site via Forest Service road 25150 then Forest Service road 50318. If using a GPS or top, know that Kimberly Mine does not come up in the search, but Marshall Mountain will. Follow route 50318 a couple miles north of Marshall Mountain turn off (road 50338 – Canada Saddle Road), and the road to Kimberly Mine will be on the right.

While in the area, hit up another popular destination including California Lake, War Eagle Mountain and Lookout, Burgdorf Hot Springs, and Carey Dome.

To see more photos, visit RideMcCall.com.

 

Roosevelt Lake: Ride & Hike

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In the early 1900s, the city of Roosevelt, located on Thunder Mountain, was part of one of the largest gold rushes in the country. In 1902, the town boasted a newspaper, two general stores, brothels, a dozen saloons and a post office where more than 5,000 area residents received their mail. One resident described Roosevelt as “a log town with one street and no society.”

On May 30, 1909 volcanic ash soaked with water began slowly sliding down the unstable mountainside toward Roosevelt. Many residents were unconcerned with the landslide. As the water started to rise, most did not have time to get all of their possessions out. Two days after the initial slide, the blocked Monumental Creek flooded the town forever and created Roosevelt Lake.

It is said that many residents would go to “fish” in the new lake for their belongings. One story tells of a piano being moved out of a second story window onto a raft. The piano was then moved to higher ground and eventually sold to the Yellow Pine school where it still resides today. For 20 years following the landslide, whole buildings floated around the lake.

Roosevelt Lake is located 18 miles from Stibnite, Idaho. From the town of Stibnite, head northeast on NF-375. Cars are able to make the trip, but ATVs and UTVs also share the road and offer a faster way to access the Roosevelt Lake trail. After traveling 18 miles along NF-375 you will see a trailhead and “River of No Return Wilderness” sign. From here, the hike to Roosevelt Lake is about 1 mile. On a clear day, you can still observe the outlines of buildings and cabins beneath the water and find logs and boards floating at the edge of the lake.

 

Lucile to Kirkwood Ranch

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A scenic day trip is to the historic Kirkwood Ranch on the Snake River north of McCall.

The road descends through beautiful forest which turns to sage covered open (and steep) hillsides with gorgeous views of Hells Canyon below. The road gets narrow and a little rocky in spots as you get closer to Kirkwood so take is slow and easy. The rocky canyon walls are stunning as you approach the end of the old jeep road where you will find a gate with a sign welcoming visitors. A short and gorgeous 1/4 mile hike will take visitors to Kirkwood Ranch along a trail that follows Kirkwood Creek to the Snake River. Enjoy your lunch at the ranch and visit the museum full of historical artifacts while there.

To access, start from Lucile, Idaho on the Salmon River (about an hour north of McCall on Highway 95) and head west from Lucile up Cow Creek Road (NF-242) to Cow Creek Saddle. Then take the 420 to the fork in road just after the cattle guard where you will take a left to head on down to Kirkwood Ranch.

It is 12 miles from Lucile to Kirkwood Ranch – the road is a 2 lane (mostly) gravel road between Lucile and Cow Creek Saddle and then turns to single lane old jeep road a mile past or so.

To see more photos, visit RideMcCall.com.

 

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Before you hit the trails, here’s a quick guide to Idaho’s off-highway laws to make sure you’re up to code and ready to start having fun.

Trails:

These are the requirements for motorbikes, ATVs, UTVs and Specialty Off-highway vehicles operating off-highway on a designated trail, open riding area or motocross track.

You must have:

  • A valid IDPR OHV registration sticker. (IC 67-7122)
  • A helmet under age eighteen. (IC 49-666)
  • A muffler and Forest Service approved spark arrestor
  • Your muffler must pass 96 db at the half-meter test, SAE J1287. (IC 67-7125)

State & Federal ROADS:

This includes Idaho Department of Lands, Bureau of Land Management, U. S. Forest Service, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and privately-owned roads open to OHV use. Contact the land owner or manager for information on roads open to OHV use.

You must have:

  • Valid driver’s license (except under the age of 16 when supervised by a licensed adult operator). (IC49-301 or IC 49-302)
  • Liability insurance or alternative insurance. (IC 49-1223 or IC 49-1232)
  • Valid IDPR OHV registration sticker. (IC 67-7122)
  • A helmet under age 18. (IC 49-666)
  • Muffler and U.S. Forest Service approved spark arrestor. Your muffler must pass 96dB at the half-meter test, SAE J1287. (IC 67-7125) The OHV cannot exceed 96dB.

City Limit Rules:

The following requirements must be met on city, county, and highway district roads. Certain roads may be closed by local jurisdiction. Check with local jurisdiction for information on roads open to OHV use.

You must have:

  • Valid restricted vehicle license plate. [IC 49-402(4)]
  • Valid IDPR OHV registration sticker affixed to restricted vehicle license plate. (IC 67-7122)
  • Valid driver’s license. (IC 49-301)
  • Liability insurance or alternative insurance. (IC 49-1223 or IC 49-1232)
  • A helmet under age 18. (IC 49-666)
  • Muffler and U.S. Forest Service approved spark arrestor. Your muffler has to pass 96 dB at the half-meter test, SAE J1287. The OHV cannot exceed 96dB. (IC 67-7125)
  • For safe operation on roads, be sure your vehicle has the following:
    • Brake lights
    • Headlight and taillight after dark/in poor visibility
    • Horn audible at 200 feet.
    • Mirror showing roadway 200 feet behind the OHV

For a complete list of requirements, please visit Idaho Parks and Recreation’s website.

 


 

RENTALS

See the McCall area in a whole new perspective! If you are looking to get out on an ATV/UTV, the amazing staff at CM Backcountry Rentals has you covered. Not only do they carry a wide selection of brand new vehicles, each rental comes with helmet and goggles, a full tank of gas, and trail maps to make sure you have a fun and safe outing.

For pricing and reservations, please visit the CM Backcountry website.

 

CITRA

Love riding and want to get involved locally? Become a member of CITRA (Central Idaho Trail Riders Alliance) which is an organization dedicated to the preservation and maintenance of the trail system in Central Idaho. Visit the CITRA website for details!

 

McCall Chamber