Boise Idaho Real Estate / McCall Idaho

McCall Idaho

Native Americans of the Shoshone, Bannock and Nez Perce Tribes were the earliest inhabitants of Valley County (it was Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce who led the infamous defeat of the U.S. Cavalry at the Battle of White Bird Hill, just north of modern-day Riggins).
In the 1880's Europeans arrived in the Long Valley, Finnlanders being the first major homesteaders. Roseberry was their main settlement, where "lewd and indecent resorts and intoxicating drinks" were prohibited. Their Finn Churches, cemetery, barns, cabins and saunas still dot the countryside. Today, Roseberry is home to the Long Valley Preservation Society, and a fascinating group of "living" museums.

McCall was named for Tom McCall a prominent town leader who arrived in 1891 to homestead. Unlike Roseberry, it was a wild and woolly place, notorious for it's lakeside whorehouses, dance halls and gambling establishments (including the famous Harrah's Casinos). Until the early 1980's firearms were still allowed in local bars.
Mining and timber were McCall's chief industries driving the town's rapid evolution into a bustling lake port. Steamboat Lyda - plying the length of Payette Lake - was a fast and economical alternative to wagon transport, serving the logging industry and the Warren and Marshall Mountain Mining Districts (in Warren you can still see placer mine tailings made by the more than 30,000 indentured Chinese workers). The Brown Tie and Lumber Company was the area's largest employer and they remain actively involved in the community. In 1914 the town was briefly renamed Lakeport but the local residents demanded it be restored to McCall.

To alleviate the tedium of McCall's long winters, in 1924 local resident and Olympic ski champion Cory Engen, together with a group of volunteers, foundedWinter Carnival. They created ice sculptures and organized dog sled races, commemorating the sled dogs used to carry the U.S. mail when snow was too deep to use horses. The first races were held between Lardo at the mouth of Payette Lake (reputedly named when a large wagon carrying lard and flour overturned into the Payette River) and McCall on a mile-long course. By 1926 the races were attracting top sledders and twelve year old local Warren Brown won the Tom Geelan Cup and gained national recognition when he placed second in the championship race in Ashton Idaho.
McCall is a thriving resort community, proud of its varied heritage and its continuing and constant commitment to the Heartland of Idaho - the Long Valley.

Built in 1936-37 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, this 4-acre Historic Campus has eight vintage log, board and batten buildings.
Located on Highway 55, two blocks from downtown McCall, the center is open Wednesday through Saturday, June to August. A Guided Tour is scheduled at 1:00 pm daily. Heritage Tours of Warren are also available and can be arranged by calling the Museum at 208-634-4497, or send E-mail to:

Call Patrick McTigue to learn more about McCall Real Estate click here to view property for sale in McCall Idaho.


The McCall area is characterized by mild summers and cold, wet winters. The climate of McCall is influenced by the mountains, lakes, altitude and latitude. Because of the mountains, the town is spared most of the cold blasts from Canada, yet warm Pacific winds sweep in to provide the upland continental climate that is characteristic of the area.


Valley County lies within the central portion of the Rocky Mountain Landform Province. The major parent material of the area is granite from the Idaho batholith. A small area in the northwestern county is underlain by basalt of the Columbia River formation. Slopes vary from flat river and lake bottomlands to rolling foothills and steep mountain slopes. Although all aspects are represented, most slopes face east and west. Elevations range from about 4,800 to 7,500 feet.


The average annual snowfall in McCall is 174 inches. At McCall's altitude of 5,000 feet accumulation is typically less than 48 inches due to repeated settling and thawing. Brundage Mountain Ski Resort carries an average snowfall base of 96 inches at the summit altitude of 7,600 feet, and an average of 72 inches at the lodge level of 6,000 feet. Winter sports in the area generally begin in mid-November and continue through April.


McCall's elevation is slightly over 5,000 feet and is surrounded by mountains which average 8,000-9,000 feet. A wide variety of beautiful flowers bloom profusely here with very little concern about pests or diseases. A growing season is defined as the period of time between the average date of the last 32░F. temperature (freezing) in the spring, and the first 32░F. temperature in the fall. The average growing season is 69 days, June 16 to August 24, with temperatures rarely reaching into the 90's and nights cooling to the 40's and 50's. Serious vegetable gardeners find themselves challenged to provide protection for plants such as tomatoes which need long, warm seasons. In McCall, temperature and/or humidity can vary enough, due the influence of Payette Lake, to affect the growth of some plants.


Copyrightę Boise Idaho Real Estate Patrick McTigue 2001-2013 Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group, Boise Idaho 83702