The Wilderness


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A majority of the immensely beautiful landscape of Idaho is public and protected. Nearly 70% of the state is federal land, with more designated wilderness and more whitewater than any other state in the Lower 48. The real estate at Blackhawk is set among some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.

McCall is bordered by the Payette National Forest, the western gateway to the enormous, 2.3 million-acre Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. To the northwest is Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America (even deeper than the Grand Canyon). Beyond them, you’ll find more national forests, more wilderness, more open spaces, and more amazing areas to explore.

The Payette National Forest

The Payette National Forest spans some of West Central Idaho’s most beautiful and diverse country. McCall is bordered on almost all sides by the Payette Forest, numerous mountain ranges and three river systems. Over 300 high alpine lakes can be found in the area.

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is named, in part, for the Salmon River that flows through it. Some of the best whitewater rafting in the world is found here, including the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Trout fishing is excellent on the Salmon, and spring, summer and fall runs of ocean-going salmon and steelhead return here to spawn. The wilderness is rich in wildlife, including elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, mule deer, cougars, black bears, moose and wolverines. The topography varies greatly–from steep mountain ranges with 10,000-foot peaks, to river canyons that reach depths of 7,000 feet. Because of the extreme variety in elevation, you can hike in some areas up to 10 months a year. Twenty-eight major trailheads access the wilderness, and several are located near McCall.

Hells Canyon

The 652,000-acre Hells Canyon National Recreation Area sits northwest of McCall. This glacial carved country includes a 219, 006 acre wilderness area and plays host to a wide variety of birds of prey and other wildlife. Peregrine falcons, bald and golden eagles, and osprey live along the canyon walls. The area supports one of the largest elk herds in North America, as well as black bear, lynx and cougars. Prehistoric white sturgeon inhabit the Snake River, and ocean-going salmon and steelhead return here to spawn. Scenic, whitewater river trips are among the area’s most popular attractions.