Description - *Note: All information presented is non-seasonal, as per the wishes of the State of Idaho.
Ponderosa State Park covers most of a 1,000-acre peninsula that juts into Payette Lake, just outside McCall. The character of the park is molded by its diverse topography. It ranges from arid sagebrush flats to a lakeside trail; from flat, even ground to steep cliffs; and from dense forest to spongy marsh. Nature trails and dirt roads have been developed so visitors can enjoy these areas. Camping is available in the park and in nearby Lakeview Village.
- The park’s namesake, the 150-foot-tall ponderosa pine, is the most noticeable species of tree. Douglas and grand fir, Lodgepole pine and western larch also grow in the park. Birds often sighted include osprey, red-tailed hawks, bald eagles, Canada geese, wood ducks and mallards, along with a variety of songbirds, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and ravens. Patient—or just plain lucky—visitors often spot deer, red fox, beavers, muskrats and bear. The park is rich in wildflowers, especially along the interpretive trail that winds around Meadow Marsh.
You can RV, tent or yurt camp at Ponderosa. Additional camping is also available at nearby Lakeview Village.
Recreation - At the north end of Payette Lake lies the 630-acre North Beach Area —the largest public sandy beach on the lake. Primitive camping is available. The Payette River winds placidly through timbered country and provides excellent canoeing. The area is also a sanctuary for wildlife including deer, ducks, fish and numerous small fur-bearing animals. There are vault toilets, but no other facilities.
Climate - The climate in Idaho varies with the elevation. The bottom of Hell's Canyon, Boise and other locations at low elevations receive hot summer weather. Temperatures at these elevations often reach 90 degrees or more during the summer months. At the same time the mountains will get mild temperatures with cool nights.
Winters are just as extreme with the mountains experiencing extreme conditions and temperatures. An average of 500 inches of snow falls on the Idaho highlands. Temperatures are known to dip below zero degrees F on many winter nights. The lower elevations enjoy a more mild winter season with less precipitation than the mountains. The sun is a constant throughout the year. Be sure to wear sunscreen and layered clothing in Idaho's unpredictable weather.
Two miles northeast of McCall city center