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January High Mountain Happenings

Wintery Weather Pattern Returns

December’s lackluster snowfall left a lot of pent up demand for snowy adventures. Fortunately, it looks like weather patterns are changing as early as this weekend with COLD temperatures and good chances of snowfall continuing through next week.

That should help build a base on local trails and open more terrain at our local ski areas. We’ll be watching closely as the OpenSnow forecast shows significant accumulation for our local ski areas, including Little Ski Hill!

OpenSnow Forecast for Idaho

Big Changes to McCall’s Biggest Winter Event

A Modern Update for the Historic Winter Carnival

By now you’ve probably heard about the date change for McCall’s Winter Carnival. (If not, take note! McCall’s signature event will be held February 23-25, 2024). A lot of people are wondering WHY the carnival is changing dates and format after several decades of taking up the same 10 days on the winter calendar.

As it turns out, Winter Carnival is a victim of its own success. The event draws an estimated 60,000 visitors to our 4,000-person town, and in recent years that has put a major strain on local businesses and public services.

In an effort to keep the spirit of the event and favorite traditions intact — while lightening the impact on town during some of the most desirable winter weekends – your local Chamber of Commerce has decided to reimagine the event into a three-day festival on the last weekend of February. All of the most popular events are included in the new format, so help spread the word and get ready for three amazing days of winter magic. If the new dates don’t fit your schedule, don’t worry, there are a TON of fun events happening all winter long here in the West Central Mountains!

Winter Carnival 2024 

Mark Your Calendar

Grand Opening of Brundage Mountain’s NEW Centennial Express

Friday, January 5

After eight months of construction and LOADS of safety tests, the new Centennial Express High Speed Quad is ready to ride!

Brundage is hosting a dedication ceremony for the new lift on Friday, January 5. The upgraded lift will whisk skiers and riders to the top in just six short minutes.

Learn More

Idaho Sled Dog Challenge

January 20 – February 1

The Idaho Sled Dog Challenge is more than an event, it’s a 10 Day Celebration of teamwork, athleticism and community.

The 2024 Idaho Sled Dog Challenge begins Jan. 20 with the Meet a Musher event at the Ponderosa Center in McCall, followed by the 52-mile Warm Lake Stage Race that starts and finishes at North Shore Lodge & Resort Jan. 24-25.

The Ceremonial Start at the McCall Activity Barn is slated for Jan. 28, and the 300-mile and 100-mile races start Jan. 29 at the Lake Cascade State Park boat ramp.

Organizers expect the 100-mile race to end Jan. 30 at the Wye Trailhead & Campground west of New Meadows.

Mushers and their teams are expected to cross the 300-mile race finish line at the Lake Cascade State Park boat ramp late in the evening Jan. 31 and throughout the day Feb. 1.

The overland event has several checkpoints accessible by car and a LIVE TRACKER online will help you follow the progress of your favorite teams.

Learn More


February 2 – February 3

Destination:Beer is the perfect combination for a winter getaway – an unique beer event in a friendly Idaho mountain town.

The event is set alongside Payette Lake at the Ponderosa Center under large, heated tents complete with twinkle lights, linens, and festive decor.

Two dozen breweries plus an Idaho winery will serve an impressive fifty plus beers ranging from imperial stouts to delicate lagers. The menu includes a variety of options such as bison meatballs, mac and cheese bar, and smoked salmon.

Learn more

McCall Snowmobile Club FUN RUN

February 3

Snowmobiling can be a great way to explore in the vast outdoor landscapes of the mountains. It can also be an incredible way to meet new people who love to do the same things you do!

You can embrace the community spirit of snowmobiling (and win great prizes!) by joining one of the FUN RUNS hosted this winter.

Learn more

Sweetheart Party & Auction at Shore Lodge

February 10

The signature Valentine event in the McCall area features a live auction, raffles, carving station, heavy hor d’oeuvres, chocolate and whiskey tasting. The event takes place on Saturday, February 10, 2024 from 6-10pm at the Shore Lodge Pavilion. 100% of net proceeds from this event will benefit land conservation in West Central Idaho.

The event is open to the community with ticket prices at $150 per person. Tickets may be purchased at the link below or by mailing a check to Payette Land Trust.

Learn more

Snowfort at Tamarack

March 1 – March 2

You’re probably familiar with Boise’s Treefort Music Festival, but did you know there is a tandem event held right here in Valley County? SNOWFORT is returning to Tamarack Resort this year, it’s a full weekend of live music and winter activities sure to bring the good vibes!

Tickets are on sale now. Don’t miss out!

Learn more

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