The Best Adventurous Wedding Venues in McCall, Idaho

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Long Valley, just a few hours north of Boise, holds an astonishing number of high mountain lakes. The best known one being Payette Lake. If you are looking for a beautiful alpine lake to say your vows next to consider checking out the following adventurous wedding venues in McMall, Idaho. I have written this blog with accessibility in mind. All the listed locations are within 4 hours of Boise and are accessible via car or a short hike. They are also locations that can accommodate wedding guests if you are planning a small wedding with adventure in mind.

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Ponderosa State Park

Ponderosa State Park sits just outside of McCall on peninsula that extends into Payette Lake. The park is open year around and offers both winter and summer activities. It hosts a variety of wooded areas with trails for hiking and biking. The North Fork of the Payette River meets the lake within the park and offers a wonderful place to canoe and kayak. There is one road within the park that loops around to a beautiful cliff top vista of the lake. During the winter months the road and a number of the trails are groomed for snowshoeing and cross country skiing use. The park also offers camping and cabins rentals.

Elopement and small wedding considerations: Pandora's busy season is June-September. If you are seeking an intimate, secluded experience it would be best to consider a week day elopement. During peak season the parks main road is gaited from 10pm-8am, making a sunrise ceremony only possible via hiking or biking. The rental cabins within the park are great for proximity and would offer a jumping off point for both elopements and small weddings. 

Find out more about Ponderosa State Park click HERE.

Ponderosa State Park is an adventurous wedding venue in McCall Idaho. Bride standing on Osprey Point with Payette Lake behind her.
Ponderosa State Park is an adventurous wedding venue in McCall Idaho. Bride standing on Osprey Point with Pine trees behind her.
Ponderosa State Park is an adventurous wedding venue in McCall Idaho. Bride standing on Osprey Point holding bouquets with lilies and seeded asparagus.

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Louie Lake

Louie Lake is nestled in a small meadow below Jughandle Mountain. The lake is accessible by foot and ATV traffic. From the trailhead the trail rises steadily until to reaches the lake. Once you reach the lake there are trails to access both sides of the lake. They are easy and flat but do not go all the way around the lake. The end of the lake has an open meadow and larger boulder fields. During the late evening hours the mountains create beautiful reflections on the surface of the lake. The night sky is amazing as well because the Milky Way frames Jughandle perfectly. If you visit Louie Lake in August you will find huckleberries along the trail. 

Elopement and small wedding considerations: The road to Louie Lake is best traveled in an all wheel drive vehicle. The campground and trailhead for Louie Lake is within 45 minutes of McCall and so the lake sees a lot of traffic late June-September. If you are looking for an intimate, secluded experience during high traffic months consider eloping on a week day or planning a sunrise ceremony. If you are eloping with loved one or planning a sunrise ceremony the campground is perfect for staying the night before.

Find out more about Louie Lake HERE.

Louie Lake is an adventurous wedding venue in McCall Idaho. Couple standing on rock with Jughandle Mountain behind them and reflecting on the lake.
Louie Lake is an adventurous wedding venue in McCall Idaho. Couple standing on rock with mountain reflecting on lake water.
Louie Lake is an adventurous wedding venue in McCall Idaho. Couple running along the lake holding hands.

See more images of Louie Lake HERE.


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Blue Lake

Blue Lake is one of my favorite alpine lakes in Long Valley. It is unique in that you hike downhill to the lake from a trailhead off a forest service road. There is not much tree growth along the trail hiking down and you can see the lake and surrounding mountains for much of the hike. Because Blue Lake sits just over 7,100 feet it is only accessible late June-October. When you get down to the lake there are primitive camping sites around the lake. If you want to extend your hike you can hike up to the rim of the mountain and see views of Long Valley and the Sawtooths.

Elopement and small wedding considerations: Blue Lake is suited more for elopements . The lake does see a fair amount of traffic because of its proximity to Boise but I have never found it to be crowded. Weekdays and sunrise are going to give more seclusion. The hike is almost straight down with an elevation loss of close to 1,000 feet, which means the hike out is strenuous. 

Find out more about Blue Lake HERE.

Blue Lake is an adventurous wedding venue in McCall Idaho. Couple standing on rock with pines behind them.
Blue Lake is an adventurous wedding venue in McCall Idaho. Couple standing on rock with pines behind them and sun on their faces.
Blue Lake is an adventurous wedding venue in McCall Idaho. Couple hugging in wool blanket with mountains behind them.

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The North End of Payette Lake

The north end of Payette Lake has something for everyone. The Payette River comes into the lake and offers an amazing place to canoe and kayak. North Beach is a beautiful white sand beach that covers most of the end of the lake. If you adventure around East Side Drive you can find multiple places to hike up above the lake for views of Payette Lake, Payette River and the Aeshah/Waren basin. Northwest Passage Campground sits along the Payette River just before it empties into Payette lake. It is open late May-November.

Elopement and small wedding considerations: The north end of the lake is easily accessible via a well maintained road. The campground gives you an option to camp before our elopement or small wedding. The north end of the lake is close to McCall and gives the opportunity to easy plan an elopement or small wedding ceremony along the lake without having to travel far. This area is busy Lake May-September. If an intimate, secluded experience is important you might consider planning a weekday or sunrise ceremony.

See more images from this wedding HERE.

Payette Lake is an adventurous wedding venue in McCall Idaho. Couple standing on rock looking at the lake.
Payette Lake is an adventurous wedding venue in McCall Idaho. Couple standing on rock hugging with pine trees behind them.
Payette Lake is an adventurous wedding venue in McCall Idaho. Couple walking on rocks with pine trees behind them.

I hope the information here helps you find your perfect adventurous wedding . If you would like to hear about even more locations around Long Valley, I would love to help you put together an amazing adventurous wedding elopement experience. As an Idaho native and outdoor enthusiast I have spent countless hours exploring the mountains around McCall. As an adventurous wedding photographer I can give you tips, tricks and advise on planning the most meaningful wedding day experience you can imagine.

Autumn Cameron8 Comments