At the last minute, we needed a place to stay for the family in McCall. My children love the Shore Lodge, but we were grungy from camping the previous 2 nights and felt a little underdressed. This time, we chose Bear Creek Lodge. BCL received stellar reviews on both Yelp and Trip Advisor, so I thought it was worth a try.
Only a few short miles out of McCall, (and two hours north of Boise), Bear Creek Lodge has a whole different vibe from the Shore Lodge. It’s quiet. Real quiet. And still, there are things to do for the whole family on the 65 acre retreat, surrounded by the Payette National Forest. In addition to Bocce and horseshoes, you could also get into the steaming hot jacuzzi. Hot enough, yes. Because it’s awful when it’s three degrees short of being right.
For kids (or TV addicted adults) there is a TV lounge in the main building where you can pick from several hundred DVDs (above average collection — you should be able to find at least a few titles for everyone). A pool table and a bar with three beers — on tap — makes for a fun mini-party, even if it’s just your family. The day we were there was very quiet and Robert, the proprietors’ son-in-law, told us that we could tap our own beers, just keep tally. That’s what’s so great about Idaho: the honor system. Seriously, who does that anymore? They had a great local beer from the Salmon River Brewery just down the road.
Breakfast was included: I made waffles for the kids with fresh berries. The kid cereal section was a bit wanting. Call me a snob, but I can’t give my kids Fruity Pebbles or Cocoa Puffs — not even on vacation. And they are not so keen on granola, so we stuck with waffles and bagel. Kids love bread.
The room was not large, but still comfortable: two queens, jacuzzi tub, two sinks. We didn’t turn on the TV, but we could have checked out the DVDs from the main lodge. We had a porch with a cafe table and two chairs, looking over the forested property.
The property abuts snowmobile terrain so in the winter, the Bear Creek Lodge is full of snowmobilers. This summer, Robert told us that 17 weekends are booked out for weddings. So it seems that we caught the last free and easy weekend they’ll have until September.
The reviews I had read focused to a large extent on the service and it must be said that Robert was A+ in this regard. Always available and extremely helpful and responsive, our every want was acknowledged and met with care.
The website touts that they will soon have a restaurant. In the meantime, we went to dinner at Pueblo Lindo, a couple of miles down the road. Again, go for the carne asada — great — and I don’t say this lightly.
In the morning, the family took a hike from the recreation area across the street — were you would go snowmobiling in the winter. It was a beautiful walk through the drizzle in the forest. Great smells and an easy path.
Something to consider: Bear Creek Lodge is also much less expensive than Shore Lodge, the kids had a great time (running around with Robert’s young children) and we will be back!
Please note: Accommodations were provided by Bear Creek Lodge. All opinions are my own.