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A Traveler’s Guide to Cascade Lake, Idaho

The Best Rental Cabins, Homes, Lakefront Estates and Romantic Getaways in McCall, Donnelly, Cascade & New Meadows

Looking to visit Idaho soon? Though it generally takes a backseat to more popular Idahoan tourist destinations, such as Sun Valley or Shoshone Falls Park, Lake Cascade in Valley County is rapidly growing in popularity among visitors.

The fourth largest lake in Idaho, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy here regardless of the season. Just 35 minutes north of Boise, check out Cascade Lake, Idaho on your next trip!

With stunning vacation rental homes, great outdoor activities year-round and welcoming locals, Cascade Lake might just become your favorite destination in Idaho.

Whether you’re staying in Donnelly, McCall, or Cascade, you’re within an easy drive to some of the best activities at Cascade Lake, Idaho.

Weather in Cascade Lake, Idaho

Cascade Lake, Idaho is known for its beautiful mountain views and crisp, clear air. But don’t let that fool you – the weather here can vary a lot from season to season.

In the winter months, Cascade Lake experiences heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures. However, summers tend to be clear, warm, and dry with occasional thunderstorms.

Overall, the area receives about 27 inches of precipitation per year – most of which falls in the form of snow. The average snowfall in January is 16 inches!

There are plenty of things to do in Cascade Lake, Idaho regardless of the season. Check out some of our favorites below!

Best Time of Year to Visit Cascade Lake, Idaho

If you ask us, the best time to visit Cascade Lake in Idaho is any time that you can make it! That being said, some months do offer better weather and outdoor opportunities. It really all boils down to your interests and what type of vacation you’re hoping for!

June through September tend to be the warmest and driest months, making them prime for hiking, camping, boating, and other activities around the lake.

However, winter can also be a beautiful time to visit, with opportunities for snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, and even ice fishing on the frozen lake.

Whichever season you choose, Cascade Lake is sure to offer stunning views and unforgettable experiences.

Summer Activities in Lake Cascade, Idaho

Get Your Adrenaline Fix at Kelly’s Whitewater Rafting Park

Are you tired of boring old hikes and picnics? Are you ready for an adventure that will get your blood pumping and heart racing? Look no further than Kelly’s Whitewater Rafting Park at Lake Cascade in Idaho.

At Kelly’s, you can experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on class III and IV rapids. Their experienced guides will make sure you have a safe and exciting ride, while also educating you on the amazing scenery and wildlife surrounding the river.

If rapids aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other activities to choose from at KWP. You can opt for other boat rentals, and go kayaking, canoeing, or stand up paddle boarding. Try your hand at Bocce, volleyball, or explore the two and a half miles of walking paths known as ‘The Strand’ that stretch from Kelly’s down the Payette River to Fischer’s Pond.

Explore Your Options at Intermountain Power Sport Rentals

Photo Credit: intermountainpowersports via Instagram

There are so many fun-filled adventure activities to choose from at Intermountain Power Sport Rentals in Cascade, Idaho. Depending on what you’re in the mood for, you can choose from water skiing, ATV or dirt bike rentals, or jet skiing!

They also offer different types of boat rentals, including pontoon boats, fishing boats, and ski boats.

With so many options, there’s sure to be something to suit your needs. Be sure to check out the website in advance in order to make sure you’re prepared, particularly if you want to rent heavy duty equipment such as ATVs.

Go Fishing

Cascade Lake, Idaho is a veritable paradise for any angler! With so many different species you may catch, it’s an exciting experience for all involved. Common fish that are caught in Lake Cascade include perch, smallmouth bass, coho salmon, rainbow trout, crappie, and large mouth bass.

If you have your own boat you can head out off the local boat launch. Otherwise, you can find boat rentals at Intermountain Power Sport Rentals. Don’t forget to hit up Tackle Tom’s for all of your fishing gear needs.

Just be sure you brush up on what gear you’ll need and the best places to cast your line when fishing around McCall.

Head Out Biking

Spend some time on two wheels exploring the many Idaho parks nearby. With so many biking trails that surround the lake and adjacent countryside, you’re sure to find some that are suited to your level of ability. Whether you want to take a leisurely bike ride admiring the surrounding scenery or you want something a little more adrenaline-filled, you’ll find it easily at Cascade Lake, Idaho.

You’ll have to bring your own bikes unless you don’t mind the 45 minute drive to Tamarack to rent one!

Winter Activities in Lake Cascade, Idaho

Try Your Hand at Ice Fishing

If you are visiting Cascade Lake, Idaho during the cold, winter months, you can still enjoy the fisherman’s paradise! Ice fishing is a common pastime on the lake, and for good reason. It’s a fun and unique way to spend a day if you are looking for something new to try!

Afterwards, sip on a hot chocolate or warm yourself by the fire to feel completely refreshed.

Spend a Day Snowmobiling

Head to Intermountain Power Sport Rentals or Snow Dogs of Cascade to get yourself situated on a snowmobile! With an average of 16” of fresh powder in January, getting on a snowmobile is one of the best ways to explore the surrounding lands.

There are many different snowmobiling trails surrounding Cascade Lake, so you’ll have plenty of options from which to choose. Be sure to check out the views from the Warming Hut!

Experience Snowshoeing and Nordic Skiing

Photo Credit: Parilov

For a more relaxing winter sport activity, why not try snowshoeing or Nordic Skiing? Snowshoeing and Nordic skiing are perfect winter activities for those who want to get off the beaten path and experience the great outdoors at a slower pace. Both provide a full-body workout and offer stunning views as you traverse through snowy terrain.

You can choose from one of these activities at Cascade Aquatic and Rec Center. Equipment rentals start at just $15 for the day. There are plenty of public lands and Nordic Ski trails surrounding Lake Cascade.

Don’t forget, downhill skiers have priority.

Sledding or Tubing at Cascade Golf Course

For a family-friendly winter outing, bring the little ones sledding or tubing over at Cascade Golf Course. There are a variety of steep hills and gentle slopes, perfect for young children and adults alike.

You can rent gear from many of the neighboring shops, but the golf course itself does not offer rentals. So bundle up, grab some hot cocoa, and hit the slopes at Cascade Lake for a fun-filled day in the snow.

Year-Round Activities in Lake Cascade, Idaho

Visit Lake Cascade State Park

At Lake Cascade State Park, you can soak up the sun at our sandy beaches or go for a swim in the clear waters of Lake Cascade. You can also explore miles of hiking and biking trails, or try your hand at fishing, boating, and water sports such as windsurfing.

In terms of amenities, Lake Cascade State Park has restrooms, picnic tables, and campgrounds as well. It’s a great place to pack up a blanket, some snacks from the D9 grocery store, and some of your favorite craft brews for a leisurely afternoon picnic.

The park spans acre upon acre of stunning scenery and offers well-maintained facilities for all types of outdoor enthusiasts. So whether you’re looking to spend a day on the water or a weekend in the wilderness, Lake Cascade State Park has something for everyone. And don’t forget to bring your camera – the views here are truly breathtaking.

Try a Jacked Up Philly Cheesesteak at Lakefront Bar and Grill

Lakefront Bar and Grill is hands-down the most popular restaurant in the area. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can head here any time between 11:00 AM and 8:00 PM daily to grab a bite to eat.

With hearty, stick-to-your-ribs dishes as well as an impressive selection of salads (all of which can be made into a wrap if you’d like something a little more substantial), there’s something for everyone here. Our favorite is the Jacked Up Philly Cheesesteak – the Spicy Honey Garlic sauce is to-die-for! But the food here in general is pretty delicious, so you don’t have to worry about ordering the wrong thing!

Get a Workout at Cascade Aquatic and Rec Center

If you’re craving a little gym time during your stay in Cascade Lake, Idaho, you can get a day pass to Cascade Aquatic and Recreation Center for a meager $6. In addition to the gym, they have an impressive pool and hot tub, different group fitness classes, a multitude of lessons for children, as well as Nordic Trails.

If you want your little one to brush up on his swimming skills before venturing out into the lake, they offer swim lessons for children as well!

Enjoy Your Trip to Cascade Lake

Now you know, regardless of when you decide to visit Cascade Lake, Idaho, you’re in for a treat. With so many different things to do and outdoor activities to try, you’ll love your visit here in any season. The question you just need to ask yourself is, “When will you visit?”

Have a question?