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The Best Payette Lake Cruises in McCall

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

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience the beauty of McCall, Idaho, then a boat cruise on Payette Lake is a must-do activity. A boat cruise puts you in the middle of Payette’s eponymous lake, where you can experience nature and wildlife firsthand.

In addition to spotting some birds of prey or unique animals, boat cruises on Payette Lake can include fishing, swimming, and even a private party if you’re up for it! No matter how you swing it, cruises on the beautiful Payette Lake are one of the best ways to soak up Idaho’s landscape. It’s the perfect addition to your vacation rental stay in McCall.

We’ve broken down the best options below with several outfitters that offer boat cruises on Payette Lake.

McCall Lake Cruises

  • Offerings: 90 Minute Cruise, Sunset Cruise, or Private Charter

McCall Lake Cruises is one of the premier companies serving boat tours on Payette Lake. With a few notable offerings, this team will surely blow you away with one of their unique and informational guided sailings, whether you take a public cruise or a private party!

Their boats are top-of-the-line, with restrooms, stocked bars, a heated interior area, an upper sun deck, and other amenities like an option for catering located right on board.

90 Minute Cruise

McCall Lake Cruises are geared up for 90-minute cruises on Lake Payette that will be the highlight of your family’s stay in McCall.

View Idaho in all of its glory as the beautiful Payette Lake comes alive with a cruise all about the history and significance of the local waterways, natural species, and other fun facts about McCall.

The captain and crew at McCall Lake Cruises are some of the most friendly crewmembers and travel guides around, and we love that this tour is geared partially towards kids since so many of our vacation rentals include those looking for family getaways!

The captains of THE IDAHO show points of interest along the waterways and help younger seafarers to search on their journey for one of Payette Lake’s largest (literally) legends- Sharlie, the lake monster.

If that wasn’t enough, this boat cruise includes a fully-stocked bar and snacks to satisfy even the hungriest travelers!

These 90 Minute cruises are run from May-September, once a day.

The Sunset Cruise

The Sunset Cruise is where romance and beauty collide on Lake Payette.

This two-hour boat tour, timed to give visitors the most breathtaking views, takes guests on a leisurely cruise around the lake, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests.

Board THE IDAHO and kick up your feet for a relaxing ride. With a heated cabin and an upper sun deck ready to soak up any remaining heat, there’s comfort on board for everyone. As with other services from McCall Lake Cruises, this boat cruise comes stocked with a full-service bar on board, serving up both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks.

For an extra special tour, come aboard on a Thursday evening. Live music joins sailors onboard each week for an unforgettable experience in the middle of Payette Lake.

The Sunset Cruise is popular for couples and those looking for a romantic evening on the water. After all, what could be more blissful than watching the sunset over the water with a cool drink in your hand?

Just be aware that the sunset cruises are 21 and older on Thursday and Saturday evenings!

Private Charter

This fantastic company also offers a private charter option for your upcoming family event. They service everything from family reunions to company outings and even wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners. Talk about partying in style!

Payette Lake Adventures by Shore Lodge

Photo by J.M. Weber

  • Offerings: Small Private Charters

Shore Lodge, a luxury resort located in McCall, Idaho, offers some of the most exciting pontoon boat tours, or, as they call them, Payette Lake Adventures.

If you’re in McCall for a family vacation, a guy’s weekend away, or a celebration, Shore Lodge’s premier option is a private charter. Relish in having a boat all to yourself for whatever private event you want!

Caterers are available upon request to create an even more opulent experience, and you can even customize your tour to focus on wildlife viewing, fishing, or simply relaxing and taking in the stunning views.

So, grab a reservation for a scenic cruise from Shore Lodge, find a spot in their ample comfortable seating, and get ready to sit back and enjoy nature’s highlights as they pass.

Overall, the Shore Lodge boat tours on Payette Lake are an exceptional way to experience the natural beauty of McCall, Idaho. With a focus on personalized experiences, the Shore Lodge team creates tours that are truly unforgettable.

Payette Pedal Party

Photo by CSNafzger

  • Offerings: Pedal boat tours (with optional motoring)

Perhaps the most unique option you have for a McCall Lake cruise is the party going on at Payette Pedal Party!  Hop aboard a cycle boat and experience Payette Lake in a whole new way! You’ve got to do some work to get these pedals moving!

Pedal your way around the lake for a 2-hour cruise, enjoying views and creating memories you won’t soon forget. This family-fun activity for all ages is a great way to get active out on the water.

While you can book a ticket on a public cruise with the Pedal Party, they are also well-known for being a top choice for private parties and personal events like bachelor or bachelorette parties.

While there’s no bar on board, cruisers can bring their own beverages and snacks aboard to add to the fun! And don’t worry if you’re not up for a two-hour workout. We’ll tell you the secret: If your legs start screamin’, they can turn the motor on and finish out the tour without your help!

A DIY-Option!

If you’re ready to try your hand at cruising the pristine Payette Lake, there are plenty of boat rentals in the area.

You’ll have your pick of anything from a kayak to a canoe or even a pontoon boat! Grab your boat of choice and design your own itinerary. Drift along the various banks and waterways as you search for fowl, or enjoy a peaceful afternoon fishing on the lake as you soak in the serenity around you that is beautiful Idaho.

Just make sure you take everything you need along with you, including a life jacket!

Launch Off into Payette Lake

Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening on the water or a fun-filled day with the family, there’s a tour option for everyone when you stay at a local vacation rental. With stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and plenty of activities, it’s no wonder why Payette Lake is a top destination in McCall, Idaho.

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