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Monday, February 7, 2011

Idaho Vacation: Snow Tubing

Sit on an air filled innertube, slide down a snowy hill.  Sounds easy and fun?  It is at the Activity Barn just outside of McCall, a perfect thing to do and visit while on an Idaho vacation.  The Activity Barn is locally owned and operated and strives to give "perfect guest satisfaction".

A gentle sloping cattle pasture in summer is transformed into one of the best snow tubing hills in Idaho during the winter.  Located just a couple miles south of McCall, the Activity Barn offers low cost excitement and fun for entire families.    For safety reasons, children younger than two are not allowed on the tubes.  Four runs, shaped like mini half pipes, keep tubes on their own run and offer different degrees of speed and difficulty.

The tubing hill has an elevation drop of 85 feet from top to bottom and the runs are about 700 feet long.  A specially designed tow cable hooks to the tube and takes the rider and  tube from bottom to top in 2 1/2 minutes.  When the hill is not very busy, up to 12 runs can be made per hour.

We visited on a weekday during the McCall Winter Carnival.  The area had just opened for the day and was not too busy.  The snow was well packed and the runs were fast.  Activity Barn personnel made sure everyone was well taken care of.

The area is lighted for night time enjoyment.  A fire pit offers warming for those needing a bit of heat between runs.  The tubes supplied by the Activity Barn are specially designed and are the only tubes allowed on the  hill.  Lift tickets are priced by the hour and can be purchased onsite or via the internet.  A call to the facility is recommended to check on conditions and ensure the area is open. 

Normal hours are 4-7 pm Tuesday - Thursday, 4-9 pm on Friday, 10 am - 9 pm Saturday, and 10 am to 6 pm on Sundays.  Hours during holidays or festivals may be a bit different.  Basic pricing starts at $8/hour with discounts for additional hours.  Weekend and holiday rates are a bit higher.  Several other ticket packages are available. 

On a part of the River Ranch, but close to the tubing hill, is a cross-country ski area.  This area has two loops that take the skiier or snowshoer along  groomed trails to the north fork of the Payette River, through tree groves, and across meadows.  Wildlife is often seen from the trail loops.  The cross country parking area is located near the main tubing hill parking lot.  A donation box is locate at the parking lot.  Dogs are permitted on the trails but owners are asked to clean up after their dogs so the area can be enjoyed by everyone.  Prices are $5/use and season tickets are available for $20.

The activity is fun, relatively inexpensive and close to other activities in McCall.  This is a great add on to your Idaho vacation. 

Leave a comment and let us know how you like it.

Contact the Activity barn at 208-634-2222 or fax at 208-634-1268.
Web site is
Directions - From hwy 55 at the south end of McCall, turn west at the stoplight at Deinhard Lane and go one half mile to Mission St, turn left and go south 1.6 miles to Moonridge Road, turn right and go .6 miles.  Turn into the parking area on the left. 

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