The Hidden Treasure that is Cascade and Donnelly, ID

When people talk about west-central Idaho, they typically talk about McCall and all the fun and exciting things you can do there. Quite often, however, they fail to mention all of the awesome attractions to enjoy just a half hour south of McCall; all the amenities that aren't always appreciated. Now, don't get me wrong, McCall is amazing and it has some incredible attractions for all seasons, but don't just restrict yourself to McCall - if you are going to take the time to go up into Valley County Idaho, why not try out all the other stunning attractions that you may be missing?

Main Attractions

Some of the many main attractions in and around the Cascade/ Donnelly area are the natural resources. In the next section, we will explore three natural resources that are some of the most enjoyable things to do in the area.

Lake Cascade

Lake Cascade is a beautiful lake that stretches for several miles between Cascade and Donnelly. It is easily several times larger than the Payette Lake in McCall which makes for large open space on the waters for boating, fishing, swimming, and pretty much anything else you like to do on the water.

Lake Cascade's edges are mostly sandy beaches or marshlands which make it a great place to 'hang-out' for people and animals of all kinds. There are plenty of fish and other freshwater animals that live in the lake and many animals that come down from the mountains to drink there as well, so be sure to be careful around animals - do not touch them, no matter how soft and cuddly they look! And be sure also to respect their habitats.

There are also many cabins and mountain real estate around Lake Cascade that can be bought for seasonal enjoyment or permanent residence. There are also campgrounds and cabins for rent as well, so be sure to look into those options if you ever want to scout out the optional real estate.

Gold Fork Hot Springs

Idaho is a wonderful and fertile place, a quality that is thanks in most part to the volcanic influence and geothermal energy that is bubbling under the surface. These qualities can produce some serene environments and amazing sights, and at Gold Fork Hot Springs they have found a way to capture that serenity and beauty for us all to enjoy.

Gold Fork Hot Springs is located deep in the mountains to the east of Cascade and Donnelly. It looks small from the road, but it really is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon. When you drive into the parking lot at Gold Fork you will see steam rising up from beyond the trees along with the peak of a massive yurt that serves as the guest reception area. You walk along a small path to the yurt and step inside to be greeted by an employee standing behind a desk. He or she will take your $8 a person (prices may vary) and direct you to the small locker areas where you can change clothes and lock up your things.

Once you are ready you can go down into the tiered pools to dip into the pool with your preferred temperature. It is a relaxing experience that is fun for everyone at any point in the year. In fact, their most busy day of the year is always New Years despite the sub-freezing temperatures.


Tamarack Resort is a thing of local pride in the Cascade/ Donnelly region. It has gone through several owners over the last decade, including a few years when it was owned by the public. It is a wonderful place for skiers and snowboarders of all experience levels. However, it isn't just fun during the winter time, in fact, Tamarack also has plenty of things to do during the warmer months as well. For instance, there are mountain bike trails, hiking, whitewater tours, a zip line, and much more.

Tamarack also has a venue for corporate or personal events with a water's edge cabana, great views of the water and the mountains, and much more. However, if you start spending time up there at Tamarack, you might not be able to tear yourself away, and for this purpose, you can buy real estate on the resort as well. There are cabins and condos of all different sizes so you can easily spend your vacation in the place you love.


What is a vacation without some good food? Amongst the great sights, warm atmosphere, and amazing adventures you can have in Donnelly and Cascade, you are bound to get hungry; when you do be sure to check out some of these great eateries.

Flight of Fancy -  Donnelly, Idaho

This local foodie favorite is a great place to grab a bite between adventures. It is a bakery and espresso bar that is always full of great sweets, breads, and everything in between. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as desserts.

Gramma's Restaurant - Cascade, Idaho

This restaurant has a massive scope of food with one common thread... amazing taste! Gramma's Restaurant is located off of Main Street in Cascade and is the ideal place for a meal. They serve food for all three of your basic meals, but, don't worry, you can get breakfast at any time.

Main Street Pizza -  Donnelly, Idaho

This pizzeria is a fantastic place to get some grub on your way to Gold Fork or Tamarack. You can get burgers, sandwiches, soups, sides, and - of course - pizza. It is a great restaurant with a friendly atmosphere that makes an already great eating experience even better. Be sure to check it out if you are looking for a place to grab something to eat.

Now, there are many more awesome things to do in the Cascade/Donnelly area, so don't stop with these. There are plenty more adventures out there for you in this part of Idaho. So, the next time you are looking for a fun thing to do, take a trip up to Cascade and Donnelly and skip the crowded city of McCall.

To learn more about the amenities in Valley County, Idaho, or about real estate in Idaho, contact one of our local agents. They know the area well and have the real estate experience to help you in any regard. Just ask. If you are looking for a house in Boise or looking to sell a house in the Boise area then you need to call us here at the Hughes Group. We have been working hard for years to perfect our techniques and to stay on top of current real estate trends. We are here for you and will make your real estate dreams a reality.