French Creek Scenic Drive, Idaho

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French Creek Scenic Drive

French Creek Scenic Drive is the perfect route for a memorable day trip to explore the spectacular mountains, lakes, and canyons near McCall. Read More

  • Several scenic spots for camping or picnicking.
  • Two hot springs that are perfect for a relaxing soak.
  • Majestic mountains, deep canyons, and many lakes and rivers.
  • Great spots for fishing along the way.
  • Rustic, historic towns to explore.

Overview

French Creek Drive is a 115 mile scenic loop that will take you through the beautiful backwoods of southwestern Idaho. The breathtaking scenery includes deep valleys carved by ancient glaciers, granite rock formations, majestic mountains, and sparkling lakes and rivers. As you wind along the Payette National Forest, you will see a variety of trees including aspen, pine, spruce, fir and tamarack. The summer months are best for this drive.

Driving Directions

To take this scenic drive, you will need to get on Highway 55 in McCall near the Whitetail Resort. Continue along Hwy 55 for about 27 miles. Once you cross the Lake Creek Bridge turn left on Forest Road 246, which is gravel. Just past mile 71 you will turn left on Highway 95 (which is paved) and remain on this for about 29 miles. Just past the 100 mile mark turn left back onto Highway 55, which will take you back to McCall.

Time/Distance

Plan on at least 4 hours, as this 115 mile loop is very curvy in some places and turns to gravel at one point. Allow additional time for picnicking, hiking, or fishing along the way.

Highlights

  • The historic ghost town of Warren is where settlers once mined for gold in the 1800s.
  • Burgdorf Hot Springs has rustic cabins for campers, although you’ll need to bring your own gear. Burgdorf also has a log hotel that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Be sure to watch for the original ruts from wagon wheels, many of which are still visible not far from the edge of the highway.
  • Secesh Summit has an elevation of 6434 feet and is a popular habitat for moose.
  • Not quite halfway along the loop is French Creek, which is a great spot for fishing.
  • Not far from the main road is the Rapid River Hatchery.
  • Zim's Hot Springs is a great place to stop for a relaxing soak in mountain spring water.