Hang Gliding, Paragliding and Gliding

Friday Night Bingo
Lost River Ranger District

Please Travel Forest Roads with Caution
About Road Closures

Mine Hill Tour
Lost River Museum

Mackay has something for just about every recreational enthusiast. From boating, hunting and fishing, to snowmobiling, mountain biking and hang gliding.  Listed below are some of the most popular activities enjoyed in the Mackay area.

Fishing - Fly fish and ice fish the Lost River Valley’s streams, Big Lost River, many lakes in Copper Basin and the Mackay Reservoir.  Native fish include several species of trout, char and grayling.  Nonnative fish have been planted or stocked in the rivers and alpine lakes. They include brook trout, brown trout, golden trout, cutthroat trout, and rainbow trout.

Fishing requires a current fishing license.  Licenses may be obtained at Sammy’s Mini Mart (208) 588-3340 and the Western Store (208) 588-2671.

Boating - Water-ski, jet-ski and sail at the Mackay Reservoir, 5 miles north of Mackay.  At the reservoir you’ll find boat ramps, a campground, dump station, running water and outhouses.  Access to the Big Lost River is available at the sportsman’s access on Hwy 93, below the dam (access from privately owned property by permission only). Top of Idaho rents jet skis - call 208-390-2600.

All fishing requires a current fishing license.  Licenses may be obtained at Sammy s Mini Mart (208) 588-3340 and the Western Store (208) 588 2671.

Golfing - The area is home to a 9 hole golf course and driving range.  River Park Golf course is located in town.

Hiking - Two hundred fifty miles of trails transverse the mountain ranges of the Mackay/Lost River Valley area.  In the Lost River Valley area, you’ll find 9 of the 11 highest mountains in Idaho.  Recreational activities include backpacking, mountain biking, horseback riding, motorcycle and ATV riding.  Special winter uses include snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.  Interesting places to hike include: Mt. Borah, Hidden Mouth Cave and Craters of the Moon National Monument.  Mt Borah is the highest mountain in Idaho at 12,562 feet. Campsites are located at the base of the mountain.

Check with the local ranger station for maps of hiking trails located throughout the Challis and Salmon National Forests.  For more information, call (208) 588-2224.  Access from privately owned property by permission only.

Hunting - Area hunters scout for deer, elk, bear, antelope, bighorn sheep, mountain lion and fowl with camera or gun in the areas beautiful mountain wilderness.

Hunt only in season with a valid permit and/or Idaho hunting license.  Licenses may be obtained at Sammy’s Mini Mart (208) 588-3340 and the Western Store (208) 588-2671.  Access from privately owned property by permission only.

Rodeos - From horses to motorcycles, “Rodeo” is Mackay’s middle name. Come see all of Mackay’s many rodeos including “Idaho’s Wildest Rodeo,” and A.B.A.T.E. - the “Biker Rodeo”.  Great entertainment for all ages!

Snowmobiling - There’s nothing like a winter day snowmobiling beautiful Copper Basin, Trail Creek, Antelope Road and Pass Creek areas. These areas have ungroomed trails, wide-open spaces and steep inclines.  Choose your preference!

Check with the local Ranger Station for maps of hiking trails throughout the Challis and Salmon National Forest, and to determine which trails are accessible with motorized vehicles.  For more information, call (205) 588-2224.  Please always obey trailhead designations.

- Mackay has several local campgrounds, some within walking distance of downtown Mackay.  Mackay Reservoir, 5 miles north of Mackay has a campground, dump station, running water and outhouses.  The Tourist Park, managed by the City of Mackay, also offers overnight camping.  For information contact City Hall at (208) 588-2274.

The Lost River Ranger District has seven “fee” campgrounds.  The District campgrounds all have restrooms and water.  If you prefer undeveloped campgrounds, there are countless places along the areas trails, rivers and streams.  However there are generally no facilities at these sites.

Hang Gliding, Paragliding and Gliding - The area surrounding Mackay is popular as a hang gliding, paragliding and gliding destination.  King Mountain, south of Mackay, is frequently chosen for champion gliding competitions.  The launch site for hang gliding and paragliding is located in nearby Moore, Idaho.  The Mackay Airport is an excellent place to take off for gliders.

Biking - Mountain biking, four-wheeling and motorcycling** are all enjoyed by both visitors and residents alike. Check with the local ranger station for maps of trails available throughout the Challis and Salmon National Forest. For more information, call (208) 588-2224. For ATV rentals and tours call Top of Idaho (208) 339-2600.

Friday Night Bingo - A popular activity held at the American Legion Hall Main Street, at 7:00pm.

Movies - Movies are shown at Mackay Main Theater, Main Street, Mackay.  The theater is currently closed.

Swimming - Enjoy Mackay Reservoir or the Big Lost River (accessible through the various sportsman’s accesses; access from privately owned property by permission only.).  Swimming is also available at the White Knob Motel pool. There is a small charge for the White Knob pool, and there are no life guards on duty.

Lost River Ranger District -. The lost River Ranger District covers 800,000 acres of National Forest System lands in the Big and Little Lost River Valleys. The district hosts the 19 tallest peaks in Idaho, including all nine of the peaks over 12,000 feet Mt Borah, Idaho s tallest peak at 12,652 feet is located in the district.  There are over 40 high-mountain lakes; most are located in the Pioneer Mountains.
The district has six developed family campgrounds and a larger group size campground which, is available by reservation only.

Backcountry camping is popular, especially around the high mountain lakes. If you choose to camp in these areas, please remember they are fragile areas.  Practicing “leave no trace” camping will help preserve the beauty of these special areas.  If you are traveling with pack or saddle stock, make sure to tether your animals away from the lake shore.

The Forest Service is charged by Congress to manage National Forests for a variety of public benefits (also known as “multiple use” management).  During your visit to the Lost River Ranger District you may encounter evidence of many management activities such as livestock grazing, trail construction, and wildlife habitat improvement projects.  Personal use fuel wood and Christmas tree gathering are also popular activities.  Permits are required for both activities and may be obtained at the district office.   If you are planning a trip to the district and want to know what activities are occurring in the area please contact:

Lost River Ranger District, P.O. Box 507, Mackay, ID 83251 208-588-2224

Please Travel Forest Roads with Caution!  A majority of the forests roads are narrow, winding, and rutted.  Be careful when approaching a curve or another vehicle.  When using parking facilities, please do not park your vehicle where it could block the road or be dangerous to other vehicles.

About Road Closures: You may find some forest service roads closed to vehicles.  Roads are closed for a variety of reasons, two of which are road protection (to reduce rutting) and wildlife protection (to enhance security and/or reduce vulnerability).  Check with the Forest Service to learn more about road closures.

For more information, please contact:::

Mackay Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 313,
Mackay, ID 83251

E-mail us at:



2003 - 2014 Mackay Chamber of Commerce    
Photos Copyright and Courtesy of:    
Bob Bagley    
Gordon Vaden    
Joe Ausich    
Judy Malkiewicz    
Stoecklein Photography    
Wes Collins