Smoke Jumper Base in McCall Idaho
One of my favorite family friendly attractions in Idaho is the Smoke Jumper Base in McCall. We took our children to visit this last summer while my parents were visiting, and everyone really enjoyed it.
The Smokejumper base offers a guided tour of their base, hangar and airplanes as well as a video presentation showing their staff in action. This tour starts with historical photographs dating back to early 1940s with select memorabilia from that era as well.
In the preparation area of the base they have displays on the wall showing all the food and equipment that must be packed with the Smokejumpers when they go to a fire. We were very impressed with the large amount packed on their backs.
In the parachute rooms we saw them repairing and packing parachutes to be ready to go at a moment's notice. The tour of the airplanes allowed us to climb inside and see what the Smokejumpers travel in while on their way to a job.
The movie was fascinating, showing both real footage of them in action and training clips that new Smokejumpers would view as well. This provide a lot of insight how difficult this job is.
The best part of this tour was that it was free and they provided several fire safety reminders in gift bag for children as well. If you time your visit just right in summer, you might even be able to see them in action. I would highly recommend that any family visiting Idaho tour the McCall Smokejumper base. http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/people/smokejumpers/mccall/index.html