Whether they are looking to ski, snowboard, snow-tube, or just relax, the Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Idaho offers something for every type of visitor. This family-friendly destination provides excellent powder, outstanding accommodation options, and plenty of activities for a memorable vacation. The Spokane area is known as the home of the Selkirk Loop, which includes two of the area’s biggest ski resorts: Schweitzer Mountain and Whitewater Ski Resort.
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Powder Triangle Spokane
Boasting 300 inches of snow annually, both resorts offer ideal conditions for skiing minus the crowds and the expense of their competitors. Due to its small population of just half a million people, Spokane is often underrated as a ski-hub. However, minimal wait times at lifts equate to more time exploring the 13,749 acres of skiable slopes for visitors who chose these mostly undiscovered gems. Travelling to the area is fairly straightforward as Spokane International Airport receives 11 direct flights from some of the biggest cities in the country.
Schweitzer Mountain was named after a mysterious and reclusive hermit who first arrived there over a century ago. This man was reportedly once a member of the Swiss Army and locals began affectionately referring to him as Schweitzer, the German word for a Swiss person. The Schweitzer Mountain Resort was founded by Jack Fowler in 1963. As the resort grew in popularity, many features were added to make it the premier ski destination that it is today. In 2000, the resort installed a six-passenger chairlift, which greatly improved guest access to 150 acres of ski terrain. The early 2000s saw many further additions, such as White Pine Lodge, the Chimney Rock Grill, and the Schweitzer Activity Center. During this time the resort’s skiable terrain also expended, making it the biggest ski resort in Idaho.
Located just 11 miles from Schweitzer Mountain, Sandpoint is a small town with a lot of character. Those visiting the resort in the summer months will find that Sandpoint is a great place to stay due to its proximity to Lake Pend Oreille, which offers a perfect counterpoint to the elevated terrain of the resort. In addition, the town also has an active arts community that presents the Festival at Sandpoint Concert Series during the summer months as well. While the town has many notable eateries, such as Trinity at City Beach, Loaf & Ladle, and MickDuff’s, visitors can also try local produce sold through the weekly farmers’ market. Located just a 20-minute drive from Sandpoint, Silverwood Theme Park is another great north Idaho attraction that draws visitors each year.
Sky House at the Summit
Offering 360-degree views of the mountain, the Sky House is a perfect place to reflect, relax, and re-fuel. This two-story lodge has two eateries: the Nest Café and the Red Hawk. Whether grabbing a snack on the go or sitting down for a light meal, visitors will find a variety of healthy meals that will allow them to comfortably keep active all through their time on the mountain.
Visiting Schweitzer is not all about skiing or snowboarding, ultimately visitors come to make memories with their loved ones. With this in mind, the activity center located adjacent to the Chimney Rock Restaurant in Selkirk Village provides visitors with a variety of things to do on and off the mountain. Both child-friendly and adult-centered activities are offered. Children can enjoy crafts, movies, and scavenger hunts while adults can partake in village campfires and beer-themed scavenger hunts. Families looking to reconnect can borrow board and video games, books, and much more in order to spend much-needed quality time together. The trained staff at the activity center can offer information about dining and shopping options in the village for those just getting their bearings at the resort.
Considered one of the largest ski resorts in North America, Schweitzer Ski Resort offers 2,900 acres of trails to choose from. Both Nordic ski trails and Alpine trails are represented in the bowls, chutes, and cruiser trails available at the resort. The Schweitzer Bowl starts in the village and offers some of the best tree skiing that the resort has to offer. Though it can be a bit difficult to spot at first glance, the Outback Bowl takes up the largest expanse of space on the mountain. Visitors seeking breathtaking views of Lake Pend Oreille can enjoy 32 kilometers of Nordic ski trails that offer just that. Both skate and classic trail systems are represented.
10,000 Schweitzer Mountain Road, Sandpoint, ID 83864, Phone: 208-263-9555