Located in Kootenai County, Idaho approximately 50 miles from the greater Spokane, Washington area, Silverwood Theme Park is the largest amusement park in the American Northwest, housing more than 65 thrill, family, and water rides and attractions.
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The history of family attraction centers in the area that Silverwood Theme Park now encompasses dates back to 1973, when Clayton Henley opened the Henley Aerodome, a small private airport and flight museum. Following Henley’s death in 1977, Gary Norton, founder of the International Systems Corporation computing company, purchased the Aerodome and began to shift its focus to family attractions after a 1981 fire that destroyed a large portion of the flight museum’s collections. In 1988, the first Silverwood attraction, a 1915 steam engine which took guests on a half-hour ride around a Victorian-style Main Street, opened to the public.
In 1990, several amusement-style rides were added to the park, including the Corkscrew roller coaster, a former Knott’s Berry Farm attraction, and a small area of carnival rides. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Silverwood grew in size and scope, adding a variety of thrill and family rides. In 2003, a water park facility, Boulder Beach Water Park, was added to the Silverwood complex, featuring a variety of slides, wave pools, and raft rides.
Rides and Attractions
Today, Silverwood is the largest theme park in the Northwestern United States and the northernmost park in the country. It is home to over 65 attractions, including more than 35 rides of a variety of thrill levels. Attractions are divided into five park sections: a Main Street entrance offering dining and retail options, a Country Carnival featuring midway rides, a Garfield’s Summer Camp children’s area, a Coaster Alley, and the Boulder Beach Water Park.
Four major roller coasters are offered in Coaster Alley, including the double-helix-style Corkscrew, the world’s first modern inversion steel coaster, and the 191-foot-drop Aftershock, voted the top hanging coaster in the world by the Travel Channel in 2012. The park’s two classic wooden coasters, the 103-foot-drop Tremors and the Timber Terror air coaster, rank among the top wooden coasters in the country. Two small coasters are also offered for younger visitors, the spinning-car Krazy Koaster and the miniature Tiny Toot Coaster. Other thrill rides at the park include the 140-foot Panic Plunge drop tower, the Thunder Canyon whitewater raft ride, the Roaring Creek Log Flume, relocated in 1990 from Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, and the Spin Cycle pendulum ride, which features inversions at a height of 104 feet.
Several classic midway rides are located in the Country Carnival area, including a Scrambler, a Tilt-a-Whirl, a Super Roundup G-force ride, a classic Carousel and Ferris Wheel, and a Paratroopers ride. The historic Steam Engine No. 7 still operates, making a 3.2-mile loop starting from Main Street and traveling through a Wild-West-themed area. Children’s rides include the Butterflyer swing ride, the Frog Hopper bounce tower, and a Garfield-themed Kiddie Wheel. Access to the attractions of Boulder Beach Water Park, including the Velocity Peak water slide tower, the Riptide Racer mat racing water slide, and the Ricochet Rapids raft slide, is also included with park admission.
Daily entertainment is offered at the park’s High Moon Saloon, Main Street Theatre, and Theater of Illusion, which highlight live musicians, magicians, and themed performers. Onsite dining options include Chuck Wagon John’s all-you-can-eat barbecue, the full-service Lindy’s Restaurant, and the Victorian Tea and Coffee House, which offers espresso drinks and fresh-baked pastries. A midway game arcade, which features a shooting gallery and three-point shootout area, is located inside the Country Carnival.
The park’s regular operating season runs from May through October, kicking off with a Silverwood Anniversary celebration weekend that offers 1988 ticket prices. Several special pricing days are offered throughout the season, including an American Heroes’ Weekend offering free admission to veterans and their families and a series of Community Appreciation weekends in September, which offer a portion of ticket sale proceeds to local food banks. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Grandparents’ Weekend deals are also offered.
Since 2009, Scarywood Haunted Nights have been offered weekends in October, featuring Halloween-themed attractions such as the Terror Canyon Trail maze and the Blood Bayou haunted house. Many of the park’s rides are open weather-permitting during the event for nighttime riding, with several transformed into Halloween attractions, including the Zombiewood Express haunted train ride. A Coaster Classic Car Show is also held over Labor Day weekend, one of the largest events of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, and a Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza features patriotic music and a fireworks show at dusk.
27843 US-95, Athol, ID 83801, Phone: 208-683-3400