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Things To Do in North Idaho

Anglers Paradise North Idaho

North Idaho is an anglers Paradise filled with Rivers, Creeks Ponds, lakes, sloughs and waterways. No matter if you are a serious Angler looking for the Big One or you just want to take the kids for a sure fire fishing experience, North Idaho is the place for you.  You can get out the down riggers for those big fish in the depths of Lake Pend Orielle, cast your fly fishing rod on the many streams, or bundle up in the winter months for a little ice fishing.  No matter what your fishing style, Idaho aims to please.  The Panhandle Region has world class fishing and has produced 1/3 of the states record fish. Idaho is the only inland western state with ocean-run salmon (Right now the state record 54 lbs) and steelhead (record 30 lbs 2 oz.) The state record chinook salmon (42 lbs) came from Lake Coeur d’Alene and a whopping lake trout exceeding 57 lbs was caught in Priest Lake.

Lake Pend Orielle has a quite few all time state fish records such as the record for A 32 pound Dolly Varden,   A 37 pound Kamloops trout  and 6 pound 8 ounce Lake White fish all taken from Lake Pend Oreille.

northern pike

A 40 lb Northern Pike was caught in Lower Twin Lake beating out the old records for a 38 plus pounders in Hayden Lake and Lake Coeu r d alene.  Hauser Lake produced a Tiger Muskie weighing in at 38 lbs 7 oz.
Large Mouth Bass caught in Anderson Lake weighed in at 10 pounds 15 ounces.

What fish will I find in North Idaho

The most common game fish in Idaho include:
Brook Trout
Brown Trout
Chinook Salmon
Cutthroat Trout
Lake Trout
Largemouth Bass
Northern Pike
Rainbow trout
Redband Trout
Smallmouth Bas
Tiget Musky
White sturgeon
Yellow Perch

Here is a  fish identification guide

Also check out the Angler Guide


What North Idhao waterways are stocked by fish and game?

While your favorite fishing spot may be places like the Clark Fork River, Pack River or Priest lake if you are looking for a stocked waterway there are plenty to choose from.

There are 56 waters in the PANHANDLE Region that are stocked with fish,
Antelope Lake
Big Talk Lake
Bloom Lake
Blue Lake
Bonner Lake
Brush Lake
Bull Moose lake
Calder Pond
Clark Fork Lodge Pond
Clee Creek Pond
Cocolalla Creek
Cocolalla lake
Coeur d alene Lake
Coeur d alene river
Crater Lake
Dawson Lake
Day Rock Pond
Devils Club Lake
Dismal Lake
Elsie Lake
Fernan Lake
Freeman Lake
Glidden Lake
Gold Creek Pond
Granie Lake
Grouse Creek
Hauser Lake
Hayden Lake
Heart Lake
Hero Lake
Jewel Lake
Kelso Lake
Lake Pend Oreille
Larkins Lake
L-P Slough
Lucky Friday Pond
Mirror Lake
Mud Lake
North bound Lake
Noseeum lake
Pnderosa Springs Pond
Post Falls Park Pond
Robinson Lake
Rose Lake
Round Lake
Sinclair Lake
Skyland Lake
Smith Lake
Solomon Lake
Spirit Lake
Steamboat Pond
Stoneridge Reservoir
Twin Lakes (Upper and Lower)

 Fishing Tournaments

April-May: Spring Fishing Derby, Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club. 264-5796
June: North Idaho Free Fishing Day
June-July: Panhandle Bass Anglers Tournament
June: Harrison Annual Kids Fishing Tournament
August: American Bass Tournament, Lake Pend Oreille. 659-8227
November: Thanksgiving Fishing Derby, Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club. 263-0424

 Fishing Guide Services

Seagull Charters
PO Box 217
Clark Fork, ID 83811
(208) 266-1861
(208) 290-7979

Blue Ribbon Charters
(509) 475-4828.
E-Mail at

Wilderness Charters of Priest Lake

Pend Oreille Charters
401 Mountain Creek Rd, Sandpoint, ID 83864
(208) 265-6781
Fishing Guides, Fishing Charters & Parties

Diamond Charters Fishing
47392 Highway 200, Hope, ID 83836
(208) 265-2565

Eagle Charters
PO Box 101, Hope, ID 83836
(208) 264-5274
Fishing Guides
More Info Website Directions

Go Fish! Charters
Sandpoint, ID 83864
Phone (208) 597-5020

Indian Creek
Priest River, ID 83856
Phone (208) 443-9024

Kootenai River Outfitters
Corner of Highway 2 and 56
Troy, MT 59935
Phone (406) 295-9444
Toll-Free (800) 537-8288

Trophy Trout Charters
PO Box 33
Careywood, ID 83809
Phone (208) 683-2960

Fins & Feathers Tackle Shop and Guide Service
1816 Sherman Avenue
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 667-9304

Castaway Fly Fishing
1114 N 4th Street, Coeur d’Alene ID 83814
Phone: (208)765-3133

Northwest Outfitters
2171 N. Main
In The Village at Riverstone
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814

7385 N Aaron St, Coeur D Alene, ID 83815
(208) 691-1737

Silver Bow Fly Shop
13210 E Indiana Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99216
(509) 924-9998
Fishing Guides, Fishing Charters & Parties

Panhandle Outfitters
12601 S Thunder Mountain Ln, Valleyford, WA 99036
(509) 922-8289
Fishing Guides, Fishing Charters & Parties
822 Bear Creek Road, Kingston, ID 83839
(208) 682-4257
Fishing Guides, Hunting & Fishing Preserves, Fishing Bait


Department of Fish and Game Contact
Coeur d’Alene Regional Headquarters (208)769-1414
Bonners Ferry (208)267-7629
Clark Fork (208)266-1501
Kellogg (208)682-4674
Moyie Springs (208)267-7629
Naples (208)267-4085
Priest River (208)448-2302
Rathdrum (208)265-8320
Sagle (208)265-8320
Sandpoint (208)265-8835
St. Maries (208)245-8100
Wallace (208)556-1513


Take me fishing!

Idaho Fish and Game’s “Take Me Fishing” trailers travel to local ponds across the state.

Get hooked on fishing

Get hooked on fishing

The fishing equipment can be checked out for free during the scheduled times listed for your area.
Reservations are not needed and equipment is checked out on a first-come, first-served basis.
Participants will be granted a permit to fish without a license.

Idaho children 13 years old and under, can fish for free.

Come to North Idaho, the fish are biting!

Sandpoint Idaho Bike trails

While Sandpoint is a “Walking” town we also love our bike trails.  North Idaho Bikeways is a non profit organization spearheading our lovely bike and walking trails that connect Sandpoint to the surrounding areas.  If you would like to find out more about where these trails are, and how you can help, please contact

North Idaho Bikeways P.O. Box 2425
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864

Finished Projects

Funded Projects – Construction Underway

Projects Planned-Unfunded

Projects In Planning Stages

Ongoing Projects



Garden Gabfest at Clark Fork Ace Hardware

Vicki and Bj at Evergreen Supply Ace Hardware in Clark Fork Idaho is sponsering the 2012 Garden Gabfest on March 17th, 2012. 

Evergreen Supply
54304 Hwy 200
Clark Fork, ID 83811  From 10:00 – 2:00

Get gardening tips and some great ideas to try.

Cheap green houses, cold boxes, unique planter ideas, ideas on growing in limited space.  If it has to do with gardening you will find it here.  


A Sandpoint Secret

Published: 03/11/12 2:05 am | Updated: 03/11/12 8:18 am

Read more here:

SANDPOINT, Idaho — On a bluebird day you can see snowcapped peaks in Montana, Washington and British Columbia from the top of Idaho’s largest ski resort.
Lake Pend Oreille below makes Schweitzer Mountain feel like the Northwest’s Lake Tahoe region. And the 2,900 acres of steeps, tree skiing and family-friendly groomers are a skier’s dream. It’s here, absorbing this heavenly panorama, that it seems impossible a place so stunning could be named after a cat-eating hermit.
But it is.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort has a quirky history, a bright future and reputation for being one of the best-kept secrets of the U.S. ski industry.
“Let’s face it,” said Jim Parsons, a longtime Sandpoint resident and local historian. “It’s not easy to get here.”
Getting to Sandpoint from the South Sound requires a nearly 400-mile drive, or a flight into Spokane followed by a 90-minute drive.
“But it’s worth the effort,” Sean Briggs, Schweitzer’s marketing coordinator, said as he prepared to drop into the ski area’s Outback Bowl. “We have an iconic view, great skiing, a base village with everything you need, and the best thing about being a little out of the way is the lack of crowds.
“You feel like you get the mountain to yourself. Even the busy days aren’t all that busy.”
Schweitzer Mountain is reportedly named for a Swiss hermit (In German, Schweizer means Swiss) who lived at the base of the mountain more than a century ago. In his 1991 book “Looking Back at Schweitzer,” resort founder Jack Fowler wrote that the eccentric hermit was thought of as strange but polite. Once, while wearing his Swiss Army uniform, he intercepted a young woman traveling on horseback in a snowstorm and led her to the local train station. After another incident, authorities paid him a visit and found the pelts of many missing cats.
According to Fowler’s book, the hermit was quite fond of cat stew. He was sent to an asylum where he spent the rest of his life.
The hermit has since been immortalized in local folklore and with several resort features now referencing his legend. A six-seat lift and a ski run are named Stella, after the towns-woman he reportedly loved, and the tubing park is called Hermit’s Hallow.
Inexplicably, none of the 92 ski runs bear the name Cat Stew.
Parsons, the local historian, had only one thing to say about the legend: “No comment.”
His interest lies more in the evolution of the ski area. Parsons, 81, moved to Sandpoint from San Diego in 1945.
There had been skiing on the outskirts of town in the ’30s and he and some other locals helped build a new rope tow in the late 1940s, but he never envisioned the area would one day have a ski area that lures visitors from around the Northwest.
The turning point came in the 1960s when Fowler, a Spokane dentist, and a friend, Grant Groesbeck, spotted Schweitzer Basin on their way home from a disappointing ski trip in Montana. The idea was born and the men even brought in longtime White Pass general manager Nelson Bennett to help find the perfect location for the ski area. In 1963 the ski area was born with townspeople buying into the project for $10 per share.
“Everybody in town bought stock,” Parsons said. “I think it is the biggest thing that ever happened to this town.”
Today Schweitzer seems to have something for everybody.
For those who are a little bit wild, there is a tree under the Great Escape lift where women sometimes throw their bras – a tradition Briggs can’t explain.
Other ski areas in Idaho have bra trees, but few resorts in North America have a liquor license like Schweitzer’s.
“The license covers the entire mountain,” Briggs said. “So people can enjoy a beer on the chairlift.”
For families, the resort grooms miles of ski trails every morning.
“We have tons of groomers that are long and wide open,” Briggs said. “And we have some great high-angle groomers.”
One of these steep groomers, Kaniksu, Briggs claims starts at a 55-degree pitch.
Because the ski area is on private land, it also has something that is a rarity in the Northwest, a base village with ski-in, ski-out lodging.
“It’s great for families because they just have to wake up, grab their skis and they are on the snow,” Briggs said. “It’s pretty easy.”
In 2000, when the ski area installed the new Stella Lift, it enlisted the help of Disney.
To reach the lift, skiers slide through a barn adorned with mining themed animatronics. Briggs said the animatronics, which included characters and steam-blowing machinery, proved to be more expensive to run than expected and are rarely turned on anymore.
They don’t get many complaints, perhaps because skiers don’t spend much time in the barn.
“There are no lift lines at Schweitzer,” said Jeff Nizzoli, owner of Eichardt’s Pub in Sandpoint. “That’s one of the great things about skiing here.”
And then, for those who love to push themselves, Schweitzer offers challenges both on and off the slopes.
At the base of the Outback Bowl, where dozens of steep double diamond, diamond and a handful of intermediate runs converge sits a small lodge with a big menu. The Outback Inn is a popular lunch spot best known for its homage to an Idaho icon – the potato.
Joe Sorentino was manning the tater station when a skier ordered the Outback Potato. The skier realized he was outmatched as soon as Sorentino pulled out a large red and white paper basket. As Sorentino loaded on chili, tomatoes, onions, bacon, sour cream, jalapeños, cheese and more, he announced that lunch would weigh more than three pounds.
“And,” the cashier chimed in, “you can’t leave until you finish.”
Luckily he was joking because there was no chance. And Outback Bowl was calling.
The more challenging of Schweitzer’s two bowls, Outback Bowl is where the resort keeps its toughest terrain: the steep Lakeside Chutes and expert runs with names like Whiplash and Misfortune. “And great, quality tree skiing,” Nizzoli said.
“On a powder day it will blow you away,” Briggs said.
That’s about the reaction Rob Karmin of Portland had last month when he took a four-day vacation at Schweitzer with his girlfriend.
“This place is pretty amazing,” Karmin said. “If Schweitzer was right next door to Mount Hood I would come here.”
Svein Nostdahl, co-owner of Sandpoint Sports, moved from Aspen, Colo., 13 years ago looking for a place where he could ski in the winter and play on the lake in the summer.
His first thought was Lake Tahoe, “but it has too many people,” he said. “This place is second only to Tahoe.”
In comparison with Aspen and Tahoe, Nostdahl says he wouldn’t exactly classify Schweitzer as a resort. “But it’s getting there,” he said.
Mack Deibel, spokesman for the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, says Sandpoint still gets most of its visitors in the summer. He doesn’t have visitation statistics, but inferred you’d have better luck finding a bowl of cat stew than a hotel room in town between July 4 and Labor Day.
“We are a lake town,” he said. “But we are becoming more of a ski town.”
One step Sandpoint took in that direction this year was adding free public transportation from each of its hotels to the base of Schweitzer, where the resort offers round-trip shuttle service to the lifts for $3.
Deibel said the new service is used by about 1,000 people per week.
Duffy Mahoney, co-owner of MickDuff’s Brewing Co., says he and his brother, Mickey, moved to Sandpoint in 2005 to convert an old breakfast diner into a brew pub because Sandpoint was a dream destination. In addition to the skiing and water sports, they appreciated the local arts and music scene.
“It’s like somebody took Portland or Seattle and shrunk it down to a town of about 8,000 people,” Mahoney said. “… And then put here where we have this great lake in our front yard and world class skiing in our backyard.”
Craig Hill: 253-597-8497
Copyright 2012 . All rights reserved.

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Map of Lake Pend Oreille

Map of Lake Pend Oreille

Bike Trails

BIKE TOURS. Sandpoint has long enjoyed the Long Bridge as a bike path; it’s a 2-mile long, flat bike ride that starts downtown behind the Old Power House. The path has been extended south four miles to Sagle to create an easy, rolling scenic ride through the countryside along Highway 95. There’s a second bicycle path, beginning at Larch and Fifth in Sandpoint and heading about two miles west to Dover, built upon an abandoned railroad track. A route has also been extended from that path’s terminus at Larch to Boyer then west about .5 mile to E. Mountain View Drive and then down to Sand Creek, where riders can cross the Popsicle Bridge over Sand Creek.

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