Skiing in Idaho is most often associated with Sun Valley, but look north and you’ll find Schweitzer Mountain Resort, a lesser-known but mammoth mountain with 2,900 acres of lift-serviced terrain and plenty of side- and backcountry options, giving it more skiable acres than any other resort in Idaho and Washington. To top it off, average snowfall is around 300 inches, meaning the resort benefits from the consistent Pacific Northwest winter precipitation patterns. Eastsiders can get there in roughly six hours, making it the perfect winter getaway for snow-sport enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest.
The resort, located in the Selkirk Mountains just 65 miles south of the Canadian border, consists mainly of two large bowls—Schweitzer and Outback—and is known for tons of tree skiing and some of the steepest groomed runs around. With 92 trails, most within view of the breathtaking Lake Pend Oreille, there is plenty of variety with shockingly short lift lines. The resort also proudly boasts Idaho’s only high-speed six-passenger ski lift. In addition, there are three terrain parks and 32 kilometers of Nordic trails for those who enjoy a different pace.
For decades, a small but beloved beer shack sat atop the mountain, but last year the resort opened Sky House, which offers guests a comfortable, luxurious place to rest and restore with incredible food. Within Sky House, there is the Red Hawk cafeteria, a grab-and-go spot for a quick bite, and The Nest, a beautifully crafted restaurant and bar with a seasonal menu offering warm comfort food with a classic PNW spin. Either spot is sure to please with an array of fresh, high-quality fare.
The village situated at the base of Schweitzer Mountain is a charming cross between a locals’ mountain town and a large resort. The Selkirk Lodge is the perfect ski-in, ski-out accommodation for those who want to maximize their time on the mountain. After a day in the snow, soak in their outdoor heated pool or hot tubs while enjoying an evening of breathtaking views. Guests can either chose to dine in the Selkirk Lodge on-site restaurant, Chimney Rock Grill, or walk to a few other dining options within the village, including Taps Lounge, the popular bar that often features live music or a DJ.
Schweitzer Mountain is located just 11 miles north of Sandpoint, Idaho, a quaint city that offers many conveniences for those spending time at Schweitzer. With plenty of additional lodging and dining options, it’s an alternative place to hang out after a hard ski session. The city is situated on Lake Pend Oreille and offers a stunning backdrop to a superb winter retreat.
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