Outdoor Recreation

Winter, spring, summer, fall ... there's year-round recreation

Each season brings a new variety of  fun to be had in the Great Outdoors of Sandpoint and northern Idaho.

All Outdoor Recreation

Schweitzer Village

Our nationally recognized mountain resort is only 11 miles from downtown Sandpoint, with 2900 acres for skiing, hiking, biking and magnificent alpine views and a resort village featuring premium lodging, dining, bars, fine outdoor clothing and gear, shopping, artists studio, and seasonal activities.

City Parks

Sandpoint has over 20 parks, public gathering spaces, or designated community locations. With a variety of amenities and activities available, City Parks have something to offer people of all ages year-round.

Albeni Falls Dam Tour

Free, walk-in tours are available. These tours include the movie “The Power and Play of the Pend Oreille” and a walk with an interpretive ranger across the dam spillway and to the powerhouse generator viewing area. This tour takes approximately 1 hour and includes approximately 1/2 mile of walking up and down a paved trail. Tours of the dam and outdoor education programs are also offered year-round to community and school groups. Those interested may schedule a tour or program by calling a Park Ranger at 208-437-4617. 

Ranger-Led Activities

Interpretive Rangers from Albeni Falls Dam offer FREE outdoor education presentations, hands-on activities, tours or even a visit from Bobber the Water Safety Dog all school year long! Schedule a visit from a Ranger to your classroom or ask about field trips to the Albeni Falls Dam for a tour!

Programs Include:

  • Animal Tracks
  • Ants
  • Bats
  • Bears
  • Beavers
  • Birds of Prey
  • Butterflies
  • Fish
  • Flowers
  • Hydropower
  • Insects
  • Lewis & Clark
  • Moose
  • Native Americans
  • Owls
  • Orienteering
  • Pollinators
  • Rocks & Minerals
  • Trees
  • Watersheds
  • Water Safety
  • AND MANY MORE!!
Sandpoint Ranger District

The Village of Sandpoint was incorporated on February 7, 1901.

On January 15, 1907 the Village of Sandpoint became the City of Sandpoint. The April, 1907 election moved the City onto a mayor/council form of government – the same form of government we have today.

Bonner County was originally part of Kootenai County, but separated from this larger unit on March 18, 1907. Eight years later, on January 23, 1915, the county was reduced to its present size when the northern half separated to form Boundary County. Sandpoint has been the county seat of Bonner County since 1907.

The Kalispel, Kutenai and other native peoples were the first inhabitants of this area. They lived along the waterways and utilized the area’s abundant natural resources for survival.

Sandpoint is famous for having recreational activities for every season. Some of our Forest opportunities range from, camping, fishing, hunting, berry picking, trail hikes, nature walks, horseback riding, bike riding, ATV/OHV trails, skiing.

Visually the Sandpoint area is hard to beat. Framed by the Selkirk and Cabinet mountains, Sandpoint is located on the north shore of Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho’s largest lake. Travelers driving Highway 95 across the Long Bridge into Sandpoint have often reported a feeling of “coming home.”

SOLE

Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education (SOLE), Inc. is a licensed and credentialed 501(c)(3) non-profit led by professionals with noteworthy experience designing and facilitating intentional experiential education programming for youth and adult stakeholders in urban, as well as remote settings. In addition, our personnel possesses professional certifications in outdoor emergency response and outdoor technical skill proficiencies, as well as advanced degrees in the fields of experiential education, outdoor education, traditional education, and special education. This level of professionalism ensures that our stakeholders are well taken care of when out on course and the content delivered exceeds beyond the norm!

Priest Lake State Park

Priest Lake State Park lies just 30 miles from the Canadian border, nestled deep below the crest of the Selkirk Mountains. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Northern Idaho and mile-high mountains, Priest Lake State Park sits along the eastern shores of Priest Lake, a 19-mile long, 300-foot-deep waterbody.

Visitors to the park will enjoy the dense forests of cedar, fir and tamarack and will be able to observe the park’s year round inhabitants such as the whitetail deer, black bear, moose and bald eagles. Noted for its extremely clear water, fed by streams cascading from the high Selkirk peaks, the main body of Priest Lake extends north-south for 19 miles. A two-mile thoroughfare connects the main lake to the remote Upper Priest Lake that is accessible only by foot, mountain bike, or boat.

Priest Lake Ranger District

Priest Lake, which is often referred to by the natives as “God’s Country”, was originally called Roothaan Lake by Father Desmet in 1846 in honor of his Jesuit Superior in Rome. One of the prominent peaks in the Selkirk Range still bears the name Roothaan.

In 1865, Captain John Mullan designated this same lake as Kaniksu Lake on one of his maps. It is believed that “Kaniksu” was the Indian name of Black Robe, although this has never been authenticated. The name was gradually changed in the early 1900’s from Kaniksu Lake to its present name of Priest Lake, which refers to the early-day Jesuit missionary priests who had established a base camp at Kalispell Bay in the 1840’s.

The lake is one of three largest and most beautiful lakes in the Idaho Panhandle, and a very popular recreation attraction. The world’s largest Makinaw trout was caught here in 1963. Dolly Varden, Cutthroat, and Kokanee are also caught in the lake. It is now illegal to fish for Dolly Varden and they are to be returned to the lake when caught.

Upper Priest Lake is part of the Upper Priest Lake Scenic Area. There were five small parcels of private land totaling about 420 acres on Upper Priest Lake. The Forest Service purchased these tracts in 1967 with the assistance of Nature Conservancy. The entire shoreline of Upper Priest Lake is now in either the State of Idaho or Federal ownership, and is administered as a scenic area.

Upper Priest River, which flows into Upper Priest Lake, is one of the rivers to be studied for inclusion in the Wild and Scenic Rivers system along with the lower Priest River which was famous in the early days as a log-drive stream. The first recorded drive was in 1901 and the last in 1949. The greatest drive took place in 1931 when 50,000 cedar poles and 125,000,000 board feet or logs were herded down the river by the “river pigs”.

Priest Lake Chamber

Priest Lake is an ideal year-round family and adventure vacation destination.  Nature’s spectacular backdrop coupled with the myriad of recreational activities make Priest Lake an unforgettable experience. Discover Idaho’s crown jewel while enjoying bikinggolfingfishingrock climbing or snowmobiling and choose to stay in any of our hospitable resorts, cabins or vacation homes for an upcoming group activity, wedding, conference or seminar location for a vacation that will only tempt you to stay longer.

Dover Bay Marina and Resort

Offering seasonal boat moorage, gas, dock and a boat launch, Dover Bay Marina is located in the heart of Dover Bay. With 274-slips and deep-water, it offers premium amenities to ensure an exceptional boating experience.

  • Covered Single Berth Slips
  • 24-hour Fuel
  • Extensive Breakwater
  • Dockside Power & Water
  • Restrooms & Showers
  • Pump-out Station
  • Security Gates
  • On-site Boat Launch
  • Market
  • Boat & Trailer Storage
Priest Lake Nordic Center

A well kept secret in Bonner County, Priest Lake Nordic Trails have something to offer for everyone and have been making some exciting expansions and reopening of formerly loved trails. Groomed trails are located at Indian Creek State Park, the golf course, Hanna Flats, and the newly reopened Chipmunk Rapids. 

Hanna Flats, the golf course and Chipmunk Rapids will require an Idaho Park N Ski sticker. At $25 annually this is a great deal. You can a sticker at Hill’s Resort or Tamrak. But since you might want to ski at Chipmunk first, get yours online. Go to:  parksandrecreation.idaho.gov. At the top of the page click Registration and Permits, then Park N Ski Annual. Under the “Use Area”, click the drop down menu and select Hanna Flats, area 19. That way some of the money funnels back to Priest Lake Nordic Club for grooming expenses.

You can find Priest Lake Nordic Club at Facebook and Instagram by entering @priestlakenordic as well as more trail information at Chamber of Commerce website: https://priestlake.org/activities/nordic-sports/

Stoneridge Golf Course

Amid the stunning natural beauty of Northern Idaho, surrounded by conifer forests and blue lakes, you’ll find StoneRidge, the ultimate destination, the perfect place to get away from it all, the perfection you’ve been looking for all your life.

We don’t have just 18 holes; we have 19 to wake up your best game and excite your senses. We toss in just enough in the way of watery adventures and white sand bunkers to make it a round to remember.

Priest Lake Golf Course

Welcome to The Priest Lake Golf Course, North Idaho’s hidden gem. Conveniently located just minutes from Hill’s Resort, our golf course offers spectacular natural settings amid lofty mountains and a magnificent lake that is sure to please the whole family. Our 18-hole, par 72 championship course provides an unrivaled experience for golfers of all abilities, playing over 6200 yards from the championship tees and over 5600 from the whites.

With plenty of challenging carryovers, rolling hills, wetlands, and ponds, set amidst the breathtaking scenery of Priest Lake, you are bound to enjoy your time here. Come join our friendly staff at the newly renovated Sandbaggers Bar & Grill inside the clubhouse at Priest Lake Golf Course for breakfast, lunch, or a cocktail with friends and family!

Ranch Club Golf Course

This beautiful 9-hole golf course is perfect for all kinds of golfers – from seasoned members to even little ones trying out golf for the first time. Enjoy The Ranch Club golf course on the way through the beautiful Priest River, Idaho. The Ranch Club golf course is the perfect stop for an evening out or some friendly competition.

Mirror Lake Golf Course

Mirror Lake Golf Course is a gem of a 9-hole course, located just 1 mile south of Bonners Ferry, and is enjoyed by golfers of all abilities. It is player friendly to the beginner, yet is a challenge for the low handicap golfer as well, with two sets of tees for the front and back nines. It has a diverse array of par 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s, along with stunning views of the Selkirk Mountains and the Kootenai Valley. The golf course features water hazards on both par threes as well as on 3 of the par fours. The course is in wonderful shape with fast and smooth putting greens.

If your game is in need of a tune-up, or you are a new golfer wanting to learn the game the correct way, Mirror Lake PGA Head Golf Professional Ralph Lotspeich is available to assist your needs. The golf course also provides a practice green, driving range, full-service Pro Shop, snack bar, and cocktail lounge.

From the back tees, the course measures 6001 yards with a slope of 117 and a course rating of 68.4 for the men, while the forward tees are 5256 yards with a slope of 123 and a course rating of 70.8 for the women. Par is 72 for both sets of tees.

Pine Street Woods

Pine Street Woods is a unique place where people of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to be outside. The wide trails welcome strollers, wheelchairs, or friends walking side by side, and nordic skiers in the winter. Almost a dozen trails make for miles of hiking and biking or cross-country skiing and fat-biking in the winter.

Trails are for non-motorized use. Electric bikes are welcome. Horses are not encouraged at Pine Street Woods because of the numerous off leash dogs and mountain bikes that frequent the property. Also, our access road and parking lot do not accommodate horse trailers.

There are no usage or parking fees. Pine Street Woods is open to all and is supported through generous trail donations and gifts from users just like you.

Pine Street Woods sits adjacent to two other public access properties. Collectively, the three properties comprise the Syringa Trail System. As is the case for Pine Street Woods, the Sherwood Forest and VTT properties are also privately owned, but are not owned or managed by KLT. The owners graciously allow the public to enjoy these special places, only requesting that everyone respect the land, wildlife, and other visitors.

Pine Street Woods Trails »

Printable Trail Map »

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

During the summer months, guest ranch vacation packages include lodging in one of our lodge rooms or log cabins, daily horseback rides, three country gourmet meals daily, evening entertainment and access to all guest ranch amenities. During the fall, winter and spring, enjoy a Bed and Breakfast stay in a lodge room or rent a cabin for a cozy get away.  Two hour guided horseback rides are available in the Fall and Spring.  When the snow flies, enjoy an old fashioned sleigh ride.  Group retreatsfamily reunions, dinner parties and holiday gatherings are also available. We specialize in personalizing your dude ranch stay to fit you. Relaxing or riveting… it’s all up to you.

Schweitzer

Looking for a fun and adventurous way to take in the fresh mountain air and beautiful views? Whether you’re a hiker or biker, Schweitzer Mountain Resort offers more than 20 miles of trails with amazing alpine scenery and see-forever views. Start in the village and warm your legs up as you head out to Picnic Point – with only minor climbing – to take in the sweeping views of the mountains and Lake Pend Oreille. From there, your options are wide open. For those looking for a pure downhill biking thrills, Schweitzer has many intermediate to expert options with a chairlift assist to the top; all downhill trails begin at the top of the Great Escape Quad and descend 1700 feet to the Schweitzer Village. Pick up detailed trail maps in the village.

Mickinnick Trail

One of the closest and nicest hikes adjacent to Sandpoint, the Mickinnick is a challenging trail that rises more than 2,000 feet in its 3.5-mile length (meaning, a round-trip hike is 7 miles). But the workout is certainly worth it, affording  splendid views as you climb up through big granite features amid open forests and spring-summer wildflowers. On warm summer days, the east-facing aspect of the trail makes it more user-friendly in the afternoon. The trail ends on a rocky knob commanding a view of Sandpoint, the Long Bridge, the Cabinet Mountains and Lake Pend Oreille. Use the Google map to navigate to the trailhead parking, at roughly 400 Woodland Drive, or click to the Forest Service map and elevation profile.

This challenging trail rises more than 2,000 feet in its length (the hike is 7 miles round trip) – that’s a workout, especially on a warm summer day. The east-facing aspect of the trail makes it more user-friendly in the afternoon. The trail leads through open forest on a rocky hillside, and ends on a rocky knob commanding a view of Sandpoint, the Long Bridge, the Cabinet Mountains and Lake Pend Oreille.

Trail particulars: To get to the trailhead from Sandpoint, take Highway 95 north 1.3 miles to Schweitzer Cutoff Road; turn left and go a half mile; turn right and go less than a mile to turn left on Schweitzer Mountain Road (at Schweitzer Sign); go one-half mile to Woodland Drive; turn left and go 0.7 miles. The trailhead parking, with pit toilet, water and map, is on the right.

More to Explore

Schweitzer Village

City Parks

Albeni Falls Dam Tour

Sandpoint Ranger District

SOLE

Priest Lake State Park

Priest Lake Ranger District

Priest Lake Chamber

Priest Lake Nordic Center

Pine Street Woods

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Schweitzer

Go Fish! Charters

Schweitzer biking and hiking

MickDuff’s Brewing Company

Schweitzer XC Trails

Round Lake State Park

Farragut State park

Recreation Businesses & Providers

(208) 263-8768
10000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd, Sandpoint, ID 83864
(888) 863-9066
1413 Upper Gold Creek Rd., Sandpoint
(208) 263-2211
41 Lakeshore Drive, Sagle
(877) 487-4643
10000 Schweitzer Mtn Rd, Sandpoint
(208) 263-5493
204 S. Fourth St. Dover, ID
(208) 443-2551
4777 W. Lakeshore Rd., Priest Lake
(208) 597-5020
1184 Upland Drive, Sandpoint
(208) 265-2345
216 Clubhouse Way, Sandpoint
(303) 917-2822
4816 Upper Pack River Rd., Sandpoint
(208) 263-3610
504 Forest Ave., Sandpoint
(208) 266-0490
5361 River Road, Clark Fork
(208) 495-6169
1100 Airport Way, Sandpoint

Explore all that Sandpoint, Idaho has to offer! Get our takes on must-experience events, activities, attractions, restaurants, and lodging—as well as plenty of tips on visiting our town, parks and far more—all curated by those who know this gem state by heart.

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