Cradled by the intersection of four major subranges of the Rocky Mountains —the Selkirks to the North, the Cabinets to the East, and the Coeur d’Alenes and Bitterroots to the South—Lake Pend Oreille is less than an hour from some of Idaho’s classic high-country routes and temperate rainforest wanderings along the Upper Priest River. Among these mountains, hikers can dip their feet in infinity-pool alpine lakes, pick a water bottle full of purple huckleberries or meander along the granite peaks.
Beginning in Sandpoint, those who appreciate nature can relish a drive or bike ride on the International Selkirk Loop, which features a spectacular 280-mile scenic route encircling the Selkirk Mountains in Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Southeastern British Columbia.
The area also offers numerous close-to-home trails, many of which are of only moderate difficulty but with immense payoffs—either expansive lake views from on high or waterfront views at trail’s end. Gold Hill Trail, Mickinnick Trail and the many Schweitzer Mountain trails provide the perfect setting for a leisurely stroll or sunset trek.