A Blueprint to Skiing Three Mountains in Three Days

in North Idaho

Whether you’re craving the slopes or the sun, North Idaho has you covered. Explore family-friendly ski hills and tackle adventure around every turn. Get ready for spectacular mountain scenery and miles of pristine powder.

What to Do

Day 1

Ski and Snowboard at Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area

Lookout Pass is roughly 90 minutes from Spokane, Washington or Missoula, Montana depending on which direction you’re coming from. Hit the off ramp at Exit 0 and continue on to the parking lot 200 yards ahead. With easy access and more than 400 inches of snow annually, it’s no wonder Lookout Pass was voted the most family-friendly mountain resort in the Pacific Northwest by visitors to OnTheSnow.com. Once you arrive, you’ll want to head over to the lodge to get your rentals, lift tickets, or sign up for lessons. Visit Lookout Pass for further details.

Lookout’s family-friendly reputation is known throughout the Northwest, due in large part to its Free Ski School for kids. The majority of the terrain is built for intermediate skill levels, and the area spans 540 acres with 34 named runs and prime powder glades, the longest of which is 1.5 miles. In short, your family will have a blast exploring a variety of trails!

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Day 2

Ski and Snowboard at Silver Mountain Resort

For day two of your family ski trip, journey a couple mountain tops to the west of Lookout Pass to Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg. The resort offers a Sports School, lodging, an indoor waterpark, and countless other amenities. This skier's paradise boasts an extensive terrain park, 73 well-groomed trails, 1,600 acres of pristine terrain, and more than 300 inches of snow each year - perfect for beginners and intermediate riders. Be sure to check out the site for rental options and pricing here before your visit.

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Day 3

Ski and Snowboard at Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Find more perfect powder at Schweitzer Mountain Resort - a skier’s utopia with over 2,900 acres of impressive terrain and multiple runs that are tailored to every level of skier and boarder. This beautiful mountain is known for jaw-dropping scenery, with views of three mountain ranges from the top of the summit.

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Additional North Idaho Adventures

If you’re looking to stay in North Idaho for a few more days, you can go snowshoeing, snowmobiling or tubing at nearby resorts, or check out this list of other winter activities:

Option 1: Stick Around

Inspire your family in a different way by exploring Idaho’s rich history and strolling around classic Idaho towns. Drive through one of the world’s largest silver mining regions and explore downtown Wallace, also known as the “Center of the Universe.” After you’ve explored the area’s colorful past, journey over to Coeur d’Alene and take a winter hike on one of the trails at the Cougar Bay Preserve. Wrap up your afternoon with a scenic drive near Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint.

If you’re in the area between Thanksgiving and New Year’s make plans to see the Coeur d'Alene Resort Holiday Light Show. This event is a winter wonderland of over 1.5 million lights and the largest on-the-water holiday light display in America.

Option 2: Stick Around for the Sandpoint Winter Carnival

Celebrate winter at the Sandpoint Winter Carnival, a family-friendly winter celebration with a fireworks show, restaurant tours, ski and board parties, bonfires, a Parade of Lights, sleigh rides for you and the kids, and concerts featuring amazing musicians. For a schedule of events and travel details check the Winter Carnival website.

How to Get Here

By Air

Just a short 35-minute drive from Coeur d’Alene is an easily accessed transportation hub, the Spokane International Airport (GEG) . It’s serviced by Alaska, Frontier, Southwest, United, Delta and other major carriers. Most major rental car companies operate from this airport.

By Car

The most traveled routes to North Idaho are Interstate 90 for east-west travelers and U.S. Highway 95 for north-south travel. If you’re looking for a scenic journey, U.S. Highway 2 offers a magnificent east-west route. For those making the trip from Canada, you’ll want to cross the border at Kingsgate/Eastport on Highway 95 or Porthill/Rykerts on Highway 21 onto Idaho Highway 1.

What to Pack

  • Bring lots of layers!
  • Comfy Footwear (and extra socks).
  • Eyewear (sunglasses or goggles).
  • Camera to capture family fun.
  • Binoculars to spy on Idaho wildlife.
  • Water bottle to stay hydrated.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm.
  • Safety gear if you don’t plan on renting.
  • Lots of snacks for the kiddos!
  • A small first-aid kit catered to your personal needs.
  • Download the 511 app or call 5-1-1 while traveling for the latest information on Idaho winter road conditions.

Where to Stay

Looking for a place to stay in North Idaho? Whether you prefer boutique lodging, hotels or upscale suites, our guide for places to stay will help you find the perfect place to rest your head.

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