The list of things to do in Sandpoint in the Summer is as diverse as it is long. Volumes of books can and have been written about the vast array of activities that Sandpoint has to offer. In this post, we will explore the top 10 things to do in Sandpoint in the Summer.
Sandpoint, Idaho is a four-season, vacation destination town located between the Selkirk and Cabinet Mountain ranges, in the panhandle of Idaho, just 60 miles from the Canadian border. Sandpoint sits on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille and at the base of Schweitzer Mountain, home to Schweitzer Mountain Resort. The outdoor activities are endless.
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2. Spend a day on Lake Pend Oreille
Rent a powerboat or pontoon boat from Action Water Sports to explore the lake. If the shoreline is more your speed, find a beach on the lake's 111 miles of shoreline to spend the day soaking in the sunshine.
Scotchman's Peak is the most iconic peak-bagging hike in the Sandpoint area. The 8+ mile round trip hike gains an elevation of 3700 feet with views of the Selkirk Mountains and Lake Pend Oreille. The summit is Bonner County's highest point at 7,009 feet. To get to the trailhead, take Highway 200 (east from Sandpoint). In downtown Clark Fork, turn north at the Chevron Station. Go past the school and continue up Mosquito Creek Road #276 to the junction of Road #2295. Turn right and go a little over a mile. Watch for signs for Trail #65. Turn left on road 2294. Turn left next on 2294A. Follow this a little over a mile to where the road ends at the trailhead.
4. Attend the Festival at Sandpoint
The Festival at Sandpoint is a unique, under-the-stars music venue presenting an eclectic range of music for two weeks each summer.
5. Hike the Panhandle National Forest
The Idaho Panhandle National Forest consists of about 2.5 million acres of public lands in the panhandle of Idaho. Exploring these forests you will find rivers, pristine mountain lakes, scenic mountain tops, and an array of wildlife species. With thousands of miles of trails to explore, Sandpoint's backyard delivers an unending source of adventure and exploration.
6. Mountain Bike at Schweitzer Mountain Resort
For an epic downhill mountain bike adventure, visit Schweitzer Mountain Resort. You and your bike can ride the lift to the top of the mountain, grab a bite to eat at the sky lodge, then take an epic downhill ride to the village below. Not sure you are up for a hardcore downhill mountain bike adventure? Skip the bike and ride the lift to the Sky Lodge for food and drinks and just enjoy the fabulous 360-degree views.
7. Tour the Bird Aviation and Invention Center
VisitNorthIdaho.com says the Bird Aviation and Invention Center "exists to serve the local community and beyond by offering a world-class educational experience centered around the themes of Aviation and Innovation. The museum is especially committed to communicating a philosophy that people learn best if they are encouraged to find something of value and interest upon which to apply their education."
8. Take a walk on the Long Bridge
The Sandpoint Long Bridge is a two-mile long walking and driving bridge at the south end of Sandpoint. Entering Sandpoint from the south on Highway 95 takes you across the most uniquely beautiful entrance to a town I have ever experienced. The walking bridge gives you the opportunity to put that experience into slow motion as you walk the two-mile bridge that separates Lake Pend Oreille from the Pend Oreille River.
9. Go Fishing!
The options for fishing are unlimited in this part of the Northwest. Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho's largest lake is 148 square miles reaching a maximum depth of over 1100 feet. SandpointOnline.com boasts of the lake's fishing possibilities:
"LAKE PEND OREILLE stretches nearly 50 lineal miles from Sandpoint to Idlewilde Bay at Farragut State Park and carries a wide diversity of catchable species besides the Kamloops, such as whitefish, cutthroat and brown trout, mackinaw or lake trout, large and smallmouth bass, crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, perch and bullhead (catfish). The list goes on with peno, northern pikeminnow, tench, suckers, sculpin, and a variety of smaller minnows."
Beyond Lake Pend Oreille, the many rivers and mountain lakes of Idaho's northern panhandle offer a variety of terrain and angling opportunities for the fishing enthusiast or the first-timer.
10. Go shopping in downtown Sandpoint
The quaint stores, delicious restaurants, and friendly atmosphere make for a delightful outing. Don't forget to stop by Panhandle Cone and Coffee to try one of their unique, house-made ice creams made from local and regional ingredients.