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10 Things To Do On Vacation In Sandpoint In The Winter

Sandpoint and the surrounding areas are truly an outdoors man’s paradise. Sandpoint has four very distinct seasons and each season has a unique draw of its own. Winter is no exception. With snow in abundance from mid December through February and sometimes beyond, there is never a shortage of snow sports activities in which to take part. To help you plan your winter activities in Sandpoint, here is a list of our picks for the top ten things to do in Sandpoint on your winter vacation.

  1. Stay in a cabin or room in the log lodge at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the magical winter wonderland, and snowshoe or cross country ski through the foothills of the Cabinet Mountain Range.
  2. Take a snowmobile tour through the backcountry of Schweitzer Mountain in the Selkirk Mountain Range with the Selkirk Powder Company. Take a partial day tour or a full-day tour which takes you to the other side of the mountain range to Priest River, Idaho.
  3. Try out a Fatbike from Greasy Fingers Bikes n Repair. What is a Fatbike? A Fatbike is a bicycle with oversized tires designed for riding off-road, particularly on soft terrains such as snow or sand.
  4. Cross country ski the many groomed nordic trails in the Sandpoint area. Visit the Sandpoint Nordic Club website to find trails to explore.
  5. For a true north Idaho backcountry adventure, strap on your snowshoes and hike to the top of Scotchman’s Peak. For trail maps and trail updates, visit the Friends of Scotchman Peak website.
  6. Ski Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort. With 92 trails and 9 lifts, there is no shortage of terrain to explore in this section of the Rocky Mountains. If your not quite up to taking on the whole mountain, head over to Hermit’s Hollow Tubing Center for some mountain tubing fun.
  7. Join in the festivities of the Sandpoint Winter Carnival. Each year, Sandpoint celebrates the activities of winter in the Panhandle of Idaho. During the day you can participate in or spectate at, a host of outdoor activities from the mountains to downtown Sandpoint. In the evenings, kick back in one of the many fine Sandpoint restaurants and enjoy live music every night of the week.
  8. Ride the chair lift to the Sky House at the summit of Schweitzer Mountain. Buy a $20 foot passenger lift ticket and elevate your perspective then enjoy a meal in one of two different restaurants in the Sky House.
  9. Go fishing with Go Fish! Charters. The 43 mile long, 1152 feet deep Lake Pend Oreille as well as the Clark Fork and Pack Rivers make for a variety of amazing fishing opportunities.
  10. Attend the Winter Wildlands Alliance Back Country Film Festival usually held at the beginning of December. During this annual fundraising event, attendees are treated to a series of award-winning films shown throughout the nation and even internationally!


  1. Hello - During COVID-19 what winter activities listed above are still open? Are ski lifts and the charter fishing still open? Others? We're heading over this weekend to your cabin.


    1. Hello Alane, I would suggest you contact the events or businesses you are interested in directly to confirm their current operational status and policies. I do know that Schweitzer is open. Daily lift tickets are limited and must be purchased online prior to your arrival. Selkirk Powder, Greasy Fingers Bikes and Repair, The Sky House, and any backcountry trails where the trailhead is still accessible are also currently open. We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

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