Sandpoint, Idaho

We’re not sure if there is anything we can say about this beautiful area that hasn’t been said already. USA Today describes Sandpoint Idaho as “Norman Rockwell-meets-Ansel Adams”. Hollywood game show host Ben Stein was recently quoted in American Spectator magazine as saying Sandpoint Idaho’s “rugged mountains, dense forests (and) wide rivers,” is “far more beautiful than I had dreamed”. Sunset magazine recently voted Sandpoint as “Best Small Town in the West”. Sandpoint has also been featured in National Geographic Adventure and Outside magazine.

The reality is that the only way to get a full grasp of the natural beauty of Northern Idaho is from a breathtaking scenic vista, atop a Western Pleasure Guest Ranch horse. Sandpoint sits on the shores of the spectacular Lake Pend Oreille, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the United States. At 43 miles in length, Lake Pend Oreille is the fifth deepest lake (1,158 feet at its greatest depth) in the United States with 111 miles of shoreline. Its pristine waters are a major factor in the community of Sandpoint’s high ranking as a premier tourist destination.

The community of Sandpoint, at an elevation just over 2,000 ft., serves as the county seat of Bonner County (population 40,699 in 2013). For more than a century, its economy depended heavily on the lumber industry. Beginning in the late 1980s, the tourism industry began to grow rapidly in response to increasing awareness of the region’s four-season climate and its diverse outdoor menu of activities.

With an annual average rainfall of 33.5 inches and annual snowfall of 71.7 inches, residents experience few sub-zero days in the winter, while summer days rarely exceed 90°. The average year-round temperature is 47° and there are close to 125 frost-free days each year. The humidity level is comparatively low, the nights are generally comfortable and summertime typically offers weeks of blue sky and sunny days. This is, of course, to the delight of boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing, hiking, and horseback riding enthusiasts!

Resting at the base of the Selkirk Mountains in North Idaho’s Panhandle region, the community of Sandpoint can be found 60 miles south of the Canadian border and 75 miles northeast of Spokane, Washington.

Area Attractions

Silverwood Theme Park

If you’re looking for exciting family fun, be sure to visit the Northwest’s largest theme park. Silverwood offers over 65 rides and attractions, including four roller coasters, the Boulder Beach Water Park, a steam engine train, live entertainment, restaurants, and more. Silverwood Theme Park is open daily June, July and August and select weekends in May, September and October.

Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort

Shhh! Shhh! Be very quiet! We’re trying not to tell too many about this Northern Idaho treasure.

Schweitzer is a pristine jewel situated in the Selkirk Mountains, and is the perfect location for your next ski vacation. This mountain boasts 2,500 acres of the most beautiful, breathtaking scenery imaginable, with views of Canada and two states. Enjoy a variety of terrain from smooth corduroy groomers to wide open bowls and gladed runs, 62 trails, and Idaho’s only high-speed, six-person ski lift… all at an elevation of 6,400 feet! The ski season at Schweitzer Mountain Resort lasts from November to April. If you’re looking for one of the best getaway ski packages, check out our Schweitzer Resort Ski Packages!

Glacier National Park

Offering over 700 miles of trails, Glacier National Park, located in West Glacier Montana makes the perfect vacation companion to a stay at the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. Glacier National Park is a beautiful 200 mile drive from the ranch across Northern MT, and boasts six peaks over 10,000 feet! The next time you’re looking for a destination before or after your stay at the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, consider the majestic Glacier National Park.

International Selkirk Loop

The International Selkirk Loop has been called “North America’s first and only International Scenic Byway”. The International Selkirk Loop is a 450km / 280-mile scenic drive encircling the spectacular Selkirk Mountains in northeast Washington, northern Idaho and southeast British Columbia. Almost all of the loop follows rivers and lake shores, which historically were used for transportation, a playground for gold seekers on the Wild Horse Trail, and early settlers. When on the loop in Sandpoint, we hope you will have a chance to visit or stay at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.

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