A short drive from the heart of the Cascades, through Sandpoint, ID, is a super sweet, world class resort, known as Schweitzer Mountain Resort. Unlike other world class resorts, the one thing that stood out to me on this trip and prior visits, is the short lift lines, which are found everywhere across this 2,900 acre playground (that has perfect terrain for everyone in your group and/or family). I did this trip last minute, so I traveled solo but did run into some locs that toured me around their steeps and super fast groomers. Right as I made it up the main high speed quad (The Great Escape) I was able to catch the amazing view you receive from the top, moments before a big blast of snow that was knocking on their door. The grooming was to perfection, which allowed me to let ’em run fast on our way to all of my personal guide’s (Kara Fitzgerald) favorite tree and chute runs, which offered great visibility while the snow storm started to let loose. I skied with her and friends until this mountain with fast lifts and long runs tired out the legs, then it was off to the Wang Shack at the top of the mountain for a brew with a bunch of other local rippers that provide a lot of laughs. Side note, if you want to visit the Wang Shack, you’ll need to do it this season, because it is being replaced with a brand spankin’ new lodge being built 100 yards to the lookers’ right. The new “Summit Lodge” is a 3.8 million dollar project which will provide amazing views, good times and food in both the Winter and Summer months, as you should know, not only does this sweet mountain provide world class skiing they also take massive pride in their downhill mountain biking (along with other Summer activities like frisbee golf, hiking, or maybe just a relaxing lift ride up to the lodge). If you’d like to learn a little more about the “Summit Lodge” click HERE.
Below is a short video of my full day at Schweitzer Mountain (music by the Miah Kohal Band).
There are many options for lodging at Schweitzer or down in Sandpoint. I recommend staying on the mountain at either the Selkirk or White Pine Lodge, which puts your right next to the chair lifts and the night life found at Taps and/or Pucci’s. Something else I learned this trip, the mountain has a bus rolling all day and into the night getting you to the “bus barn” located at the base of the mountain (not the base area). From there you can catch the free city transit which will get you to all of the fantastic shops and epic food to be found in Sandpoint, ID. If you like pizza and you’re in Sandpoint, I highly recommend Babs’ Pizzeria for the best NY style pizza found outside of NY city. So, in closing, this down home zone of Northern Idaho has everything you need for a perfect vacation anytime of the year, even if some of the group doesn’t like skiing or mountain biking, because the local shops, winery, and even a brewery will keep ’em busy while you get your adrenaline fix.