Cities and Towns of North Idaho
Up in Idaho's far northern reaches, each bright blue summer day seems to last a lifetime, allowing even staid grownups to feel as immortal and lighthearted as a school kid at camp. Boats, fishing poles, and camping gear clutter the garages of homes throughout the region and remain in nearly constant use from May to October. Then it's time to break out the skis and sleds. The Panhandle is one big playground.
On a map, the region looks like a stovepipe hat sitting smartly upon the head of the state. But once you're there, the hat turns into a green velvet crown, covered with dense forests and bejeweled with three of the largest and most beautiful lakes in Idaho: Coeur d'Alene, Pend Oreille, and Priest.
The first lake in that trio provides the backdrop and the name for the Panhandle's largest city. Coeur d'Alene, at the intersection of I-90 and Highway 95, is unquestionably the regional hub. It's also a fun resort town, offering visitors a multitude of activities to enjoy -- from water-skiing to beach-bumming to world-class golfing. Farther north, Pen Oreille Lake, Idaho's largest lake, is surrounded by the magnificent Coeur d'Alene, Cabinet, and Selkirk Ranges. At the foot of the Selkirks, on the shore of Pend Oreille, lies the small, onetime art colony of Sandpoint, whose splendid setting surpasses even Coeur d'Alene's.
The last major jewel in the crown, Priest Lake, provides the ultimate getaway for those seeking a remote and rustic encounter with the great outdoors. The lake hides in a pocket in the Selkirks, high up in Idaho's northwest corner. Wildlife is so abundant that if you don't see a moose, bear, mountain goat or other big furry quadruped, you're just not looking. Anglers quietly cruise the lake, sending ripples radiating out across misty morning waters, while campers hunker around shoreline campfires, frying up fresh trout to add to their morning scrambled eggs.
Complete source of outdoor activities, information and vacation planning for North Idaho
Heyburn State Park. 57 Chatcolet Road, Plummer, ID 83851. Phone: 208-686-1308; Fax: 208-686-0171.
In 1908 Heyburn became the first park in the Pacific Northwest. Wild rice is harvested in the park every fall.
Cataldo Mission. Cataldo, Idaho. 24 miles east of Coeur d'Alene off Interstate 90.
The Cataldo Mission of the Sacred Heart is Idaho's oldest building. It was constructed by Coeur d'Alene Indians under the guidance of Jesuit priests.
Laughing Dog Brewing. 1109 Fontaine Drive, Ponderay, ID 83852. Phone: 208-263-9222.
Best selection of books on
Idaho and the Pacific Northwest.
Moon Spotlight Coeur d'Alene & the Idaho Panhandle by James P. Kelly. This compact guide offers information on what to see and do, such as recreation, entertainment, food, accommodations, shopping and transportation along with sightseeing highlights for the Coeur d'Alene and the Panhandle of Idaho. Maps are also included. Order now...
In All the West No Place Like This: A Pictorial History of the Coeur d'Alene Region by Dorothy Dahlgren and Simone Carbonneau Kincaid. This book contains historic photographs to illustrate the area's heritage and the history of the people. Featured is the beautiful nature of this area. Order now...
Idaho: History, Facts, and Trivia by Gary L Calkins. This book features Idaho's chronological history of Lewis and Clark, the pioneers, the gold rush era plus facts and trivia about the people, places and events. Order now...
Moon Spotlight Idaho Panhandle Camping by Becky Lomax. This 95 page compact guide covers the best campsites in the Panhandle area. From Priest Lake down to the Dworshak Reservoir, this book details each campsite with easy-to-follow maps, at-a-glance icons and other useful tips such as the recreational opportunities nearby. Order now...
Insider's Guide to the Heart of Idaho by Michele Leavitt. This insider's travel guide gives directions to towns and where to find beautiful scenery, describes area attractions and history, provides information on hiking, biking, hot springs and fishing locations. Order now...
Idaho Wildlife: An Introduction to Familiar Species (A Pocket Naturalist Guide) by James Kavanagh and Raymond Leung. This illustrated pocket guide provides detailed information to a variety of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, butterflies and common flora and fauna located in Idaho. Order now...
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