Play in North Idaho – Outdoors!

Play in North Idaho

Kayaking on Lake Coeur d’Alene

It’s All Great in North Idaho!

From lush green forests and snowy mountain tops to crystal clear lakes and rivers, there’s nothing more exciting than enjoying the great North Idaho outdoors. With so many choices, outdoors enthusiasts are guaranteed a spectacular North Idaho adventure.  And there’s a lot of it to enjoy!

North Idaho is approximately 20 percent farmland and 80 percent forested. Idaho Panhandle National Forests comprise approximately 2.5 million acres of public land in North Idaho and are within nine counties in three states: Boundary, Bonner, Benewah, Kootenai, Shoshone, Latah and Clearwater Counties in Idaho; Lincoln County in Montana; and Pend Oreille County in Washington.

Idaho Panhandle National Forests are a camper’s paradise with over sixty public campgrounds and picnic areas. A variety of outdoor recreation opportunities are available wherever you go. To make sure you have a campsite reserved for your vacation contact: (877) 444-6777 or visit the forest service website. View our complete camp site directory.

Forest River in North Idaho

More than half of all the surface waters in Idaho are here in the panhandle, from foam-flecked river rapids to challenge the whitewater rafter and glassy, quiet lakes perfect for canoes. Within the miles of rivers and vast lakes are world-class sport fisheries, many the location of sport fishing records. See more on fishing and hunting.

In addition to championship fishing, there’s a host of other water related activities. Classic wooden boat shows, sailboat rigattas, paddlewheel boat cruises and dozens of public beaches and swimming holes are among the many ways to enjoy the area’s pristine waters and majestic summer days. See waterway info and maps.

In winter, snowy wilds and hundreds of miles of groomed trails beckon cross-country skiers and snowmobilers. Regional ski resorts offer downhill skiers, from beginners and families to serious powder hounds, mountain amenities that rival the best in the nation.

The Selkirk, Cabinet, Coeur d’Alene and Bitteroot mountain ranges feature glacial cirques and gem-like lakes high above timberline and craggy ridgetops. The country, remote and rough to travel, is a special place for those seeking solitude. See more on mountain climbing.

There are many special places in northern Idaho, from popular lakeside campgrounds to high wilderness. Come find your perfect spot and enjoy the year-round excitement and beauty of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest and Idaho’s north country.

North Idaho Golf

North Idaho Golf

Greens like velvet, fairways shaded by Ponderosa pines and Douglas firs and tees with million-dollar views of mountains and lakes are what’s in store when you tee off at any of North Idaho’s challenging and scenic golf courses.

North Idaho Fishing

North Idaho Fishing

Northern Idaho is an angler’s paradise. Waters from this region have yielded one-third of the state’s record fish. The world record rainbow trout (37 pounds) was caught in Lake Pend Oreille. The state record northern pike (38 lb 9 oz) and chinook salmon (42 pounds) come from Lake Coeur d’Alene while a lake trout exceeding 57 pounds was caught in Priest Lake. Idaho is the only inland western state with ocean-run salmon (state record 54 lbs) and steelhead (record 30 lbs 2 oz.)

Hunting in North Idaho

North Idaho Hunting

With the most square miles of wilderness (21,621,000 acres of forested land) in the lower 48 states, Idaho offers the best and most varied hunting in the west. In North Idaho, 2.7 million acres are National Forest land. The state is two-thirds public land and a new Fish and Game program called Access Yes! is opening up more private land every year.

North Idaho Disc Golf

North Idaho Disc Golf

In North Idaho, the sport of disc golf is played year ‘round. Each one of these locations features incredible scenic backdrops in addition to the challenging courses.

Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding & Sleigh Rides

There’s no better way to catch the true flavor of the West than from the back of a horse. A variety of rides are offered throughout North Idaho. They range from gentle mountain trails for beginners to authentic trail boss guided evening rides complete with western suppers.

North Idaho Rock & Mountain Climbing

Rock/Mountain Climbing

North Idaho is one of the best kept secrets for rock climbs in the Northwest, offering top quality adventure close to home for all skill levels. Q’emiln Park in Post Falls is the best 5.10 and below cragging area in the Inland Northwest. From I-90 Exit 5, Spokane Street, south across the Spokane River bridge to the park entrance. From parking to climbing is just .25 miles round trip, making Q’emiln the most easy to access in the region.

Hiawatha Trail

Biking & Hiking Trails

North Idaho’s parks and back country are laced with trails, many leading to lakes or streams, and most offering magnificent viewpoints.

Huckleberry Picking

Huckleberry Picking

The mountains of the Coeur d’Alenes are known for their abundance of huckleberries, a round, purple berry native to North Idaho. Sunlight enhances production, so the best berry picking is usually found along abandoned logging roads, in areas where timber has been harvested or where forest fires have occurred.

North Idaho Parks

North Idaho Parks

Farragut State Park, located on Lake Pend Oreille, was the second largest naval training station in the world during World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt chose Lake Pend Oreille because it is 1,225 feet deep and therefore suitable for submarine testing. In addition to natural wonders, the park features a natural amphitheater with room for 60,000 people, a model airplane flying field, 2 disc golf courses, multiple hiking/biking trails, campgrounds and a museum. Farragut State Park is four miles east of U.S. Highway 95 at Athol.


Summer Camps

Summertime means fun time and that means summer camps for kids. North Idaho has a large selection of camps to choose from. Day camps, week camps, sports camps and more. Here’s a list to browse.

North Idaho Motor Sports

Motor Sports

North Idaho has some of the best off-road ATV and motorbike riding opportunities in the country, with over 95% of those located on National Forest or public land. There are nearly 4,000 miles of trails/roads to ride in the Idaho Panhandle, where the number of registered ATVs is approximately 13,000. The US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Idaho State Parks and Recreation provide travel plan maps that identify open and closed roads and trails, closure dates, and other details to assist in planning a ride.

Water Sports

Water Sports

North Idaho is abundant with swimming beaches and water holes. Independence Point Park at Coeur d’Alene’s City Beach has life guards, a water fountain and a nice sandy strip of beach between the docks and the Coeur d’Alene Resort that’s perfect for wading and splashing without the larger crowds on the park side beach.

North Idaho Winter Sports

Winter Sports

North Idaho gives winter sport enthusiasts every opportunity to experience Idaho’s winter beauty at developed ski resorts and a network of groomed trails.