Nestled in Northwest Idaho 12 miles from Sandpoint and less than two hours from the Spokane, Washington airport you’ll find down-to-earth Schweitzer Mountain Resort. This rustic, quaint ski area is considered a hidden gem, and SKI Magazine even nominated it “The Best Kept Secret in North America.” One, because you won’t have to fight crowds or waste your ski vacation in lift lines, and two, because there are 3,300 acres of skiable terrain and a consistent 300 inches of snow annually. Schweitzer has a wide variety of terrain options for all level of skiers, and the snow-making capability to cover all their intermediate and beginner trails if by chance there’s a low snow year. Plus, the views atop the resort of Lake Pend Oreille aren’t too shabby either.
Schweitzer—which means “Swiss man” in German—derived its namesake from a former local hermit. And while its nomenclature might be peculiar, you’ll find nothing shifty about Schweitzer’s devoted locals and the resort’s services. Schweitzer boasts a decent range of restaurants that offer everything from fine dining to enjoyable après-ski cocktails and appetizers. For lodging, you’ll find a tirade of condo options, making a Schweitzer ski vacation an easy choice for families or large groups.
Schweitzer Ski Resort
With 40 percent of the mountain designated as blues, intermediates are sure to love Schweitzer’s many wide-open cruisers. Black diamond-seekers are sure to enjoy Schweitzer skiing with nearly 50 percent of the terrain labeled as advanced to expert. Schweitzer’s steep corduroy, glades, open powder fields and hike-to terrain, are sure to satisfy skiers looking for a challenge. With intermediate to expert terrain dominating the Schweitzer skiing scene, beginners will be delighted to discover that the majority of the green runs are located at the bottom-half of the resort. You’ll be hard-pressed to find speed demons in this zone.