Skiing in the West

Our favorite places to go skiing, from Tahoe to Telluride--plus some secret tips to take with you to the slopes

Top 10 ski towns in the West

Whether you’re all about the hot toddies, Wild West saloons, or après-ski eats, we’ve got the place for you

skiing in Sandpoint, Idaho
Photo by Brown Cannon III

Most under the radar: Sandpoint, ID

When you hear that Sandpoint is in Idaho’s Panhandle between the glacially formed Lake Pend Oreille (pon-duh-ray) and the Selkirk Mountains, a natural reaction would be, “Um ...where?”

And that’s the charm of this small town of folk artists, Olympic snowboarders, and railroad employees (working Amtrak’s Empire Builder route). Everyone comes together at MickDuff’s Brewing Co. and Pend d’Oreille Winery’s tasting room and Bistro Rouge Café.

Slopes: Eleven miles from Sandpoint at the 2,900-acre Schweitzer Mountain ($65), forests stretch out as far as the eye can see (you might even spot Canada, 45 miles away).

But you won’t see crowds of skiers and snowboarders, especially at the Idyle Our T-bar, the lift farthest from Schweitzer’s base area. It accesses hundreds of acres of off-trail tree skiing and the resort’s longest run, the 2.1-mile intermediate Little Blue Ridge.

Sleeps: Nineteen cedar-shaked, blue-trimmed bungalows are part of Dover Bay Resort (studios from $99), 3 miles from Sandpoint. Access 9 miles of walking or snowshoeing trails winding through wetlands where bald eagles and blue heron winter.

Info: Spokane International Airport is an easy 80 miles southwest.

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