bike-bridgeIf you are traveling to Northern Idaho in Summer with your children, you would be well-served to base yourself at Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg, Idaho. There are activities for the entire families as well as for grown-ups and children to do their own things.  We went without our children (having driven there via Moscow) and were emotionally torn during the trip: we knew that they would have LOVED being there and we wanted to share that.  
We also were truly enjoying the activities by ourselves.

As soon as we arrived, we rented bikes from Silver Mountain Sports and pedaled out to the Trail of the Coeur D’Alenes.  The Trail is an almost 75 mile-long, flat bike trail where the train tracks once were.  They ripped out the rails and paved it over and created one of the nation’s premier Rails to Trails experiences. Once we passed the non-scenic town of Smelterville, it was like going from Kansas to Oz: Technicolor scenery with each vista being more beautiful than the last.  We were constantly gasping — at the beauty of the lakes, meadows, and farms and the fact that we passed maybe 7 people on our two-hour ride.  Some of those passers-by carried fishing rods on their backs.  That’s the wonder of Idaho: it’s gorgeous and even in high season, no one is there. 

countryroadExhilarated and dehydrated from our ride, we stopped back in the Gondola village and had a beer outside at Noah’s Canteen.  No rest for the wicked, were on our way up the mountain, in the gondola.

The gondola ride is like no other I’ve ever been on in that it starts in town, goes up AND down the first ridge, over a neighborhood in Kellogg, before ascending the final peak at what is essentially the base of the ski mountain. We had seen a bunch of mountain bikers come up the gondola with their bikes and now we saw what they were riding: seriously steep terrain. There are also cross-country tracks on the mountain, but the real draw is the downhill: 3300 vertical feet of single track mountain bike trails. These guys (yes, almost all guys) were wearing full helmets, body armor and were coated in dirt by the time they made it down.

By the time we made it to our room, we were exhausted from the day’s activities.

It was a spacious room with a small kitchen attached, should we have wanted to cook.  We didn’t. 
Our view included Silver Rapids, the indoor water park, which we would go to the following day.

Even though Silver Rapids opens at 10am each day, if you have a surf lesson, you go at 9am, just steps from where we were staying at the Morningstar Lodge.


Our instructor, Pat (the fittest 57 year-old I’ve ever met) was patient, clear and a real professional.  There was a group of five kids from 11 to 15 alongside our lesson.  We watched them progress through the hour from timid to capable as they were able to do maneuvers like Jonathon does here:

I didn’t progress that far.  I had a gnarly fall and felt like I didn’t want to continue.  That said, the kids fell exactly the same way I did and popped right back up. Jonathon fell, too, but continued on.  The next day, we both had neck aches. I would say that if you are in your 20s or younger, this will not be an issue.

Silver Rapids also boasts a few hot tubs, a family raft ride (really fun!  even without the kids) and a lazy river – amongst other attractions. My 8 year-old son would have loved the basketball hoops that were being over-run by a crew of little boys. 

We worked up an appetite and had one of the best breakfasts we’ve had in a long time at the Mountain
Café:  scrambled eggs with black beans and salsa and A+ coffee. 

There are so many things to do at Silver Mountain Resort, but we simply ran out of time.  Galena Ridge – the 9-hole golf course — has been described as stunning, rugged and unique in that it offers “dramatic elevation changes” and truly incredible North Idaho views.  Next time! 

The easiest route to Silver Mountain Resort is to fly to Spokane and drive in – only an hour. 

Stay tuned for the next installment of our North Idaho trip where we go to Wallace, bike the Route of the Hiawatha and go ziplining through the pine forest.  If you’ve read Timothy Egan’s The Big Burn, this is exactly where the book takes place.

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @erodg
To read more of Elizabeth’s posts on, click here.

Please note: Accommodations and activites were sponsored by Silver Mountain Resort.  The opinions are my own.