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Schweitzer Ski Holidays

Big slopes meet super small town at Schweitzer; a place that lives to ski. If 2900 acres of varied terrain and the loveliest tree-lined runs in the US don’t get the pulse racing, the oodles of backcountry should do the trick. And it’s all kept wonderfully uncomplicated - just how we like it.





At a glance: • Mid-mountain village • Quiet apres ski

Great for: • Off-piste • Families • Experts

Big slopes meet super small town at Schweitzer; a place that lives to ski. If 2900 acres of varied terrain and the loveliest tree-lined runs in the US don’t get the pulse racing, the oodles of backcountry should do the trick. And it’s all kept wonderfully uncomplicated - just how we like it.

Schweitzer Resort

“Quirky” doesn’t begin to cover the tale of how Schweitzer Mountain came by its name. “Schweitzer”, German for “Swiss man”, is apparently used because an old Swiss hermit once knocked together a cabin in this basin in the foothills of the wild and wonderful Selkirk mountains. Rumour has it, he was later nabbed for feasting on local cats and hauled away to the asylum.... But the mountain remembers him.

Strange dining habits aside, you can’t fault his taste in real estate. Overlooking the misty expanses of mountain-ringed Lake Pend Oreille, the resort sits half way up the hillside in a tree-lined bowl and is often praised for having some of the best tree skiing in the country - fit to bursting with secret stashes and just what’s needed on days the fog rolls in. Just over the ridge is Outback Bowl, where more runs and more powder await.

A quick sweep from the ridge between the bowls and you’ll have memorised upper Schweitzer Village - 5 lodges huddled around a clock tower don’t really require a map. Between them, the Selkirk Lodge and White Pine Lodge keep the clientele fed, watered and entertained. A lodge at the summit, new for the 16/17 season, joins the efforts of the Outback Inn serving sustenance on the slopes.

This isn’t some untouched oasis out in the middle of nowhere… Just 11 miles away by free shuttle, the bustling former logging town of Sandpoint sits on the shores of the lake. Even from the small Schweitzer upper village, roads stream down the mountainside with hundreds of private residences and condos, keeping the spirit at base lively and energetic.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Idaho, USA

Established: 1963

Open: December - April

Downhill: 2900 acres / 92 runs

View our detailed Schweitzer snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Schweitzer snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Spokane International Airport (GEG)94 miles, 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 20%

  • 40%

  • 40%

Top Altitude:6400ft / 1951m
Bottom Altitude:3960ft / 1207m
Resort Altitude:4700ft / 1433m
Longest run:2.7km
Slope Orientation:N E S
Vertical Drop:2440ft / 744m
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:Yes

Snow Report

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  • Base
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Web Cam

Schweitzer web cams
Downhill Runs:2900 acres / 92 runs
Beginner slopes:20%
Advanced slopes:40%
Lift Pass Price: $77 (adult single day pass)
Nearby resorts: Kimberley, Red Mountain

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Schweitzer

The ski resort has two wide bowls, Schweitzer Bowl and Outback Bowl, which are separated by the long, wide Great Divide ridge and provide a substantial 2900 acres of groomed terrain.

Only a few chairs reach the top and this is covered in pretty flat ridge lines. A spot of traversing is required to get to all the goods on the backside. For this reason, boarders may not have quite as much fun as skiers at Schweitzer. That said, the terrain parks are terrific, with Stomping Grounds for the big dogs, a progression park for the aspiring, and the Terrain Garden for tiny tricksters.

A dedicated beginner’s zone below the Schweitzer village, the area around the Musical Chairs lift is a private learning paradise for first timers where speedsters don’t encroach. Though this is limited, the Musical Chair lift has previously had its own special reduced ticket and the carpet been completely free. See if the ski school still offers its jump-starting beginner packages, designed to get you skiing confidently on blues as quickly as possible.

Intermediates have free reign in both the front and back bowls, via the Sunny Side chairlift and Great Escape Quad. Start by standing at the ridge and scoping out your options from the Great Divide blue trail. Feign left for blue beauties like Cathedral Aisle, or right for the Little Blue Ridge run, the resort’s longest at 2.7km. Both lead to the cosy Outback Inn, where all head at 10am for hot chocolate and 2pm for beers and burgers. Frequent night skiing on the intermediate terrain off the Basin Express quad mixes things up.

Experts luck into 40% of the terrain here, and that’s just groomers (like the worryingly named Whiplash and Misfortune...). For some amazing snow and the tree skiing this mountain has a name for, Siberia, Headwall, and the J.R trees are safe bets. If you want to leave civilization well and truly behind, take the Idyle Our T-Bar and head through the gates into the great unknown. A burger by the bonfire at the Outback Inn will ease you back into polite company.

Schweitzer Apres Ski

The après scene at Schweitzer is more mild than mad, but it won’t turn you into a hermit.

After a long day, the masses move to Taps for beers, pool, and live bands. As this winds down, Pucci’s pub keeps the fun going and the beer flowing. If the thought of lights out by 10 puts you in a hot sweat, take the 30-minute trip down to Sandpoint for fine establishments like MickDuff’s, the local micro-brewery where you can order beers in sample sizes and, when you find a favourite, by the ½ gallon... If you’re in the mood for dancing, the Hive has live bands, disco balls and 3 bars. But be warned, even on night skiing evenings, the last usually shuttle runs at 8:30pm. The splendor of Sandpoint entertainment is probably best left to those in the gorgeous hotels there.

Up in resort there’s plenty more to keep you from twiddling your thumbs. Pop in to the Activity Center for details on the Beer Scavenger hunt... Kick back in front of a movie at the Selkirk Theater or book in with the Solstice spa. Geocaching - basically a treasure hunt with a GPS – is huge here. Start off at the Activity Center and find your fortune.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Schweitzer

Best time to visit & ski Schweitzer

With over 300 inches (760 cm) average snow a year, summit elevations of over 6400 feet, and 2440 feet of vertical - there’s not only a lot of ground to cover here, there’s also a lot of snow to go around.

Schweitzer has installed snowmaking on 100 acres at its beginner area and another 100 acres at the Midway area, allowing it to open a terrain park and variety of ski terrain even when natural snow is lacking.

Peak Dates

It turns out Santa is a natural in the skis, and likes to show off his skills for Christmas in Schweitzer. He’s also known to run activities like last-minute gift making, a balloon parade and story time with Mrs. Claus.

Parties pack out the village for New Year in Schweitzer, with tween parties, late night tubing parties, 21+ merriment in Taps and sparkler celebrations for all at 12.

It doesn’t get easier than a ski-in /ski-out pad for the short-lived February holiday, and a Half Term in Schweitzer, where the village is mid-mountain, makes life easy.

On previous years, Easter in Schweitzer has included an Easter Egg Hunt from the Activity Center. Awesome views of the cloud-shrouded Lake Pend Oreille will make you forget about the day job.

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Families in Schweitzer

Drop little ones aged 4 months+ at the KinderKamp, or sign big boys and girls (4 and up) up for lessons with the Ski and Ride Center and you can explore all Schweitzer’s nooks and crannies at your leisure.

When everyone’s reunited, there are a million and one options for family time. Head off on snowmobiles through the trees, indulge competitive sides at the Hermit’s Hollow tubing centre, catch a flick at the Selkirk cinema, take the Activity Center’s photography challenge, or see if they are still hiring out “Party Pails”, with everything from Nintendo Wiis to arts and crafts. If you had to pick just one, an afternoon of Geocaching never fails to thrill.What’s great about the smallness of the resort, is that you can let the kids loose and not have to worry about them getting up to too much mischief.

GroupsGroup Holidays Schweitzer

Between 2900 in-bound acres and over 4000 of backcountry, Schweitzer has more than a little for everyone – making it perfect for group ski trip. If a beer and a natter after lifts close is all your lot needs after a long day on the slopes, this is just the place. Picture-perfect tree skiing and views out as far as Canada set the scene in the day, while activities like snowmobiling, snow biking and the photo scavenger hunt mean you’re bound to come away with some stories.

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