Five Fall Activities You Can Only Find in Sandpoint, Idaho

Sponsored by Visit Sandpoint in Sandpoint, Idaho

Nestled between three mountain ranges on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, the town of Sandpoint, Idaho has something for everyone. Fall is a special time in Sandpoint: Turning leaves bring a sense of wonder to the charming town, and outdoor activities become must-do and awe-inspiring experiences. Below, to find a collection of five things to do in Sandpoint in the fall…just to get you started.

Cruise along

Cruises on Lake Pend Oreille offers daily trips in August from Sandpoint on beautiful Lake Pend Oreille – Idaho’s largest lake with mountain scenery in every direction. In September, tours begin in the eastern parts of the lake from Hope, with even more spectacular scenery at the foot of the Green Monarchs and around the islands off the Hope Peninsula. As the leaves turn in October, fall color tours resume on weekends.


One of the best guest ranches in Idaho is Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. The ranch stretches along the foothills of the Cabinet Mountains, and the friendly ranches lead hikes of all types, many with views of Lake Pend Oreille and the Cabinet and Selkirk Mountains. Guests can rent cabins for the night and themed rooms (the Duke, Miss Belle) in the main lodge are available for bed and breakfast rental.

Ride the High Country

The high Selkirk and Cabinet Mountains that surround Sandpoint offer fantastic alpine scenery as fall arrives, the best time of year for hikers. There are over 200 trails, from easy day hikes to overnight nature hikes, in both ranges. The fastest way to access the sublime alpine experience – with added amenities – is at Schweitzer mountain station. Early fall offers a plethora of activities, from the mountain biking system (with mountain bike and e-bike rentals available) to village fun, including chairlift rides, zipline, rock wall climbing and more. Fall Fest on the Mountain runs from August 30 through September 2, Labor Day weekend, with a beer festival, kids’ activities, chairlift rides, and free live music.

Walk among the autumn leaves

There are some great walks and rides, starting with the flat, two mile Pending Ear Bay Trail straight from the town center along the shore of Lake Pend Oreille through fantastically colorful birch and poplar groves. For a slightly more rigorous, but still easy walk, the Mineral Tip Track is 2.1 miles along the cliffs above the lake with great lake views and a dip to the paved Green Bay beach. More painful are the golden hill and mickinnick trails, both a few kilometers from Sandpoint and with climbs to viewpoints with panoramic views.

Eat Drink and be happy

For a town of just over 8,000 souls, Sandpoint has a remarkable dining and entertainment scene. There are four breweries and an award-winning winery, as well as over 40 excellent restaurants. Every weekend there’s free live music at many venues, frequent concerts, performing arts at the historic community-owned Panida Theater, and more. Some notable events of the season: the Bonner County Fair Aug. 21-24, an old-fashioned country fair with special events such as bull riding and barrel racing, and a demolition derby; the Schweitzer Fall Fest from August 30 to September 2; the Injectors Car Show on September 7, attracting hundreds of classic cars; the leader of the Pend Oreille Regatta from September 27 to 29 with rowing competitions; the Sandpoint Farmers Market Harvest Fest on October 12; and annual haunted events at spooky wood at Silverwood Theme Park, weekends from October through Halloween.

For more information on Sandpoint, click here.

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