Schweitzer Ski Resort

Schweitzer Village
Schweitzer Mountain Resort Idaho
Schweitzer Ski Resort
Schweitzer Cat Skiing with Selkirk Powder
Selkirk Powder Company Cat Skiing
Snowcat Skiing at Schweitzer - click on the photo for more information
Schweitzer Mountain looking down towards the village
Selkirk Lodge: ski in ski out accommodation at Schweitzer
The resort overlooks Pend Orielle - Freeride Media
Photo: Freeride Media
The village is rather quiet in the evenings
Schweitzer ski and snowboard terrain
Schweitzer is located in the panhandle of Idaho
Schweitzer Mountain double black terrain
Schweitzer - Photo Freeride Media
Photo: Freeride Media
Schweitzer Mountain Idaho
The Taps bar inside the day lodge
The sedate nightlife of Schweitzer Village
Sandpoint Idaho is 12 miles from Schweitzer

Schweitzer Ski Resort

Readers Ratings


Schweitzer3.5 out of 5 based on 14 reviews
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit

Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Schweitzer is a burgeoning destination ski resort in Idaho. The Schweitzer Ski Resort is trying to move towards becoming the next Sun Valley, but thankfully it’s got a long way to go. Schweitzer is small, peaceful, crowds are manageable, it is delightfully unpretentious, and the resort has a nice local feel to it.

Ski Magazine has voted Schweitzer Ski Resort as “the best kept secret in North America”, but this is a major exaggeration and Ski Magazine needs to explore a little further afield (they also ranked it #3 in USA for lifts at one stage – ha!)! Sure Schweitzer is uncrowded and a hidden gem relative to Vail or Aspen, but it’s definitely not deserted and it doesn’t feel like you’re skiing on your own private mountain (unless you go cat skiing with Selkirk Powder Company!). Despite Schweitzer already being well and truly discovered, the locals think it’s a well kept secret, so we’ll let them keep thinking that!

Schweitzer Mountain was named after a “Swiss man” (Schweitzer in German) who lived in the area as a hermit until he was placed in an asylum for strange behaviour such as eating cats. Despite the peculiar man that is Schweitzer’s namesake, there’s nothing strange about Schweitzer Ski Resort. It’s a very normal ski resort and it has all the bells and whistles you’d expect for an emerging destination resort.

Pros & Cons of Schweitzer Ski Resort

  • You can combine a Schweitzer ski resort experience with cat skiing and heli skiing.
  • Compared to the big named US ski resorts, Schweitzer is uncrowded (especially on weekdays).
  • The ski area has terrain for all ability levels, with a particular strength being the advanced terrain.
  • Schweitzer has some really nice tree skiing.
  • Schweitzer Idaho is relatively inexpensive.
  • There is very little terrain variety for beginners (do they really need it) but beginner lift tickets are really inexpensive.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • The views from the ski resort across the massive Lake Pend Oreille are rave-worthy, but unfortunately foggy weather is somewhat common at Schweitzer and clear bluebird days are not that frequent.

Schweitzer Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Schweitzer Ski Resort is reasonably large with 2,900 acres (1,174 hectares) of lift accessed slopes, and there’s also lots of great side-country terrain and the Selkirk Powder cat skiing area. The ski resort has 2,400 feet (731 metres) of vertical, although most skiers and snowboarders don’t ride the full vertical of the ski resort because the lower part is a dedicated beginners zone that runs below the Schweitzer village.

The Schweitzer ski terrain has lots of variety including wide open cruisers, steep corduroy, open bowls, glades, some really impressive tree skiing, and three terrain parks. The trail statistics are 10% beginner, 40% intermediate, 35% advanced and 15% expert, and the double blacks aren’t the pretend kind. The steeps are only short, but they have rock features and are pitchy enough to provide some “pucker factor”.

The Schweitzer snow quality is somewhat variable, but when it’s happening the steep lines can be epic, and the fresh tracks last a little while.

Some of the lift infrastructure is reasonably modern, and of the 10 lifts, one is an express six-pack and there are three fast quad chair lifts.

Where is Schweitzer Idaho?

Schweitzer Ski Resort is located in the Selkirk Mountains in the panhandle of Idaho, only 60 miles south of the Canadian border. Schweitzer Mountain Resort is about 12 miles northwest of the town of Sandpoint, and 58 miles north of Couer D’Alene Idaho. Schweitzer is part of the Selkirk Powder Triangle, along with Red Mountain and Whitewater Ski Resort.

The Spokane Airport in Washington is only 94 miles southwest of Schweitzer, a drive that takes under 2 hours. Spokane has direct flights from a variety of US cities including Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Salt Lake City. If you’re staying on-mountain at Schweitzer, you could get a shuttle between the airport and the ski resort, but if you plan to stay at one of the Sandpoint hotels, a rental car would be advantageous.

Schweitzer Lodging

The Schweitzer Village is small and primarily consists of just a handful of buildings. Other than a multitude of privately owned condos and vacation homes, Schweitzer lodging consists of the Selkirk Lodge hotel and the White Pine Lodge condos. Both have really convenient ski-in ski-out locations in the heart of the village.


The on-mountain accommodation can be a little pricey, so some visitors prefer to stay down in the town of Sandpoint where the hotels are a little more economical.

Sandpoint, with a population of about 6000 folks, is a reasonably quiet town on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. However relative to Schweitzer Village, Sandpoint is absolutely happening, particularly on the weekends when the many bars and restaurants are teeming.

Sandpoint Hotels

Schweitzer Mountain Facilities

The Schweitzer village is small but it covers all the required facilities and amenities for a ski vacation. In addition to a day lodge, the base area of Schweitzer has a few daytime eateries, a couple of pubs and restaurants, and two ski shops offering snowboard and ski rentals. Near the top of the mountain is the Skyhouse, which offers a restaurant and cafeteria.

There are also various activities on offer such as cross-country skiing, tubing, snowmobiling, or there’s a day spa if the body is in need of an overhaul.

Schweitzer Snowcat Skiing

One of the major pros of Schweitzer Mountain is that it has its own cat skiing operation, the Selkirk Powder Company, which is one of the best cat skiing outfits in the country. This provides the perfect opportunity to get over the back of the resort and ride all those fresh lines without having to hike or tour to get to all the powder. If you can manage a black run competently, then you’re definitely good enough to go cat skiing with Selkirk Powder because there are no super steeps or mandatory cliff jumps. If you’ve never been cat skiing before, this is the perfect opportunity to give it a try whilst combining it with a ski vacation at Schweitzer.

Selkirk Powder Heli Skiing

Or really make the most of the Selkirks with Selkirk Powder Heli Skiing, which offers small group helicopter skiing that you can join as a solo or small group. Or for the ultimate, get your posse together for private heli skiing (maximum 8 guests).
Tours In/Near Schweitzer

Heli Skiing Tours

Selkirk Powder Day Heliskiing
Near Schweitzer Mountain
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Amazing heli skiing in the Selkirk Mountains in Idaho with Selkirk Powder Guides. The helicopter departs from Sandpoint Airport near Schweitzer Mountain Resort, and it’s easy to get to from Spokane Airport. Join as a solo or small group or go higher with private heli skiing.
Price p/p From price based on per person in a mixed group.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,300
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Schweitzer here

Cat Skiing Tours

Selkirk Powder - Day Cat Skiing
Schweitzer Mountain Idaho
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
If you are heading to Schweitzer Mountain or to Northern Idaho you can't go past a fabulous day of snowcat skiing with Selkirk Powder. The day includes guiding, use of avalanche beacon, lunch & snacks and is great value!
Price p/p From price based on single day per person.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex 6% tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 460
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Schweitzer here