If you’re planning a trip to Schweitzer Mountain, you’re probably wondering where to say.
At least, I know I was when working out the logistics to my first trip!
Fresh off more research than anyone should ever do for a two day trip, I’m here to breakdown all your best options for where to stay when visiting Schweitzer.
A Quick Breakdown of the Area
Schweitzer Mountain is located a little less than two hours from Spokane, Washington.
The nearest town is Sandpoint, Idaho. The ski resort sits about 25 minutes outside of Sandpoint.
(You can find more details about traveling to Schweitzer in my guide: How to Get to Schweitzer Mountain)
This means you have three main options for regions to stay:
- In the mountain village itself
- In the nearby town of Sandpoint
- In Sandpoint’s next-door neighbor, Ponderay.
We’ll now run through the pros and cons of staying in each area.
1. Schweitzer Mountain Village
If you’re looking for convenience to the slopes, it doesn’t get any closer than staying in the mountain village!
By staying in the village, you can avoid the 25 minute drive up the mountain road each morning.
The trade off? Schweitzer’s Village is still rather peaceful and sleepy. You definitely won’t find the food or party options at other major destination resorts like Whistler, Vail, and other destination resorts.
In fact, there’s only a small handful of restaurants, and likewise, only a few lodging options.
Lodging Options in the Village
- Selkirk Lodge: This is the main property located right in the heart of the village. (Maybe a 30 second walk to the lifts and ticket office.)
- White Pine Lodge: A condo complex just behind the Selkirk Lodge. This adds maybe 200 feet to your walk to the lifts.
- Humbird: A new hotel located next to the White Pine Lodge, this is also plenty walkable to the lifts.
All these options are available through the official Schweitzer Lodging Page.
Of course, the hotels listed above are just the main lodges. If you want to get more niche, there’s several options through vacation rental companies like Airbnb or VRBO.
2. Sandpoint, Idaho
Sandpoint is a cute and quaint little town with real character.
While staying here would add 25 minutes to your drive to the mountain each morning, you’re rewarded with plenty of things to do each evening.
As an old railroad hub and the beachfront landing to Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint has become pretty trendy in recent years. Today, you can find plenty of breweries, bars, coffee shops, and delicious restaurants around town.
When staying in Sandpoint, your only real decision is whether or not you want to stay closer to the downtown main streets or a few minutes away on the waterfront locations.
Lodging Options in Downtown Sandpoint
- Cedar Street Hotel: An interesting property right on Cedar Street, which is one of the most popular blocks in town.
- K2 Inn: A value motel that’s just a few blocks from some of the towns most popular bars and restaurants.
- Dynamic by Hotel Inn: This is a recently rebranded Quality Inn and Suites. It’s located a few blocks north from the main downtown area. (Maybe a quarter to a half-mile walk)
- Talus Rock Retreat: A highly reviewed, gorgeous bed and breakfast type place. It’s located on 18 acres of wilderness about 1 mile from downtown.
Waterfront Options in Sandpoint
Lake Pend Oreille is the crown jewel of Sandpoint. It’s the largest lake in the state of Idaho and the 38th largest in the United States.
Even during winter, Lake Pend Oreille it doesn’t completely freeze over. Which means if you’re in the mood to take in some beautiful blue water on your ski trip, consider staying at one of Sandpoint’s waterfront hotels!
- Best Western Edgewater: This property gets great reviews. It’s located right next to the town’s beach park and overlooks the large expanse of Lake Pend Oreille.
- The Lodge at Sandpoint: Located across the bridge from Sandpoint, about 5 minutes from downtown. But this location is right on the water, with arguably the best view of town and the mountains.
3. Ponderay, Idaho
Ponderay is the neighboring town to Sandpoint.
But don’t let the map fool you! While the two towns look pretty far apart, the total distance is only about 2 miles. You can easily drive from Ponderay to Sandpoint in about 5 minutes.
Ponderay lodging is mostly the land of the value options. While you won’t be walking distance to the main attractions in town, you will be a few minutes closer to the mountain each morning. You’ll also be nearer to practical ammenities, like the local Walmart and other chains.
Lodging Options in Ponderay
- Outdoors Inn: a motel that ended up being my go to for a recent trip to Schweitzer, since it has the highest average reviews in the area. With immaculately clean rooms, a comfy bed, and spartan amenities, this is a fantastic option for budget travelers who don’t mind the basics and maybe a little road noise.
- Days Inn
- Fairbridge Inn
- Hotel Ruby
- Best Western Plus
So, Where Should You Stay?
To sum it up:
- For the traveler looking for maximum convenience and relaxation, I’d recommend staying in the Schweitzer Mountain Village.
- For those wanting to be nearer the action, staying in Sandpoint is your best bet.
- And for those wanting to save the most money, Ponderay is your value option.
No matter where you stay, you’re sure to love visiting this beautiful part of the country!