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Further help on extending trip in Idaho

Mount Laurel, New...
Level Contributor
127 posts
290 reviews
Further help on extending trip in Idaho

Dear fellow travelers. I’ve reached out and gotten some great information on a previous post on our stay in Island Park. Renting a home for a week next June. First for some down time and scenery and then to explore Yellowstone again. Since we are flying from the east coast and spending time and money for the flight I’m thinking of spending more time on the end of our holiday. I haven’t booked our flight so I can extend our vacation time. We love nature and waterfalls and I’m reading about the panhandle of Idaho but have no idea what town to base myself in. I’m open for suggestions to extend this time to see more of this great state. Not trying to be lazy here but I’m a little overwhelmed. Never been to Idaho and would like to spend more time there. We are not campers. Prefer a home setting instead of hotels/motels.

4 replies to this topic
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Destination Expert
for Coeur d'Alene
Level Contributor
460 posts
53 reviews
1. Re: Further help on extending trip in Idaho

The choice for a Panhandle base that most people would suggest would be Coeur d' Alene, lots to see and do, and close to Spokane, WA and major transportation routes. As a resident of Coeur d' Alene this might be sacrilegious but I would seriously consider Sandpoint, ID. Smaller town than Coeur d' Alene but very similiar in natural setting. Lots of outdoor opportunities but Sandpoint still has lots to offer in shopping and culture activities. Both towns are very busy in summer so book ahead, June a little less busy than July and August, should be lots of non hotel/motel rentals available if you book early. Weather should be great with warm but not hot days and cool evenings and nights. The natural environment is very different than the Island Park area, more rain, more coniferous forest (very similiar to Cascade Mountains of western Washington), elevation not as high as southeastern Idaho. Depending on which route you take at least a 7 to 8 hour drive from Island Park to Coeur d' Alene with another 45 minutes from Coeur d' Alene to Sandpoint. Web site for Coeur d' Alene visitor bureau: https://www.coeurdalene.org Web site for Sandpoint Visitor Bureau: http://visitsandpoint.com

Mount Laurel, New...
Level Contributor
127 posts
290 reviews
2. Re: Further help on extending trip in Idaho

Thank you for the quick reply. This is great information. Right now we are flying in and out of Salt Lake City. Nothing set in stone yet except our vacation home in Island Park.

Twin Falls, Idaho
Destination Expert
for Twin Falls
Level Contributor
843 posts
52 reviews
3. Re: Further help on extending trip in Idaho

If you are flying in and out of Salt Lake, I would suggest sticking to the south central part of Idaho to avoid spending a lot of time in the car. Some people are interested in Craters of the Moon, which would be on your way to Ketchum/Sun Valley and Stanley, are scenic areas with lots to do.

If you are interested in northern Idaho, it would be best to fly out of Spokane rather than Salt Lake.

Have a great trip,


Idaho Falls, Idaho
Destination Expert
for Idaho Falls, Idaho
Level Contributor
639 posts
272 reviews
4. Re: Further help on extending trip in Idaho

There is a lot to see & do in the south central part of Idaho as mentioned, with a bit less driving time. Maybe consider staying in/around Stanley for a bit, which has some nice views of the Sawtooth Mountains. You could take some day trips easily from here. Stanley is very small, like Island Park.

Ideas from the Stanley area: (you can google these)

-Float trip on the Salmon River (there are flat water floats to whitewater)

-Stanley Lake

-Bonanza, Yankee Fork Gold Dredge, Custer Ghost Town

-Bayhorse Ghost Town

-Challis & Challis Hot Springs

-Redfish, Alturas or Petit Lakes & hiking trails

Then the drive from Stanley to Sun Valley/Ketchum is beautiful. Continue to the Twin Falls area on the way back to Salt Lake, you can stop at Shoshone Falls (might have decent waterfall action still in June) and a stop at Perrine Bridge over the Snake River.

Just a small list of things to do & see!

Edited: 13 August 2018, 10:14
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