New to mountain biking or an expert rider, north Idaho is the place to get on track
Mountain biking is the perfect sport for North Idaho’s Erickson family of four. Jen Erickson and her husband Todd have been mountain biking for over 20 years, says Jen, whose oldest daughter competes professionally and was slated to travel to Europe for World Cup Racing this year. Although they’ve traveled around the country and to Canada for the sport — they all compete in the NW Cup Series — the Erickson’s don’t have to go far for their favorite trails.
BEACON HILL in Spokane and CANFIELD MOUNTAIN in Coeur d’Alene offer some great trail riding, which we take advantage of in the spring, fall, and winter,” says Erickson. In the summer, however, SILVER MOUNTAIN is their go-to.
“It offers challenging terrain which is a perfect training ground for racing,” Erickson says. “The variety of trails keep riding there interesting and the trail crew is constantly improving the mountain.”
Erickson, who is an artist and local art teacher, sees mountain biking as an ideal sport for any age and any level.
“This year attendance in the bike park [at Silver] has been up and I have really enjoyed seeing so many beginner riders and families get into the sport.”
Silver Mountain was voted by mtbparks.com readers as the top Northwest bike park since 2014 and it’s easy to see why. It’s a quick 20-minute gondola ride to the top for access to 39 single-track trails of varying difficulty levels, including the expert and heart-thumping Hammer trail.
Make a day of it at Silver, planning to fuel up in the village at NOAH’S CANTEEN or WILDCAT PIZZA. Every Friday in August Silver Mountain offers its Ride and Dine special, which includes a gondola lift ticket, a bike ticket, dinner and live music for just $51.95 per adult. Bring your gear or rent on-site for a day-trip or overnighter with their popular stay-and-play packages at MORNING STAR LODGE and keep the good times rolling with access to Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark.
Additional mountainside riding opportunities in North Idaho includes SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN, which has 40 trails accessible from the village, where you’ll also find plenty of dining and relaxation options like POWDER HOUND PIZZA and CHIMNEY ROCK GRILL.
Schweitzer is also your jumping-off point for nearby SANDPOINT RECREATION DISTRICT trails, which are designated multiuse and also accessible via shuttle (selkirkrecreationdistrict.com).
LOOKOUT PASS has a modest, yet ever-evolving range of mountain bike trails via their SkyTrac Quad lift for a single ride or all-day use. Look for huckleberries while you’re up on the mountain, which is open to bicyclists Friday-Sunday.
In Coeur d’Alene, the CANFIELD MOUNTAIN TRAIL SYSTEM offers a network of around a dozen trails ranging from mild to more extreme grades, such as the Jump and Penn trails.
And if you’re less inclined to elevation and gravel tracks, check out the NORTH IDAHO CENTENNIAL TRAIL system, which offers 23 miles of mostly flat, paved roads all along the river, lake and scenic landscape of the panhandle (northidahocentennialtrailfoundationinc.wildapricot.org/trail-map).
AUGUST 20 & 27
Add a little more zen to your life with a morning cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The 90-minute scenic cruise features a 50-minute yoga class, brought to you by CDA Power Yoga. $26.50; Thursdays, 9 am; visit cdacruises.com for tickets.
Coeur d’Alene Marathon
The Coeur d’Alene Marathon is on! America’s largest race since March will take place and feature four different distances (marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K) over three days. Race organizers have been working with public health officials to develop COVID-19 mitigation strategies.
Triple Play at Circling Raven
Play three rounds of golf in three days at the renowned Circling Raven Golf Course. The first round is $89, the second round $59 and the third round $49.