Winter Play at Silver Mountain and Lookout Pass

by Allen Cox | Photo © Silver Mountain

Only an hour from Spokane, you’ll find the first of two of Idaho panhandle’s best winter playgrounds. Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg is an ideal family destination. Besides kidfriendly slopes with snow tubing, skiing and snowboarding, the resort’s Silver Rapids is Idaho’s largest indoor water park. This respite from the chilly outdoors has nearly a dozen separate water attractions.

If you’re having too much fun to make Silver Mountain a mere day trip, you can bed down at the resort’s Morning Star Lodge. Packages often offer special values that include lodging and access to the water park, a great way to save money on an overnight family getaway. Silver Mountain has several dining options, from food kids love (great pizza!) to fine dining for grownups.

About a half an hour east up the highway, kids get free ski lessons at Lookout Pass near Wallace. This ski hill, located midpoint between Spokane and Missoula, is a favorite of local skiers for its excess of 400 inches of light, dry powder every year. The base lodge has a historic claim to fame as the second oldest in the Northwest; recently expanded, the new addition has borrowed the old charm of the original.

For a visit to Silver Mountain Resort, go online at To learn more about Lookout Pass, visit To find out more about visiting the Idaho panhandle, go to