Located in the Bitterroot Mountains, more than 87 percent of Shoshone County is forested, making the Silver Valley a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts any time of year. Here are a few local favorite outdoor adventures.
Summer in the Valley is signaled by the snow melting from the higher elevations, and Silver Mountain Resort’s lift-served bike park opening for the season. Take a gondola ride to 5,700 feet and lap Chair 3 or ride the 3,400 vertical feet to town. It takes about 40 minutes on average to ride down the mountain to Kellogg and is recommended for intermediate or advanced riders only. Trails are rated like ski runs with green being the easiest and double black diamonds being expert only.
If biking is your preferred method of transportation, there are two world-class rail-trails located in the Silver Valley. The Hiawatha Trail is a 15-mile, fine gravel/dirt surface trail and is open May 26 through Sep. 23. Shuttles provide a ride back to the top, so there’s no climbing involved unless you want a longer ride without a shuttle. The Hiawatha was originally part of the Milwaukee Railroad and has some of the most stunning scenery in the United States. Plan to spend about three hours on the trail. The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes is a 72-mile paved trail beginning in Mullan and following the Coeur d’Alene River to the farmlands of Plummer. With 19 trailheads, it’s a great family-friendly option from spring through fall.
Galena Ridge opened for the season on May 4. The unique mountain-style course makes this one of the most stunning nine-hole courses in North Idaho. June is wildflower season and the best time of year to golf at Galena as colorful lupine bloom along the course.
Set in the mountains above Wallace, Silver Streak Zipline Tours allows you to experience what it’s like to fly through the air at speeds up to 60 miles per hour.
Wallace, Idaho, is at the center of the Inland Northwest mining history universe. The Northern Pacific Depot Museum, Oasis Bordello Museum, and Wallace Mining Museum are all located within walking distance from each other. During August or July, when the sun is hottest, a tour of the Sierra Silver Mine is the perfect way to keep cool.
Cooling Off in the Water
After a day out on the trails or exploring the region’s mining history, Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark at Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg enables you to both escape the heat and keep the kids amused for hours. Silver Rapids is North Idaho’s largest indoor waterpark and features a 315-foot lazy river. If splashing outdoors is more your style, take the Kingston exit and head up the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River to find a spot to cool off. //
[Feature photo courtesy of Silver Mountain Bike Park.]