Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho

Photo by Roland Taylor

Where in the West Should I Go? • 52 Places to Visit in 2022

Located in the Idaho Panhandle northeast of Coeur d’Alene is the state’s biggest lake – the massive Lake Pend Oreille. At 43 miles long and with 111 miles of shoreline, there’s a multitude of parks, beaches, trails, campgrounds and more that surround it.

Lake Pend Oreille also holds the distinction as the fifth deepest lake in the United States at roughly 1,158 feet. Aside from Lake Superior, the others are in the West, too – Crater Lake (which is also one of our 52 places to visit in 2022), Lake Tahoe and Lake Chelan. 

A big body of water like Lake Pend Oreille can’t be explored in a day (or even a week), but a good place to start is Farragut State Park at the southern tip of the lake. It has 223 campsites, 10 camping cabins as well as seven group camps. Easy hikes include Squirrel Cache Trail and Shoreline Trail. The more strenuous 6-mile roundtrip Highpoint Trail heads up to Bernard Peak, which offers great views of the south end of the lake.

If you’re looking to head out on a boat, the best place for watercraft rentals are in Sandpoint, Bayview and Hope. However, there are many boat launches throughout the area. A favorite is near the small community of Garfield, which also has the terrific Green Bay Campground Beach and Mineral Point Trail nearby for incredible fun on and around Lake Pend Oreille.