Category Archives: Fall in North Idaho

Columbia and Snake River Cruises Announced for 2011 and 2012

801929869_guests_kayaking_in_front_of_waterfall[1]The best way to see the majestic Columbia River Gorge is aboard a lovely 8 day/9 nights cruise expedition.   Each day passengers will experience lively discussions with their own on-board naturalist who will also accompany them on many of the shore excursions.  Shore visits range from exploring bird migration routes to exhilarating jet boat rides on the Snake River up the famous Hell’s Canyon.  Experience the Hanford National Monument, kayak the lower Columbia River or relax onboard in the yacht’s hot tub sipping an exceptional Oregon or Washington world class wine. 

 Cruises depart from Lewiston, Idaho to Portland, Oregon on Sept. 24, Oct. 08 and Nov. 19 for 2011.  Eastbound sailings depart from Portland to Lewiston,  Oct. 22 and Nov. 05, 2011 and all of these sailing dates showcase the lovely Indian Summers of the Pacific Northwest. 

 Extend your vacation for 2 nights and try Sturgeon fishing on the Snake River with a hotel stay on our North Idaho diamond, Lake Coeur d’Alene.  For information on sightseeing  and unique experiences as well as the Sturgeon fishing mini-vacation, ask for Rhonda Sand at TMI Tours & Cruises.  We are your vacation specialist for the Pacific Northwest.

Canadian Rocky Mountaineer Rail & Wine Tours

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It is still possible to experience a mode of travel from a by-gone era with all the luxury and leisure that train travel provides.  The Rocky Mountaineer is more than just a train ride–it has been called “The Worlds Leading Travel Experience by Train”.   New for 2011 will be a delightful pairing of rail travel through the rugged Canadian wilderness and wine tasting in the Okanagan Valley, internationally famous for it’s wines and wineries.

Banff Springs Hotel

Banff Springs Hotel

This tour begins in cosmopolitan Vancouver, B.C., spending the evening downtown at The Fairmont Hotel before boarding the Rocky Mountaineer bound for Kamloops.  The day will be spent passing through the fields of the Fraser Valley and viewing the towering peaks of the Coast Mountains before entering the Fraser Canyon and experiencing the thundering waters of Hell’s Gate.  The next three days you will visit seven of the Okanagan Valley’s leading wineries, enjoying special wine tastings, delicious meals and stunning scenery.   Once again aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, you’ll be bound for Banff, Alberta travelling along the South Thompson River into Rogers Pass, with its tunnels, snowsheds andimagesCAN8HO0A glistening glaciers.  The train will climb through the Spiral Tunnels  and over the Continental Divide before entering Banff National Park and overnighting at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.  After two days to explore the rugged beauty of Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains, you’ll be trasferred to Calgary to make your way home.

 

With only two departure dates, June 16 and September 8, 2011 you’ll want to reserve your place on this special rail tour early.  This 7 night/8 day tour includes two days aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, 7 nights hotel accomodations, 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners (including several food/wine paired meals), private motorcoach travel in the Okanagan region with guided winery tours and tastings as well as adventure activities in Banff National Park.

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TMI Tours of Coeur d’Alene wants to invite you to recapture the romance of rail travel aboard the Rocky Mountaineer as it follows the historic train routes constructed over 125 years ago through the rugged Rocky Mountains of Western Canada.  Contact Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand for availability, rates and help designing your vacation to the Pacific Northwest. 1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com.  photos courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer.

Columbia River Wine and Culinary Yacht Cruises

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TMI Tours invites you to enjoy  exclusive 7 night cruises on the might Columbia River this fall aboard the 12-passenger yacht,  Safari Spirit.  Explore the extraordinary wine regions of the Columbia River Gorge with guest Sommeliers, Vintners, Chefs and culinary arts specialists.  

4[1]The  Columbia River Gorge is home to some of the finest wineries in the United States.  Washington wineries are welcoming travellers from around the world to their intimate and diverse tasting rooms.  The Columbia Gorge region offers visitors a wide-range of vineyards and wineries to visit as well as a myriad of outdoor activities with801884169_gDVQS-M[1] outstanding scenery and true Pacific Northwest hospitality.   Guest aboard the intimate yacht, Safari Spirit,  will enjoy an ambiance of refinement, luxury and relaxation  while  cruising between the river ports of Portland, Oregon and Lewiston, Idaho. 

801966023_gKWX8-M[1]Adventure  is just around each corner and guest will enjoy such activities as a thrilling jet-boat ride into the Snake River’s famous Hells Canyon, a personal tour of the impressive Bonneville Dam and a visit to the enchanting Maryhill Museum and Winery.   Sample hand-crafted, award-winning wines at 5 private, family-owned wineries with private tours and tastings.  On-board you will enjoy locally purchased produce and seafoods of the Pacific Northwest, prepared by expert Chefs and guest culinary hosts.

Indulge your passion for highly-rated wines and hand-crafted meals amidst one of the United States most scenic backdrops–the Columbia River Gorge.  Contact Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand at TMI Tours & Cruises for details and availability aboard the exquisite yacht, the  Safari Spirit.   Departure dates for 2010: Oct 15, 22, 29 and Nov 05.  TMI Tours 1-800-975-7775 or info @tmitours.com

Guided Outdoor Adventures in North Idaho

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Getting outdooors in North Idaho is what vacationing and living here are all about.  Whether you are new to the area or enjoying a family vacation at one of our beautiful lakes, guided adventures let you enjoy the activity without any of the worry. 

hikersImagine the exhilaration of hiking high in the mountains, cresting the ridgetop and looking down on a sparkling mountain lake nestled into a alpine meadow.   The rugged Selkirk Mountains in the Idaho Panhandle offer a chance to hike in the native habitat of moose, elk, bear and eagles.   Hiking trails wind through old growth forest, over cascading streams, through huckleberry patches and along mountain tops where the views go on forever.  Local guides will enchant you with stories of early fur trappers and traders, mountain men and native americans that lived and walked these same trails. 

Mountain biking in the Selkirks is easy with the help of the Great Escape Quad lift, whisking  bicycles and their riders up the mountain with ease.   For acda mt bike great family outing  join a 19 mile downhill bike run from the top of the mountain  to a private 6-acre ranch located on pristine Priest River.  Spend the day enjoying a leisurely ride through spectacular scenery complete with a support vechicle, lunch at the ranch, swimming and playing in the river and van transportation back to your point of departure. 

Of course with all this tumbling water around us, guided kayak adventures can be taylored for almost any level of enthusiast.   Specially designed trips for beginners and young teens are kootenai falls bridgeavailable on beautiful Priest River using stable, inflateable kayaks and include just the right amount of fast and slow water to keep it fun.

TMI Tours of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho has complete details on these and many other guided outdoor adventures available in North Idaho and the Pacific Northwest.  Contact Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand for airfare, lodging and activities for your perfect vacation in the great state of Idaho. 1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com

Corporate Retreats & Special Events in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

 

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is the perfect place to plan a corporate meeting  or family special event.  Set on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene and surrounded by thickly forested mountains and  sparkling rivers, Coeur d’Alene offers beautiful summer weather for enjoying our abundant outdoor activities. 

Luxury yacht on Lake Coeur dalene

Luxury yacht on Lake Coeur dalene

Rent a luxury yacht and enjoy a totally care-free experience for your meeting or special event.  Considered one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, Lake Coeur d’Alene has over one hundred miles of scenic shoreline and three breathtaking, navigable rivers.  Each river is an adventure in itself offering unique yachting and sightseeing experiences.  Cruise the crystal blue waters while gazing at amazing wildlife; bald eagles, osprey, deer and moose-all in their natural habitat.  Meetings are always more enjoyable with the calming waters under you, the barbeque smoking and of course, your favorite beverages on board. 

How about a real western cook-out complete with trail and hayrides?  Local ranches offer true western hospitality for groups of any size, complete with sizzling steak bar-b-ques and all the fixin’s’.   They love to hitch up the haywagon and transport your guests  back to a simpler way ofranch3 life while taking in  fresh mountain air and scenery.  For the more adventurous, saddle up a horse and take a guided trail ride across the meadows and streams that lace our backyard.

seaplane cdaAlready coming to Coeur d’Alene with a group or event?  Let TMI Tours arrange activities for after-hours adventures or corporate team building.   We offer a wide array of outdoor activities such as white water rafting,  guided mountain bike or hiking adventures, fishing excursions, golfing, river floats and day-trips to Glacier National Park. 

Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding communities offer accomodations to fit any budget whether a luxury resort hotel,  farm-stay or lakefront luxury homes and cabins.  For information on activities, accomodations, airfare, transportation and meeting planning contact Rhonda or Linda at TMI Tours of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  Let us help you plan a unique event for your family or company this summer on stunning Lake Coeur d’Alene.

North Idaho Hot Springs Favorites of TMI Tours in Coeur dAlene

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It is definitely fall here in Northern Idaho.  The cooler weather tends to curtail our outdoor activities while we wait for the snowfall to kick our winter festivities into gear.  This is the perfect time of year for a hike to enjoy the warmth of local, natural hot springs and the beautiful fall scenery.  Just a short road trip will bring you to three great, local Idaho hot springs located about 100 miles southwest of Missoula, Montana.  TMI Tours of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho can provide you with detailed hiking maps, driving directions and hotel recommendations for stays along the way.

JERRY JOHNSON HOT SPRINGS

hot springs 1This delightful group of user-friendly, primitive hot springs awaits you at the end of a short 1 mile hike through beautiful forest along the east bank of Warm Springs Creek.  The trailhead is located off  U.S. 12 at Warm Springs Park and the 1 mile hike is easy on a 2 person-wide path.  Hot water tumbles into several creekside rock pools  and further up the path is a meadow with groups of shallow soaking pools. 

WIER CREEK HOT SPRINGS

This secluded, primitive hot springs and creekside soaking pool can be reached via a sometimes difficult and rocky half-mile path in the Clearwater National Forest.  Natural mineral water flows out of several springs down the mountainside where it is channeled into a large 8-10 person rock-bottom pool.  Water flows into adjoining smaller hot springs 2pools reached by a short, steep path.  Parking is off U.S. 12 at mile marker 142 at a deep turnout on the inland side of the highway.   The unmarked, unmaintained path follows the west side of the creek closely.

STANLEY HOT SPRINGS

hot springs 3You are going to have to do some hiking to reach this one-a series of delightful rock and log soaking pools in Huckleberry Creek canyon at the end of a rugged 5.5 mile trail in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.  Natural mineral water flows out of a canyon bank, tumbling through a series of log and rock pools.  There are spacious campsites for backpackers  near the springs and a drive-in campground located at the trailhead.  Turn off U.S. 12 at the Wilderness Gateway Campgound, through the campground to the trailhead sign for Trail 211 near the bridge.    Follow Trail 211 for 4.5 miles and then Trail 221 for another mile to a large open meadow containing the hot springs pools.

U.S. 12 is designated the Lewis and Clark Scenic Highway between Lolo, Montana and Lewiston, Idaho.  This byway contains several Lewis and Clark points of interest marked along the way as well as stunning scenery, raging rivers and abundant wildlife.  Why not take a little road trip this fall, enjoy our natural hot springs and experience the great outdoors.  For details, accomodations and information regarding these and other great local hot springs destinations, contact Linda or Rhonda at TMI Tours in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  We are the experts on unique get-a-ways in the Pacific Northwest.  1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com

 

A Lookout Tower Adventure Awaits

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Did you know that at one time, Idaho had the highest concentration of fire lookout towers in the world? It’s true! At the peak of operation, Idaho had 992 lookouts in service and Washington had 658. The greatest density of towers was in the St. Joe River drainage, where some towers were less than three miles apart. The primary purpose of the fire lookout was for the detection of forest fires. The most notable wildfire that struck the inland Northwest in Idaho, Montana, and eastern Washington was the famous 1910 fire. When fires were detected, the lookout person would report the fire location to a dispatcher who would initiate fire suppression action. Initially, the communication was by telephone via miles and miles of telephone wire; but was later replaced with radio communications. Unfortunately, modern day technology has replaced most fire lookouts with satellite imaging and aerial reconnaissance to spot forest fires.

Today, there are fewer than 200 left standing and out of those less than 50 are actually still in service. Fortunately, there are several organizations that understand the historical significance of these lookouts and continue to work hard to preserve them.

For those who are adventurous, you can now rent many of these lookouts for several nights at a time. Virtually every one of these towers offers unparalleled views of the inland Northwest’s pristine forests and mountains since they are perched on mountain peaks. Many of the visitor logbooks at these towers will be full of statements such as “most amazing view of the Milky Way I’ve ever encountered.” Whether you enjoy wildlife photography, hiking, bird watching, or simple seek solitude, TMI Tours can assist you in creating a Lookout Tower Adventure. Several towers in the North Idaho area are accessible with four wheel drive vehicles.

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Let us make all of the arrangements for you! From transportation to bedding and top notch cuisine…we’ll do all of the legwork for you! You simply need to relax and enjoy! Call Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand today at 1-800-975-7775 to begin planning your Lookout Tower Adventure.

Fall Fishing on Idaho's Clearwater River

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Idaho is famous for her fly fishing streams and with the cooler fall weather approaching, the trout will be biting.  Fall is a splendid season in the Idaho mountains with warm days, cool nights and beautiful colors.  The latest rage in fly-fishing on Pacific Northwest rivers is an elegant casting technique known as “Spey Fishing”.   Born over 150 years ago on the streams of the northern Scottish highlands, spey casting is being reborn on the heavily vegetated streams and rivers of Idaho.  Not only do you need no backcast space and can fish water unreachable with single-handed rods, but spey rods allow precise control of the fly as it moves through the water. 

 

steelheadThe Steelhead on the Clearwater River are the perfect catch for Spey Anglers.  The Clearwater River is famous for the large “B-Run” Steelhead that return to the spawning areas after two years in the ocean.  Many of these great fighters will weigh 20 lbs. or more.  This fishery is supported by the worlds largest Steelhead/Salmon Hatchery, located at the confluence of the North Fork and the mainstem of the Clearwater near Orofino.

 

TMI Tours offers “Stay n’ Spey” packages with 3 nights of accommodations  on the Clearwater River and 2 days of meals and professionally guided fishing.  This beautiful lodge is surrounded riverdanceby the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and three of the original eight Wild & Scenic Rivers protected by Congress in 1968.  Each handcrafted log cabin offers spacious accommodations, private hot tub, large outdoor deck with grill and a convenience kitchen as well as spectacular river  and mountain views.  Meals can be enjoyed at the café located in the main lodge.  Packages start at $750.00 per person with limited availability until October 15th.  Call Linda or Rhonda today to reserved your Spey Fishing Adventure in Idaho’s vast wilderness. 1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com

Lakefront Vacations in Sandpoint, Idaho

 

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Sandpoint, Idaho is one of North Idaho’s favorite get-a-ways for locals and tourists alike.  It is quaint and quirky with local artist galleries, earthy shops and local crafts as well as stunning scenery and white sand beaches.  Sitting  on the shores of beautiful Lake Pend Oreille, nestled between the Selkirk and Cabinet Mountain ranges,  Sandpoint offers an abundance of summer and winter activities.

sandpoint-2Stay and play on Lake Pend Oreille in one of Sandpoints newest upscale waterfront developements.  This marina village offers lakefront and mountain view bungalow rentals with full kitchens and full outdoor decks for enjoying bar-b-ques or watching the sunset.  Each cottage comes fully furnished and includes lake access with boat and watersport rentals, membership to the fitness center and access to 9 miles of walking and biking trails that meander through the forest, wetlands and lakeshore.  The village cafe offers casual dining for lunch and dinner and a small market offers snacks, beverages and boating supplies.  Sandpoint is just minutes away for further dining options, supermarkets and sightseeing.

sandpoint-11While in Sandpoint, be sure to visit the Cedar Street Bridge Public Market.  Built on a bridge that spans Sand Creek, this public market has windows that look out over the creek and houses some interesting restaurants and gift shops.  Another beautiful place to visit is the Sandpoint City Park with it’s pristine white sand beaches on Lake Pend Oreille.  With food concessions, BBQ and picnic areas, tennis and basketball courts, volleyball and horseshoe pits as well as two marinas, it is a fun place for family and swimming.

sandpoint-3Schweitzer Mountain is just a 10 mile drive from Sandpoint and is a refreshing alternative when the heat of summer gets a little uncomfortable.  Ride the Great Escape Quad lift to the top of the mountain and take in a view that will leave you breathless.  Enjoy the cool mountain breezes at the top of Schweitzer where you’ll find hiking and mountain bike trails as well as huckleberry picking and local wildlife.  The Mountain Activity Center can arrange for participation in the Kids Day Camp, Disc golf, Geocaching, wall climbing and bungee trampolines, tennis, lawn games or a movie in the Selkirk Theatre.

TMI Tours has great packages and optional activities available for all the top destinations in North Idaho.  Contact Linda or Rhonda at info@tmitours.com or 1-800-975-7775 for more information and reservations.

Scenic Air Tours of North Idaho

 

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North Idaho is beautiful!  Priest Lake, Lake Pend Oreille, Hayden Lake, Coeur d’Alene Lake..these are just a few of the better known lakes that dot this region.  But there are many, smaller, secluded lakes set into the bowls of the mountain ranges that surround North Idaho.  These alpine lakes are the secret destinations of fishermen, hikers and backpackers or viewed by  the lucky few that venture to the air. 

 mt-lakeDaily seaplane tours from Coeur d’Alene are available for 1/2 hour scenic flights over Lake Coeur d’Alene,  to all day charters which can include lunch and shopping at Sandpoint or Priest Lake.  Lake Pend Oreille and Priest Lake offer seaplane facilities, lakeside marinas and full-service resorts open during the summer for breakfast, lunch and dinner and they are easily accessible from the water. 

 Coeur d’Alene also offers a thrilling helicopter service available for scenic tours or charter with advance reservations.  There isn’t a better way to view the cliff-clinging mountain sheep on the backside of Lake Pend Oreille or the waterfalls through the deep, majestic canyon of the Moyie River,  than by helicopter.   These tours offer a great photographic opportunity with the large bubble windows and their ability to seek out the wildlife that thrives in our majestic mountains.  Indulge in some history by viewing the devastating site of the 1967 Sundance Fire, which burned over 50,000 acres of prime forest in just 9 hours or the site of the famous 1910 fire which leveled mostariel of the Silver Valley and burned 3 million acres in just two days!  You’ll see the remnants of abandoned mines and towns hidden away in the hillsides of rural Idaho, old railroad tunnels and trestles, and the rivers that wind their way throughout our beautiful neck of the woods. 

Contact Linda or Rhonda at TMI Tours, located in downtown Coeur d’Alene for more information and reservations for any of these scenic airtours or charter availability and prices.

1-800-975-7775 or email at info@tmitours.com