Category Archives: Things to Do Near Coeur d’Alene

North Idaho Hot Springs Favorites of TMI Tours in Coeur dAlene

hot springs 4

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

 

Snowmobile Seeley Lake, Montana

rich-ranch-1
Idaho and Montana have diverse seasons and that is one of the things that makes us such a great adventure destination. Last winter was popluar for snowmobile enthusiasts and we are hoping for another great sledding season.
The vibrant community of Seeley Lake lies between the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Mission Mountain Wilderness areas in western Montana. Snowmobile enthusiasts are welcome to ride downtown which makes for easy access to the over 350 miles of groomed trails surrounding the Seeley Lake area. Accomodations range from charming motels & cabins to full-service lakefront resorts and real western dude ranches.

rich-ranchTMI Tours is offering early-bird packages for the winter season, starting December 26, 2009-March 15, 2010. Reservations purchased before October 1st will save 10% off the regular season rates. Whether you are a seasoned sledder or trying this sport for the first time, we have packages that are perfect for you.

For beginners or those who prefer a guided tour, we offer 4 days/3 nights including meals, lodging and Polaris snowmobile rental. Your rocky mountain guide will take you on three fun-filled days of snowmobiling right from your cabin door with a trail lunch provided. Each morning and evening you will be treated to hearty ranch-style meals in the main lodge. In the evening, relax in the outdoor hot tub or warm up beside a roaring fire in the main lodge or your private cabin.

rich-ranch-2For the seasoned rider we offer a 4 day/3 night package including meals, lodging and a map of the Seeley Lake Groomed Trail system. Snowmobile rentals can be added or you can bring your own but you’ll still enjoy a trail lunch daily with ranch-style breakfast and dinner in the main lodge and the same great accomodations.

Call Linda or Rhonda at TMI Tours for prices and availability on these and other great snowmobile packages for the 2009/2010 winter season in Idaho and Montana. 1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com

A Lookout Tower Adventure Awaits

lookout-tower

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.

lookout-tower-2


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

spey-cast

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

 

sandpoint-beach

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

 

the-lodge-at-sandpoint-on-pend-orille

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

Whitewater Fun this Summer

Whew, it has been a hot summer here in North Idaho.  Whitewater or float trips on any of the  rivers that run through this beautiful country are such a great way to spend time with the family and keep everyone cool.  Whether you are visiting us here in Coeur d’Alene or any of the surrounding communities, TMI Tours can find a river trip that is perfect for you.

clarkfork-river1If you have small children, then a day trip through Alberton Gorge on the Clark Fork River might be just what you are looking for.  The water has calmed down a little and the Clark Fork offers roller-coaster waves with intermittent warm pools that invite you to jump right in.  These trips leave daily through September 2nd  near  Superior, Montana and have you back to your vehicle by dinner time.  Lunch is served picnic style on a big, sandy beach where the kids can splash and explore.  This whitewater experience is suitable for ages 5 years and up.

Also suitable for the younger set,  try a 4 -day family camping whitewater adventure leaving salmon-river2every Sunday and Tuesday through September 13th from Lewiston, Idaho.   Cascading down 60 miles of Idaho’s Salmon “River of No Return”, everyone will love the whitewater excitement, warm water, expansive white sand beaches and historical sites.   This river is famous for it’s rich Native American history and ancient pioneer homesteads tucked into the mountansides and valleys.  Kids will love the “River Jester” who will entertain  with nature hikes and other special activities just for them.  Parents will love camping without the work..let the river guides handle all the details for you.  This camping adventure is also suitable for ages 5 years and up.

Coeur dAlene River

Coeur dAlene River

If you are just looking for a gentle float down a river, try the Spokane River, below the falls.  Every afternoon  you can relax and enjoy 3 hours of the beautiful Spokane River, letting your cares drift away.  The scenery is beautiful, the companionship enjoyable and the water is warm and inviting.    Looking for a little longer float trip, then it’s definitely the Coeur d’Alene River you want.  With a minimum group of 6, you can get transportation and floats for 1/2 day or a full day and enjoy the clean mountain air and crystal clear waters of the Coeur d’Alene.  You’ll have plenty of company because all the locals will be there too.

Call Rhonda or Linda at TMI Tours & Cruises for prices, availability and water updates for these and other great whitewater destinations throughout Idaho and Montana.  1-800-975-777 or info@tmitours.com  We are your vacation specialists for the Pacific Northwest.

Priest Lake-Idaho's Wilderness Retreat

priest-lake

Ask anyone who has ever been there and they will tell you– Priest Lake is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It has that perfect combination of wilderness and civilization that tempts you to return again and again. Nestled high in the Selkirk Mountain Range of North Idaho, surrounded by thick forest and rugged peaks, Priest Lake has earned the name of Idaho’s Crown Jewel.priest-lake-11

Priest Lake is approximately 25 miles long and consists of two lakes connected by a 2-mile thorofare. Upper Priest Lake is accessible only by trail or by water, offering a solitude you just won’t find at North Idaho’s other lake destinations. Lower Priest Lake is a vacation paradise with numerous campgrounds, marina’s for boat access and lakefront resorts offering vacation cabin rentals, fine dining and access to water sports. Priest Lake is also famous for it’s fishing offering trophy size Mackinaw as well as brook trout and cutthroat in the alpine lakes and streams that occupy the Priest Lake Basin.

priest-lake-2Vacation rentals are at a premium during the summer season on Priest Lake and reservations are required. You will find accomodations lean toward log cabins set in the forest with stunning lake views, furnished in true western flavor with full kitchens and natural stone fireplaces. There are plenty of restaurants and lounges serving delicious breakfast, lunches and dinners as well as enticing you with that Priest Lake favorite–the huckleberry. You’ll find it in everything from your pancakes to your daiquiri’s and it is a treat not to be missed. Without a doubt, Priest Lake has some of the best huckleberry picking in the State of Idaho, combining the perfect elevation with the perfect climate.

If you are looking for outdoor adventure, the rugged area surrounding Priest Lake offers unlimited hiking, mountain bike and ATV trails. Streams tumble down the rocky hillsides into amazing waterfalls and pools and the mountains are dotted with alpine lakes. The shoreline of Priest Lake offers easy hiking and great opportunities to view all kinds of wildlife. Kayaking, canoeing and water skiing are available from the beaches of the resorts as well as evening campfires and real western bar-b-ques.

For vacation assistance with reservations for Priest Lake, please call Rhonda or Linda at 1-800-975-7775 or email info@tmitours.com. Flights can be arranged into Spokane International Airport or one of the private airstrips located at Priest Lake. Let us help plan your perfect vacation into the Idaho wilderness this summer on beautiful Priest Lake, Idaho.

Lake Coeur d’Alene House and Cabin Rentals

lake-cda4

Renting a lakefront home or cabin on Lake Coeur d’Alene is the perfect way to enjoy all that our area has to offer. Our luxury home and cabin rentals come with all the amenities you require for a summer vacation on the lake—private homes complete with beautiful lake views, open air decks, sandy beaches, dock space for boats, jet skis, and more.

log-home

Water sports are a huge part of lakefront living on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Water skiing, boogie boarding, wakeboarding, and tubing all are available right from your own private dock. We’ll be happy to arrange instruction for beginners too. Personal watercraft rentals are a great way to see the lake and a sure fire way to add some excitement to your day. We can arrange jet ski or wave runner rentals by the day or by the week.

wave-runner

If you have never experienced the thrill of sailing your own boat, this is the perfect place to try it. Lake Coeur d’Alene always has gentle breezes on the water and we can arrange for you to learn with one of our sailing experts. The perfect ending to a day of sailing is refreshments on the deck at Silver Beach where all the local sailors meet and hang out!

boats

Your vacation won’t be complete until you’ve spent the day exploring the 130 miles of shoreline on a private lake tour. Armed with sun tan lotion, cool drinks, and a gourmet lunch, we can show you the most beautiful, secluded lake homes, wildlife drinking at the water’s edge, and the world’s only floating golf green. Enjoy lunch and a swim at an uncrowded beach or go ashore to enjoy one of the lake crowd’s favorite watering holes. Learn about the rich and lively history of this lake and the small towns that still thrive along its shores. Please email us or call us at 1-800-975-7775 for availability and additional information about cabin and house rentals.

Hit the Open Road in an RV

rv-camping

There is something very alluring about the open road and destinations unknown. Renting a recreational vehicle for your vacation is a great way to bond with your family and still experience that sense of open road adventure. TMI Tours takes the guess work out of renting an RV and planning an open road vacation by offering stocked RV’s with dishware, linens, BBQ’s, operating instructions, and pre-planned itineraries.

The Pacific Northwest has rugged, unspoiled national parks, sparkling clean lakes and rivers, and uncrowded campgrounds and RV parks. We can find and reserve your overnights according to your interests and the amenities that are important to you and your family. You can enjoy the fun and excitement of camping, yet retain the comforts of a full kitchen, TV, DVD, private bathroom, and shower. The kids will love traveling in their “home on wheels” and children of all ages enjoy old-fashioned campfires complete with stories, songs, and of course, s’mores!

rv-vacation-2

TMI Tours offers a wide variety of optional activities such as whitewater rafting, mountain biking, helicopter and seaplane tours, parasailing, jet skiing, waverunners, boat rentals, horseback riding, and guides for hiking and fishing. We have all the information you need to start planning a RV vacation as well as recommendations for great places to stay and play in the Pacific Northwest. Please call Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand at 1-800-975-7775 for more information about our exciting RV vacations.