Rhonda Sand, owner of TMI Tours & Cruises, was recently interviewed by a local writer for a series on entrepreneurs. When you have a moment, please check out the entire interview. We are sure you will enjoy reading about Rhonda and her thoughts about TMI.
The annual Holiday Light Show and Parade for downtown Coeur d’Alene will kick off, Friday, November 28th at 5pm. With more than a million sparkling lights across Lake Coeurdalene, it is sure to be the largest water resort holiday light show in America. This year it features over 225 holiday displays ringing the boardwalk and a memorable “Journey to the North Pole” aboard the Lake CDA cruiseboats. Take the family on a magical journey across the lake to Santas’ workshop with holiday animated features, the Worlds Tallest Living Christmas Tree and guaranteed snow showers every night! Dress warmly and come join us at TMI Tours downtown for this spectacular lighting ceremony and fireworks display as we ring in the 2008/2009 holiday season.
Here is a list (not exhaustive) of some of the best hikes in North Idaho and Western Montana. These are some of our favorite hikes and we wanted to pass them on to you. If you’d like additional information about any of these hikes, please feel free to call us at 1-800-975-7775 or email us.
Tubbs Hill- Coeur d’Alene, ID
This 2 mile historical nature trail is easily accessed from downtown Coeur d’Alene. The west trailhead begins from the parking lot on the east side of the Coeur d’Alene Resort while the east side entrance is located at the south end of 11th Street. Even though the trail includes some steep climbs in places, the panoramic views are well worth the effort! There are some great views from the rocky point about ½ way up. The beaches are perfect for children and picnics. The trail system contains 27 trail markers that indicate points of interest. This trail is also great in the winter time when snowshoeing season is upon us.
To learn more about Tubbs Hill and print out a brochure about the hike, please visit the Coeur d’Alene Parks Department website.
Mineral Ridge Trail, 11 miles east of CDA
This 3.3 mile hiking trail has 22 informative trail stations with corresponding information found in the booklet that can be found at the trailhead. Maintained by the Bureau of Land Management, the Mineral Ridge Trail is commonly referred to as a “classroom in the forest” and offers beautiful views of Lake Coeur d’Alene. The trailhead also has a day use area with picnic tables and restrooms. From November through February, migrating bald eagles can be viewed in Wolf Lodge Bay from this location. The BLM also has staff on site at this location to offer information about bald eagles during this time. They also generally have two or three spotting scopes available to give you a close up view of these majestic birds.
Kootenai Falls and the Swinging Bridge — Near Libby, Montana
Kootenai Falls is located on the Kootenai River just west of Libby, MT off of Highway 2, which is just over 3 hours from Coeur d’Alene. Kootenai Falls is one of the largest free-flowing waterfalls left in the northwest. The area around the falls is considered a sacred site for the Kootenai Indians. The falls may be accessed by a short, ½ mile hiking trail from the parking area next to the highway. The dirt trail winds through the trees and has frequent scenic vistas of the river. The trail crosses over an over double railroad tracks on a specially designed, enclosed pedestrian bridge and then makes its way down to the swinging bridge which overlooks the falls. The swinging bridge is an awesome experience. While everyone may not want to cross the bridge, the views of the river from the trail make the hike well worth the time. Don’t forget your camera!
Trivia info: Kootenai Falls was also the setting for the film, “The River Wild” starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon.
If you wish, you can also pack along a picnic lunch. There are picnic tables, barbeques, and restroom facilities available at the beginning of the trailhead (next to the parking area).
Ross Creek Cedars Nature Trail- Located southwest of Libby, MT
Enjoy an interpretive 1 mile trail through an ancient red cedar grove with trees over 175 feet tall and 8 feet in diameter. Visitors to this northwest Montana gem will find an ancient forest rivaling the fabulous beauty of the giant sequoias of northern California. Some trees in the Ross Creek grove are more than 400 years old. Ross Creek meanders along the fern-lined trail while making its way to popular Bull Lake. There are picnic tables and handicap accessible restrooms near the entrance to the grove.
Glacier National Park – Montana
Avalanche Creek Falls and Trail of the Cedars
This wheelchair accessible ½ mile boardwalk meanders through a dense forest of ancient cedars and hemlocks. There is also a small side hike to view Avalanche Falls which is definitely worth the extra time. This is a great hike for families with small children or people with disabilities. It’s a beautiful place that is well worth exploring!
Logan Pass-Summit of the Going to the Sun Road
There are numerous hiking trails in this sub-alpine climate of the Continental Divide, near the Logan Pass Visitor’s Center. Stunning vistas abound here. But, be prepared. At 6646 feet in elevation, you will need to take frequent breaks and drink plenty of fluids. The weather here is also very unpredictable. Make sure you have a jacket or other warm clothing with you. It can be snowing in Logan Pass in July! The best plan of attack here is to go to the Visitor’s Center first and ask a ranger what hikes are best suited for you.
Schweitzer Mountain – Sandpoint, ID
Ride the Quad-chairlift straight to the summit where hiking and mountain bike trails abound. Huckleberry patches, wildlife, and the best views of Lake Pend Oreille await you here. For more information about times and schedules for hiking at Schweitzer, please contact Rhonda Sand or Linda Bruno at 1-800-975-7775 or email us.
Scotchman Peak Trail #65 – Idaho/Montana Border
Hike to the top of one of the tallest peaks in North Idaho! This strenuous 8 mile round trip hike reveals excellent views of the Selkirk and Cabinet Mountains as well as Lake Pend Oreille. This one isn’t for the faint of heart though. The trail climbs over 3700 feet! But, the reward for your efforts are stunning views, frequent visits by mountain goats, and most likely some patches of snow even into the late summer months. If you are interested, there are even guided hiking tours available. Please call or email TMI Tours for more information.
Roman Nose Lake – Southwest of Bonners Ferry
Use the lower campground as your base for easy hikes to two nearby mountain lakes. Enjoy the hikes through the recovering forest of the famous 1968 Sundance Fire. Interpretive signs are located along these trails that explain the Sundance Fire. Trout fishing is available in the lakes and make sure you look for moose too!
Copper Creek Falls – Bonner Ferry, ID (near Eastport, ID)
This short one mile hike is good for children and adults of all ages. The result is a fantastic view of a spectacular 225 foot, cascading waterfall near the Canadian Border. Information pamphlets are available at the trailhead. During winter, watch ice-climbers ascend the frozen mountain of water. Be sure you stop in at the Bonners Ferry Ranger Station to check on road conditions and you can grab information there about the falls as well.
Many of these locations feature fantastic camping opportunities nearby. Some of the more remote locations are perfect for wildlife viewing, bird watching, and photography. For those who enjoy looking at the stars at night, you should consider letting us make arrangements for you to stay in a lookout tower!
Whether you wish to camp in a tent, RV, cabin, or lookout tower we will make all of the necessary arrangements for you. We will set up a tent site, cabin, or lookout tower for you complete with top of the line camping equipment, linens, food, and whatever supplies you desire. When you are finished camping, we’ll pack it all up for you too! If you want to enjoy the comforts of an RV while visiting and exploring one of these unique destinations, we can arrange it. We’ll set you up in the best RV parks available, outfit your RV with the food and supplies you want – and pre-program your GPS with directions to every stop!
You dream it and we’ll make it happen. TMI Tours is dedicated to providing its customers with only the best equipment, supplies, and food available for any adventure in the Inland Northwest. We can make your camping experience a luxurious and rewarding experience. “Roughing it” in the wilderness is easier than you thought! Please contact Rhonda Sand at 1-800-975-7775 or email her today to start planning your next outdoor experience.
You have to see it with your own eyes to believe it! December and January are the prime season in Coeur dAlene for the migration of a large number of bald eagles. They come to this beautiful spot at Wolf Lodge Bay to feast on the spawning kokanee salmon that inhabit the east end of Lake Coeurdalene. Watch them glide from their perch tree, spiral toward the water and pluck a fish from the depths. There are family oriented lake cruises or private charters in late December that will explore these quiet bays with excellent viewing from the deck or inside the cozy cabin. From the shore, there are viewing areas set up by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game with volunteers available during the peak viewing season to answer questions and provide insight. You can rent a luxurious home or cabin on Lake Courd Alene with eagle perches just outside the door.
Tmi Tours has all the latest information on North Idaho vacation rentals and cruises for Lake Coeur d Alene during this excellent wildlife viewing season. Binoculars and cameras are a must for your packing list.
Want to get away for the ultimate winter adventure? Why not a true northern vacation by dog sled! There is nothing that compares with flying over the freshly fallen snow in the comfort of a beautifully handcrafted wooden dog sled drawn by a team of Alaskan huskies. You can choose overnight accomodations from a wide array including historic Bed & Breakfast’s, backwood cabins, private homes or overnight winter camping. Whether you choose to drive your own team or ride with our professional guides, you will enjoy a rare glimpse into the rugged Selkirk Mountain range and it’s abundant wildlife. At TMI Tours, this is our backyard and we can help you plan an adventure you’ll never forget.
Our company was looking for a destination management company in Coeur d’Alene that could help plan a weekend incentive meeting. TMI gave us a great choice of luxury vacations rentals on the lake to choose from. They even helped us arrange a very special afternoon for the wives, with wine tasting at a local artist’s gallery and lessons in oil painting. Everyone came away with their own special creation. The meeting was a great success and we will definitely return to CDA for a family vacation in the future.
It is the perfect fall day in northern Idaho, blue skies, crisp air and lot of sunshine. We stopped in at TMI for sightseeing suggestions and they chartered a boat for the whole family to cruise Lake Coeur d’Alene. We left from Independence Point on a Fall Foliage/Wildlife tour up to the St. Joe River on a private boat complete with our own captain/guide. We cruised by the impressive nests of osprey perched on tugboat pilings studding the lake everywhere. There were eagles soaring above us, swooping down to investigate ripples in the water left by surfacing fish. Deer were drinking at the water’s edge in untouched meadows and there were ducks and geese everywhere. The kids could look through the crystal clear water and see fish swimming nearby. The foliage all around the lake and the river was bursting in gold, crimson, and green and was even more beautiful as it reflected in the water. We enjoyed a gourmet lunch served in the warm, cozy cabin before getting ready for our return to Coeur d’Alene.