It’s all about the outdoors in Idaho. Along with excellent skiing, this gateway to the West is filled with dude ranches and all-inclusive lodges for any sort of wilderness recreation you like. Visitors to Idaho can pick and choose between horseback riding, fly fishing, and whitewater rafting. But there’s also the possibility of a serene spa getaway in the middle of nowhere.
Whether you’re looking to be close to town, next to the lake, or in a remote, nearly inaccessible part of the forest, Idaho has got you covered. You can go boating, play golf, or gamble. Or just sip a beer beside a fire pit watching the sun go down. It’s all there.
Let’s have a look at the best resorts in Idaho:
1. Shore Lodge
An upscale destination for the avid naturalist, Shore Lodge is situated in the town of McCall on Lake Payette. It’s surrounded by an array of biking and hiking trails, plus a few hot springs where you can stop and relax. In the winter, go skiing, snowmobiling, or snowshoeing in the hills around the resort. And in the summer, spend the day out on the lake or by the pool. Guests get access to the Whitetail Club, ranked one of America’s 100 Greatest Courses by Golf Digest.
The world-class Cove Spa houses saltwater immersion pools, floor-to-ceiling pine walls, and a range of treatments from massages and facials to body wraps and sugar scrubs. This AAA Four Diamond resort also offers luxuriously appointed accommodation to guests in its 77 rooms and suites, all equipped with wifi and satellite television. Cottages include state-of-the-art kitchens and lakeside hot tubs. Their on-site restaurant The Narrows specializes in fresh Pacific-Northwest fare, serving up black cod, salmon, and great cuts of beef.
2. The Coeur d’Alene Resort
Calling itself the “Playground of the Pacific Northwest,” The Coeur d’Alene is a fabulous destination for vacations as well as business. It’s got a brilliant golf course with the world’s only floating green. There’s also a spa where you can book appointments for couple’s massages, facials, and pedicures, among other treatments. The resort is located right on the lake for easy access to boating, jet skiing, and wakeboarding. But they also have an infinity pool right on the shore if you just want to take it easy.
Rooms are located in the Lake Tower with views of the water, town, or nearby mountains. They all come with amenities like free wifi, cotton robes, pillow-top mattresses, and luxury toiletries. The resort has tons of options for dining and nightlife too, from Beverly’s which serves up Northwest flavors and houses the largest wine cellar in the region, to the Boardwalk Bar with lake views, cocktails, and light fare. There’s also a taphouse, Italian grill, and Cedars Floating Restaurant, which is a legendary local landmark.
3. Teton Springs Lodge & Spa
Just 20 minutes away from Jackson Hole, Teton Springs offers you a prime location for skiing, exploring Yellowstone, and checking out Grand Teton National Park. In the summer, there’s world-class golf to be played, tennis courts, a 25-meter pool, and stocked ponds on-site for fishing. In the winter, guests have access to their miles of groomed cross-country ski trails plus two nearby ski resorts. If you’re adventurous, they even offer on-site heli-skiing.
Their 5,000 square foot spa offers seven spacious treatment rooms, including a couple’s room with fireplace, relaxation lounge, and eucalyptus steam room. Accommodations start with guest rooms and suites in the lodge and get bigger and more luxurious from there. Custom log cabins contain up to five bedrooms, with things like spacious decks, fireplaces, and hot tubs. Guests can stop by the resort’s Headwaters Grille for a quick cocktail or a fireside dinner.
4. Schweitzer Mountain Resort
An ideal ski vacation destination near Sandpoint, this resort lets you stay directly on the slopes or down in their village, and there’s plenty to do without even leaving the mountain. Guests can spend the night in ski-in/ski-out condos or book a room in the comfortable confines of the village’s White Pine Lodge or the slopeside Selkirk Lodge. Either way, you’ll have access to their heated outdoor pool and multiple hot tubs. And aside from the excellent skiing, there’s horseback riding, disc golf, huckleberry picking, and hiking in the mountains around the resort.
Down in Schweitzer village, try your hand at mining in the “sluice box,” take a ride on the zipline, or attempt their 25-foot climbing wall. Don’t forget to visit all the shops, restaurants, and on-site theater down there too. Enjoy 360-degree views while dining at The Nest, their full-service bar and restaurant offering coffee and beer from local purveyors as well as an impressive small plates menu. Or grab a quick snack at the Red Hawk Cafe before hitting the slopes.
5. The Lodge at Sandpoint
Also located in Sandpoint, this destination is great for skiing but also has lots of year-round fun. With boating, golfing, fishing, and tons of other outdoor recreation, you’ll be busy. They offer rooms, suites, and studios at the Lodge, or cottages with full kitchens in case you’re cooking. Each includes pillowtop beds, coffee makers, free wifi, cable TV, and complimentary breakfasts. Guests have access to a fitness room, hot tubs, plenty of deck and patio space, and 600 feet of private lakefront.
Check out the Bungee Jump Trampoline or the climbing wall on the resort’s Power Tower. Or go hiking around their extensive trail system for views of Lake Pend Oreille and Canada. Dining options include Forty-One South with its modern American cuisine, waterfront fine dining, and extensive wine list, or Shoga Sushi Bar with its fresh fish and Asian fusion dishes.
6. Sun Valley
Sun Valley has a million things to do. And you’d have to visit every season to do them all. They’ve got the championship golf course, Trail Creek, and 400 miles of trails to hike, plus 30 miles of paved, car-free bike paths. You can go sport shooting at the Sun Valley Gun Club or hit one of their two fitness centers. There’s even ice skating! Guests can catch performances by Olympic skaters at the Sun Valley on Ice shows. And of course, there’s skiing, sleigh riding, tennis, horseback riding, a pool, and fly fishing.
Sun Valley has an impressive on-site 340-seat theatre, plus a bowling alley and game room so you’ll definitely find something that strikes your fancy. The spa provides an oasis from all the action with facials, massages, and even acupuncture. And the list of dining establishments is just silly. There are over 20 places to eat in Sun Valley, including a modern steakhouse, ice cream shop, pizza, and pasta restaurant, and fine dining with an Austrian twist. Accommodations range from European-inspired rooms at the lodge to condos, cottages, and townhomes.
7. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
Okay, so this is a dude ranch-style destination. Get back to nature with mountain views, daily horseback rides, and the spirit of the West. You can choose accommodations in the lodge, with handcrafted quilts, specialty sheets, and towels, and complimentary wifi, or stay in one of their log cabins with a wood-burning stove, complete with kindling and chopped wood already provided. Amenities include a recreation room with a pool table, outdoor hot tub, basketball court, and horseshoes.
You can personalize your stay depending on how much horseback riding you want to do, and they have horses and lessons for all levels of riders. They offer guests all-inclusive packages for their lodging, meals, and ranch activities. Each guest receives three country gourmet meals per day. But if horses aren’t your thing, you can head to the archery range, try trap shooting or mountain biking, or head out for a cruise on Lake Pend Orielle. And in the evenings, there’s a campfire and s’mores.
8. Red Horse Mountain Ranch
Another all-inclusive dude ranch, this one is located on 560 acres surrounded by national forests near the town of Coeur d’Alene. It’s perfect for families and even solo vacationers, because the staff can set up a variety of guided adventures and pair you with a room in the lodge, a vacation home, or one of eight cabins on the property. Accommodations include down comforters, pillow-top beds, and rustic log furniture. They even have a singles week!
Activities range from mountain biking, kayaking, and fishing in the summer to downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter. But of course, everybody comes for the horseback riding! Each summer they’ve got about 100 horses to choose from and all the riding equipment you’ll need, whether you’re a beginner or advanced. The food here is all about fresh ingredients and grandma’s recipes, with buffet-style lunches, salad bars, all day snacks, and a weekly special Wine Dinner for the adults.
9. River Dance Lodge
They call themselves “Idaho’s Outdoor Adventure Resort,” offering all-inclusive packages for fishing, white water rafting, kayaking, and hiking. But if you want to just stay in their cabins and do your own thing, that’s an option too! They’ve got custom-built log cabins, glamping, and even a camping area if you really wanna DIY it. Though I must say the glamping does sound awesome, with your own back porch and claw-footed soaking tub in those luxury canvas tents…
Staff can arrange for you to go horseback riding or head up the Selway river for fly-fishing. For meals, the resort’s Syringa cafe serves up healthy Northwest cuisine with a long wine list and bottled beers available. For all-inclusive guests, dinner is served family-style with an appetizer, salad, main course, side dish, and dessert each night. Others are welcome to make reservations and enjoy a meal on the banks of the Clearwater River too.
10. Middle Fork Lodge
This resort is hard to get to, but it just might be worth it. Having hosted former presidents and celebrities, Middle Fork Lodge is exclusive and largely inaccessible except by float plane, boat, and pack trails. Originally founded by two trappers, the area’s natural hot springs have made this resort largely self-sufficient. They use them to heat their pools and hot tubs! Located in the middle of 2,500 acres of wilderness, you can visit ancient Native American pictographs for a look at some history.
Guests can go on guided hikes or fishing trips, try their hand at archery and trap shooting, or take a horseback ride through the nearby mountain ridges. The staff can even arrange a photography excursion. Their accommodations are five-star quality despite their seclusion, with marble bathrooms, custom furniture, and luxury bedding, all heated by the geothermal hot springs. Guests have meals in the Dining Hall, which features gourmet ranch-style cuisine like grilled Alaskan salmon, filet mignon, and seared yellowfin tuna.
11. Teton Valley Lodge
Set right on the river, this is an all-inclusive fly-fishing lodge. They’ll package together your meals, lodging, and guides, or if you only have a short time, they can arrange day trips too. Flies, tackle, lunch, and transportation are included in the price of your trip, and they’ll have you back for dinnertime. This resort is all about service, experience, and attention to detail. And if you like, you can schedule a tee time at the nearby Huntsman Springs or book a massage in your cabin.
Guest cabins range from one to three bedrooms and each comes outfitted with a mini bar that’s stocked daily with complimentary beer, coffee, and soda. The main lodge houses the dining hall, a lounge, satellite TV, and microbrews on tap. Dinners are a four-course family-style affair with an excellent wine list available. They’ve also got canoes that you can take out to watch the sunset, or you can just do that from the fire pit with a beer in hand.
12. The Pines at Island Park
If you’re looking to experience Yellowstone National Park and don’t know where to stay, The Pines is a good start. This cabin resort will provide you with everything you need for a convenient yet quiet getaway location. They’ve got a lodge and luxury cabins plopped down in the middle of Targhee National Forest for maximum privacy. Cabins have amenities like private decks, hot tubs, and barbecue grills, plus satellite TV and spacious living areas with either a full-service kitchen or kitchenette.
Aside from Old Faithful and Yellowstone, there are hot springs and waterfalls nearby, plus Henry’s Lake State Park where you can go boating, fishing, hiking, and biking. There’s also an on-site restaurant and full service bar. Their Lodgepole Grill offers casual lunches with hamburgers, chicken strips, and battered cod on offer, and dinner options include steaks, salads, king crab, and salmon.
13. Coeur D’Alene Casino Resort
Located in the town of Worley on the same big lake as many of these other resorts, this one has a casino! And a lot of other things to do too. The Circling Raven Golf Club is within the reach of guests for an afternoon out on the links. Plus their Spa Ssakwa´q´n offers many rejuvenating treatments like massages, facials, scrubs, and body wraps. Their casino, by the way, is comprised of 60,000 square feet of gaming with bingo and off-track betting too.
Guests stay in modern rooms containing amenities like bathrobes, coffee makers, and 42” TVs, or they can upgrade to one of their suites for jetted bathtubs and separate living areas with sofas. For nightlife, they’ve got a lounge with live entertainment, cocktails, and more gaming. And for meal times, guests can choose between their buffet, deli, steakhouse, and pasta restaurant, or the casual grill located in the course’s clubhouse.
14. Diamond D Ranch
Surrounded by the Salmon River Mountains, located in the Frank Church Wilderness, this all-inclusive ranch is perfect for lounging and relaxing, getting in touch with nature, or really honing your horseback riding skills. They can set you up with the perfect horse. Most days, the resort offers two guided trail rides, but with the rest of your free time, you can go fishing for rainbow trout, try gold panning, chill by the pool, or head out for some hiking or archery. They can even arrange big game hunting for guests.
Their accommodation options come in the form of suites and rooms in the lodge or cabins for larger groups. Comfortable and warm, the cabins can house up to ten people. As for meal times, guests eat family-style in the dining room or out by the barbecues under clear skies. Mornings include fresh coffee with eggs and hotcakes. The ranch has a large selection of beer and wine, along with freshly baked pies for dessert each day. Oh, and they have campfires at night!
15. Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch
Another ranch on the list, these 900 acres offer guests breathtaking beauty in the middle of nowhere (okay really, Stanley, Idaho, but still). But they make sure there are no TVs, phones, or radios in your room so that you can feel the seclusion and relaxation of being tech-free. It’s all about unplugging here! Rooms and cabins are charming and comfortable with stone fireplaces, hand-hewn log walls, and oversized showers and soaking tubs.
There’s enough to do that you’ll keep your mind off not having TV too. With hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, rafting, watersports, and rock climbing, we think you’ll be okay. Have a drink in the hot pool or on the porch at sunset. And then the resident chef will cook you up something amazing – from fresh rainbow trout to Pacific black cod to smoked ribs, they’ve got great in-house ranch food made with local ingredients.