I’m only in Idaho for a couple more days, and I can’t leave without talking about Coeur d’Alene. It’s a native tribe. A river. A lake. A scenic byway. A resort. And a city. Over the past month, I’ve driven the 25 minutes to Coeur d’Alene several times, and I was giddy every time. What an amazing area of the country.
Coeur d’Alene, French for “Heart of the Awl,” is the name given to the Native American tribe in this area in the late 18th or early 19th century by French traders and trappers. The name refers to the sharpness of the trading skills shown by tribal members in their dealings with visitors.
Coeur d’Alene is a popular name in this area of the Idaho Panhandle. The Coeur d’Alene River begins near the Montana border and flows through the Silver Valley into Lake Coeur d’Alene, where the city of Coeur d’Alene is situated along. Got that?! Phew!
IDULA (I don’t usually like acronyms), but seeing “CDA” everywhere around here, I totally get it.
The first time I drove west on I-90 from Kellogg to Coeur d’Alene, I was surprised at the sheer size of the lake. It spans 25 miles in length and is 1-3 miles wide. Everywhere I looked for the last 10 miles into Coeur d’Alene was water. I lost track of the number of bays I drove around while cruising along the Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway.
My first visit to the city of Coeur d’Alene was on a perfectly sunny Saturday morning. Recreational activities galore! The lake was bustling with boaters, kayakers, water skiers, jet skiers, swimmers, hikers, and even a few parasailers.
I was amazed at the number of marinas on Lake Coeur d’Alene. If you’ve got a fancy boat or yacht and like to show it off, this is the place for you!
Another morning I hiked around Tubbs Hill near downtown Coeur d’Alene, overlooking the lake with great views of all the adventures below. Afterward, I walked the shops downtown, which reminded me a lot of Grand Avenue back in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Coeur d’Alene is definitely a gem and I highly recommend a visit if you’re in this area of the Pacific Northwest.
Words don’t do Coeur d’Alene justice. But photos do a slightly better job! I’ve created a photo gallery of my favorites. Enjoy!