Lake Pend Oreille Idaho has been on our list for several years, it’s just not convenient to get up in the tip of Idaho.
They call this the Idaho Panhandle, but it’s really more of the chimney.
From the upscale town of Sandpoint on the northwest corner of the lake it’s 50 miles north to Canada.
25 miles west to Washington state.
25 miles east to Montana.
It’s way up here.
Lake Pend Oreille is the fifth-deepest lake in the US, and the largest lake in Idaho.
Its acoustics mimic the open ocean so well that the US Navy has an underwater acoustics research station in Bayview on the southern end of the lake where they do submarine acoustic testing.
We opted to stay in the Sam Owen campground on the east side of the lake for our time here, a great no-hookups Forest Service campground.
A huge windstorm came through a few years ago and blew down a bunch of trees, making our loop undesirable for a lot of campers who look for deep, dark woods.
We want the open canopy for solar and Starlink to do their thing.
Despite being heads-down work weeks, we made it a point to break away and enjoy an hour in the hammocks at the lakeside, catch the sunsets, and play on and around the lake every chance possible.
Trips into Sandpoint to poke around, a history tour of the lake with Lake Pend Oreille Cruises, and trips across the border to see the Cabinet Gorge Dam and explore the Ross Creek Cedars Scenic area. Plenty to do and plenty of nature, while still having plenty of solitude to catch up on work.
We absolutely love this area, and wouldn’t rule out a condo in Sandpoint as a summer place when we get too old to travel any longer.

Over The Lake

Over The Lake at Lake Pend Oreille
A drone shot over Lake Pend Oreille

Solitary Loop

Solitary Loop at Lake Pend Oreille
A lot of the trees in this loop were knocked down a few years ago in a huge windstorm, so it’s not as popular as the shady pine trees. We prefer the open space for solar and Starlink, it’s an added bonus to have no neighbors!

Cozy Little Spot

Cozy Little Spot on Lake Pend Oreille
Our cozy little campfire spot among the pines at Sam Owen Campground.

Eye Spy

Eye Spy
A young buck lays low in the tall grass next to the RV

Sunset Shores

Sunset Shores on Lake Pend Oreille
Beautiful colors on these stones

At The Cabin

At The Cabin
Lakefront cabins lit up below colorful night skies

Slowly Sinking

Slowly Sinking
A long exposure sunset shot from the dock at the Sam Owen Campground.

Off The Deep End

Off The Deep End in Lake Pend Oreille
Black and white from the Sam Owen Campground dock

Road Closed

Road Closed
The Forest Service must have some pretty badass vehicles to use this administrative road.

Imaginative Art

Imaginative Art
Creative people always amaze me – looking at bits and pieces of things and visualizing the something that they will become. Mom has it, Shelby has it, it skipped right over me…
The latest piece of artwork in the RV, courtesy of Tara from Where’s Oscar – she made this from stones, twigs, and other assorted natural material from the beach here at Sam Owen.

Heading In

Heading In
The boat launch and the beach at Sandpoint are very popular places to be on a beautiful day!

Lakefront Luxury

Lakefront Luxury on Lake Pend Oreille
Property here is at a premium, and Zillow reflects this.

Tucked In

Tucked In
A sailboat sits at anchor listening to the live music at the Beyond Hope Resort

Cotton Candy Clouds

Cotton Candy Clouds above Lake Pend Oreille
Who doesnt’ love cotton candy clouds?

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