Feb. 4, 2019

12. Gondola Ride up Silver Mountain

I love northern Idaho. The beauty of the mountains and the trees, the historical stories braided throughout its small towns and the massive number of BucketList adventures that originate there. One adventure I was really looking forward was to riding the gondola up Silver Mountain in Kellogg. Not only does it offer up a beautiful view of the mountains, but it’s a really unique BucketList adventure.

A gondola up the mountain isn’t like you may think. This isn’t a gondola that is defined as a flat bottom boat, lazily floating down a canal. Oh no...this is a small box car suspended on a ski lift going straight up a mountain. Now, as a side note here, I have to mention that I am terrified of heights. Getting on the gondola took me a minute, but I’m so glad I did. The gondola at Silver Mountain is the world’s longest single stage gondola and Kellogg is in the heart of Idaho’s Panhandle National Forest. The view was breathtaking!

The day we went on our gondola ride they were also having a mountain bike adventure course down the backside of the mountain. We bought our tickets at Silver Mountain Resort and boarded our gondola there at the bottom of the mountain. I can not even begin to describe the majestic beauty you can see for miles in each direction as you glide up the mountain in your own personal gondola. We arrived at the top of the mountain and decided to get off and explore before heading back down. There is small cafe where you can get lunch, snacks and drinks, as well as restrooms at the top and several viewing points around the area, a huge grassed area that is perfect for group gatherings, and several other chair lifts that originate here. During the winter it is where skiers top the mountain. During the summer you can take your mountain bike down the backside, enjoy lunch, and go back down the mountain on the gondola.

After exploring the top of the mountain, and meeting some of the gondola staff, we headed back down the mountain. It was truly blissful gliding down the mountain while enjoying such beautiful scenery.

During the summer they have concert and dinner specials all combined with the gondola rides up the mountain. A great place to take the kids or enjoy a romantic evening/weekend with someone special. Not to be missed! I know you will enjoy it as much as I did!

History: It all started with the discovery of rich lead ore. Kellogg was born out of this discovery in 1886 and grew rapidly as mining activity in the Silver Valley expanded. Kellogg has traditionally been consider the industrial center of the Coeur d’Alene Mining District since that time. The town grew from a mining support community to an important processing center for primary metals through World War II and beyond.

In the 1980’s, the mine complex closed and the city looked elsewhere to sustain its livelihood. Kellogg constructed the longest aerial transportation system (3.1 mile single stage gondola) in the world and began development of Silver Mountain into a year round recreational resort. It now hold condos, a water park, a golf course, mountain bike trails….and, of course, skiing!! There is an abandoned railroad bed in the middle of town that is now a greenbelt walkway. That walkway is part of the “Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes”, a 72 mile long trail that extends from the Montana border to Plummer, Idaho.

Location: From Boise - Take I-84 W toward Oregon, entering Oregon, for 223 miles. Exit 188 for US-395 N towards Stanfield/Hermiston remaining on US-395 N until the turnoff for OR-207 N..about 10 miles. Then right onto US-730 E (entering Washington) for 18 miles. Left on US-12 W for 16 miles. Take Exit 14 for US-395 N (again) toward Spokane and keep right to continue on Exit 14B, follow signs for US-395 N/Spokane. Continue on US-395 N (Back in Idaho) for 200 miles. Take Exit 49 for Kellogg and Silver Mountain. It’s literally right off of US-395 N.

You can also fly into Spokane International Airport. It’s only an hour away from the airport and flights from Boise are very affordable.

Address: 610 Bunker Avenue / Kellogg
Phone: 866-344-2675

Cost:

Adults (18+) / Ride $19 / Ride & Dine ** $32.95 / Bike Park Day Pass $36
Youth (4-17) / Ride $15 / Ride & Dine ** $24.95 / Bike Park Day Pass $29
Senior (62+) / Ride $15 / Ride & Dine ** $31.95 / Bike Park Day Pass $36
Children (Under 3) / Ride Free / Ride & Dine ** $6.95
Family Package - First 4 members Ride $61 each / Each additional member $13

Prices are for information only and subject to change. Taxes not included.
*Every Friday in July through August, enjoy a savory mountain top BBQ featuring huckleberry ribs served with choice of assorted side dishes, bread and a non-alcoholic beverage. Beer, wine and mixed drinks are available for an additional charge.

Website: https://www.silvermt.com/Summer/Scenic-Gondola-Rides

Good to Know: This is a great vacation destination. You can take the whole family and there is plenty for everyone to do. Not to mention, the scenery is fantastic and there are many BucketList things to do in nearby towns also. You can make it a BucketList vaca!

Eats: There are many restaurants around Silver Mountain Resort. Here are a few suggestions.

Noah’s Canteen (Located at the Resort)
(208) 783-2440
Comfort food, Outdoor seating

Moose Creek Grill
12 Emerson Ln / Kellogg
208-783-2625
Great setting, American food, Happy Hour

Hill Street Depot
446 Railroad Ave / Kellogg
208-512-4517
Comfort food, Outdoor seating, Small plates


Lodging:

You can stay right at Silver Mountain Resort. It’s a little pricey in the winter, but if you are there to enjoy the amenities at the resort you might like the convenience of being closer. Spring/Summer prices are much more affordable.

Average Prices per night:

Winter Rates:
Studio $177+ / Family Studio $253+ / 1 Bedroom Suite $279+ / 1 Bedroom Loft Suite $467+

Spring/Summer Rates:
Studio $121+ / Family Studio $143+ / 1 Bedroom Suite $169+ / Mountain View Suite $169+

Other lodging in Kellogg: Hotels

Fairbridge Inn and Suites / 601 Bunker Ave, Kellogg, ID 83837 / (208) 783-1234 / Average Price per night $96

Sunshine Inn / 301 W Cameron Ave, Kellogg, ID 83837 / (208) 784-0225 / Average Price per night - please contact directly

La Maison Sur Le Hill Bed & Breakfast / 18 Emerson Ln, Kellogg, ID 83837 / (208) 783-0315 / Average Price per night - please contact directly

McKinley Inn / 210 Mc Kinley Ave W, Kellogg, ID 83837 / 210 McKinley Ave, Kellogg, ID 83837 / (208) 786-7400 / Average Price per night - please contact directly

Alpine Village Resort / 308 Ohio Ave, Kellogg, ID 83837 / (208) 783-2757 / Average Price per night - please contact directly

Camping:

Blue Anchor RV Park & Campground / 300 West Mullan Avenue, Osburn, ID 83849 / (208) 752-3443 / large pull thru sites, full hook ups available, 30/50 amp electrical service, tent sites, cabins, free cable TV, clean laundry facilities and we are the only park in the Silver Valley that offers FREE Wi-Fi. Oh and your pets are welcome too!!

Special Notes: I want to post a quote from the Silver Mountain website “Family fun is our specialty! Stay with us and you've got more activities than a summer camp. Silver Rapids has you covered for surfing, splashing and floating and all the biking, skiing and tubing you can handle is just a gondola ride away. When you stay with Silver Mountain Lodging be sure to grab a Kid's Passport and check with the front desk about our outdoor movies, water bomb fights, craft times, singalongs with smores by the fire and much more.”