Sandpoint Live Cam

A county-owned public-use airport in the northwest United States


Sandpoint is a charming small town located in the northernmost part of Idaho, USA. It sits on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, which is the largest lake in Idaho and offers picturesque views and recreational opportunities. Here's an overview of the history of Sandpoint:

Native American Presence: Before the arrival of European settlers, the area around Sandpoint was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Kalispel and Kootenai people. These tribes had a rich culture and were well adapted to the natural resources the region provided.

Exploration and Early Settlement: The first European exploration of the area was led by David Thompson, a British-Canadian fur trader and explorer, in 1809. However, it was not until the 1870s that permanent settlement began. The town was named after Charles Schenk Sandpoint, who was the head engineer of the Northern Pacific Railroad, which reached the area in the early 1880s.

Railroad and Timber: The arrival of the railroad was a significant event in Sandpoint's history, as it allowed for easier transportation of goods and people. The timber industry played a crucial role in the town's early development, with logging becoming a major economic driver.

Fires and Rebuilding: Sandpoint faced devastating fires in its history. In 1889, a fire destroyed much of the downtown area, but the community rallied to rebuild the town, and many of the structures that still stand today date from that reconstruction period. In 1910, the Great Fire of 1910, which was one of the largest wildfires in U.S. history, also affected the region, including parts of Sandpoint.

Decline of Timber and Tourism: As the timber industry declined over the years, the economy of Sandpoint shifted towards tourism and recreation. The picturesque setting of the town on the lake and its proximity to natural attractions like Schweitzer Mountain Resort and the Selkirk and Cabinet Mountains contributed to its appeal as a tourist destination.

Modern Times: In recent decades, Sandpoint has experienced population growth and increased interest from people seeking a quieter, more nature-oriented lifestyle. Despite this growth, the town has managed to maintain its small-town charm and welcoming community.

Sandpoint is now known for its beautiful scenery, outdoor activities, arts and cultural scene, and friendly atmosphere. It's a popular destination for tourists, outdoor enthusiasts, and those looking to enjoy a slower pace of life in a stunning natural setting.

Top Tourist Attractions

  • Lake Pend Oreille: The star attraction of Sandpoint is Lake Pend Oreille, a stunning freshwater lake that stretches for over 40 miles. Visitors can indulge in various water activities such as boating, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and swimming. The lake's picturesque shoreline and surrounding mountains make it a popular spot for picnics and scenic drives.
  • Schweitzer Mountain Resort: Located just a few miles from Sandpoint, Schweitzer Mountain Resort is a premier winter destination for skiing and snowboarding. In the summer, the resort transforms into a mountain playground with hiking and mountain biking trails, zip lines, chairlift rides, and panoramic views.
  • Sandpoint City Beach: This sandy beach on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille is a great place for families and sunbathers. The beach offers swimming areas, picnic spots, and beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
  • Cedar Street Bridge Public Market: Housed in a historic bridge structure, the Cedar Street Bridge Public Market is a unique shopping destination. It features boutique shops, local artisans' products, galleries, and a delightful variety of food and beverage options.
  • Pend d'Oreille Winery: Wine enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to this local winery that produces a diverse selection of wines, including reds, whites, and fruit wines. The winery offers tastings, tours, and a lovely outdoor patio to relax and enjoy the views.
  • Bonner County Historical Society Museum: History buffs can explore the region's past at this museum, which showcases artifacts, exhibits, and photographs related to the history and development of Bonner County.
  • Idaho Club Golf Course: For golf enthusiasts, the Idaho Club offers a scenic and challenging golf course surrounded by the beauty of the mountains and Lake Pend Oreille.
  • Sandpoint Farmers' Market: If you visit during the warmer months, don't miss the Sandpoint Farmers' Market, where you can find fresh produce, local crafts, and artisanal products.
  • City Murals: Stroll through Sandpoint's downtown streets to admire the vibrant murals that adorn several buildings, reflecting the town's culture and history.
  • Pack River Delta: Nature lovers can explore the Pack River Delta, an expansive wetland area that provides opportunities for birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and serene walks.

Sandpoint, Idaho, experiences a continental climate with distinct seasonal variations. Here's an overview of the typical climate in Sandpoint:

  • Summers: Summers in Sandpoint are generally warm and pleasant. The average daytime temperatures range from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (around 24°C to 30°C). However, occasional heatwaves can push temperatures higher. Summer nights are usually cooler, with temperatures dropping to the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit (10°C to 20°C). This season is the best time for outdoor activities and exploring the natural beauty of the area.
  • Winters: Winters in Sandpoint are cold and snowy. The town is located close to the mountains, which means it receives significant snowfall during the winter months. Average daytime temperatures in winter range from the mid-20s to low 30s Fahrenheit (around -4°C to 0°C), and nighttime temperatures can drop well below freezing. Snowstorms can be common, making it a great destination for winter sports enthusiasts.
  • Spring and Fall: Spring and fall are transitional seasons in Sandpoint. Spring brings milder temperatures and occasional rain as the snow begins to melt. Average daytime temperatures in spring range from the 50s to 60s Fahrenheit (around 10°C to 20°C). Fall sees a return of cooler temperatures and the gradual change of foliage colors. Average daytime temperatures in fall are similar to spring, ranging from the 50s to 60s Fahrenheit.
  • Due to the proximity to Lake Pend Oreille and the surrounding mountains, the weather in Sandpoint can be influenced by local weather patterns, leading to microclimates in different areas of the town.

For the most up-to-date weather forecasts and climate information for Sandpoint, it's best to consult a reliable weather service before planning your visit.


Sandpoint is located in the northernmost part of the state and is known for its stunning natural beauty and picturesque surroundings. Here's an overview of the geography of Sandpoint:

  • Location: Sandpoint is situated in Bonner County, Idaho, USA. It is nestled between the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, which is the largest lake in Idaho, and the Selkirk Mountains to the east. The town's location provides residents and visitors with breathtaking views of both the lake and the mountains.
  • Lake Pend Oreille: Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced "ponderay") is a prominent feature of Sandpoint's geography. It stretches approximately 43 miles (69 kilometers) in length and has a maximum depth of over 1,150 feet (350 meters). The lake's size and depth make it an ideal location for water activities, such as boating, fishing, and swimming.
  • Selkirk Mountains: To the east of Sandpoint lies the majestic Selkirk Mountain range. The mountains are part of the larger Columbia Mountains, which extend from British Columbia, Canada, into the northernmost part of Idaho. The Selkirk Mountains add to the town's scenic beauty and provide opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and winter sports.
  • Cabinet Mountains: To the west of Sandpoint, across Lake Pend Oreille, you'll find the Cabinet Mountains. While they are not as prominent as the Selkirk Mountains, they still contribute to the overall beauty of the region and offer additional opportunities for outdoor recreation.
  • Pack River: The Pack River flows into Lake Pend Oreille near Sandpoint's northern boundary. The river, along with its delta area, provides habitat for diverse wildlife and is an attractive spot for nature enthusiasts.
  • Downtown Sandpoint: The town's downtown area is situated along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille and features a charming blend of historic buildings, modern amenities, and stunning lake views. Sandpoint's well-maintained city beach is also a popular spot for both locals and visitors.
  • Climate: As mentioned earlier, Sandpoint experiences a continental climate with distinct seasons. Summers are generally warm and pleasant, while winters are cold and snowy, offering excellent conditions for winter sports enthusiasts.

The unique geographical features of Sandpoint make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those seeking a tranquil escape amidst the beauty of lakes and mountains. The town's natural surroundings and friendly community contribute to its appeal as a popular tourist destination and a great place to call home.