things to doWith our seasonal changes, there are always lots of things to do at Big Horn Lodge. For those who like to be outdoors, the question on any day is not what to do but which activity to do.
Hiking couldn’t get much better than this. Some trails you can walk to from the lodge. Others require a very short drive to the trailhead. Once again you will see very few people on them if any besides your own group. There are trails to high mountain lakes deep in wilderness areas visible from the lodge. If you’re not familiar with a wilderness area they are large tracts of national forest where no motorized vehicles are allowed nor is logging allowed in them as is in a regular national forest. We have maps available for you and if you like can set up a local guide who is familiar with the forest and animals you may encounter.
Horseback riding is one of the most popular activities here. A licensed Montana Outfitter with great guides and a high degree of concern for safety will take you on a mountain ride you won’t forget. Warning for flatlanders, a three-hour mountain ride is close to a six-hour flat land ride for you as well as the horses. The Outfitter can take as many as eight riders (not including the guide.) The guides are very experienced at selecting the best horse for you depending on your size and experience level. These horses are very well trained and sure footed in the mountains.
We highly recommend using Elk Creek Outfitters, for horseback rides. We are not involved in their costs. They are very professional and experienced. Contact Brent Fitchett (owner) at 406/847-5593 or go to their website: https://www.loc8nearme.com/montana/heron/elk-creek-outfitting/6941568/
Fishing is a favorite here in Montana with our crystal clear rivers and streams. We will do all we can to help you fish by yourself on the many rivers and streams in our area. You can fish right out the back door on our river or combine a hiking trip with some high mountain lake fishing for cut throat trout. This makes for a great day for a father and son/daughter team. Don’t forget our small boats, which can be used to fish on the Bull River. Fishing is great here and requires a Montana fishing license. For license costs and regulations contact Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. Large rivers are open all year smaller streams usually don’t open until mid to late May and close late-November.
For guided fishing and float trips, we highly recommend Dave Blackburn at Kootenai Angler!
Schweitzer Mountain Resort just outside Sandpoint is a great ski resort one hour away. They have downhill slopes for everyone from back bowls and advanced black slopes to one of the best beginner’s slopes we have ever seen. It is long and has a new chair ride. It is a major ski area without the lines. They keep their cross-country trails very well groomed.
Our lodge area from Christmas through March has some of the best cross country skiing around but no groomed trails just follow the forest service roads and trails as far as you want to go for the quietest day you’ve ever experienced deep in the National forest. You will need to provide your own skis.
There are many nearby sights to see! Two of the best are the Ross Creek Cedars and Kootenai Falls. The Cedars is a forest service park, which contains cedar trees over 500 years old. Most old growth trees in Washington, Idaho and Montana were burnt during the 1910 devastating fire, which swept that area. Kootenai Falls is a beautiful falls to the north of us and is on the Kootenai river where some of the white water shots from the movie “River Wild” were made. This is a great half-day trip with a little hiking involved.
Glacier National Park is a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from the Lodge. Many guest combine trips to Glacier with their Lodge vacation, either coming or going. There are flights into Kalispell for access to Glacier National Park.
The Bison Range is another wonderful state land set aside for the Buffalo. It is about two hours from here and makes a perfect day trip. In August you might hit the Huckleberry festival in the small town of Trout Creek on your drive.
Sandpoint, Idaho is a resort town about 45 minutes from the lodge. There are many interesting shops and boutiques located in Sandpoint as well which often include handmade crafts and different types of art made by local artists. Or you might enjoy attending the outdoor Farmer’s Market where they sell everything from homemade food items, baskets, etc. to plants and flowers (only available in the Summer months).
Nature Photography, you’re on your own here since we have very little experience in that area except to point the way to places you might find the things you are interested in. For instance, Spring usually brings the Elk herds close to civilization. We have had herds of about forty just across the river every May. Other times of the year you need to be pretty crafty to find them. We’ve had quite a few people through here that photographed Birds and High Mountain Flowers. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.