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Put Yourself Here: Lake Pend Oreille

Idaho's deepest lake is the source of legend.

view across Lake Pend Oreille toward the Cabinet Mountains in Idaho, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Patrick Orton / Idaho Stock Images
Photo caption
Lake Pend Oreille is Idaho’s deepest lake at 1,170 feet.

Cold water ripples as far and deep as you can fathom in northern Idaho's Lake Pend Oreille, an immense body of water just 85 miles from Canada. Carved by ancient floods and glaciers, fed by clear mountain streams, Idaho's deepest lake hits bottom at 1,170 feet—and its depths have spawned legends. Some are true (the navy has indeed tested submarines here, for some 70 years), while others are fanciful (the Pend Oreille Paddler, a mysterious lake monster, has yet to be verified).

What’s certain is the lake's allure. On warm days, visitors doze on sandy beaches and swim in Beaver Bay. Wildlife watchers catch a cruise in Sandpoint, then look for eagles and moose. Others walk the Bay Trail, admiring the nearby Cabinet Mountains. It's just one more adventure on a lake that never seems to run out.

This article was first published in Summer 2018. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.