Lake Pend Oreille
Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced: pond-o-ray) is the largest lake in the northern Idaho Panhandle, with a surface area of 148 square miles (380 km2). It is 43 miles (69 km) long, and 1,150 feet (350 m) deep in some regions, making it the fifth deepest in the United States. It is fed by the Clark Fork River and the Pack River, and drains via the Pend Oreille River. It is surrounded by national forests and a few small towns, with the largest population on the lake at Sandpoint. The majority of the shoreline is non-populated. All but the southern tip of the lake is in Bonner County. The southern tip is in Kootenai County and is home to Farragut State Park, formerly the Farragut Naval Training Station during World War II of which a small part is still active and conducts US Navy acoustic underwater submarine research.
The surrounding forests consist of Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, Red Cedar, Poplar, Quaking Aspen, Hemlock, Paper Birch and Western Larch. Local animal species include white-tailed deer, elk, gray wolves, moose, squirrels, black bears, Grizzly bear, coyotes and bobcats, along with bald eagles, osprey, owls, hummingbirds, hawks, woodpeckers, ducks and the mountain bluebird. The lake is a home for several species of migratory water fowl.
Open Water Swimming
The Idaho Panhandle is the northern region of the U.S. State of Idaho that encompasses the ten northernmost counties of Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce, Shoshone. Residents of the panhandle refer to the region as North Idaho. The southern part of this region, from Moscow south, is sometimes referred to as North Central Idaho, with the rest as North Idaho. The panhandle is bordered by the state of Washington to the west, Montana to the east and British Columbia to the north.
Coeur d'Alene is the largest city within the Idaho Panhandle; however, nearby Spokane, Washington is the region's largest city and also the location of the regional airport, Spokane International Airport (GEG).