While most people that come to the awesome lake of Lake Pend Oreille tend to stay in Sandpoint, there are also plenty of other great towns ranging from tiny, to being a decent sized town!
If you live here, you probably have spent a significant amount of time exploring each of these towns when you are traveling around hiking, biking, or boating around our region.
Without anything more to do, let’s jump in and learn about some of the local towns to the larger Sandpoint area. Please note these towns are listed in alphabetical order.
This town can be easily missed while driving on along highway 2, however they are a quick growing town with a recent addition of a brand new Super 1, and Autozone.
They also offer some great camping areas as they are nearby to Bayview (which we will talk about in a moment) and Farragut State Park.
According to Athol’s town website there are around 741 residents of the town, and it was incorporates on August 10th, 1909.
If you want to visit Athol from Sandpoint, it is 26.2 miles (29 minutes) south of here.
This unique town is fairly nearby town to Athol that we just talked about a moment ago. However it has a very different feel! It is home to the US Naval Surface Warfare Center, which is well known to be a testing home for submarines.
It also features lakeside restaurants, and even floating homes, that have become increasingly rare.
According to Bestplaces.net, Bayview has a total of 1,123 residents. You can visit the town by taking a left in Carreywood. It takes a 35 minute drive, and is a total of 26.1 miles away.
3. Bonners Ferry
Bonners Ferry is one of the larger towns in the area, with 2,595 people it is still smaller than Sandpoint though.
The town is split by the Kootenai River, and is also right next to an awesome wildlife refuge. It offers some great hikes, and bike rides!
You’ll be able to get to Bonners Ferry by traveling along highway 95 for 32 miles (38 minutes).
4. Clark Fork
If you head out towards Montana from Sandpoint on Highway 200, you will eventually drive through Clark Fork! It is a small town right near the the Clark Fork (go figure) river.
This larger river flows out of Montana and into Lake Pend Orielle.
Logging it a big part of Clark Fork’s culture, and is also the entry way to awesome hiking, including the Scotchman Peak Hike, which is a crazy steep, yet fun hik.
This town has about 568 residents, and is 22.4 miles (36 minutes) from Sandpoint! It is worth the drive if you want some great out door experiences.
If you drive just a 9 minutes (3.4 miles) on Highway 2 towards Priest River, you will find yourself in Dover Idaho. You might miss it if you don’t know about the turn off, but if you turn left right before the bridge on highway 2 you will find an extremely cool small town.
Sitting right on the edge of Pend Orielle river, there are many many nice homes, and small cottages. It also is the home to Dish at Dover restaurant.
If you are looking for a place to go that isn’t far from Sandpoint but offers some nice scenery, this might be a great option.
Also, as a note, their city beach is a great place to go and walk your dog.
Looking for a smaller town to visit, but want full visibility of the lake? Hope might be the best option for you to go.
It has plenty of docks to launch your boat, and is nearby many of the islands that are in our large lake!
Hope Idaho is also known for having an animal refuge that is linked to the Sam Owen campground which offers some awesome scenery.
You will also notice that deer are extremely friendly here, and you can easily drive up next to them. Please don’t feed or pet them though!
Hope Idaho is 16.6 miles (23 minutes) from Sandpoint Idaho, and has a population of 96 people.
This is a small town that is just east of Ponderay (which we will learn about in a moment). It primarily has residential homes, but also has churches, gas stations and some other amenities.
Kootenai has 922 people in its population, and is 3.5 miles (8 minutes) from Sandpoint.
If you aren’t from around the Sandpoint area, you likely would think Ponderay is a part of the same town. However there is a split that happens in the bypass area.
Ponderay is different, in that it houses many of the larger store locations like Walmart, North 40, and Home Depot. It tends to be large shopping center of the area, while Sandpoint houses the smaller and more specialized shopping stores.
The town has 1,134 people as of 2018 and is 2.4 miles from the heart of Sandpoint.
9. Priest River
Priest River is well known to have come out of the logging industry! You can learn a little bit more about their history in our article here. However outside of that, it is a smaller town, with a small town feel that many people enjoy.
It is easy to get there from Sandpoint when you travel 28 minutes (22.4 miles) down highway 2. You’ll be able to find the 1,853 residents there!
This town is directly on the other side of the Long Bridge from Sandpoint, and is well known for being a rural side of Sandpiont, rather than the shopping.
It also is home to boat and normal storage as well has Cafe 95, which has some awesome breakfast food.
Sagle also gives easy access to the other side of Pend Orielle river along Bottle Bay Road, and Lakeshore Drive.
According to this website, the town has 6,141 residents, which is surprising. However those are spread across a large area.
Sagle is a total of 5.9 miles from Sandpoint, and takes about 11 minutes to arrive by car.
So there you have it! These are 10 towns that are nearby to Sandpoint Idaho. Of course there are other smaller towns, and of course larger towns like Hayden and CDA nearby, but these are the main ones that I could think of.
Did I miss one? Make sure to leave a comment below to let us know, and we’ll look at adding it.