I spent the first week of 2008 in northern Idaho at the Stoneridge Resort at Blanchard. One of the closer ski hills is Schweitzer Ski Resort. It is a fantastic little ski hill that claims to be the 3rd best tree skiing in North America. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I had a pretty good time.
Just a few minutes north of Sandpoint, Idaho, you turn west off the highway. There is a parking lot at the bottom where you can take a bus up to the top. I think they said it was around 9 miles from the bottom to the top so it is as bit of a drive. When you get up there, there are a few different parking lots that are basically all ski in and ski out of, but be careful. The top parking lot is a $10 fee to use.
There is a front side and a back side to the hill and there are quite a few treed areas that you can ride through. Quite a few of them I would say are blue tree runs so it is good for more beginner types.
Not Too Crowded
It might have been the day, but there were a ton of vehicles parked there, but the hill still does not seem very crowded. It is more of a family hill with a lot of chalets and condos on the hill so the chairs at the bottom of the green runs were the busiest. Once you were on the backside it was no more than a minute wait to get on a lift.
The same story for the lodge. It was easy to find a spot to eat and lots of places to throw a nap sack with food and what not.