Coeur d’Alene came HIGHLY recommended by several RV friends. So what did we think? Was it a hit or a bust?
After hearing so many of our RV buddies raving over Coeur d’Alene to the point it was their favorite place to visit, we had to plan a stop here, even if it meant it was a bit out of the way. And, how could famous people like John Elway, Matthew McConaughy, Lance Armstrong and George Clooney, who all have homes in Coeur d’Alene, be wrong? The Coeur d’Alene tourist bureau touts it as one of nature’s most glorious theme parks. Where our expectations set too high by all this praise?
There’s definitely a lot to do here. Lake Coeur d’Alene is ideal for fishing, boating and jet skiing. They even have parasailing and sea plane rides (more on that in a moment). There’s 33 miles of hiking and bicycling trails and several golf courses, including one with a floating green!
The rumor is, if you are a special type of client, they’ll move the green closer to the shore to make it easier to hit the green. As Forest Gump might say, “Well, I don’t know about that.”
Our big adventure while here was to take a sea plane tour with Brook’s Seaplane Service over Lake Coeur d’Alene. We still weren’t sure about leaving Rizzo that long with the AC running in the RV so I called and they gave us permission to bring her with us!
The plane was a “Beech 18” 1954 Beechcraft D18S 7 seat plane. Our pilot was a 50+ year retired American Airlines captain so we felt pretty safe. We were curious how Rizzo would do climbing into the plane since it’s floating, and rocking, on water but the guides said they’d never seen a dog climb in that well.
Before boarding, they asked if anyone wanted to be the co-pilot so I raised my hand! I had at least a few reasons to volunteer; 1. better viewing, 2. less motion sickness, 3. really cool opportunity, 4. promo for my business podcast called Coach’s Copilot!
Jeff said I should definitely be glad I opted to because he was feeling motion sick in the back and he never feels motion sick.
We may be lucking out without rain but we are experiencing a lot of windy days, not great for kayaking. So we had to skip kayaking on the lake. Instead, we enjoyed some beautiful, but windy, weather for a couple of days.
This was a great park with many amenities. There’s a small beach with lake access, and even a small section of the beach reserved for dogs! There’s also a boat launch and dock. You can find plenty to do here including a pickleball court, volley ball court, and all the standards. The showers are private, large and clean. The laundry room is large and reasonably priced.
The sites are gravel with a small patch of grass on the side, which means no putting out your large mats. But you’ll be pretty close to your neighbor and there isn’t a lot of shade. Fortunately, we were able to stretch the awning and get a bit of shade to enjoy most of the evening hours relaxing and enjoying the not-110-degree-weather-in-Phoenix.
Because we had been hoping to get a last minute cancelation for one more day at Blackwell which didn’t come through, we ended up moving to Koontenai Fairgrounds for our last night in CDA. I didn’t have high hopes here but it was only one night. Turns out the fairgrounds put in a great campground. Wifi was probably the best we’ve had on the entire trip, the sites were long and level with plenty of space. The restrooms were clean. There weren’t any bells and whistles here since it was a county fairgrounds but what it had was done right.
Our take on Coeur d’Alene? We see the appeal but won’t rush back here any time soon. But at least we have now officially added state number 17 to the map!
Miles hiked at this stop – 17.75
Animal Sightings to date – 17 and holding