My Hometown: Snowboarder Nate Holland on Sandpoint, Idaho

"A small town with a huge backyard.”


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“Once a bustling logging town, Sandpoint has embraced its natural beauty to become an amazing resort town drawing people near and far to enjoy its beauty and recreational possibilities,” says three-time Olympian and seven-time X Games snowboard cross gold medalist Nate Holland. “It’s truly a small town with a huge backyard.”

Situated in northern Idaho, 76 miles east of Spokane, Washington, Sandpoint hugs the shore of Lake Pend Oreille and sits in the shadow of Schweitzer Mountain Resort, where Holland learned to snowboard as a child and perfected his go-for-broke style as an adult.

And when Holland isn’t ripping down the mountain, he’s on the water. In fact, he has so much love for Lake Pend Oreille that he and his brother Pat, also a member of the U.S. Snowboarding Team and a Coast Guard certified captain, founded Action Water Sports, which offers rentals and lessons in wakesurfing, water skiing, wakeboarding, and even tubing at two locations along the lake.

Here’s what else you should know about the area, according to Holland:

One thing most people don’t know about Sandpoint?
At 1,150 feet deep, Lake Pend Oreille is the fifth deepest lake in the US.

Favorite place to get outside?
Lake Pend Oreille is definitely my favorite place to be while in Sandpoint. I love to get out on a boat to enjoy water sports, camping, fishing, or just to relax and catch a sunset.

Best time of year to visit?
Summertime is my favorite time of year in Sandpoint, reason being, Lake Pend Oreille is warm and ready for action.

Best restaurant?
Ivano’s is my favorite restaurant hands down. With amazing Italian food, great wine list, and friendly staff, you can’t go wrong.

Must-see attraction?
Lake Pend Oreille in the summer, and Schweitzer Mountain Resort in the winter. Come check my business Action Water Sports and let me show you what the lake has to offer. We offer boat rentals, water sports lessons and tours, jet skis, SUPs, kayaks, and canoes; we have something for everyone. In my opinion there is only one way to see Lake Pend Oreille, and that’s on it.

Schweitzer is where I found snowboarding; it will always have a special place in my heart and is a top-notch ski resort. It has some of the best bowl tree skiing in the world and breathtaking views of Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille.

Best place to stay?
Edgewater Resort is the best place to stay while in Sandpoint. It’s on the water, next to the sandy City Beach, one block away from historical downtown Sandpoint. You’ll love it!

(Stephen A. Wolfe)

Need to Know:

Population: 7,403

Sandpoint is 82 miles from Spokane International Airport in Washington State.