The best ski area you have never heard of?
Schwetizer often comes up on ski magazine "best unknown spot" lists -- and for good reason. This growing mountain has superb terrain, dependable snow, easy access, and great views. The mountain is in north Idaho, just shy of the Canadian border, and overlooking the chocolate-box-cute town of Sandpoint as well as the sprawling mountain-ringed Lake Pend Oreille (say "pond-er-a"). The front of the mountain has open learner slopes that lead to steeper bowls, while the backside has never-ending cruisers that shoulder into steep-dropping runs with sparse trees. The mountain is big enough that it rarely feels crowded, though there can be good deals if you can manage a mid-week stay.