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history of Lookout Pass

Lookout’s original historic base lodge is the second-oldest ski lodge in the northwest - here are a few key chapters from Lookout's rich past.

Historic Lodge at Lookout

Winter 1935-36

  • The Idaho Ski Club is born. A few ardent ski pioneers built a rope tow powered by the engine from an abandoned car they found on the old Yellowstone Highway, which is now I-90. They used a highway maintenance shed on Lookout Pass as a warming hut.


  • Lookout’s Famous Free Ski School founded. Over 80 years, volunteer instructors have introduced more than 75,000 kids to the world of skiing and riding.


  • Lookout’s historic lodge built. The U.S. Forest Service commissioned the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)  to build the original phase of the expanded lodge still in use today, the second-oldest ski lodge in the Pacific Northwest next to the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon.


  • The Idaho Ski Club, the group of volunteers that operated Lookout Pass, sold lift tickets for 50 cents.


  • Lookout’s first chairlift – Chair One, was financed with contributions from local mining companies to provide winter recreation for their employees.


  • Idaho Ski Club sells out. With the mining industry in decline, Lookout’s volunteer staff dwindled. A group of locals who wanted to keep Lookout open takes over.


  • Lookout Associates LLC acquires the mountain. Lookout’s current owners launch a new era of expanding terrain and improved services for greater numbers of skiers and riders.


  • Timber Wolf double chairlift installed. The addition of Timber Wolf (chair 2) on the Montana side of the mountain added five named runs and glades, boosted vertical drop to 1,150 feet and opened spectacular views to the St. Regis and Copper basins.


  • Lodge expansion. A three-story, 6,000 square foot addition greatly expands food service seating and includes a retail shop, more restrooms, locker rooms, the Loft pub and grub lounge on the top level and panoramic slopeside views.


  • North Star double chairlift installed. North Star opens access to expert terrain on the prime north aspect of the mountain with expert terrain and a bird’s eye view of the Coeur d’Alene River Valley.


  • Phase One of new expansion accepted. In April the U.S. Forest Service accepted the first phase of a long-range plan to expand Lookout Pass.


  • Phase One of new expansion officially approved by the U.S. Forest Service. Trails remarked in July by Phil Edholm so the forest service can perform a lumber survey. Lumber survey will take place in the fall of 2017. It is our hope that we can get two new trails cut & cleared and open for winter 2017-18. The other trails we hope will come on board the followng year or soon thereafter. In addition to the new trails there will be two new chairlifts and an additional Base Lodge with seperate road access and parking to serve the new and higher Eagle Peak area. This is the first phase of a long-range plan to expand Lookout Pass to two additional peaks encompassing a total of 2,000 acres. New roof added to Rentals Shop.


  • Finish the season with 503 inches of snow! Though not a record, it is a very strong season. Our summer attraction, The Route of the Hiawatha has set a new record for summer attendance!