About Coeur d’Alene, Idaho


City Founded – 1887
Kootenai County Seat – 1908
All American City – 1990
Elevation – 2,187
Time Zone – Pacific
Sister City: Cranbrook, B.C.


Average High Temperatures: 86 F in July, 61 F in October, 34 F in January, 59 F in April. Annual rainfall: 26 inches, with 30 to 80 inches of snowfall


The population of Coeur d’Alene, according to the 2020 Census is just under 53,000 and the population of Kootenai County is just under 170,000. ~ U.S. Census

Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, showing North and South Highway

History of Coeur d’Alene

Coeur d’Alene was named by French-speaking traders who also named the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe. The most common theory for the name is that trappers considered the local Indian community sharp traders, hence the defining name, heart of an awl.

Fort Sherman was established (named after General William Techumseh Sherman of Civil War fame – who was the Provost Marshall at Fort Coeur d’Alene) and the town grew around the fort, the pier that paddle-wheelers and pleasure boaters used and the timber workers It was not until the discovery of gold in 1883 on Prichard Creek that many settlers arrived in the area.

Lake Coeur d'Alene, Decorative Image, (Text in Photo not intended to be legible at any size)

Steamboat traffic began to flourish on Lake Coeur d’Alene in 1889 when lakes and rivers were used to move supplies to mining and lumber camps. The logging industry flourished during the early 1900’s. Logs were transported to mills in the area by the surrounding lakes and rivers. During this time Coeur d’Alene also became a popular tourist spot as the electric train brought people from Spokane, Washington to enjoy the parks, beaches and excursion boats.

Hayden, Idaho, located just five miles north of Coeur d’Alene, was homesteaded in 1878 by May Heyden. Heyden and good friend John Hager played cards to decide the name of the nearby lake. Heyden won and the lake became known as Heyden’s Lake. Over the years Heyden became Hayden and the community still bears the same name.

Location of Coeur d’Alene

Idaho is a Rocky Mountain state with exciting scenery and enormous natural resources. The state has snow capped mountain ranges, white rapids, peaceful lakes, rolling agricultural farmland and steep canyons. The waters of Idaho’s Snake River rush through Hell’s Canyon, which is deeper than the Grand Canyon. Shoshone Falls on the Snake River plunges down cliffs from a height greater than that of Niagara Falls Among the mountains of the North lies Coeur d’Alene.

The city of Coeur d’Alene is located in Kootenai County within Northern Idaho’s panhandle region. It is situated 30 miles east of Spokane, Washington, 100 miles south of the Canadian border and 60 miles west of the Montana border. The city is located on the north end of Coeur d’Alene Lake, a lake that has been deemed one of the 5 most beautiful lakes of the world.

The main east-west interstate highway, US 90 linking Seattle, Washington to New York, New York, runs through Coeur d’Alene. US 95, a main north-south highway also runs through Coeur d’Alene. Coeur d’Alene is serviced by a local airport 7 miles to the north and also by Spokane International Airport, 35 miles to the west.

How do I get to Coeur d’Alene?

Coeur d’Alene is easy to reach, located off Interstate 90 only 40 miles away from the Spokane International Airport, served by non-stop daily flights from cities including Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Boise, Vancouver, Calgary and others.

The Coeur d’Alene Airport provides charter and private air service, with the capacity to land 34-seat passenger planes. There are vans, taxis, rental cars and shuttles available from both airports.

Missoula, Mont. is 180 miles to the east, and Seattle, Wash., is 330 miles to the west. The Canadian border is 90 miles to the north.

What is Coeur d’Alene?

A thriving resort community on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho. Its defining image is sunny days, clear blue waters, pine-studded vistas and open spaces. Coeur d’Alene has become known as the playground of the Pacific Northwest for luxury accommodations and a wealth of recreation and attractions in a stunning natural setting.

Where does the name Coeur d’Alene come from?

It’s French French traders named their trading post in respect for the tough trading practices of local Indian tribes. Translated literally, it means “Heart of the Awl” or possibly “sharp-hearted.”