Here’s a quick and easy list of the cities and small towns in northern Idaho.
The cities and towns of the Panhandle offer a diverse range of attractions, from cultural hubs to quaint small towns. The North Idaho region is a destination worth exploring.
The North Idaho region, or Panhandle, has a land area of 21,000 square miles. This is approximately 25.4% of the state’s total land area. There is also 324 square miles of water area.
As of the 2019 census the population of the Idaho Panhandle was 355,638 or around 19% of the state’s total population of 1,839,106. (Source: wikipedia)
Largest city in North Idaho
Coeur d’Alene, is Northern Idaho’s largest city with a population of 55,904. It is located in Kootenai county and is the also the 7th largest city in Idaho. Almost 16% of the population in the Idaho panhandle lives in Coeur d’Alene.
Smallest city in North Idaho
Hope, Idaho is the smallest town in Northern Idaho with a population of just 100 people. It sits on the northeastern shore of Lake Pend Oreille in Bonner County.
Population of Bonners Ferry, Idaho: 2,692
Founded in the 1860s as a river crossing for gold prospectors en route to Canada, Bonners Ferry is now the county seat of Boundary County and home to approximately 2,500 of Idaho’s most welcoming residents. The city is known for its nearby Kootenai River valley and the beautiful Selkirk Mountains. Bonners Ferry is also home to several attractions such as the Kootenai Valley Railroad Depot Museum, and the wonderful Mirror Lake Golf Course.
Population of Moyie Springs, Idaho: 960
Moyie Springs is a town in Boundary County that is home to the Idaho Forest Group (IFG) Moyie Springs Mill. It is near Bonners Ferry, and about 30 miles south of the Canadian border. The mill specializes in producing studs and has the capacity to manufacture 200 million board feet annually. It produces top quality stud items in lengths of 8 and 9 feet, along with railroad ties and 1×4 boards.
The Moyie River Canyon Bridge is the 2nd highest bridge in Idaho, only second to the Perrine Bridge at 486 feet tall in Twin Falls, Idaho Constructed in 1965, it is a cantilever bridge made of structural steel truss, which spans the Moyie River near Bonners Ferry at mile marker 70 on U.S. Route 2. The bridge is 1,223 feet long and an astonishing 424 feet high.
Population of Naples, Idaho: 1,402
Naples is a small unincorporated community in Boundary County. It’s not much more than a wide spot in the road on Highway 2. It’s nearest city is Bonners Ferry. Naples is home to Alta Forest Products, Naples Mill. Like many small communities in North Idaho, the economy is driven by the forest industry. There’s a general store at also doubles as the post office, ice cream store, coffee shop, hardware store, video rental place and gas station. It’s just nothin’ fancy small town America. 🇺🇸
Population of Coolin, Idaho: 168
Coolin is a small town (unincorporated community) in Bonner County that is located on the southeast end of Priest Lake, at an elevation is 2,490 feet above sea level. Andy Coolin opened a post office on the south end of Priest Lake in 1893. It is now home to several hotels and resorts including The Historic Northern Hotel and Cavanaugh’s resort.
Population of Sandpoint, Idaho: 9,875
Sandpoint is the largest city and the county seat of Bonner County, Idaho. It’s situated on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, surrounded by three mountain ranges. It offers a wide range of outdoor recreational activities as well as a weekly schedule of arts and cultural events. It is the most tourist driven town in Bonner County with Schweitzer Mountain Resort on one side, and Lake Pend Oreille on the other.
Population of Blanchard, Idaho: 421
Blanchard is an unincorporated community in Bonner County that is located near the Idaho-Washington border. Blanchard is home to Stoneridge Resort, a timeshare resort that has a wide range of amenities all while being surrounded by beautiful rural scenery.
🔥 Blanchard has nearly doubled in population since 2020 from 222 to 421 people.
Population of Priest River, Idaho: 1,880
Priest River is 7 miles east of the Washington state border and Newport Washington. The small town is located on the junction of the Pend Oreille and Priest Rivers. The town of Priest River acts as the gateway to Priest Lake as nearly all the traffic heading to the lake must first pass through Priest River. Highway 57 heads north out of town to Coolin, past no less than 8 coffee shops and into the beautiful Selkirk mountains towards Canada.
Population of Athol, Idaho: 755
Athol, Idaho is known for being the location of Silverwood Theme Park, the Northwest’s largest and most popular theme park. Athol is located 5 miles west of the southern shore of Lake Pend Oreille on Highway 54, and is near the historic Farragut State Park. The Country Boy Cafe is one of the most popular restaurants in Athol where you can find breakfast served ALL DAY!
Population of Bayview, Idaho: 1,123
Bayview is small town (unincorporated community) in Kootenai County that is located on the southern shore of Lake Pend Oreille. It is home to Farragut State Park which used to be the Farragut Naval Training Station. Today, Bayview Idaho is known for the more than 200 floating cabins and homes on Lake Pend Oreille. Bayview has four marinas, MacDonald’s Resort, and a handful of restaurants and cafes.
Population of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: 58,242
🏙 Coeur d’Alene is the largest city in North Idaho.
It is situated along the shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene. It began as fort town in 1878. Gold and silver deposits were found in the Silver valley which attracted settlers and prospectors. About five years later in 1883, the Northern Pacific Railroad reached town and helped to establish it on the map.
Today, Coeur d’Alene is a major hub for commerce to those who live in Northern Idaho. It is also a popular destination for tourism due to the rich variety of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and infrastructure in place to accommodate a lot of people.
Population of Post Falls, Idaho: 50,323
Post Falls is a suburb of Coeur d’Alene and is situated near the Washington border in between Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. It has a big population and along with Coeur d’Alene forms the largest metro area in all of North Idaho. Post Falls is defined by the Spokane River that runs along the southern edge of the city on the south side of Interstate 90.
Post Falls is the home to 🔪 Buck Knives, some of the best quality knives you can buy. They’re made in the USA and include forever warranty.
Population of Rathdrum, Idaho: 12,380 (+65% increase in last 10 years 🔥)
Rathdrum is located directly north of Post Falls at the intersection of Highwy 53 and 41. In the late 1860’s, one of the Pony Express relay stations was built in Rathdrum, Idaho. In 1882, the Northern Pacific rail line reached Rathdrum within a year of it opening in Coeur d’Alene. It allowed the ore from Silver Vallye to be shipped to mills for processing.
Like many of the small towns in Northern Idaho, Rathdrum has rapidly grown in population. From 7,500 people 10 years ago to more than 12,000 today.
⛪️ Rathdrum is home to the oldest brick church in the state of Idaho. The Saint Stanislaus Church.
Population of Hayden, Idaho: 17,383
Hayden is a rapidly growing city located approximately 10 miles north of Coeur d’Alene and 40 miles east of Spokane, Washington. Like many other north Idaho cities, it is surrounded by mountains, forests, and lakes. Hayden Lake, which covers an area of 4,000 acres, is situated just north of the city and is a popular summer destination for boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
It is home to Idaho’s first 18-hole golf course at the Hayden Lake Country Club, as well as another PGA-rated golf course, Avondale Golf Course. Visitors can also enjoy the Honeysuckle Beach, which is a popular destination for swimming, picnicking, and boating. The city is just minutes away from Silverwood Theme Park & Boulder Beach, the Northwest’s largest theme park with over 65 rides and attractions.
Population of Spirit Lake, Idaho: 2,700
Spirit Lake is situated in the northwestern part of the state, near the border with Washington. The city is named after the nearby Spirit Lake, a beautiful natural lake that is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities.
The Empire Trails, is a fairly new trail system that goes along the northern shore of Spirit Lake. The Inland Empire Paper Company provides some recreational use of their managed timberlands, and allows people to use these trails for a small fee.
Fun Fact: A post office named Spirit Lake has been in operation since 1903. You can see a scan of an original postcard that was postmarked in Spirit Lake in the 1930’s on the Postal History website.
Population of Worley, Idaho: 257
Worley, Idaho is located in the southwestern corner of Kootenai County. It is 28 miles south of Coeur d’Alene and is surrounded by farms of wheat, bluegrass, oats, lentils, and peas. The community of Worley stretches to Lake Coeur d’Alene, where bay communities are nestled among the lake’s timbered shores.
Worley is within the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation and home to the Coeur d’lene Casino Restort & Hotel. Worley is known for its beautiful scenic views and its proximity to Lake Coeur d’Alene, which is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and tourists.
Population of Cataldo, Idaho: 120
Cataldo, Idaho is an unincorporated community located in both Kootenai and Shoshone counties in northern Idaho. It lies on the southeast banks of the Coeur d’Alene River, and Interstate 90 passes the south side of the community. The community of Kingston lies along I-90 to the east.
The town is named after Father Joseph Cataldo, SJ, who served at the Old Mission from 1865 to 1870.
Cataldo’s history dates back to the 19th century when Catholic missionaries and members of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe constructed the Mission of the Sacred Heart, which is the oldest building in Idaho. Today, the Coeur d’Alene’s Old Mission State Park spotlights the historic building and serves as a popular tourist attraction for visitors interested in learning about the early history of the area.
In addition to its rich history, Cataldo is also known for its picturesque natural beauty. The town is surrounded by dense forests, rolling hills, and pristine rivers, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking, fishing, camping, and boating, among others. Overall, Cataldo offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty.
Population of Kellogg, Idaho: 2,084
Kellogg was founded in the late 1800s and named after aftera prospector named Noah Kellogg. After more than 100 years of operation the Bunker Hill Mine and Smelter closed operations in 1981. It put thousands of people out of work and left a stained history of lead contamination. ☠️
It’s true that the history of an area is not always as beautiful as it’s scenery.
Today Kellogg has moved toward a tourist and resort town. Kellogg is home to the Silver Mountain Resort, which offers skiing and snowboarding in the winter and mountain biking and hiking in the summer. Kellogg also has several parks and trails, including the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, a 72-mile trail that runs through the city. If you’re looking for a small-town feel with plenty of outdoor adventures, Kellogg is definitely worth a visit.
Population of Wallace, Idaho: 780
Wallace is a city in Shoshone County that is known for its rich history and architecture. The city is home to several historic buildings, including the Wallace District Mining Museum and the Northern Pacific Railroad Depot Museum.
Wallace is also located near the Route of the Hiawatha, a popular biking and hiking trail that offers scenic views of the surrounding mountains.
Wallace is a must see city in North Idaho.
Population of Harrison, Idaho: 325
Harrison is a small town in Kootenai County that is located on the southern shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene. The town is known for its beautiful waterfront views and outdoor recreation opportunities, including fishing, boating, and hiking.
Harrison is home to the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, a 72-mile trail paved from Mullan to Plummer is a popular biking and hiking trail. You can stop in at The Cycle Haus before hitting the trails for bike rentals, food and brews. 🍺
Population of Plummer, Idaho: 1,100
Plummer is the largest city within the Coeur d’Alene Reservation and is centrally located in the area. Plummer is 35 miles south of Coeur d’Alene, 50 miles north of Moscow, 18 miles west of St. Maries, and only nine miles east of the Washington state line.
The city’s first church was built in 1912, and since then, Plummer has grown to become a vibrant community with a rich history. The area is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, including forests, mountains, and lakes. Plummer is also home to a number of businesses, including a grocery store, gas stations, and restaurants.
A really fun thing to do in Plummer is visit the the Emerald Creek Garnet Area and explore the local streams and hillsides in search of garnets and other precious stones. It’s a great North Idaho activity for rockhounds and gem hunters.
Population of St. Maries, Idaho: 2,337
St. Maries is located in Benewah County on the St. Joe River.
The first pioneers looking for logging opportunities traveled up the St. Joe River from Coeur d’Alene. At the junction of the St. Maries and St. Joseph rivers, Joseph Fisher decided that was a prime place for a sawmill because of good transportation and lots of timber. St. Maries dates back more than a hundred years. The town was named after the St. Maries Mission established by Catholic priests in the 1840s.
St. Maries is home to the Heyburn State Park, the oldest state park in the Pacific Northwest. The serene beauty of the park is accentuated by the towering Ponderosa pines, flower-filled meadows, and calm waters. Visitors can take pleasure in the tranquility of the park’s cottages, cabins, and campsites while admiring the impressive work of the Civilian Conservation Corps in constructing many of the park’s buildings during the 1930s.
Population of Tensed, Idaho: 90
Welcome to Tensed, a charming town nestled in Benewah County, Idaho, USA. Boasting a population of 90 during the 2020 census (slightly down from 123 in 2010).
Tensed is located within the Coeur d’Alene Reservation. This quaint town is easily accessible via U.S. Route 95, which is Idaho’s primary north-south highway, making it a convenient destination for travelers. Tensed is situated just about a mile (0.6 km) from the northern entrance of McCroskey State Park, offering nature enthusiasts a delightful escape.
In terms of its history, Tensed was originally known as Desmet, in honor of the Belgian Jesuit missionary Pierre-Jean De Smet, who played a significant role in the Coeur d’Alene nation. However, due to the presence of another nearby town named De Smet, the post office requested a name change. The solution was to reverse the name to “Temsed,” which was later misspelled by the post office as “Tensed.”