Located in Sandpoint, Idaho, about 45 miles north of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on US Highway 95, Lake Pend Oreille has a surface area of 148 square miles. It is 65 miles (105 km) long and 1,150 ft (350 m) deep in some regions, making it the fifth deepest lake in the United States. It is a tributary of the Clark Fork and Pack Rivers and drains into the Pend Oreille River. National forests and small towns are found along the river with the largest population in Sandpoint, Idaho. The entire lake, except the southern tip, which is located in Kootenai County, is located in Bonner County.
National forests includes Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, Poplar, Quaking Aspen, Paper Birch, and Western Larch. Many animal species also include whitetail deer, elk, gray wolves, moose, squirrels, black bears, grizzly bears, coyotes, bobcats, bald eagles, osprey, owls, hummingbirds, hawks, woodpeckers, ducks, and mountain bluebird.
Formed during the Glacial Ice Age, it is believed that the eastern side was in the path of the Missoula Flood. It sits at the south end of the Purcell Trench, carved by glaciers that moved south from Canada. The eastern side of the glacier was believed to have formed a dam from the Missoula Flood, where the Clark Fork River enters the lake between the Cabinet and Bitterroot Mountains. The lake was made larger by the dam at Albeni Falls, east of Oldtown, Idaho. It is 90 feet high and produces over 200 kilowatt hours of electricity yearly and is run by Bonneville Power Administration. Next to Crater Lake located in central Oregon, it is the largest and deepest lake in the North West.
The traditional home of the Kalispell Indian peoples, David Thompson, who established a Northwest Company fur trading post on the lake in 1809, is believed to have given the lake it’s name. The word “Pend Oreille” is French for an ear-hanging or pendant, which were characteristic of the Kalispell Tribe. When viewed from above, the lakes looks to be in the shape of a human ear.
During World War II, the south end was home to the second largest naval training ground in the world. It was built as a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor where the naval training station is located in Faragut State Park, which is located along Highway 54 in Athol, Idaho. It is still used by the Navy’s Acoustic Research Department, who test large-scale submarine prototypes. The significant depth gives