Kootenai County, one of 44 counties in Idaho, is located in the Panhandle of North Idaho and was established in 1864. Named after an Indian tribe – it is part of the Coeur d’Alene Idaho (pronounced by the locals as: core da lane) Metropolitan Area, which is the largest city in the Idaho Panhandle sitting on the western edge of the Coeur d’Alene National Forest at an elevation of 2180 feet above sea level – the city is surrounded by forest containing several lakes & campgrounds. The city of Coeur d’Alene has grown significantly in recent years due in part to a substantial increase in tourism, encouraged by several resorts in the area.
Once called ‘a little slice of Heaven’ and stated as one of the most fascinating places to visit because of the County’s physical beauty and livability. Locally, Coeur d’Alene is known as the ‘Lake City’, or simply by its initials: ‘CDA’. Coeur d’Alene is also defined as: Heart of an Awl (meaning ‘sharp-hearted’ or ‘shrewd’. Others interpret to translate to ‘Eye of the Needle’, perhaps referring to the narrow passage through which the lake empties into the Spokane river on its way to the Columbia) referring to the perceived shrewdness of the trading skills exhibited by the local Indian tribe.
The Coeur d’Alene area First Nations/Native American people who lived in villages along the Coeur d’Alene, St. Joe, Clark Fork and Spokane Rivers; as well as sites on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, Lake Pend Oreille and Hayden Lake, in what is now northern Idaho.
Most likely the first non-natives to enter the area that is now Northern Idaho were members of the Lewis & Clark expedition in 1805. They were not far ahead of the fur traders who came to the region shortly thereafter, which exhibits more of our local history. The first trading post in Idaho was established in 1809 by David Thompson of the North West Company.
Kootenai County consists of Athol, Bayview, Coeur d’Alene, Dalton Gardens, Fernan Lake Village, Harrison, Hauser, Hayden, Hayden Lake, Huetter, Post Falls, Rathdrum, Spirit Lake, State Line and Worley. Also, adjacent counties are: Bonner County to the north, Shoshone County to the east, Benewah County to the south and Spokane County, Washington to the west. Surrounded by scenic mountains and twenty more lakes it is considered an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Recreational activities include hunting, boating, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, swimming and snow skiing.