Resources and Information

Couer d'Alene and Surrounding area


Physical Setting

Coeur d’Alene (pronounced: Korr de-layn) is the largest city & county seat of Kootenai (pronounced: koot-nee) County Idaho. Coeur d’Alene is the second largest metropolitan area in Idaho and is the largest city in the northern panhandle of Idaho. The city is located about 30 miles east of the larger Spokane, Washington. The city is located on the Northern shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Locally, Coeur d’Alene is known as the “Lake City,” or simply called by its initials: “CDA.”

The city is named after the Coeur d’Alene People, a tribe of American Indians who lived along the rivers & lakes of the region when discovered by French Canadian fur traders in the late 18th & early 19th century. The name Coeur d’Alene translated into English means Heart of an Awl, a reflection of the perception of the tribe’s traders as very tough businessmen.

Geographically, Coeur d’Alene is approximately 16 square miles of land and sits on the western edge of the Coeur d’Alene National Forest. The city is surrounded by forest, which contains several lakes & campgrounds.  Stretching 25 miles in length, Lake Coeur d’Alene attracts substantial tourism and is also located near two major ski resorts, Silver Mountain Resort to the east in Kellogg & Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort to the north in Sandpoint.


The Weather

Coeur d’Alene boasts a true four-season climate. Spring tends to range from March – June, Summer is June – September, Fall is from September to December and Winter usually ranges from December – March.  Temperatures exceed 90°F approximately 22 days per year, occasionally reaching 100°F, while conversely, there may be several nights below 0°F. Snowfall averages 46” per year with precipitation generally lowest in summer. The frost-free season runs about 120 days from mid-May to mid-September.


Coeur d’Alene is accessed from Interstate 90 at Exits 11 through 15. The greater Coeur d’Alene area is almost entirely dependent upon private automobiles for transportation but there are taxi cab services along with a free public bus service called Citylink Transit. All buses are wheel chair accessible & can transport up to four bicycles. The buses operating in the urbanized area of Kootenai County leave the Riverstone Transfer Station every eighty-five minutes, seven days a week, including holidays.

The closest major airport serving Coeur d’Alene & North Idaho is the Spokane International Airport which is served by 9 airlines and is located 40 miles to the west in Spokane, Washington. Coeur d’Alene also has Coeur d’Alene Airport–Pappy Boyington Field (KCOE), which is a public use/general aviation airport located in Hayden, north of the city near U.S. Highway 95.


The city is the healthcare, educational, media, manufacturing, retail & recreation center for northern Idaho. Several mining firms & restaurant franchises are headquartered in the city. Kootenai Health is the primary medical center serving Coeur d’Alene & north Idaho area. With over 2,000 employees, is tied as being the largest employer in Kootenai County along with the Hagadone Corporation.


Greater Coeur d’Alene Organizations / Business’ # of Employees Industry Type
Hagadone Corporation 2,000 Tourism & Publishing
Kootenai Medical Center 2,000 Hospital
Cd’A School District 1,400 Public Schools
Center Partners 1,300 Call Centers
North Idaho College 930 Community College
State of Idaho 850 State Government
Cd’A Tribal Casino 720 Amusement
KC Government 750 County Government
Post Falls School District 690 Public Schools
US Government 630 Federal Government
Lakeland School District 550 Public Schools
Frontier (Formerly Verizon) 500 Telephone & Call Centers
Wal-Mart 450 Retail Store
Flexcel 420 Furniture Manufacturer
Silverwood 380 Theme Park
City of Coeur d’Alene 370 City Government
Coldwater Creek 360 Catalog Company
Advanced Input Systems 300 Control Panel & Keyboard
Buck Knives 260 Hunting Knives MFG
US Bank 260 Banking & Call Center

Kootenai County provides law enforcementjudicial systems, jail and juvenile detention facilities, adult andjuvenile probation9-1-1 service, ambulance service, a regional airportemergency managementnoxious weed controlparks and recreation (including bicycling, boating, and snowmobile facilities), as well as cultural and historical support. The county also provides general services such as planning and zoningcode enforcementdriver and vehicle licensing, managing federal, state, and local electionsrecording of deeds and legal documents and administration of the property tax system.


Coeur d’Alene’s retail has expanded greatly in recent years with the opening of new stores and entertainment venues. Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone development houses a 14 theater Regal Cinemas, condominiums, a Hampton Inn, a park, restaurants and many local retailers. The North Idaho Centennial Trail bike path cuts through the Riverstone complex alongside an abandoned railroad right of way. The Citylink transit system adjoins the northwest entrance of the Riverstone complex. Giant statues of bird feathers line the Northwest Boulevard celebrating the rich Native American heritage of Coeur d’Alene. Several art galleries and cafes sit along Sherman Avenue, Coeur d’Alene’s main street. During summer, artists and musicians frequent Sherman Square.


Kootenai Health is located in Coeur d’Alene and includes a 246-bed community-owned hospital. Kootenai Health has repeatedly earned regional and national recognition, such as the ‘Heart of Excellence’ award, by providing outstanding healthcare. Not only are they recognized for their service, but also how they are committed to giving back to the local community.

Among the many medical services offered at Kootenai Health are: A heart center, cardiology, cancer services, behavioral health services, women’s & children’s services, surgical care, emergency care, rehabilitation services and a standard health clinic. The Emergency Department sees more patients on a daily basis than any other ED in the state of Idaho.


The City of Coeur d’Alene is the County Seat & largest city in Kootenai County which is governed by a Mayor & City Council. The Mayor and council members are governed by the County Commissioners.

The County Commissioners (BOCC, Board or simply Commissioners) is the governing body of Kootenai County. Consisting of three elected officials, the Board serves as the taxing authority, the contracting body and the chief administrators of public funds. Among other duties, the Board enacts laws, ensures compliance of laws and secures professional services for the county.

The Commissioners are constitutional officers whose authority encompasses all three traditional types of government powers: legislative, executive and quasi-judicial. As the county’s legislative authority, the Board has the power to enact ordinances, resolutions and proclamations. Ordinances are laws enacted by a local legislative authority. They may govern matters not already covered by state or federal law or may supplement (but cannot supersede) existing state or federal law. They are intended to affect the general public and are typically permanent in nature. Ordinances enacted by the Board are effective only in the unincorporated area of Kootenai County unless specifically provided for in state law.

As part of the executive branch of government, the Board is charged with taking actions and providing resources to ensure compliance with its legally mandated duties and to ensure that the ordinances it enacts are carried out. Such duties include enforcement of land use ordinances and building codes, setting of precinct boundaries and canvassing of elections, among others. The Board is also charged with the oversight of the official conduct of all county officers, though this authority is very limited under Idaho law. The Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney have the primary authority to enforce state laws and county ordinances.


Recreational activities abound in Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai County in general due to the geographical location close to lakes, mountains and endless opportunities for fun. Many of these include hiking, bicycling, hunting, boating & sailing, golfing, fishing, and snow skiing. Kootenai County also contains many attractions such as Silverwood Theme Park, Lake Pend Oreille, Farragut State Park,The Hiawatha Trail, The Cataldo Mission & also majestic wildlife view points. There are also a number of golf courses throughout the region: The Club at Black Rock, The Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, Circling Raven, Stoneridge Golf Community, The Highlands, Coeur d’Alene Public, Avondale & Ponderosa Springs. These attractions, recreation, and tourism are important elements of the local economy.  There are an abundant amount of art galleries, museums, and art-oriented events held in Downtown Coeur d’Alene as a reflection of the communities’ appreciation & support of many local talented artists. One of these events is Art on the Green held annually in early August featuring a variety of artisans and vendors in the Downtown metro area of Coeur d’Alene. Once per month from May – December, The Coeur d’Alene Arts & Culture Alliance hosts ‘Art Walk’ which is an event featuring many local artists at participating locations throughout the Downtown streets so the public can view & experience the artists creations.


The French name Coeur d’Alene can be traced back to the early 1800s when David Thompson, of the North West Trading Company, encountered French speaking Iroquois Indians already living here. Since the Iroquois were familiar with the area, he hired them as guides and scouts. The words Coeur d’Alene (“heart of an awl”) may have been the Iroquois’ attempt to describe the sharp trading practices of the local Schitsu’umsh people (an awl is a pointed tool used to pierce leather). Kootenai County’s original boundaries were established on December 22, 1884. The first county seat was Sin-na-ac-qua-teen, a trading post located on the Clark Fork River (it was subsequently relocated to Rathdrum and later, in 1907, to Coeur d’Alene, where it remains today).

Fort Coeur d’Alene (later renamed to Fort Sherman) was established in 1878; Coeur d’Alene City developed near the edge of the fort and within a few years had become a supply point and navigation hub for the mining and timber industry. Coeur d’Alene’s importance as Kootenai County’s center was reinforced when voters moved the county seat to Coeur d’Alene in 1908. By 1910 the population was 8,000. Six large lumber mills were located in or near Coeur d’Alene, and the city boasted 4 banks, 5 hotels, 9 churches, 4 grade schools and a high school, a movie theater, and 2 telephone systems. Four railroads served the city:  the Northern Pacific, the Inland Empire Railroad electric line, the Milwaukee Road and the Spokane International. Coeur d’Alene’s major industries were timber, tourism and agriculture. By the early 1930s, Coeur d’Alene was Kootenai County’s economic and social center. The City served 4 major rail lines and boasted 6 major lumber mills. Harrison was also a popular lumber center for the mining district. Bayview claimed four lime quarries and five lime processing kilns.

See more history about Kootenai County and the region here.

Additional Coeur d’Alene Idaho Resources

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