Northern Idaho Retreat Venue
Largest Vacation Rental in North Central Idaho
Frank and Terri came to Idaho to escape the craziness of everyday life in the large cities. Celebrating 23 years our lodge at the summit captures the great rural frontier. It is a place that evokes the spirit of the west and the values of our fore-fathers. New life – one of the great treasures we share with all! Idaho is one of America’s last frontiers. Whitebird Summit is where we turn back the clock to a slower pace of life and let loved ones rediscover themselves. With a chance to experience rural living, interact with our domestic stock- dogs, cats, horses, mules, goats and chickens and begin your new outdoor adventure.
We want you to come and share our little piece of Heaven on Top of the World!
We came west for the mountains,” say Frank and Terri Schmitz. The couple, originally from Wisconsin, now own and reside at the Whitebird Summit Lodge now operating as a Vacation Rental. For large groups, Family reunions, Retreats, Birthday Celebrations, Groups traveling together.
Open since 2000, the Lodge sits a mile east of Highway 95’s White Bird Pass. At about 4,600 feet above sea level, the two-story structure affords the Schmitz’s and their guests a breathtaking view of mountains — and more mountains. Thirty or so years ago, before the current highway between Grangeville and White Bird was straightened and widened, a meandering Highway 95 ran right by where the Schmitz’s now live. The lodge was then a residence, and a one-story building closer to the road served as a popular restaurant. Now the long-abandoned restaurant has become a tack room and a gift shop. with hard work, Frank and Terri have transformed the residence into a spacious, well-appointed lodge.
We wanted to be different from the many Victorian bed and breakfasts across the country,” Frank says. “We wanted a lodge setting that would give those who’d grown up in urban areas a chance to taste rural living.” To that end, they’ve incorporated rustic, rural touches into the off-the-beaten-path accommodations. Frank’s twenty years of building experience are in evidence throughout the remodeled and expanded structure.
The Great Room is filled with comfortable furniture, wildlife art and taxidermy displays. We have the largest taxidermy displays in North Central Idaho. Off one side of the room, French doors open to a spacious sun room with windows overlooking the canyon. One wall replicas a rock wall that includes a built in Fish tank. Bringing the outdoors indoors the wall fits right into the wildlife theme. This is another adventure of Frank and Terri’s. The manufacture simulated rock panels for building these rock walls. Off of the other, entry to the Africa room offers an opportunity for quiet conversation or an evening nightcap at the hand crafted bar. Other amenities include an outdoor BBQ and bar garden. Lower level guestrooms – except for the Wisconsin Room that reflects the Schmit’zs roots – sport names like ‘World Travel ,’ ‘Buffalo Bill,’ ‘Mexican Fiesta’ and ‘Summit.’ Three of the rooms have private patios. All have private baths. “Frank’s had lots of fun with things like putting a stone shower stall with swinging half doors and a ‘rainwater’ shower head in the Buffalo Bill room,” Terri says.
A split-level tiled kitchen and dining area – separate lower level guestrooms from the ‘Bunkhouse.’ This wing of the lodge offers a private entrance, cozy sitting area, two full baths and two large guest rooms. “The ‘Chief’ room and ‘Warrior’ room,” Terri says, “are decorated to reflect Nez Perce Indian culture, will sleep five each and are ideal for families.” Guests visit the lodge for the fresh mountain air, magnificent views, and the retreat from urban life. But most also arrive with specific recreation in mind. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback trail riding, fly fishing, whitewater rafting, jet boating snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, or hunting: the White Bird Summit Lodge offers them all.
Frank has written a book looking back on his life’s hunting trips and his love and admiration for the animals. You can read a little bit about it and order directly from Frank. Click to read more.
Comparing this enterprise to his former contracting business, Frank says, “Either way you’re working with people. But when building, they have all the pressures of financing and deadlines. And you’ve got the pressures of trying to get things done despite drawbacks like weather.”
He speaks softly, his words laced with a hint of his Wisconsin past. “Here at the lodge it’s relaxed,” he explains. “People are laid back, away from the pressures of normal life and they’re enjoying their vacations.” For locals, the Schmitz’s offer the lodge and its surroundings for outdoor wedding services.
Contact Terri for more information firstname.lastname@example.org