Silverwood Theme Park is the biggest and best amusement in the very-greater Pacific Northwest. It’s located in northern Idaho just north of the city of Coeur d’Alene on US Highway 95. Originally opened as little more than a novelty, Silverwood Theme Park now boasts over 65 rides, shows and attractions.
These fun-filled events range from raging roller coasters with insane 65 mph-drops, to rides built just for the little ones. By the time you add in the massive water slide park, wave pools, a steam engine train, magic shows, ice shows, cheeseburgers, and ice cream, you’ve got more fun than you can realistically fit into just one day.
We were there before they opened and left the minute they closed, and even as fast as we worked our magic, we still wished we had another day to spend in the park. We didn’t see everything, and I even wonder if a second day could have helped us get it all in.
Owner Gary Norton bought the air strip in the 1981, and after buying a vintage steam locomotive at auction, decided to open up a park for others to share the joy of it. He opened Silverwood as a public attraction in June of 1988 with a few carnival rides, a Victorian main street with shops, and an authentic steam train that traveled in a 30-minute loop around the property.
One of the original steam train entertainers was a talented banjo player named Scott Reid, who developed much of the clever banter/patter still used in today’s steam engine ride. Reid returned to Silverwood’s entertainment line-up in the summer of 2009.
As the years went by, Silverwood expanded by adding more and more rides and attractions, many bought from other parks that no longer had room or interest in them. This included the Corkscrew, the first coaster that spun people upside down, from Knott’s Berry Farm. In later years, the park’s popularity soared with the opening of the popular Timber Terror and Tremors, both wooden roller coasters with few rivals in the world.
In 2003, Silverwood added Boulder Beach, a 12-acre water park adjacent to Silverwood, and included in your admission price. Boulder Beach includes various water slides, 2 wave pools, and a lazy river. The addition of the water park proved popular and turned Silverwood into a multiple-day destination, and it also helps us visitors beat the heat. And since Boulder Beach closes a few hours before the rest of the park, it afford a great opportunity for guests to check out both attractions.
Silverwood added the Panic Plunge in 2006, a 141-foot drop tower. This is a favorite of adults and teens alike. Later, Silverwood added a Giant Inverted Boomerang roller coaster renamed Aftershock. The park just keeps growing.