I had planned to stop here long enough to enjoy my picnic lunch, but was so impressed with the park I spent all afternoon here. Located just off I-90 at exit 39, the entrance fee is $5 per car and an additional $5 per person or $10 per family to visit the Smithsonian quality museum. The visitor center is free and has a 20 minute video that is worth seeing. The Greek Revival Style mission itself sits on a grassy knoll behind the Visitor Center and is impressive, but it is the interior that is really amazing. Guests with trouble walking who have a handicapped sticker can drive right up to the mission and there is a manual lift on the right side of the building so you do not have to climb the stairs. Once inside the craftsmanship is remarkable. The altar looks like it is marble, but closer inspection reveals it is wooden and simply painted to look like marble. Likewise the chandeliers look like they are cast iron but they are expertly crafted tin.
Besides the mission which is a MUST SEE and the visitor center, the park also offers self-guiding interpretive trails, hiking (the park serves as the headquarters for the State portion of the Trail of the Couer d' Alene's), biking, birding, picnicking in the beautifully landscaped, tree shaded area, and the 5000 sq. ft. Museum with the Sacred Encounters exhibit telling the story of Father de Smet and the Indians of the Rocky Mountain West (this is the part for which the extra admission fee applies).
There is so much to see and so much history, that there will be something for each guest to enjoy. There is no food available in the park so keep that in mind when you plan your visit. Pets on a leash are allowed and the parking lot at the visitor center has ample parking for over sized vehicles.