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“Impressive-Beautiful Architecture-Lovely Grounds-Lots of History” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Old Mission State Park

Old Mission State Park
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Cataldo
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Old Mission (Mission of the Sacred Heart) is the oldest standing building in Idaho.
Green Valley, Arizona
Level Contributor
439 reviews
207 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 470 helpful votes
“Impressive-Beautiful Architecture-Lovely Grounds-Lots of History”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2014

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.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Joan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Shoreline, Washington
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“stop on road trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2014

Stop by at end of day in April. Only one other car in whole place. Nice grounds to walk around after all day in car. Mission building is worth the stop to take a look at. Good to see they have kept building. It was interesting to walk around inside. Take the time to look at everything.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jeff S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Post Falls, Idaho
Level Contributor
67 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Amazing Fall Colors”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2014 via mobile

I was surprised & interested to find out that the Mission here in Cataldo is the oldest building in Idaho.

I loved the interesting architecture so different than I expected. Amazing place!

We've been here several times but we were blown away by the beauty found here in the fall. We walked around the grounds enjoying the colorful trees. So pretty!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank meredith c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Old Mission - Worth the Quick Stop”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2014

This was an interesting place to see. You think of Spanish missions in California, not Idaho, and this is the oldest building in Idaho. It was $5 to park, and we were able to easily park our travel trailer. We watched a 10 minute video about the Mission and its history and then took a short walk to the Mission. It was a beautiful building and you can tour the caretaker's house next door. The caretaker's house was interesting as it was set up in 19th century fashion. You may only spend 30-45 minutes here, but it's easy access from the interstate and my teenagers enjoyed the visit.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
46 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Cataldo”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2013

From I-90 the mission is to your right of the freeway. It is an old Spanish mission and well worth seeing. Turn left (going S on I-90) and you come to the Snake Pit, an old restaurant that used to be a house of ill repute. Very interesting décor and a reminder where we were 100 years ago. The food is simple but good. The area is also a good starting point for The bicycle trail that goes for miles in either direction.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank 52Elli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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