Silverwood is easily one of the most annoying parks for enthusiasts to visit. Everyone who visits it has great things to say about it, but it’s in a remote park of Idaho hundreds of miles from any other park.
A work trip brought me “close” to Silverwood, so it seemed like the perfect time to visit. And when I say close, I mean that it was only a 5.5 hour drive away.
Silverwood feels like a classic park. It oozes charm. However, it’s only 30 years old! In fact, the parks it reminds me most of are Lake Compounce and Kennywood. That comes with both the pros and cons. Just take a look at these parallels.
But you also have one train ops.
The latter was particularly troubling since I was visiting on Labor Day weekend. While Lake Compounce and Kennywood are known for running one train even on the busiest of days, they at least have second trains. Silverwood doesn’t even own second trains. In fact, their rides don’t even have transfer tracks.
But the real problem was the dispatch speed. This may be a hot take, but the dispatches at Mt. Olympus or Six Flags America are way faster. The culprit was a painstakingly slow seatbelt check done separately from the lap bar check.
I feel bad saying that since the staff of Silverwood was so nice, but it has to be said. Fortunately, I have nothing else but positives to say about this amazing park.
My most anticipated attraction was Tremors and it did not disappoint. Tremors has one of the best layouts of any coaster I’ve ridden. It has four underground tunnels and combines elements of both an out-and-back and twister.
The first drop is phenomenal. Back row riders get a strong pop of air and you dive underneath the gift shop. You then fly over this bunny hill with amazing sustained floater air before diving underground yet again. Front row riders then get a powerful pop of air as you enter the ride’s helix.
And that helix is something special. The laterals are comparable to Legend’s famous double helix. This is followed by a middle section that has a few more airtime hills. It does feel a bit slow though. Really that’s the only weak spot on the ride.
Tremors picks it back up for the finale. You dive underground yet again. If you’re in the back, you get a great dose of laterals and airtime. That’s followed by a great bunny hill similar to the first one before you loop back into the station.
Tremors is basically an improved version of Legend. You have comparable laterals, but far more airtime. And it’s extremely well taken care of (the Topper Track probably helps in that regard). 9 out of 10
I was really looking forward to Timber Terror. I heard this was an airtime machine. And my anticipation only mounted when I saw the buzz bars.
The outward leg was incredible. The first drop had some fantastic airtime, as did the following bunny hill and double up. And the far turn had some powerful laterals. But then the ride dies.
The return leg has plenty of speed, but for whatever reason there’s no more airtime. This is true in both the front and back. The first half is a 10, but the second half is a 5. 7.5 out of 10
Also, can we take a moment to appreciate that both these wooden coasters have a height requirement of just 42”? It’s like a west coast Knoebels.
I then looked off in the distance and had a case of deja vu. Or maybe it was PTSD? I saw a familiar green structure. However, I told myself Aftershock has the original Vekoma trains instead of the Premier trains that ruined SFNE’s Goliath.
While it still had some headbanging, this tracks far better than the one at SFNE. That allowed me to appreciate the incredible drops and Gs on the inversions. 6 out of 10
Roller Coaster Alley is also home to Silverwood’s craziest flats. The most unique is SpinCycle. It may look like your average giant frisbee, but this ride is quite unique.
For one, it inverts. But the more unique thing is that the swing is slow and controlled. This takes away all the airtime; however, you get an insane amount of hangtime. Further, you’re still spinning at a decent clip while you’re getting that hangtime.
I loved SpinCycle since its sensations were so different. Honestly, it reminded me more of those old Evolution rides than your traditional frisbee. 9 out of 10
Next door is Panic Plunge, one of those amazing Larson towers. Per usual, the drop was absolutely gut-wrenching. And since Silverwood is surrounded by mountains, the view made this one extra special. 10 out of 10
I then made a lap of the remaining coasters, starting with the historical Corkscrew. This was the first modern coaster to invert and it rode accordingly. It was pretty jostly and had a vibration that was uncharacteristic for an Arrow. 3 out of 10
Tiny Toot is one of the most embarrassing coasters you’ll find anywhere. For one, it’s powered. Two, it doesn’t really have a drop. But of course this single adult rode it all by his lonesome. 1 out of 10
I felt much less dirty riding Krazy Koaster. Maybe it was because SBF spinners are usually pretty fun or maybe it was because the park had a sprayer at the entrance. Yes you’re reading that right. You get wet boarding this ride.
Now I said SBF spinners are usually fun. That assumes they spin of course. I got excited when the operator manually started spinning us before she dispatched the train, but we hardly spun the rest of the way. 2 out of 10
I did want to try the park’s revered train; however, it was incredibly popular. Like the Dollywood Express, this steam engine only leaves at the top of the hour. Maybe it was just the day I visited, but you couldn’t just walk up and ride it. The train would often hit capacity and people would wait for the next one.
I did take a ride on the park’s Ferris Wheel, carefully timing my ride with sunset. I figured it’d be gorgeous overlooking the mountains. The sky was beautiful, but the Ferris Wheel couldn’t quite clear the trees around it so the mountains were a bit obstructed. But the coasters were perfectly clear.
As darkness fell across the park, I made my way over to Tremors. I always suspected it would be an incredible night ride. This is why I chose to visit on a busy Saturday since the park was open late. And my patience was rewarded.
Tremors ran like a bat-out-of-hell. Almost the entire layout was pitch black. Remember how the middle section felt slow earlier? My night rides cured that. Tremors was flat out fantastic.
I contemplated trying Timber Terror at night, but I couldn’t pull myself away from Tremors. I spent the last 2 hours on Tremors, waiting about 30-40 minutes each time.
I have a soft spot for traditional parks and wooden coasters. So of course I loved Silverwood! Tremors alone is worth the trip to Idaho, but Silverwood has so much more. It’s an incredibly warm and inviting place. Just beware of the one train ops on busier days.