Outdoors

Priest Lake State Park

Priest Lake State Park consists of three separate park units: Indian Creek Unit located approximately 12 miles north of Coolin; Lionhead Unit located approximately 23 miles north of Coolin, and Dickensheet Unit, located four miles south of Coolin, along the banks of Priest River. Both Indian Creek and Lionhead are located on the shores of Priest Lake.  See the Priest Lake Campgrounds page of this web site for specific camping information.

The Indian Creek Unit is located on the former site of a large Diamond Match Company logging camp.  The park headquarters is located at Indian Creek and the unit is open year-round. In addition to the camping facilities, Indian Creek has a day-use area and summer programs from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  The park  has a picnic area, a boat launch, a large designated swimming  beach, and a large sandy beach.  The park store offers a 24 hour gas pump and convenience store with souvenirs to remember your stay. In the winter, Indian Creek offers groomed cross country ski trails, a snow shoe trail and is an excellent point to access the 400 miles of groomed snowmobile trails that are around the lake.

Lionhead Unit offers a more primitive camping experience with sites geared towards tent camping. This area was the site of the Nell Shipman movie studio during the 1920s. The unit has a day use area with picnic and swimming access. The Lionhead Group Camp is located at the south end of the Lionhead Unit. This rustic, isolated retreat has 1,000 geet of beach front and includes both kitchen and bath facilities. It can accomodate up to 50 people and is open from May 1 through September.

Dickensheet Unit is the smallest of the three units and offers only eleven primitive camping facilities and is not suitable for large recreational vehicles. Tables and fire grills are available at each camp site; however, no drinking water is available. Dickensheet is an excellent launch site for float trips down Priest River. The unit is open from May 1 through September 30.

For more information, try the Idaho State Parks & Recreation web site. For general information, please call the park at (208) 443-2200; and for campground reservations 1.888.922-6743 (CAMPID).

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Nordic Sports

Cross Country Skiing and Snow Shoeing at Priest Lake!

The Idaho State Park N Ski parking permit program will again be conducted at Priest Lake. Permits are necessary to park at the various groomed locations in the Kaniksu Forest Region. Permit vendors are Hill's Resort, Priest Lake PowerSports, Tamrak True Value, and the Nordman Country Store on the West side of the lake. On the East side, permits are sold at Indian Creek Campground, Blue Diamond Marina and the Leonard Paul Store.  Parking permits are reciprocal with the states of Washington and Oregon Nordic programs. Permit costs are $25 for a season permit, and $7.50 for a 3-day permit.

Parking areas include the road bordering the golf course, the Catholic Church across the highway from the golf course, Hill's Resort, and Hanna Flats. The East lake-side parking is available at the Blue Diamond Marina, Indian Creek Campground, and the Ambulance/Grooming building (trailhead for Coolin Mountain backcountry skiing and snowshoeing)

Grooming for Track Skiing will be done at the golf course. The trail connecting Hill's Resort to the golf course, and the trail system at Hanna Flats will be regularly groomed for track skiing. At Indian Creek, the trails will be groomed weekly, and, In addition, the Indian Creek Campground has a new snow shoe trail system (about 1.5 miles) and has a lake view. The Rocky Point trail system will be groomed intermittently and is optimal for snowshoeing. The Coolin Mountain system, that has exceptional lake views, will not be groomed, but is excellent for back country skiing and snowshoeing. Access to the Coolin Mountain trail system begins at the south side of the Ambulance/Groomer Building on Dickensheet Road. Park at the North side of the building and ensure that no entrance ways are blocked. (Vehicles will be towed if building doorways are blocked).


The headquarters of the Nordic Sports Club (NSC) is at Hill's Resort.  Restrooms, food and beverages are available at  Hill's Resort, and after 11 AM at Millies, Nordman Nickleplate Restaurant on the west side. On the east side, food, beverages and restrooms are available at Moose Knuckle or Ardy's. Other restaurants may be available during limited winter hours, particularly on weekends. Information regarding ski and snow shoe locations and weather conditions may be obtained at these locations centers.

This year promises outstanding conditions for Nordic Sports in the Kaniksu region. Enjoy the pristine beauty of the Priest Lake region which waits with tracked areas, or unlimited trackless trails and roads for skiing and snowshoeing. Freshly groomed snowmobile trails may be excellent for skate skiing, especially on weekdays. Please visit here for the most current grooming updates. Local Nordic Club members may be consulted for trail conditions, call 208.443.3191 for references.

Click here to view the Snowmobile Groomed Trail Report

Click here to view the Nordic Trail Report

MORE INFO:

Priest Lake Snowmobile Trail Map

Snowmobiling

Selkirk Alpine Lakes

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Mount Roothaan & Chimney Rock

Chimney RockHow about a hike to the 7,000+ foot elevation level capped with the reward of incredible views? The beauty of Priest Lake unfolds nearly a mile below, the awesome grandeur of Chimney Rock seems but an arm's length away, and the Selkirk Crest surrounds you. It can be yours for a moderate hiking effort and about 3-4 hours of your time.

The Mount Roothaan/Chimney Rock trail is a popular route that leads into the backcountry of Priest Lake with spectacular vistas along the way. You may drive your vehicle (High clearance vehicles only!) to the trailhead parking area atop Horton Ridge at an elevation of 5,100 feet. The 2-mile trail leads along Horton Ridge up to a saddle near the crest of Mount Roothaan. The last 1/2 mile of the trail is "mountain goat country" - very steep and rocky. The trail continues on to the base of Chimney Rock for those hardy souls who survive the "mountain goat" climb and desire an additional two hours or so of hiking (round trip from Mt Roothaan to Chimney Rock). Good hiking shoes are a must on this portion of the trail as the route passes through a boulder field.

To reach the Mount Roothaan/Chimney Rock trailhead, travel north from Coolin 7.4 miles on Cavanaugh Bay/East Lakeshore Road (or 4 miles south from Indian Creek Campground) to Forest Road #24. This road intersects with the East Lakeshore Road immediately north of the Hunt Creek bridge. Turn onto Road #24 and continue for 4 miles until you arrive at a fork in the road. Bear left at the fork onto Forest Road #2. After traveling 1.6 miles on Road #2, you will arrive at the intersection of Roads #2 and #25. Road #2 turns left and Road #25 continues straight ahead. Proceed on Road #25 for 4.1 miles to the trailhead parking area. The drive from the East Lakeshore Road to the trailhead will take approximately one hour and the hike to Mount Roothaan takes about 1-1/2 hours.

NOTE: This trail system is not maintained and travel may include negotiating downfalls, brush, and other obstacles. Land navigation equipment and skills may be required to remain on the correct roads and trails as some are not well marked. High clearance or 4X4 vehicles are recommended to access trailheads. Information and maps are available at the Idaho Department of Lands office at the foot of Cavanaugh Bay.

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Moose Lake Fishing Pond

Moose LakeSo you want to take your son or grandson to that special fast action fishing hole, but Mackinaw fishing on Priest or Upper Priest doesn't quite fit that bill?  Well, Moose Lake Fishing Pond just might meet your needs.

The pond has become a great place for the kids to experience fishing success - and a few parents and grandparents have been known to drop a line in Moose Lake too. The lake is privately owned, but open to the public.

An attractive feature of the pond is the two pathways that lead most of the way around the north and south shorelines - however, they do not connect. Approach the pond carefully as moose are known to frequent the lake. You may also be able to spot an elusive wood duck on the pond or an occasional osprey circling above.Duck - Photography by Lori Barnes

Moose Lake's location within the beautiful forest of Huckleberry Bay creates the perfect environment for a day of fast action fishing for young and old alike. The pond is liberally stocked with trout twice yearly by Idaho Fish & Game. Benches and a picnic table are also available - so bring a lunch and enjoy. Please remember, this is private property and access rights can be withdrawn if the pond is abused with litter, etc. PACK-IT-IN PACK-IT-OUT Idaho fishing regulations apply at the pond.

Moose Lake Fishing Pond is located just off the East Lakeshore Road approximately 1/2-mile north of Mile Post 16. A road sign clearly marks the turn-off to the parking area, which is located a few yards off the main roadway. The pond is approximately 1/4 mile south of the parking area via a marked trail.

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Priest Lake Chamber of Commerce Copyright© 2015 | PO Box 174 Coolin, Idaho 83821
Phone: (208) 443-3191
| Toll Free: (888) 774-3785