Lookout Mountain

To reach Lookout Mountain, drive north from Coolin on Cavanaugh Bay-East Lakeshore Road / State Forest Road #1 towards the Lionhead Unit of Priest Lake State Park (23 miles). Continue about 4 miles past the Lionhead campground and bear right onto State Forest Road #44. Continue on Road #44 for 2-1/2 miles to the junction with State Forest Road #432. Turn right onto Road #432 and climb steadily for 3-1/4 miles to the trailhead on the left. Follow the trail to Lookout Lake. Beyond the lake, the trail ascends to a small saddle and trail junction. Stay on the trail to the left. This trail segment will terminate at the Lookout Mountain Road. Follow this road to the lookout site.

Plan on approximately 1-1/2 hours driving time and a 2 - 3 hour hike to reach Lookout Mountain from Coolin.

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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Indian Rock Pictographs

Indian Rock is the site of pictographs that are believed to have originated with the presence of Native Americans in the Priest Lake area. The pictographs belong to what is classified as Eastern Plateau Style of prehistoric rock art. The presence of this pictographic style in the Priest Lake region is an indication of the influence of Plains Indians on local tribes.

This influence occurred after the introduction of the horse among the local tribes in the 1730s. The horse facilitated contact and intercultural exchanges with Plains Indians through annual bison hunting trips into the plains region.

Indian Rock is located within the rocky point at the north end of Kalispell Bay.

Although research is ongoing, it is likely the pictographs are the artwork of the Kalispel tribe. Throughout the early history of Priest Lake, the Kalispels made frequent journeys to the area to hunt game, fish, gather berries, etc.

The pictographs can best be viewed via boat. It is requested that visitors to Indian Rock remain in their vessel, as the area in the immediate vicinity of the pictographs is a sensitive anthropological and historical site.

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Priest Lake Ranger District

Ranger DistrictThe Priest Lake Ranger District headquarters is the USFS operational element chartered with the responsibility to manage all multiple-use activities within the district. The district is part of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest system. The southern border of the district is four miles north of the town of Priest River and extends north to the Canadian border. One-third of the district lies within Pend Oreille County in Washington with the other two-thirds split between Bonner and Boundary Counties in Idaho. Priest Lake forms the geographic center of the district. The vast majority of land that adjoins the west side of Priest Lake is federal land managed by the Priest Lake Ranger District. The district headquarters is located just beyond Mile Post 32 on State Highway 57.

A major part of the Priest Lake Ranger District's mission is to provide recreational activities and facilities. These activities include establishing and maintaining a recreational trail system, oversight of historical sites, providing boat launch ramps and, of course, managing the numerous and varied camping/picnic/day-use facilities on federal lands within the district. Over 160 RV/camping sites are maintained within developed campgrounds on the shores of the lake. In addition, numerous dispersed campsites are available as well as several island campgrounds.

The Priest Lake Ranger District headquarters welcomes visitors and can provide up-to-date information on all recreational activities and programs within the district. In addition, a large selection of recreational pamphlets, guides, maps, etc is available at the headquarters from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday.


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Priest Lake Museum

Priest Lake MuseumThe Priest Lake Museum is a great place to begin any visit to the lake and a fitting showplace to remind us of the numerous influences that created the special character of Priest Lake. The museum building was constructed in 1935 by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). It is a prime example of handcrafted oil-treated tamarack (larch) log construction. The building initially served as a residence and office for the first Ranger on what was then Kaniksu National Forest. The museum houses numerous articles and displays that depict the colorful history of the lake and the surrounding area.

The early history of the Priest Lake area was forged by Native Americans, trappers, missionaries, miners, homesteaders, loggers and businessmen. Each of these groups is represented in the museum through various exhibits and dioramas. The museum also contains a living room and kitchen that are furnished as they might have been in the 1930s.

The museum is housed on the west shore, 1/2-mile south of the Luby Bay Campground and just north of Hill's Resort.

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Priest Lake Chamber of Commerce Copyright© 2018 | PO Box 174 Coolin, Idaho 83821
Phone: (208) 443-3191
| Toll Free: (888) 774-3785