Boating Regulations for Priest Lake



Eurasian Milfoil is an increasing problem in the waterways of Bonner County, please inspect your vessel and trailer and remove any weeds during launching and recovery.



  • Within 200' from any shoreline, dock, pier, other structure or any person in the water shall be no-wake.
  • Within 50' of any other vessel shall be no-wake.
  • The Thorofare to Upper Priest Lake is a no-wake zone Operation at not more than 5 miles per hour nor more than six-inch wake whichever is greater.



  • Help protect the shoreline and boats parked at docks - ride the core of the lake, NOT along the shoreline.



  • It shall be unlawful to operate or to allow the operation of a motor-driven watercraft by a person under the age of ten (10) except under direct adult supervision.
  • The age restriction provided for shall apply to the operation of personal watercraft.
  • It shall be unlawful to operate or to allow someone to operate a motor-driven watercraft when the operator is between the ages of ten (10) to fourteen (14) without adult SUPERVISION unless the vessel is powered by a motor rated at ten (10) horsepower or less.
  • Children 14 years of age or younger are required to wear a life jacket on all boats 19 feet or less, when the vessel is underway.



  • Within two hundred (200') feet of any shoreline or any dock, pier, other structure, or any person in the water, will be designated as no-wake zone or five (5) miles per hour.
  • Within one hundred (100') feet of any other vessel, the speed shall be reasonable and prudent, but not in excess of fifteen (15) miles per hour.
  • At night, where the speed is not otherwise restricted, the speed limit shall not exceed twenty-five (25) miles per hour.
  • During the day, where speed is not otherwise restricted, the speed limit shall be reasonable and prudent, but not in excess of fifty (50) miles per hour.



  • Give way to kayaks, canoes, rowboats or any other non-motorized vehicles.
  • Maintain a wakeless speed to avoid causing the shoreline to erode and eventually fill the Thorofare.
  • Please keep the Upper Lake as a catch-and-release fish zone only.
  • Respect the natural environment and others by leaving the loud noises and blaring music to the lower lake.
  • Cruise the Upper Lake, heeding the no-wake zone, distances above, and abiding the “no board sports or tubing” rule.


 It is unlawful for any operator of a vessel to cause, operate, or permit the operation of, any sound amplification system to include but not limited to items such as radios, compact disc players or attached portable music devices which can be heard outside of the vessel from two hundred (200) or more feet when the vessel is being operated on Bonner County waters, unless that system is being operated to request assistance or warn of a hazardous situation.

  • Exceptions: This section shall not apply to any motor driven watercraft being operated under emergency conditions or by any authorized agent of any law enforcement agency of the State of Idaho, or the United States of America, or any political subdivision, while said agent is acting in the performance of his duties, or any aircraft which is landing or taking off on the water.

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The ThorofareOne of Priest Lake's treasures is the Thorofare, a three mile long slow moving scenic river connecting Upper and Lower Priest Lake. This waterway is one of only a few similar primitive rivers in all of North America and needs to be saved for future generations to enjoy.

A local task force, under the auspices of Bonner County has been working for several years to secure government funding to completely replace the structure with a long lasting and permanent solution. It could take years to gather the funds and meanwhile a treasured natural attraction is being lost by the community and thousands of Priest Lake Friends. If extensive repairs are not made soon and the deterioration continues to be ignored any well aimed storm could see a collapse which would close the channel to any access except paddle craft. Please help us SAVE THE THOROFARE. Read more: Click here

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Are you seeking a vacation destination
free from crowds with breathtaking views?

Priest Lake, Idaho offers year-round lakeside resorts, motor inns, RV parks, lodges and vacation cabin rentals. Family and gourmet style  restaurants, each offering a unique experience, are sure to please your palate. Recreational rentals, grocery stores, shopping, bars, lounges, gas, engine service and equipment rentals are available.  Fully equipped lakeside housekeeping cabins are offered for a cozy getaway.

Escape the crowds and discover an exciting snowmobile destination; Priest Lake, Idaho’s Crown Jewel. 

  • US Pacific Coast Dog Sled Races
  • Snowshoe Softball Tournaments
  • Snowshoe Volleyball
  • Vintage Snowmobile Races

    Download our free trail apps






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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