Follow the signs off SH 57 north of Priest River.
For a pdf
map of the park, click here. (It will take a
minute or two). For pdf viewer -- download reader
Life jackets save lives. That's why this park has a life jacket loan
program. If you're boating and find out you don't have the right size
life jacket for your passengers, we'll lend you one. Contact a park
ranger for more information.
at about 2,400 feet above sea level, Priest Lake State Park has an abundance
of beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities. Visitors will enjoy
the dense cedar-hemlock forests and the wildlife, such as whitetail deer,
black bear, moose and bald eagles. The stately Selkirk Mountain Range
towers nearby and numerous streams tumble down the slopes.
Noted for its clear water, Priest Lake extends 19 miles and is connected to the smaller Upper Priest Lake by a placid, two-mile-long water thoroughfare.
Steeped in a history of Jesuit priests, Indian villages, homesteaders and logging camps, Priest Lake offers park visitors great diversity ranging from boating and fishing to snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
You can RV, tent or rent
a cabin camp at Priest Lake. Camping is on a first come, first served basis.
For camping and cabin reservations at
Priest Lake, call 208-443-6710.
Located four miles south of Coolin, the Dickensheet Unit is nestled beside the pristine Priest River. Open from May 1 through September 30, Dickensheet has become a popular entry point for raft and canoe float trips down the Priest River. This unit offers only primitive camping.
The site of a large Diamond Match Company logging camp, Indian Creek was the terminus of a three-mile-long log flume in the 1940s and '50s.
Indian Creek Unit is located 11 miles north of Coolin on the east side of Priest Lake and is open year-round. Park headquarters are located here.
Summer visitors enjoy the large sandy beach along the lakefront. Camping, fishing, boating,
water-skiing, hiking and picnicking are some of the more popular activities.
In the winter, Indian Creek Unit offers access to over 200 miles of marked, groomed snowmobile trails and a myriad of cross-country skiing opportunities.
Located 23 miles north of Coolin on East Shore Road, the Lionhead Unit rests along the northern tip of Priest Lake. Lionhead was the location of the Nell Shipman movie studio during the 1920s.
Located near the thoroughfare to Upper Priest Lake, Lionhead is a convenient departure point for boaters who wish to explore those pristine waters.
Open from May 1 through September 30, park visitors can enjoy the quarter mile of white-sand beach that extends along the campground. Lionhead has been developed with tent camps in mind and offers a primitive camping experience.
Squaw Bay at Priest Lake State Park
For group camping for up to 50 people, you can’t beat Squaw Bay at Priest Lake State Park. This rustic, isolated retreat offers 1,000 feet of white-sand beach on the lake, kitchen and shower facilities, fire pit, and a chance to see nature at its best. Reservations taken up to 11 months in advance.
Use of the group camp area is $175 per day, including kitchen and sleeping quarters for eight. RV hookups are available for a fee.
The nonrefundable reservation fee and first night's fee must accompany the reservation request. A cleaning deposit of up to $50 may be required. This must be paid along with the balance of the rental fee no later than 15 days prior to your visit. The cleaning deposit will be fully refunded if the building is left in the same condition in which it was accepted.
Location: Coolin Road (off State Highway 57)
Mailing Address: 314 Indian Creek Park Road, Coolin, ID 83821-9076
Phone: 208-443-2200, 208-443-2929 (Lionhead Unit)
- Where's a good place to fish?
It depends on how you're fishing: by
boat on the lake, off the bank at the lake, or on a stream. If by boat, are
you capable of trolling deep or are you confined to near the surface? Surface
trolling "hot spots" on the east side are along the east side of
Cavanaugh Bay, and off the end of Pinto Point. Bank fishing is best along
the east side of Cavanaugh Bay, and where the East Lakeshore Road
runs beside the lake. Deep trolling off Kalispell and Bartoo Islands
seems to be the most popular. Most streams are only open in July and
August, but Soldier and Hunt Creeks are open during the regular season.
- Where are some day hikes?
To Hunt Lake, Standard Lakes,
Lookout Mountain, Upper Lake. Ask rangers for directions
- Where are the huckleberries?
They ripen at the lower elevations
usually starting in mid July. The Lion Creek drainage seems to be consistently
productive. Berries ripen there in later July-early August. Later pickings
are better up high.