Priest Lake

In the northernmost reaches of the Idaho panhandle, you’ll find the beautiful Priest Lake, a place for recreation and relaxation. At 19 miles long and with nearly 80 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty to do on the 300-foot-deep lake.

Priest Lake State Park is the premier starting point in this area. It has three separate units – Lionhead on the north end, Indian Creek at mid-lake and Dickensheet along the Priest River. There are dozens of campgrounds here that are perfect places to make your home base for a weeklong trip.

Photo by Joel Mann (

The Lakeshore Trail is an impressive 14.4-mile out-and-back trail that hugs much of the western part of the lake. 

On the water, there are more than a dozen boat launches. Rentals for pontoon boats as well as kayaks and canoes are available all around the lake. There are also guide services that offer a number of packages.

For those seeking a quieter on-water experience, head north to Upper Priest Lake. It’s accessible by only boat or trail and no-wake rules are in effect on the 2-mile thoroughfare that leads you to Upper Priest.