Just 30 miles from the Canadian Border, nestled deep
below the crest of the Selkirk Mountains lies Priest Lake
State Park. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Northern
Idaho and mile-high mountains, Priest
State Park sits along the eastern shores of Priest Lake, a
19-mile, 300+ foot deep lake. Visitors to the park will
enjoy the dense forests of cedar, fir and tamarack and
will be able to observe the park's year round inhabitants
such as the whitetail deer, black bear, moose and bald
eagles. Noted for its extremely clear water fed by streams
cascading from the high Selkirk peaks, the main body of
Priest Lake extends north-south 19 miles. It is connected
by a two- mile thoroughfare to the remote Upper Priest
Lake, accessible only by foot, mountain bike, or boat.
Since the time of the original Indian settlers and the
Jesuit Priests of the 1800s, Priest Lake has offered a
diversity of activities. Park visitors can enjoy anything
ranging from boating and fishing to snowmobiling and
Fishing opportunities range from trophy size Mackinaw in
Priest Lake, to cutthroat fishing in the nearby alpine
lakes, to brook trout angling in the numerous streams in
the Priest basin, to catch-and-release fishing for westslope cutthroat in Upper Priest Lake, to great ice
fishing on Cavanaugh Bay.
Mackinaw (lake trout) is the predominate species in Priest
Lake and trophy size fish are not uncommon. The Idaho
state record for Mackinaw (57 1/2 pounds) was caught at
Priest Lake in 1971. Mackinaw fishing methods include
downriggers, leaded line, wire line and jigging -- all
designed to present lures near the bottom especially
during the summer months. It is not uncommon for
successful lake trout anglers to fish at depths of
100-feet or deeper during the summer season. However, from
late fall through spring when the water temperature is
coldest, Mackinaw can be caught nearer the surface and in
relatively shallow water.
Camping: You may reserve campsites for the Indian
Creek and White Pine campgrounds for the period of time
between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Reservations for the Lionhead Group Camp, Cabins and all
Day Use Facilities are available year round through the
park (weather conditions permitting).
Camping on a "first come first serve basis" is available
at Indian Creek throughout the off-season with electricity
available, however the water system will be deactivated,
as weather conditions require.
To check on services available and weather conditions,
please call the park at 208-443-2200.