Trailhead 302

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 What:  Very pleasant 5 mile (one-way, getting back is another 5 miles, very little elevation change, easy) Mtbike or Hike to Upper Priest Lake. The first four miles are in timber cover with thick mosses until the lake and its beautiful visage is reached. The lake is so beautiful it is hard to ride a bike because you keep looking out at it. The lakeshore is followed until reaching Trapper Creek campground with its early July wealth of blueberries. The tread of the trail is in good shape and is ecstatic single track with slight root, swamp, mud, bridge, rock impediments making it just the right challenge. The trail passes by an old mine shaft and also Coolin's collapsed cabin. Coolin is a pioneer of the area that the town at the bottom of the larger lake is named after. Most people think that the only way to get to the east side of the upper lake is to take a boat up the thoroughfare river that connects the upper from the lower. It is a great luxury to have this trail. I went into a mild state of ecstasy upon beginning the riding of this trail. The trail is a moss carpet for quite a ways. There are only 4 logs to cross all in one place. When you stop to rest, listen for the groan and creaking of the old trees. There are 1,000 year old trees here that you will be riding/hiking amongst. It only takes an hour on bike to get to the lake. Then the ride back is just as much fun. Try to ride all the way without touching your foot down I dare you. For some of you I'm sure it is possible. I tried, but no go. Almost fell off a bridge. The bridges go across the swampiest parts and sometimes go up and down hill and around corners,,,great fun. Jumping off the ends of the bridge is fun. Jumping up on the start of one can be challenging when the jump is a foot high. This is Grizzly/Caribou/Mountain lion habitat. I have never seen grizzly or Caribou, but during a heavy rain I was paddling down the thoroughfare and a Mountain Lion was drinking out of the river water off a log right in front of me when I suddenly saw it. It looked at me and slowly turned around and sauntered off. Listen for birdsongs as there is quite a variety. There is a wide variety of wildlife that you might be luck enough to see besides the aforementiond: White tail and mule deer, black bears, moose, mink, marten, weasel, porcupine, beaver, bobcat, lynx, coyote, squirrel, & chipmunks, blue and ruffed grouse, jays, ravens, songbirds, osprey, bald and golden eagles. We went mid-October and it was misting while we rode, great timing. You can't go there after it snows because roads are blocked by high snow. This trail does continue on for the adventurous all the way to Mosquito Bay on the East side.

 Where:  Take Hwy2 to Newport and go across the bridge into Idaho and go straight to Priest River on Hwy2 still. At Priest River, there is a main stoplight where you can turn left onto Hwy57. Take 57 North all the way to the south end of the Lake and go left not to Coolin, but on the west side of the lake to Nordman. This will take almost 2hours from Spokane to Nordman. Now continue north on road 302, not to be confused with trailhead 302 your final goal. Look for a large sign for Stagger Inn. After this sign it is only 8.8 miles more, but be watching for a major intersection coming up first that leads to the left to Salmo Priest wilderness area. This is where road 302 continues. Do not continue with 302 here as you must continue due north on road 1013 until you run into road 655. At road 655 turn right and almost immediately you will find a parking area on left and trailhead marker on right where trail begins. See photos for more landmarks. Topological Map

 Cautions:  Don't get lost. Keep your bearings during your driving. There are nothing but little dirt roads up here. The trail is very clear, no problem there.

 List:  Lots of water.Email Us