Upper Priest River Trails

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Hiking and Mountain Biking. The area north of Upper Priest Lake has several trails- some challenging and some easy. Two of these trails, 308 and 28 lead to Upper Priest Falls from trailheads off Road 1013. The earliest these trips should be attempted is at the end of June; even then you will see snow.
The first trail, 308, is easy, but long 9.2  miles one way along the Upper Priest River. There are some downed trees, but  the path is well-maintained and very scenic. Mountain bikes and pack horses are allowed here, but no motorized vehicles.

TRAIL#2  trailhead#28, is more difficult, but only 2.3 miles in length. This is one of the more scenic trails in the district, leading through a stand of old-growth cedars and berry thickets. There is a section near the falls that is steep & causes difficulty for some climbers. Open to pack animals and foot traffic (no motorized vehicles.)
Both of these trails are popular. The area is home to grizzlies and woodland caribou- both endangered species- as well as deer, elk, black bears, etc.

TRAIL#3  trailhead#349 is the most difficult and is only for athletic and experienced hikers. Five miles from the 308 trailhead you take a left turn and almost immediately you must take your pack and boots/socks off and carry them above your head to cross the river. When we went in 1999, June 26, the river was raging and impossible or too dangerous to cross. This trail is no longer maintained by the local rangers, but you can find your way up the 3,320 foot elevation change. This is considered the most difficult hike in the district. This trail ends at the #512 Shedroof Divide Trail and so could be connected with those trails for a many day hike around the rooftop over Idaho, Washington, and Canada.

TRAIL#4  Another incredibly nice trail here formtbikers/hikers going all the way (5 miles)to Upper Priest Lake is trailhead 302 (10 miles round trip). At the right timeof year this trail is ecstasy. Clickhere for specific information and great photos of East Upper Priest LakeTrail.

 Where:  Go to Newport, then Priest River, then take Hwy 57 north along the west shore of Priest Lake to Nordman. At Nordman, 57 becomes 302 (and becomes gravel a little after that) Just after the Stagger Inn campground, you'll come to an intersection. Take Road 1013, which continues north.
Watch the brown mileage signs. The trailhead for trail 308 is at 11 miles, on the left just after you cross Lime Creek. (N 48 53'914'  W 116 58' 024")  The trailhead for 28 is at mile 22.5, just before the road is blocked. (48 58' 403'  W 116 56' 081" )The trail itself is down the hill a little south of the parking area. (Caution: there is an intersection between the two trails where the right and straight paths are blocked. continue to the left, following the "Continental" sign.)

 Cautions:  Check with the rangers to see if the roads & trails are passable 208-443-2512 Be sure to get a copy of "Priest Lake Trails" to bring along- either have the Forest Service send one, or pick one up at the ranger station just south of Nordman. A 4-wheel drive vehicle makes this a lot easier- definitely advisable at either the beginning or the end of the season. There are large potholes, downed timber, and sometimes large rocks to navigate (more noticeable after the 308 trailhead.)

 List:  Bug spray, sunscreen, water or water filter.Email Us