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Priest-Lake is nestled in the northern portion Idaho Panhandle about two hours northeast of Spokane, Washington. The northern end of the lake extends to within 15 miles of the Canadian border. Called "Idahos Crown Jewel," Priest Lake remains one of the states most remote and least developed tourist spots. The history of the lake dates back almost 10,000 years to the end of the last ice age. This is evident from the artifacts found in the area and ancient rock art along the lake. To reach Priest Lake, drive north along Highway 57, through thick stands of ponderosa pine, douglas fir and tamarack. You will turn off the highway at the tiny hamlet of Nordman and head towards the lake. Several campgrounds are in the area; two run by the State of Idaho and several run by the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Hiking trails circle the lake, connecting it to the Upper Priest Lake. In the winter time the larger resorts offer cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. There is also a hotel and marina located at the lakes largest town, Coolin. Priest Lake is actually a 25-mile lake that is composed of two bodies of water connected by a 2.5-mile long river known as the Thorofare. The northern portion is accessible by boat or foot only and forest and sandy beaches fringe the southern end. Activities available at Priest Lake include swimming, water-skiing, canoeing, boating and fishing. A worthwhile side trip is a drive to the Roosevelt Grove of Ancient Cedars about 14 miles north of Nordman.

Surrounding areas: Ponderay, Idaho (21.2 mi), Priest River, Idaho (21.2 mi), Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho (21.5 mi), Sandpoint, Idaho (21.5 mi), Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho (21.5 mi), Sagle, Idaho (25.8 mi), Bonners Ferry, Idaho (30.2 mi)

Priest Lake Vacation Rentals

Priest Lake Hotels and Resorts

Hotels & Motels
Angel Of The Lake410 Railroad AveSandpoint, ID21.1 mi.(208) 263-0816
K2 Motel501 N 4THSandpoint, ID21.8 mi.(208) 263-3441
Lakeside Motel106 BRGSandpoint, ID21.8 mi.(208) 263-2717
Monarch InnHwy 95 NSandpoint, ID21.8 mi.(208) 263-1222
Sandpoint Super 8 Motel478641 Hwy 95 NSandpoint, ID21.8 mi.(208) 263-2210
Selkirk Lodge10000 Schweitzer MTN RdSandpoint, ID21.8 mi.(208) 265-0257
Super 8478641 Hwy 95NSandpoint, ID21.8 mi.(208) 263-2216
La Quinta Inn415 CedarSandpoint, ID21.9 mi.(208) 263-9581
Golden Spur MotelUS Hwy 2Newport, WA22.4 mi.(509) 447-3823
Country Inn470700 Hwy 95Sagle, ID25.8 mi.(208) 263-3333
Bear Creek Lodge5952 Hwy 95 SBonner Ferry, ID29.7 mi.(208) 267-7268

Priest Lake Weather & Climate

Idaho's Northern Panhandle has a distinct four-season climate. The region's northern latitude means summer days that are long and sunny, with just enough rain to keep things very green and pretty. Temperatures can range from very warm in the summer to very cold in the winter. The nearby mountain ranges accumulate a deep snow cover in the winter. In spring, the melting snow pack provides irrigation water for the lower regions of the state. The major source of moisture for northern Idaho is the Pacific Ocean, although in summer there are some exceptions when moisture-laden air is brought in from the south.

     Month       High Temp   Low Temp   Rainfall   Ocean Temp 
January 30°F 18°F 3.74 in. -
February 36°F 21°F 3.12 in. -
March 45°F 24°F 2.72 in. -
April 56°F 29°F 2.25 in. -
May 66°F 37°F 2.60 in. -
June 73°F 42°F 2.24 in. -
July 81°F 45°F 1.39 in. -
August 81°F 44°F 1.32 in. -
September 71°F 37°F 1.43 in. -
October 55°F 30°F 1.92 in. -
November 37°F 25°F 4.30 in. -
December 30°F 20°F 4.39 in. -

Priest Lake Map & Transportation

Main viewing image.
Click each thumbnail image to enlarge.
The closest airports in the area are the Sandpoint airport (SZT) located about 20 miles southeast of Priest Lake in Sandpoint, Idaho, the Deer Park airport (DEW) located approximately 43 miles southwest of Priest Lake in Deer Park, Washington, the Coeur D Alene Air Terminal airport (COE) located roughly 49 miles south of Priest Lake in Coeur D ' Alene, Idaho, the Spokane International airport (GEG) located around 66 miles southwest of Priest Lake in Spokane, Washington, and finally the Shoshone County airport (S83) located about 73 miles south of Priest Lake in Kellogg, Idaho.

Priest Lake Attractions

Amusement and Theme Parks
Silverwood Theme ParkAtholID38.5 mi.
Adventures 'N FunCoeur d' AleneID55.1 mi.
Riverfront ParkSpokaneWA62.3 mi.
Golf Courses
Priest Lake Golf ClubPriest LakeID 
Sandpoint Elks G CSandpointID22.2 mi.
Ski Areas
Schweitzer Mountain ResortSandpointID21.8 mi.
Turner MountainLibbyMT62.2 mi.
Lookout PassWallaceID83.5 mi.
The Big MountainWhitefishMT117.7 mi.
State Parks
Lake Newport State ParkWA21.3 mi. 
Round Lake State ParkID26.1 mi. 
Pend Oreille State ParkWA34.8 mi. 
Farragut State ParkID39.5 mi. 

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