Saturday, October 29, 2016

Upper Priest Lake, Bonner County, Idaho

UPPER PRIEST LAKE
This lake is the smaller sister to Priest Lake via connection to each by a thorofare. The thorofare is a slow moving river of 10'-20' deep that is a popular kayak and boating route (no wakes allowed). Upper Priest Lake is an extremely popular fishing lake but also popular with boaters for general boating. This lake is a "no wake" lake even though at times one can see boats creating wakes at high speeds. This rule is enforced heavily during the summer months. There are two boater campgrounds on this lake, both inaccessible by car. During the summer months, particularly in July, it can be hard to find an available camp site. Fishing: See sign when fishing at this lake. For more fishing info call 208-769-1414.

The thorofare to Upper Priest Lake can be accessed via 4 launch sites. Before entering the thorofare there are 2 launch sites at Lion Head State Park (preferred by the locals because they are closer to the mouth of the thorofare) a boat launch and a site where you can launch off a beach. The third is at Beaver Creek State Park, designated as a boat launch for small boats. The fourth location is not really a boat launch, but is a site one can portage their canoe or kayak to. This is located on the thorofare at Beaver Creek State Park (see picture to right). When traveling via the thorofare to Upper Priest Lake, take it slow as there are hazards in the thorofare such as rocks and logs and the lake can be quite shallow (2-10') in some locations.

Directions to Lion Head State Park (S.P.) - On HWY 57 traveling from the city of Priest River Idaho on HWY 2... Turn right/east onto Coolin Rd./Dickensheet Rd. In Coolin Idaho turn right/east onto E. Shore Rd. Watch for the signs to Lion Head State Park. You can either launch your power boat from the boat launch, or launch your kayak from the beach; signs will direct you to either. Directions to Beaver Creek State Park - On HWY 57... Turn Left in Nordman onto Reeder Bay Rd. / forest service road 1339 to Beaver Creek S.P. A sign will direct you to this park. Once at the park watch for the sign to either the small boat launch or canoe & kayak portage access site.


Pictures and info about boat launches, access points, campsites, etc. below...
Thoroughfare that connects Priest Lake to Upper Priest Lake: The thoroughfare is a slow moving river like channel of 10'-20' deep that is a popular kayak and boating route between Upper Priest Lake and Priest Lake. This thoroughfare as well as Upper Priest Lake are no wakes allowed.

Lion Head State Park Beach Sportsman Access - Sandy beaches like in Florida, restrooms, running water, RV and tent campsites, benches and picnic tables, hikng trails. Directions: On HWY 57 traveling from the city of Priest River Idaho on HWY 2... Turn right/east onto Coolin Rd. In Coolin Idaho turn right/east onto E. Shore Rd. Watch for the signs to park. Maps: View interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in GPS coordinates 48.744508, -116.832798
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel/sand parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... No developed paths/trails. Wide large sandy beach; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… Fully accessible restroom. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… Might be two docks... might because sometimes the docks are lying on the beach, not extended out in the water. Launch from very sandy beach; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No developed access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... Tent and RV campsites, no hookups; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Lots sand; Terrain: Level to 4% grades over sand; H2O/Water: Water clear. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degree. No Drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Coolin, ID.


 Lionhead State Park Boat Launch - Boat launch, beaches, restrooms, running water, RV and tent campsites, benches, and picnic tables, hiking trails. Directions: On HWY 57 traveling from the city of Priest River Idaho on HWY 2... Turn right/east onto Coolin Rd. In Coolin Idaho turn right/east onto E. Shore Rd. Watch for the signs to park. Maps: View interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in GPS coordinates 48.742209, -116.833476
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel, dirt, sand parking area; PATHS/TRAILS... No developed paths/trails. Wide paved roads throughout parking area; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… Fully accessible restrooms with in camping area not at launch site. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… No docks/platforms. Single lane cement launch at about 5% grade. Lots of sand around and on this launch... potential to get stuck; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No developed access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... Accessible Tent and RV campsites, with hookups; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Sand; Terrain: Level to 5% grades over sand/dirt/gravel; H2O/Water: Water clear. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degree. No Drinking water available. Drinking water available in campground; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Coolin, ID.


Beaver Creek S.P. portage canoe & kayak thoroughfare Access: This is a trail that kayakers and canoeist use to access the thoroughfare that leads to Upper Priest Lake from the campground parking. The trail is about a mile long. Maps: View interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in GPS coordinates 48.742441, -116.863591
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... Portage trail to Priest Lake Thoroughfare put-in/take-out is not accessible to wheeled mobility devices. Wide dirt/gravel path to lake shoreline; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… Fully accessible restrooms within park but not at put-in/take-out. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… No docks/platforms. Launch from bank put-in/take-out. Again the trail to this site is not accessible to wheeled mobility devices but to launch off the beach and then paddle up the thoroughfare. Sand at beach is deep; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No developed access for wheeled mobility devices. With offroad tires, etc. on your wheeled mobility device it is possible to cross the beach to the water, one may need assistance; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... Accessible Tent and RV campsites, no hookups; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Sand; Terrain: Level to 4% grades to beach; H2O/Water: Water normally clear. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degree. Drinking water available within park; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Lamb Creek, ID.


Beaver Creek State Park, lake sportsman access via beaches - Beach, boat launch near launch beach (see #2), restrooms, running water, RV and tent campsites, benches and picnic tables, hiking trails, portage trail for kayakers to access the fairway to Upper Priest Lake. Directions: On HWY 57, turn Left in Nordman onto Reeder Bay Rd. / forest service road 1339, to Beaver Creek S.P.. A sign will direct you to this park. Maps: View interactive google map above or visit google.com/maps type in GPS coordinates 48.735473, -116.857128
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... Wide dirt/gravel path to lake shoreline. Portage trail to Priest Lake Thoroughfare is not accessible to wheeled mobility devices; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… Fully accessible restrooms. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… No docks/platforms. No developed launch. Launch from beach; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No developed access for wheeled mobility devices. With offroad tires, etc. on your wheeled mobility device it is possible to cross the beach to the water, one may need assistance; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... Accessible Tent and RV campsites, no hookups; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Sand; Terrain: Level to 4% grades; H2O/Water: Water normally clear. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degree. Drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Lamb Creek, ID.

We will have more info about these campsites and accessibility in Summer 2017

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Southeast Campsite right at the outlet of the Thoroughfare. Includes campsites with fire pits and tent sites. Includes Restrooms with no running water.

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Plowboy Campsites: This small campground is just northeast of the outlet of the Thoroughfare. Includes 4 campsites and restroom on the southwest shore of Upper Priest Lake, Idaho.

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Trapper Creek Campsites: This campground is on the north end of the lake on the west shore next to Trapper Creek. Includes 5 campsites and restroom on the northeast shoreline of the lake.

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Navigation Campsites: This campground is on the North end of the lake on the east shore next to Upper Priest River. Includes 5 campsites and restroom on the northwest shoreline of the lake. This campsite is near Hughes Fork Creek... one can put up this creek depending on the water level.

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