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Lionhead Natural Water Slides & Family Hike

You can often find an interesting family adventure just around the corner! We had a blast sliding down the Lionhead natural water slides in North Idaho. The hike to the slippery rock slides is a great outing for families of all ages. This destination is located near Priest Lake and Lionhead Campground. My husband Andy and I took our kids ages 8, 5 and 4 on this forested 2-mile hike along Lion’s Head Creek. We really enjoyed sliding down the natural water slides at the end of the trail.

Before you start off on this family-friendly hike to the Lionhead natural water slides, it’s important to bring some essential hiking gear. First, be sure to wear good shoes which you can get wet. The trail often leads across streams and rocky areas. Also, bring plenty of water to avoid getting dehydrated, especially on hot days. Last but not least, bring several large black trash bags, which are necessary to slide down the natural rock slides. Tie one of these garbage bags around your waist to protect your clothing from tearing on the rocks. The trash bags also help riders slide faster down the natural water slides!

Awesome family hike North Idaho Lionhead natural water slides

Beautiful Forest Trails

The hiking trail to the Lionhead natural rock slides is beautiful, with scenic views around every corner. Fallen tree trunks, logs, exposed tree roots, and boulders litter the trail alongside occasional small waterfalls. In many sections, we had to walk through shallow water. It’s very helpful to wear water shoes on this hike. In other places along the trail, we could step across the rocks to get to the other side of the trail. My kids were delighted to find so many opportunities to walk in the creek and scramble over rocks.

Lionhead natural water slides scenic family hike in North Idaho

On our family hike to Lionhead natural water slides we brought some snacks and plenty of water. Although trees shade the trail in many places, we hiked in sunny 90-degree weather. We stopped several times with our kids to drink water and take a rest.

Lionhead slippery rocks family activity near Priest Lake Idaho

Natural Rock Pools

We also stopped several times along Lion’s Head Creek to explore a variety of natural rock pools. We discovered several smaller natural water slides formed by water continually flowing down sheets of rock. These water slides typically end in a small divot in the rock which forms a pool that’s a foot or two deep. Our kids really enjoyed mastering the technique of sliding down these slippery sheets of rock.

Of course, our kids wanted to walk in the water along the trail. We found numerous shallow pools scattered with rocks of all sizes. Some of the wading pools along Lion’s Head Creek are deep enough to enjoy a real swim. Our kids spent quite a bit of time walking in the shallower pools with their water shoes.

Natural wading pools along Lion's Creek hike

Slippery Rocks Natural Water Slide

Finally, at the end of the hike we arrived at the official Lionhead natural water slide. This slide stretches down a natural rock slope and ends in a 2-foot pool at the end. We tied large black trash bags around our waists and legs to protect our swimsuits from snagging on the rocks. The trash bags also help riders go faster down the natural rock slides. If you do bring trash bags, snacks or water bottles on this hike, make sure to take care of the environment and pack out everything you bring in! Everyone should make an effort to keep Idaho’s beautiful natural spaces free from trash.

Lionhead natural water slides near Priest Lake, Idaho

Lionhead natural water slides slippery rocks North Idaho family activity

We will definitely visit the Lionhead natural water slides again, likely multiple times in the future. The Lionhead hike is a great recreational activity to enjoy with your family or friends. We love living in North Idaho because we have so many options for memorable family adventures and simple fun in the great outdoors!


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