North Idaho is home to many great destinations for camping and hiking. Priest Lake is one of Idaho’s beautiful spots for family adventures, with spacious camp sites, hiking trails and a variety of outdoor activities. Here are some of our family’s favorite things to do at Priest Lake!
Video! Priest Lake, Idaho! Camping with Kids
Camping at Priest Lake
Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping, the Priest Lake campgrounds offer camp sites that can accommodate any camping style. We fit our 40-foot RV toy hauler into a spacious camp site at Beaver Creek Campground in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Beaver Creek has 42 camp sites in total, which you can reserve in advance. Our camp site was surrounded by tall pine trees and included a picnic table and a fire pit. Nearby, we explored an easy trail that led us down to the lake and beautiful lake views.
Many of the camp sites at Priest Lake are easy to access for a variety of campers and RVs. We love the forested environment and peaceful camping experience.
One previous year, our family enjoyed tent camping at Lionhead Campground on Priest Lake’s eastern shore. Our camp site was located close to the main beach area. We went on several hikes and roasted hot dogs in the fire pit. Although tent camping is a lot different from RV camping, we made the most of both experiences to have fun with our kids.
Hiking & Exploring
Priest Lake is also a beautiful area to explore and go on a hike. Near Beaver Creek Campground, visitors can choose from two different trails. The Navigation Trail is 9 miles long and heads north. Alternately, the Lakeshore Trail is 8 miles long and heads south.
While camping at Priest Lake, our family mostly enjoyed exploring the short forested trails that led down to the lake and along the lake shore. Our kids discovered several stick houses in the forest, saw squirrels and even found a morel mushroom. For our family, Priest Lake is an outdoor wonderland for kids to play and adults to unplug and relax.
Speaking of unplugging, we did not have a cellphone signal at Beaver Creek Campground. However, we did have the option of driving about 20 minutes down the road toward Nordman to get a cell signal.
Riding bikes is always a great activity for kids to do while camping! Our kids really enjoyed riding their bikes around the quiet loop at Beaver Creek Campground. They also could take their bikes down the gravel path to the lake shore. Our kids love staying active, so we often bring bikes and scooters on our family camping trips. My husband and I often hang out in our camp chairs, sip coffee and watch our kids ride their bikes.
Kayaking & Boating
Priest Lake is of course a great destination for kayaking and boating. The lake is 19 miles long and more than 300 feet deep in places. We took our kids kayaking along the Priest Lake thoroughfare. We put the kayaks in the water at Beaver Creek Portage Trail, and kayaked along the thoroughfare until we reached the beach that was near our camp site. The water was calm and the weather was beautifully overcast. Adventures like this make our life in North Idaho very memorable!
Ultimately, Priest Lake is a wonderful place to visit in North Idaho. We typically go camping at Priest Lake for several days. However, you could also visit for the day, enjoy hiking in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest or go boating or fishing on the lake. The Priest Lake beaches are a great destination for a day trip. Additionally, many visitors rent a cabin near Priest Lake. Our family has just begun to explore the outdoor adventures that are available at Priest Lake in Idaho!
Hi, I’m Katie! I live with my husband and 3 kids in beautiful Coeur d’Alane, Idaho. I love Jesus, coffee, DIY projects, photography, homeschooling my kids, traveling, and serving people. I’ve previously worked as a graphic designer, web designer, journalist and barista. I started Create. Play. Travel. to share some of our creative projects and family adventures. I hope you enjoy the highlights of our creative family life!