My son-in-law picked this campground out for our camping trip this August. We wanted to camp
very close to a lake and also bring our little dogs. We also do tent camping, so we wanted sites suitable for a tent and not just a slab of asphalt or concrete like you’d expect for an RV site.
Here’s the official web site for the campground.
We stayed at sites 14 and 15 which are right next to each other, so we got a combined 100 feet of parking.
I stayed in spot 14, on the right.
Plenty of room for my truck.
These two sites are perfect for tent camping. In fact, we scouted around and these seem like the two largest sites at the campground.
Looking at site 15 from site 14. We had this whole area as our camp site–plenty of room.
1st downside, behind the picnic table was a massive bee hive. They didn’t sting, but made it almost impossible to cook or prepare food. We tried moving our food prep to site 15 but the bees found us there, too. About the best we could come up with was lighting a fire in the fire pit and moving our food prep near the fire. It was a hassle but pretty much worked.
But I would expect the bee hive to be a fluke, so I would definitely return to this campground in the future.
The 2nd downside was these stairs gave the two sites an inviting trip down to the water. The general public seemed to have no problems walking through the middle of our camp site, and a few people actually stopped to peek in my tent.
So, the site is absolutely breathtaking, but so much so that everyone else thinks that they are camping in our site with us. At least most people were really nice, even if all the foot traffic took away from our camping experience a little. One guy–we called him ‘creepy guy’ even seemed to hover around our camp site the whole trip. As beautiful as these sites are, we are considering moving over to 16 and 17, which are a little (but not much) more private and a little less inviting.
The road is kind of narrow, but it’s wide enough for most RVs.
I thought the bear-proof trash box was a nice touch. There’s even a clean water faucet right next to it, though I brought my own.
Speaking of Bear, he had a great time, though the little dogs were a bit apprehensive at so many people walking through our camp.
Site 14 has a perfect spot in the shade for a larger tent like mine.
Looking over the bars behind my tent, it’s obvious why everyone wants to be here at Priest Lake.
There’s a little trail down to the “beach”, which is really just a few steps straight into the water. Perfect for swimming. There were quite a few people trying their luck fishing on the steps. Now, I’m not the best fisherman, but this seemed like probably the worst spot on the lake to fish. It’s only a couple feet of water, and I saw no reason that the fish would want to come up this far. In fact, I saw a few reasons why most fish would want to stay away. Plus, the lake was so clear, I could see even from the top of the stairs that there were no fish on the shore-side of the swimming area. You really want to be on a boat to fish this lake. At least for the South shore.
There’s a little path down to the beach area.
There’s no real beach, so pretty much everyone disregarded the sign. We didn’t take the dogs to the steps, but we did take them on most of the path.
You’d pretty much have to swim around to get to this spot. Not much of a beach anywhere that we saw on this South shore, but it was still perfect for swimming, which we did a lot of.
It doesn’t exactly say ‘come walk on the beach!’ but that’s OK. It is still a very beautiful part of the lake.
Our site could see the marina across the lake.
We are going to see next year if any of the cabins next to the marina are available for rental!
I took a few pictures from the same vantage point at various times throughout the day, and at night during a full moon. I think the pictures speak for themselves.
I was surprised to find this survey marker. It was covered and dirty, so I cleaned it off a little bit for the picture.
Lots of squirrels at camp. They are not scared of us or the dogs much, so they just went on about their business.
They mean it. We got some serious lightning and thunder the first night and my little tent just got poured on. Not a drop got in.
Anyone who knows me knows that I like my gear. I didn’t do any hiking since there’s not really any trails on this side of the lake that we found, but the new backpack still got a lot of use as my “man purse” on the road.
I keep a separate bag for electronic gear. It also performed well.
Man, this shot made me wish I had a kayak. It just seemed like an invitation to paddle over there and pitch my tent.
My son in law with his Chihuahua, Ryder.
Me and my pudgy friend, Smokey.
…who demanded we explore the area. “C’mon Boss!”
Walking up the road from camp gave us a nice little vista.
There’s a little section which doesn’t look like it belongs to a camp.
Up the little road are some sites that look better suited to campers and RVs.
Leaving the campground, there were a couple properties for sale. This would be a nice place to live!
Up the road a few miles is a little store that has basically everything you’d want for camping.
Just before you get to the store is a cool looking saw mill that looks like it’s still in use.
It definitely looks functional.
Other than the bees and the constant foot traffic through our camp site, it was a great trip. Priest Lake is one of the nicer lakes in the Idaho panhandle, which is known for nice lakes. This area is some of the best camping on Earth, and I’m glad I (mostly) left the rat race and moved to the Northwest.
We may take sites 16 and 17 next time instead, but we are definitely coming back.