Priest River Idaho – A Beautiful Community
Priest Lake Golf Course is a scenic and challenging course in a beautiful mountain setting. The course was recently expanded from nine to eighteen holes.
Priest River Elementary School is a highly-ranked school that ranks in the top 50% of Idaho schools for state testing proficiency (math proficiency is 44%, reading proficiency is 57%).
About Priest River
Priest River, Idaho sits at the confluence of two pristine rivers. Located 7 miles East of Washington and 75 miles South of Canada, this quiet community of 1,700 friendly people has a diversified economy primarily driven by timber and tourism.
The Priest River has a reputation for world-class fishing. In addition to world-class trout, the area’s many lakes – large and small – and the surrounding forests offer opportunities for boating, hunting and camping.
The region is also a geologic hotspot. Tectonic events associated with the Newport and Purcell faults exhumed Paleoproterozoic Belt Supergroup and Deer Trail Group rock sequences in this area of the state. These rocks preserve a record of the formation and early development of Laurentia with detrital zircon U-Pb isotope data.
Things to Do in Priest River
Priest River is a small, gorgeous community that’s full of fun things to do. It’s a place that makes you want to slow down, enjoy the beauty of nature and feel blessed to live here.
One of the most notable attractions in the region is the pristine and stunning Priest Lake, a crown jewel that beckons outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds to its shores. The primary lake, Lower Priest, stretches 19 miles and plunges over 300 feet deep while Upper Priest Lake is connected to the primary body via a 2.5-mile thoroughfare, offering even more exploration possibilities.
There are several hiking trails that crisscross the mountains surrounding Priest River, allowing you to take in the incredible scenery. Another highlight of the area is the local huckleberry scene, with places like Ardy’s Cafe in Coolin perfecting the art of mixing the sweet and tangy flavor of the berry with the smooth swirl of soft serve ice cream.
Restaurants in Priest River
Priest River has many great restaurants, but the most amazing restaurant in Priest River is the one that overlooks a waterfall. This restaurant is the perfect place to eat with a view, the food is also delicious.
A city of 1,750, Priest River sits at the confluence of two pristine rivers in North Idaho’s Selkirk Mountains. The town grew in the 1880s when workers from the Great Northern Railroad arrived to lay track and cut timber. Many of the early residents were Kalispel Indians, and settlers included dozens of Italians. Today, locals with names like Naccarato and Lamanna may be descended from those early laborers.
The town’s public school, Priest River Elementary School, is rated within the top 50% of 707 schools in Idaho (based on state testing scores). Priest River High School is known for its golf course. The course is beautiful and challenging. It’s worth a stop on your trip to the Priest Lake area.
Shopping in Priest River
The locals love to shop at the many second hand stores in Priest River. It’s a great way to save money and find some unique treasures that you just won’t be able to get anywhere else! These stores have a variety of items, including clothing and furniture, at amazing prices.
Located in Idaho’s northern panhandle, Priest River is a recreation paradise surrounded by the Selkirk Mountain Range and bordered by Priest River and Pend Oreille rivers. This charming city enjoys clean air, clear water, and a friendly small town atmosphere where people greet each other in parking lots, at the post office, and in stores.
The town’s history is rich in timber and railroads. The Kalispel Indians inhabited the area before outsiders arrived in the 1890s to build railroad tracks and cut timber. The logging industry has been the economic engine of the town. In the early days, loggers hewn railroad ties on sleds pulled by horses and floated them down the Priest River to mills in town.