Thursday, August 29, 2013

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho

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.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Parking for site 14 and 15

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Main Road

 I stayed in spot 14, on the right.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Entrance to sites 14 and 15

 Plenty of room for my truck.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: My Suburban

 These two sites are perfect for tent camping. In fact, we scouted around and these seem like the two largest sites at the campground.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: View Of Site 14

Looking at site 15 from site 14. We had this whole area as our camp site--plenty of room.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Camp Area - Site 14

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.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Camp Area Parking - Site 14

The road is kind of narrow, but it's wide enough for most RVs.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Narrow Road

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.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Bear Proof Trash Boxes

Speaking of Bear, he had a great time, though the little dogs were a bit apprehensive at so many people walking through our camp.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: A Dog Named Bear

Site 14 has a perfect spot in the shade for a larger tent like mine.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: A Shady Spot For Tent On Site 14

Looking over the bars behind my tent, it's obvious why everyone wants to be here at Priest Lake.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: View Of Swimming Area

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.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Stairs To Beach

There's a little path down to the beach area.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Trail To Beach

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.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: No Animals On Beach

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.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Beach Area 1

It doesn't exactly say 'come walk on the beach!' but that's OK. It is still a very beautiful part of the lake.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Beach Area 2

Our site could see the marina across the lake.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: View Of Marina

We are going to see next year if any of the cabins next to the marina are available for rental!

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: View Of Cabins

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.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Mid Morning View Of Priest Lake

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Mid Afternoon View Of Priest Lake

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Late Afternoon View Of Priest Lake

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Sunset View Of Priest Lake

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Moonlight Over Priest Lake

I was surprised to find this survey marker. It was covered and dirty, so I cleaned it off a little bit for the picture.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Survey Marker

Lots of squirrels at camp. They are not scared of us or the dogs much, so they just went on about their business.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Squirrel!

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.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Waterproof Coleman Tent

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.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Teton Explorer 4000 Backpack Ready For Business

I keep a separate bag for electronic gear. It also performed well.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: SwissGear Ibex Backpack Ready For Business

Man, this shot made me wish I had a kayak. It just seemed like an invitation to paddle over there and pitch my tent.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: View Of Opposite Shore Across Priest Lake

My son in law with his Chihuahua, Ryder.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Big Man, Little Dog 1

Me and my pudgy friend, Smokey.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Big Man, Little Dog 2

...who demanded we explore the area. "C'mon Boss!"

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Smokey Ready For Walk

Walking up the road from camp gave us a nice little vista.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Up The Road

There's a little section which doesn't look like it belongs to a camp.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Empty Spot

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Vista

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Interesting Rock Formations

Up the little road are some sites that look better suited to campers and RVs.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Smallish RV Spot

Leaving the campground, there were a couple properties for sale. This would be a nice place to live!

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Outside Campgrounds

Up the road a few miles is a little store that has basically everything you'd want for camping.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Little Store Sign

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Little Store Has Gas Station

Just before you get to the store is a cool looking saw mill that looks like it's still in use.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Old Saw Mill 1

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Old Saw Mill 2

It definitely looks functional.

Outlet Campgrounds At Priest Lake, Idaho: Old Saw Mill 3


Conclusions


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.


No comments:

Post a Comment