To drive to Priest Lake you must eventually travel on US Highway 2 to the city of Priest River. At the one and only traffic light in Priest River, turn north off US Hwy 2 onto ID State Highway 57. A scenic journey of approximately 25 miles will lead you into the Priest Lake area. The Priest Lake Chamber of Commerce maintains a visitors center kiosk at Mile Post #22 Rest Stop for those who desire additional information on the area. Spokane is the major metropolitan city that serves the region and it is about 80 miles south of Priest Lake.
The nearest commercial airport is Spokane International Airport located approximately 90 miles from the Priest Lake area.
Two airstrips suitable for small aircraft and one seaplane base are located in the immediate vicinity of Priest Lake. On the west side, the USFS Priest Lake Ranger District maintains the Priest Lake USFS Airport which is a 4,600-foot grass airstrip located across Highway 57 from their headquarters at MP 32. On the east side, Cavanaugh Bay Airport, a 3,100-foot grass airstrip, is located at the south end of Cavanaugh Bay adjacent to the ID Department of Lands office. These airstrips do not have air traffic control facilities and they are not maintained during the winter season. Both airfields do have ample parking space and nearby resorts offer free transportation.
With 23,000 acres of water surface on Priest Lake, there is more than ample room for float plane arrivals / departures. Some of the major resorts also have docking and securing capabilities. Be sure to coordinate with the resort if you plan on docking your float plane during the duration of your stay. In addition, the Tanglefoot Seaplane Base located on the west shore of Cavanaugh Bay provides an excellent base of operations for float plane visits.
The nearest asphalt surfaced runways are in the cities of Priest River (2,950' runway - no fuel) and Sandpoint (5,500' runway - fuel available).
BY TRAIN & BOAT
Sorry, missed this one by only a few decades. In yesteryear, a major rail transportation link from metropolitan areas to Priest River was popular; then you could experience a humbling, all-day stage coach ride to Coolin for an overnight stay; then to your resort the next day via row boat! OH MY, THE GOOD OL' DAYS!!
When we say "Way Up North in Idaho", it is an accurate description of the location of Priest Lake.
Approximately 25 miles "as the crow flies" from the Canadian border, Priest Lake is on the way to NOWHERE!! - you go 'TO' Priest Lake, but never 'THROUGH' Priest Lake enroute to other destinations. Therein lies one of the geographic characteristics that make the area a premier vacation destination. You will be immersed in a magnificent combination of mountains, forests, and lakes, but you won't be inundated by crowds and casual sightseers 'just passing through'! Priest Lake is just remote enough to afford ample space to pursue any recreational endeavor without infringing on others -- or being infringed upon by others, but not too remote to make your visit a primitive experience - unless that is your goal. Priest Lake is a unique blend of nature and space with enough modern conveniences to make a visit most enjoyable. Your vacation can be at an award winning luxury resort or at a primitive camping site in a wilderness area -- or anything between.
With fewer than 160 total resort/motel rooms, less than 450 developed RV/camping sites, and few multi-family housing units in the area, Priest Lake ensures the solitude, space and peace to enjoy one of Mother Nature's masterpieces. On the other hand, if a slightly faster pace is on your agenda, the recreation businesses in the area, (all of which are family owned and operated) will provide opportunities for those high energy activities tailored to all age groups.