Welcome to Priest River, Idaho

Nestled in the northern panhandle of Idaho, Priest River is a quaint town that exemplifies the charm and natural beauty the Gem State is known for. Surrounded by scenic mountains and located at the confluence of the Priest River and the Pend Oreille River, this small town is rich in history and outdoor opportunities. Whether you’re looking to explore the great outdoors or enjoy some down-home community spirit, Priest River has something for everyone.

History and Heritage

Priest River’s story began with the indigenous peoples who first inhabited the area. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that it became a hub for logging and agriculture, shaping the town’s early economy. The legacy of these industries can still be felt through the town’s architecture and cultural events.

The Priest River Museum and Timber Education Center provides a valuable glimpse into the past, showcasing artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the town’s development. Visitors can learn about the tools and techniques of the early loggers and the impact of the railroad on the town’s growth.

Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to Priest River for its stunning natural surroundings and the myriad activities available. In the summer, residents and visitors alike enjoy fishing, boating, and swimming in the nearby rivers and lakes. Hiking and mountain biking trails thread through the lush forests, offering breathtaking views and the chance to spot local wildlife.

During the winter months, the area becomes a playground for snow sports. With several ski resorts within a reasonable driving distance, including Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Priest River provides a perfect base for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling enthusiasts.

Community Events and Lifestyle

Priest River may be small, but it boasts a strong sense of community with numerous events throughout the year. One highlight is Timber Days, an annual celebration featuring logging competitions, parades, and family-friendly activities that honor the town’s rich logging history.

The weekly farmer’s market is a hotspot for locals and visitors, providing the freshest produce, artisanal goods, and a chance to meet the warm-hearted people who call Priest River home. The sense of camaraderie is palpable as residents support local farmers and craftspeople.

Local Cuisine and Accommodations

For foodies, Priest River offers a variety of dining options that will satisfy any palate. From cozy coffee shops to family-owned restaurants, the focus is on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Don’t leave without trying some Idaho potatoes prepared by expert hands.

Accommodations range from charming bed and breakfasts to rustic campgrounds. Whether you prefer the comforts of a well-appointed guest room or sleeping under the stars, Priest River has the perfect spot to rest your head after a day of exploration.

How to Get Here

Reaching Priest River is part of the adventure. The town is accessible by car via U.S. Highway 2 or State Highway 57. It’s roughly an hour’s drive from Spokane, Washington, making it easily reachable for a weekend getaway. There are no commercial airports in Priest River, but the nearby Spokane International Airport offers a convenient entry point for those traveling from farther afield.

In Conclusion

Priest River, Idaho, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its mix of history, natural splendor, and community spirit, it’s an idyllic destination for anyone seeking an authentic small-town experience. Whether you’re passing through or looking for a peaceful place to call home, Priest River welcomes you with open arms and the promise of unforgettable memories.