Biking at Priest Lake
Priest Lake is an ideal location for cyclists of all skill levels to enjoy the challenges of mountains and the beauty of forests. The rider can tackle 4,000’+ gut-wrenching, ‘mountain goat’ climbs to the peaks on the east side of the Lake – or enjoy a leisurely ride on the Lakeshore Trail complete with a picnic on an isolated Priest Lake beach on the west side.In between these extremes, there are biking routes and terrain of endless variety. Wherever you choose to bike at Priest Lake, you will enjoy open spaces, clean air, and friendly natives.
USFS / State forest roads are very popular biking routes. These roads range from well maintained to primitive with varying degrees of difficulty. Many of the hiking trails maintained by the USFS are also open to mountain bikes. The Priest Lake Trails pamphlet available at the USFS Priest Lake Ranger District headquarters indicates which hiking trails are open to biking. Other than this pamphlet, there are no designated mountain biking routes in the Priest Lake area. This works to the advantage of the cyclist who values running a route without competing for road/trail space with other cyclists. However, it is always wise to carry a topographic map with you if you bike into the backcountry. The best route information is often available from employees of the Priest Lake resorts and other local recreation businesses. These local riders are always willing to share trail information and provide you with tips for biking the Priest.
Try the following link to a great website that details the trails in the Priest Lake area and will put you in touch with others riding in the area: www.mtbpriestlake.com
Several good routes, to include single-track loop trails, can be accessed immediately from many of the resorts located around the Lake. Generally, the steepest terrain is to the east and north of the Lake while the mountains to the west and south of the Lake are more gradual, but still very challenging. For the occasional riders, flatter terrain routes are also readily available. Some follow shoreline segments while others track in the forests along the base of the many mountain chains. For those new riders to the area, a great way to learn the trails and have a fun day doing it, is to contact Four Seasons Sports for a guided mountain bike tour tailored to your skills and desires.
So come on up to North Idaho and BIKE THE PRIEST! – Catch some air, don’t get bonked, climb a grinder, and enjoy a mach session!!