Priest River/Nordman Area Hikes

Upper Priest River
Distance: 13 miles roundtrip
Climb: gentle
Difficulty: easy
Usage: moderate
Location: From the town of Priest River, drive north 36 miles to Nordman on State Highway 57. Highway 57 officially ends here, but continue on the same paved road 2 miles until it turns into the gravel Forest Road (FR) 302. Drive on FR 302 for 10 miles to the three-way junction at Granite Pass, then proceed on the middle road, FR 1013. 12 miles from the junction for FR 1013, find the Trail 308 trailhead.

This trail immediately enters into a rare northwestern rainforest lined with towering firs and red cedars, and occasionally, mountain caribou and grizzlies can be spotted. After walking 5.5 miles along the canyon floor, hikers will reach the junction for Trail 28. Although many hikers turn around at this point, those who continue on Trail 28 will face a steep 1-mile descent to Upper Priest Falls tumbling near the US/Canadian border. Best months for hiking are mid-June through October.

Roosevelt Grove of Ancient Cedars
Distance: 4.5 miles roundtrip
Climb: moderate to steep in places
Difficulty: difficult
Location: Take Scenic Route (SR) 57 north for 37 miles from Priest River to Nordman. Continue along SR 57 for 13 more miles (2 miles past Nordman, SR 57 converts to Granite Creek Road) leading to the Stagger Inn Picnic Area. Across the main road (#302), locate the trailhead for Roosevelt Trail 266.

Located in the Priest Lake Ranger District, Roosevelt Trail climbs numerous switchbacks before ending in a large area of old-growth cedar trees. This trail also provides access to panoramic views of the surrounding area from Little Grass Mountain, Boulder Mountain, and Zero Creek. Best months for hiking are mid-June through September.

Grassy Top Mountain
Distance: 16 miles roundtrip
Climb: steep
Difficulty: difficult
Location: From the town of Priest River, follow Scenic Route (SR) 57 north for 37 miles to Nordman. Continue on SR 57 for 13 more miles (2 miles past Nordman, SR 57 turns into Granite Creek Road) until you reach the entrance for Stagger Inn Picnic Area. Proceed south another .75 mile and locate the trailhead for Trail 379.

For experienced hikers ready for a challenging climb, Grassy Top Trail ascends to the top of Grassy Top Mountain. Outstanding views of the surrounding area wait at the mountaintop. Best months for hiking are mid-June through September.

Navigation Trail
Distance: 10 miles one-way
Climb: moderate
Difficulty: moderate
Location: From Nordman, drive 12 miles north on Forest Road (FR) 2512 to Beaver Creek Campground on Priest Lake’s northern shore. The trail begins at the campground.

Passing through both meadows and forests, this trail affords panoramic views of Upper Priest Lake. The trail also passes by beaver ponds and a historical trapper’s cabin before its end at FR 1013. Best months for hiking are June through September.

Beach Trail and Lakeshore National Recreation Trail
Distance: Beach Trail – 9 miles; Lakeshore National Recreation Trail – 15.2 miles roundtrip
Climb: Flat
Difficulty: Easy
Usage: Heavy
Location: Beach Trail begins at Priest Lake’s south end near Outlet Bay and continues to Kalispell Bay. To locate the Lakeshore Trail, proceed to Nordman and merge onto Forest Road (FR) 1339. Follow FR 1339 to the trailhead at Beaver Creek. The Lakeshore Trail proceeds south.

Both trails gently wind along the popular Priest Lake’s western shores. The area provides beautiful scenery, but expect to have company along the way.

Home | Idaho Travel and Vacation Planner | Idaho Real Estate and Relocation Information | Idaho Tour

Copyright ©2018 New Times Media Corporation - All Rights Reserved