The Lakeshore - Idaho Trail #294 follows a path along the west shore of pristine Priest Lake. With furtastic views of the crystalline lake and the Selkirk Mountains, including the famed Chimney Rock in the background, the hike is a feast for the senses. Meandering through fragrant cedar forest it has a wilderness feel about it that fills the bill for hikers and their pooches. Its tranquility and solitude soothe the soul, and even more opportunities for quiet and privacy await in the small beaches along the way, or the campgrounds that pop up here and there.
Whether you begin your hike on the northern end at the Beaver Creek trailhead near Tule Bay, or at its southern end point at Reeder Bay, you'll find free parking, but no amenities, so be sure to bring plenty of water. And don't forget the waste bags for Fido!
Rocky outcroppings provide pawrfect spots to rest, enjoy a snack and new perspective on your surroundings as you watch bald eagles soar above or nest at the tops of the pines. Other wildlife abounds as well, including many species of birds, small mammals rustling in the underbrush and deer. Black bears are common in the area, and it's wise to lift your eyes from the trail to scan ahead and near blind spots for their presence, while keeping Fido's leash secure.
While you might encounter minor obstacles on the path, such as downed trees, rocks and protruding roots, it's mostly smooth, packed dirt and gravel. Five wooden footbridges span the streams you need to cross, and there are a few short, steep sections that will only slow you down momentarily before you reach a flat or descending section.
If you're heading north, when you reach Tule Bay, be sure to relax on its secluded beach, or take a swim with your furry bestie before heading back the way you came. Whether you and Fido live in the Priest Lake area, or are visiting, you're sure to find a lot to enjoy on this pleasant hike!
Parts of this trail may be muddy and you may encounter roots and rocks, so be sure to watch your footing and wear shoes with good support that are mud- and waterproof. Cyclists use the trail as well, and to avoid a mishap, stay to the right to let them pass while keeping a firm grip on your pup's leash.