Priest River is located in the far Northern part of Idaho, nestled in a beautiful mountain valley less than 100 miles (as the crow flies) from Canada. It's about an hour East of Spokane, Washington on Highway 2, or a 1/2 hour West of Sandpoint, Idaho - home of the Schweitzer Basin ski area. South on Highway 41 is Coeur d'Alene, Idaho the home of North Idaho College and Lake Coeur d'Alene.
Priest River is often called the "Gateway to Priest Lake" as you must pass through it to get to Highway 57 North to the lake. The town sits at the junction of the Priest River and the Pend Oreille River - where you can boat all the way up to Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille.
Priest River is a small town that enjoys clean air, clear water, and plenty of recreational opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast in both winter and summer. We enjoy swimming, boating, rafting, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, photography, mushroom hunting, huckleberry picking, snow shoeing, skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, sledding, to name just part of it! But to say that ours is a recreation paradise is to give only part of the picture. Its also a great place to live. (Unless, of course, your idea of living is going out for dinner at 2 a.m.)
We enjoy a small community where the grocery store checkers remember who our children are, where the UPS man knows to deliver our packages at work even though they are addressed to our home in the country, where the lady in the post office can put our mail in the right box even if we forgot the box number, and where we can enjoy a pleasant social life just by taking a little extra time to visit while shopping. It's a town where the people smile and greet one another in parking lots, at the post office, and in the stores. Its a town where you might not get to have that discussion with someone over lunch because too many people stopped by your table to say hello. Its a town where a "damsel in distress" might reasonably expect someone to stop and help her change a tire or get a stalled car going - and she won't have to worry that someone might be a mugger, since it's probably someone she knows!
Priest River is also an interesting place to live or visit. We start the summer season with holding the biggest "yard sale" Priest River has ever seen on the first Saturday in May. Dubbed the "May Day Sale," it includes all businesses who want to clear out their winter merchandise, all organizations who want to raise money for their projects, and all individuals who wish to participate. Residents who live out of town are given space in business parking lots to set up their merchandise. May Day '99 gave Priest River its first real "traffic jam!."