The Priest Lake basin abounds in hiking trails with over 500 thousand acres of federal and state public lands to explore in the area.
The numerous trails lead to waterfalls, through cedar forests, and to spectacular lake vistas. On the east side of the lake there is a hike that leads to one of the area's best known landmarks, Chimney Rock. The granite spire is high in the Selkirk Mountains and can be seen from many locations around the lake. It is also a favorite destination for rock climbers.
Scott Hill, a co-owner and manager of Hills Resort on the lake and his friend Jamison Warren are rock climbers who think this is a great area to challenge themselves. Hill says the remoteness and beauty of the Selkirks are compelling. He also says he appreciates the granite rocks in these mountains because they’re so solid. It’s a good start in trying to make their climbs successful and safe.
“There’s two parts to it, the safety and the ropes and the actual climbing. It’s nice to have the safety ingrained in the brain so you don’t have to think about it and go ahead and climb. Harder climbs have smaller holds or less of them, so your just trying to figure it out. It becomes a mental game, how can I get up the rock with the least amount of energy so I can keep going, it’s a challenge.”
Hill, Rock Climber