North Idaho Lakes and Rivers

Lakes, rivers and streams dominate Idaho’s five northern counties with 140 lakes and nearly 2,000 miles of rivers and streams. More than half of all the surface waters in Idaho are here in the panhandle, from foam-flecked river rapids to challenge the whitewater rafter and glassy, quiet lakes perfect for canoes. Within the miles of rivers and vast lakes are world-class sport fisheries, many the location of sport fishing records. In addition to championship fishing, there are a host of other water related activities. Classic wooden boat shows, sailboat rigattas, paddlewheel boat cruises and dozens of public beaches and swimming holes are among the many ways to enjoy the area’s pristine waters and majestic summer days.

Lake Coeur d’Alene

  • Home of the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course Floating Green
  • Noted for its scenic mountain beauty
  • Chinook Salmon up to 42 lbs
  • Winter eagle nesting in Wolf Lodge Bay
  • 183 foot depth, 31,872 surface acres
  • 25 miles long, 125 miles of shoreline

Hayden Lake

  • Accessible by paved road all around the lake
  • 178 foot depth, 3,800 surface acres
  • Fed by streams and springs
  • 40 miles of shoreline
  • Two public boat launches

Spirit Lake

  • 12 miles of shoreline
  • 100 foot depth, 1,300 surface acres
  • Highest of all small lakes with an elevation of 2,400 feet
  • Surrounded by forests with hiking and biking trails Hauser Lake
  • 550 surface acres, 40 foot depth
  • A favorite fishing lake with public access

Fernan Lake

  • Small (450 acres) feeder lake to Lake CdA
  • Village of Fernan Lake nestled along its north and west shores

Hauser Lake

  • 550 surface acres, 40 foot depth
  • A favorite fishing lake with public access

Twin Lakes

  • Upper Twin, 500 acres, and Lower Twin, 350 acres are joined by a narrow thoroughfare; shallow, some parts only 10 feet deep
  • Near golf course
  • Home to perch, bass, crappie & rainbow trout

Lake Pend Oreille

  • Largest and deepest lake
  • 43 miles long, 111 miles of shoreline
  • Deep water (1,158 feet) – so deep the U.S. Navy tests submarines out of Bayview, which also has a community of floathouses
  • Record Kamloops trout and prize-winning Dolly Varden

Priest Lake

  • 80 miles of shoreline, 25 miles long
  • Connected to Upper Priest Lake by scenic 2.5 mile thoroughfare

Spokane River

  • 100 miles long, originates north end of Lake Coeur d’Alene flows westward and joins the Columbia River
  • Mostly used for recreation, is dammed at Post Falls

Coeur d’Alene River

  • Headwaters on the SE slopes of Packsaddle Mountain within 6 miles of Lake Pend Oreille
  • Water flowing SE & SW into Lake Coeur d’Alene at Harrison

St. Joe River

  • A working river where tugboats can be seen pulling rafts or “booms” of logs to lumber mills
  • The highest navigable river in the world
  • 120 miles long with Grade II and III rapids.

Priest River

  • 44 miles long
  • Class II & III rapids

Pend Oreille River

  • Originates from Lake Pend Oreille, flows west
  • Albeni Falls is located 23 miles downstream, near Priest River
  • Drains 24,000 square miles of wetlands in Western Montana and Northern Idaho

Launch your boat

Boats launching in the state of Idaho are required to purchase an Idaho Invasive Species Fund sticker. The IISF sticker is included in Idaho boat registration. For out of state boaters, annual fee is $22 for motorized boats, $7 for non-motorized boats. More at or 1-877-336-8676.

Launch fee at Kootenai County’s 22 ramps and docks at lakes and rivers, including Lake Coeur d’Alene: Boats registered in Idaho, $4 daily launch fee or $20 for an annual pass. Boats registered out of state, $8 a day or $40 a year. Kootenai County Parks and Waterways, 10905 N. Ramsey Road, Hayden 83835, 208-446-1275

Launch fees at other North Idaho ramps and docks vary. Call the site interested in for up-to-date information. Idaho’s area code is 208.

Public Docks/Boat Ramps

not all listed

Lake Coeur d’Alene

Black Rock 446-1275

Blackwell Island ($6 day/$40 annual) 769-5000

Booth’s Park Coeur d’Alene 446-1275

Carlin Bay 446-1275

Fuller’s Landing 446-1275

Gould’s Landing 446-1275

Greensferry Bay 446-1275

Harlow Point 446-1275

Harrison City Docks 446-1275

Heyburn State Park ($5 entrance fee) 686-1308

Higgen’s Point ($5/$40) 699-2224

Loff’s Bay 446-1275

Mica Bay 446-1275

Mineral Ridge ($6/$40) 769-5000

Spokane Point 446-1275

Third Street (closed 6/1-9/30/13) 769-2252

Lake Pend Oreille

Bayview Boat Launch 446-1275

Sandpoint City Beach 263-7811

Farragut State Park ($5 entrance fee) 683-2425

Sam Owen Park 265-6600

Springy Point 265-2676

Trestle Creek 437-3133

Johnson Creek 437-3133

Hayden Lake

Honeysuckle Beach 772-4411

Sportman’s Access 446-1275

Priest Lake

Indian Creek 443-2200

Kalispell Bay 443-1047

Priest River

West Bonner County Park 255-5681

Mudhole 437-3133

Albeni Cove 437-3133

Riley Creek 437-3133

Spirit Lake

Maiden Rock 446-1275

Silver Beach ($5) 623-4842

Twin Lakes

Upper & Lower Twin Lakes 446-1275

Twin Lakes Middle Channel 446-1275

Spokane River

Q’emiln Park 773-0539

Kootenai River

Deep Creek 255-5681

Copeland 255-5681