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The Slippery Rocks Of Priest Lake

I'm back!  And this one's a doozy! 

I'm fascinated by jumping off things - strange I know.  Rocks, cliffs, trees . . . they're all fair game as long as there's water at the bottom. But this past weekend I slid, literally, into a new fascination that actually might steal the "Top SpokaneMan Fascination" award right out from under cliff jumping.  Shocking, I know!  I never expected something I've long treasured to be bested so easily.  But that's what happens when you experience something that is pure awesomeness.  No, awesomeness isn't a word, but it should be.  But what activity is so cool that it warrants a made-up word to describe it, you ask?

I'm talking about the Lion Creek natural waterslides or slippery rocks at Priest Lake, Idaho.  Having a hard time imagining it?  Let me paint a picture for you, and I'll start from the beginning.  First, Priest Lake sits at the base of North Idaho's Cabinet Mountains and in my completely unbiased opinion, is one of the most spectacular and pristine mountain lakes that this country has to offer.  Even the 1 ½ hour drive from Spokane feels short as you cruise along the International Selkirk Loop through one of Idaho's most scenic areas.

Vehicle care side note:  Starting from the Lionhead Campground, the road leading up to the trailhead is rough enough to give most 4-wheel drive vehicles a run for their money, which is why I'm proud to say that my Kia Spectra was the only vehicle at the trailhead not sporting 4-wheel drive.  Who cares that I bottomed out twice leading to a fresh oil leak?  It was worth it!

From the trailhead, an easy 2-mile hike awaits, taking you through deep pine forests, underneath enormous granite rock faces and alongside a rushing mountain river before delivering you to the top of the waterslides.  Believe me; the scenery alone is worth the hike!  Standing at the top, a smooth granite rock face spreads out below you.  Behind you a glacial stream tumbles into a pool before spilling out over the rock face creating prime water sliding conditions.  How do you stop?  Don't worry; there are perfect pools of water waiting at the bottom!  Now all that's left is to hit the slides!

But before you do, I recommend donning appropriate water sliding attire.  And by appropriate attire I mean a garbage bag.  Simply open a garbage bag, poke both legs through the bottom, pull up as far as desired and tie off securely around your body.  And don't worry; everyone else looks as ridiculous as you do!  Whether you opt for a controlled sit-and-slide or a more speedy run-and-slide, you'll have an awesome time!  Try sliding on your butt, your stomach, or even switch between the two on your way down. 

Insider tips:  For best sliding results, use industrial strength garbage bags at least 10-gallons in size.  If you're looking for the perfect line to take, I recommend staying to the left.  There are less bumps and the landing pool at the bottom is a bit deeper.

Can you picture it now?  I'd like to think that my words have painted the perfect picture for you but to be completely honest, words can't do this activity justice, which is tough for a wordsmith to admit.  The only way to really experience this pure awesomeness is to do it!   



My teenage stepdaughters went to the slippery rocks with their mom, her bf & his pre-teen son. Even though it rained on them, they all loved it! We plan to go when our toddlers are a little older.

On July 28, 2009 at 12:00 AM anonymous wrote:

Mom-on-the-run, this is definitely something the kids can do as well, especially right now when the water won't be running as fast. I've seen kids of all ages taking on the slippery rocks. From where you park your car, it's probably about a 1 1/2 mile walk in. Don't let that scare you though, it's very easy! Let me know if I can help with anything else!

On July 28, 2009 at 12:00 AM Joseph Johnson wrote:

How far down is it? Is it something that kids can do as well?

On July 28, 2009 at 12:00 AM anonymous wrote:

Sounds like a blast! We had something similar to this where I grew up. Nice post!

On July 28, 2009 at 12:00 AM Jeremy Armes wrote:

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