Lion Creek - To Priest Lake

Lion Creek, Idaho, US


To Priest Lake

Usual Difficulty V (for normal flows)
Avg. Gradient 600 fpm

Lion Creek

Lion Creek

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-12321500 400 - 1000 cfs V 00h35m 24.1 cfs (too low)

River Description

From Jason Wing, "This run is a mix of unreal granite slides, kickers, pools, falls, cascades and cracks. The setting is much like the Sierra Nevadas with impressive granite domes and huge Ponderosas. Much of the upper run worth doing is close to the road so check it out for yourself beforehand. Wood is a real danger as is high water. Seriously dangerous but seriously fun! P.S. Smith Creek, before the diversion on the other side of the range, can be used to guess the Lion Creek flow."

The stretch with the most bang for your buck starts just above Kent Creek and ends at the parking area.  To access this stretch drive to the end of the road paralleling Lion Creek where there is ample parking.  Walk perpendicular to the road down to the creek and mark your take out (the creek gets ultra steep below here).  After returning to your car grab your gear and walk about 1.5 miles up the road grade to where it crosses Lion Creek.  Instead of crossing the creek, walk upstream on river right a short way to the top of a fun slide to begin the trip.  Everything from here to the parking area take out has been run, being prudent and scouting thoroughly will go a long way towards increasing the enjoyment of a trip down this creek.  Walking along the banks is generally easy on both sides of the stream.

Trip Report at Into the Outside.
For a complete description see Montana Surf (if you can find a copy).

The lower section of Lion Creek (putting in just under 2 miles above the lake) provides more class IV-V challenges, without the large granite cascades.


Lat/longitude coords, especially of the putin, are a rough estimate. Get the guidebook and/or scout the run to explore.

Guide Books

Montana Surf

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-06-06 17:07:58

Rapid Descriptions

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User Comments

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August 11 2006 (4547 days ago)
Chris GormanDetails

for pictures

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