Kalispell Island Group Site and other Campgrounds

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Kalispell Island Group Site is located on the southeast side of Kalispell Island on Priest Lake. The rustic campsite is part of the Three Pines camping area at site #29. The island, reached only by boat, faces the beautiful Selkirk Mountains.

Other Camping:

  • West Shores - 7 camp units, west side of island (vault toilet).
  • Peninsula - 2 camp units, south west side of island (portable toilet required).
  • Schneider - 5 camp units, south west end of island (vault toilet).
  • Silver - 8 camp units, south end of island (vault toilet).
  • Silver Cove - 3 camp units, south end of island (vault toilet).
  • Selkirk - 2 camp units, south east side of island (portable toilet required).
  • Three Pines - 7 camp units, south east side of island (vault toilet).
  • Cottonwood - 1 camp units, east (middle) of island (portable toilet required).
  • Rocky Point - 9 camp units, north east end of island (vault toilet).
  • North Cove - 5 camp units, north east end of island (vault toilet).
  • Shady - 1 camp unit, north end of island (portable toilet required).
  • Kalispell Vista - 2 camp units, west side of island (portable toilet required).

A popular activity among visitors is to kayak, canoe, or power boat up a 3.5-mile thoroughfare, which leads to the Upper Priest Lake Scenic Area. The upper lake - just like Kalispell Island - cannot be access by car, so water is an excellent navigation option.

Natural Features: Kalispell Island is one of seven islands scattered throughout Priest Lake. Kalispell is the largest of these islands, spanning 264 acres, and is shaped like a tooth. Priest Lake, at a 2,400 foot elevation, is one of the top three largest lakes in Idaho. To the north, the lake connects to the Upper Priest Lake, divided by a narrow channel, which can be passed through by boat.

Recreation: Priest Lake is less than an hour from the Canadian Border, nestled deep below the crest of the Selkirk Mountains. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Northern Idaho and the mile-high mountains, this 25,000-acre lake offers clear, blue waters reaching depths of 300 feet. Fantastic wildlife viewing is available on the 2.5-mile loop trail that encircles Kalispell Island, offering phenomenal lake views and bird watching opportunities. The waters of Priest Lake offer anglers access to record-breaking Mackinaw trout, Dolly Varden, Cutthroat and Kokanee.

Note that all of these sites are accessible by boat only, have a Pack it In, Pack it Out policy on all waste, and have no developed water systems.  *NEW* Reservations for this campground now have a 60/40 split between reservable sites and “First-come, first-served” sites, respectively. Information about all sites is on Recreation.gov.

Map of campsites on Bartoo and Kalispell Islands

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Refer to Recreation.gov for latest updates.
Priest Lake Ranger District 208-443-2512
Reservations: All Kalispell Island site reservations now have a 60/40 split, between reservable sites and those that are available as "First-come, first-served" sites, respectively. Reservations may be made by visiting Recreation.gov.
Open Season: Late May - Mid September
Restrictions: Pets must be leashed at all times. No glass bottles are allowed on the beaches. No bathing or washing dishes in the lake. Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. No fireworks. 14 day camping limit. Maximum of 10 people per site Check-out time is 2:00 p.m Campsite must be occupied first night. Site is accessed by boat only No drinking water; please bring your own water Please bring garbage bags; this is a "pack in-pack out" facility Be bear aware; keep all food out of sight in approved containers or locked inside your vehicle and remove all food from area after eating  
Closest Towns: Priest River, Idaho
Water: Supplied at Kalispell Bay Boat Launch
Restroom: Vault toilets or required portable toilets (see map).
Information Center: Facilities: The Kalispell Island Group Site accommodates groups ranging from 10 to 30 people, for non-electric, primitive tent camping. The campground does offer a self pay station, vault toilets, picnic tables and campfire rings. The site has no drinking water or trash collection, so it is important that campers bring plenty of water and trash bags. Access is only by boat. Nearby Attractions: Hike the Lakeshore or Beach Trails that traverse along the west shore of Priest Lake. The Beach trail extends between Outlet Bay Campground and the Kalispell Bay Boat Launch. The Lakeshore Trail runs for 8 miles along the northwest shores of Priest Lake. In winter, ice fishing, shoe shoeing and snowmobiling on nearby trails entertain visitors.

General Information

Accessibility:

Accessible boat ramps within 10 miles (at Priest Lake Marina and Kalispell Bay Boat Launch).


Directions:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
48.56389, -116.89333
48°33'50"N, 116°53'36"W

Access to the campground is by boat only. To reach various boat launches around the lake, travel north from Priest River, Idaho on State Highway 57 toward Priest Lake for approximately 31 miles; turn right onto Kalispell Bay Rd, in one mile turn right onto Lakeshore Rd; look for signs on the left for Priest Lake Marina and Kalispell Bay Boat Launch.

To access the Kalispell Bay Boat Launch, travel on Highway 57 for 31 miles to Kalispell Bay Road. Turn east (right) until you reach West Lakeshore Road. Then head south .5 miles to the boat launch.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Camping & Cabins

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Campground Camping

Attractions include scenic 25,000-acre Priest Lake, motorized and non-motorized boating, swimming and fishing opportunities.

Fire Information Established fire pans at each site. Fires must remain in pan and extingished when unattended.
No. of Sites 52 camp units
No. of Accessible sites

Group Camping


Water Activities

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Areas & Activities

Location

 
  Latitude : 
48.567038

  Longitude : 
-116.899431

  Elevation : 
2400 feet

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ipnf/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=6772&actid=29