March 26, 1995 in Outdoors

Upper Priest Snowmobile Tour

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Snowmobiler trip notes

Access: From Priest River, Idaho, drive north 37 miles on state Highway 57 to the parking area at the Nordman Store.

Attractions: Riders gain 3,000 feet on this route from Nordman to the high point of 6,500 feet near Mollies Mountain. The trail passes Granite Falls, numerous open play areas, several great views of the Selkirk Mountain range and lofty views of the Upper and main Priest Lake. This route covers a fraction of the nearly 300 miles of snowmobile trails in the Priest Lake area.

Comments: Begin on a new section of trail that takes off behind the Nordman store toward Granite Pass. While most snowmobile trails are merely groomed roads, the first three miles of this route follow a formerly abandoned spur road complete with twists, curves, switchbacks and a few steep spots. Fun riding, plus excellent views of the Selkirks as you descend from Nickelplate Mountain.

The challenges are over once the route rejoins the trail at Road 302. From there, take the groomed trail northwest toward Granite Pass. In spring, sledders can drive into the ancient cedar grove parking area and walk on firm snow to view Granite Falls. Beyond Granite Falls, bear left onto the Hemlock Loop, where you’ll find several nice open playgrounds. Return to the main trail and continue east, crossing Upper Priest River. A bank of signs will direct you north onto Mollies Loop, which leads to elevations around 5,000 feet and spectacular views of several mountain ranges, plus Priest Lake. Loop back westward on the North End Trail. For variety, go south at Granite Pass on the Boulder Trail (often slow going because of moguls) and return to Nordman via Beaver Pass, where there’s another favorite play area.

Nordman Store (208) 443-2538 and Grandview Resort (208) 443-2433 have services and grooming information. Snowmobiles must be licensed from state of origin. However, the $3 Priest Lake sticker, which pays grooming costs, is voluntary. It’s available from Priest Lake businesses along with $1 trail maps.

MEMO: This is a sidebar which appeared with story: CHECK IT OUT Distance: 60 miles Difficulty: Moderate Riding time: 3 - 5 hours Season: Dec. through mid-April Maps: Priest Lake Snowmobile Trails available from Priest Lake businesses Info: Grandview Resort, (208) 443-2433

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN - Routes: Classic Trips in the Inland Northwest

This is a sidebar which appeared with story: CHECK IT OUT Distance: 60 miles Difficulty: Moderate Riding time: 3 - 5 hours Season: Dec. through mid-April Maps: Priest Lake Snowmobile Trails available from Priest Lake businesses Info: Grandview Resort, (208) 443-2433

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN - Routes: Classic Trips in the Inland Northwest

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