Elevation: 3,700 ft
GPS: 48.758, -116.732 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: CDCPhotography on Apr 29, 2015 with updates from Adam Volwiler and 1 other
Admins: Mike Engle
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Lion's Creek, just like the rest of the Selkirk Crest, has an incredible amount of potential climbing on incredible granite. While Lion's Creek is one of the, if not the most popular areas in the Selkirks for non-climbers due to the water slides, it is not as well known for climbing. However, there has been some relatively recent development happening amongst the very small group that climbs there. It should be noted that this area has HUGE potential for proud trad lines up beautiful domes and steep faces.

Lion's Creek is the stuff of dreams for a Selkirk climber. The approaches are short and typically easy, unlike most other areas within the crest. Of the known climbs in the immediate area, the approaches are all less than a mile. The Lion's Creek North Dome is only a couple hundred yards from the trail head parking lot with a short bushwhack followed by another short boulder field climb to the base of the routes.

Lion's Creek is also home to what may be the longest route in the Selkirks at this time. The name and grade is currently unknown but it is set at 13 pitches, 7 of which have bolted belay stations. This route is on the Lion's Creek South Dome.

Weather is just like anywhere else in the Selkirks: it is alpine country and in the northwest so weather can change drastically and rapidly. Go prepared. That said, bailing off of a route here puts a climber much closer to the safety of the vehicle and trail head than most other climbs in the region.

Due to the climbs being lower elevation here, nearer the valley floors, the summer heat can be more intense, but with the proximity of the creek it is easy to go cool off after a climb. The south facing aspects are sunny pretty much year round (during the climbing season at least) and the north facing aspects will receive sun through the summer months and early fall.

Early season and late season rains will see water on several routes due to the shape of the crags. The domes and shields tend to have water paths from runoff down them and can make for some interesting climbing at times.

As is the case with most climbing in the Selkirks, the rock quality is top notch granite, usually grey, white, and black with green, orange, and black lichen in places. There are a few pockets of slightly more brittle rock in places so be cautious of that.

Getting There

Getting to Lion's Creek is simple. Lion's Creek is probably one of the easiest places to access, and also why it is so popular during summer. Drive to the town of Priest River, either by way of HWY 2 or HWY 95 from Sandpoint. Take HWY 57 North 27 miles and turn right on to Dickensheet Rd following signs to Coolin and Priest Lake. Once at the town of Coolin turn right at the Gas Station/Restaurant/Mini-Mart on to East Shore Rd. Follow East Shore Rd along the incredibly beautiful Lower Priest Lake for 20 miles until Lion's Head Campground is reached. There is a large intersection, turn left to head into the campground and beaches of Mosquito Bay or turn right and head up Lion's Creek. The last several miles to Lion's Creek is a maintained dirt road. In 2017 the road was updated so that a high clearance vehicle is no longer needed.

There are plenty of camping spots in the area as well. If you want developed camping with water and such, camp down at the Lion's Creek campground at the base of the road on the lake. Otherwise, camping is free once on the Lion's Creek road.

Bring mosquito repellent, as the little buggers are hummingbird sized and aggressive in the Selkirks.

As always please pack out what you pack in. There is already far too much evidence of humans up this creek due to the non-climbing community. Let's try to keep this area open by not destroying it.

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The note about trad only and no bolting is incorrect. There are multiple bolt only lines up the Lions Creek Slab. The lines I speak of are the 10 pitch route noted in the description and the 5 pitch 5.6 on the lower apron. There are also now two new trad lines up there but many times the cracks disappear and unless you are willing to run it out 50 feet, bolts are needed. As a side note don't leave your ropes hanging for the night. The goats will literally eat anything. Jun 15, 2018