About the Hayden and Hayden Lake Area

The communities of Hayden and Hayden Lake are located in the beautiful panhandle of North Idaho in Kootenai County, one of the fastest growing counties in Idaho.

About Hayden Lake

Hayden Lake, with its crystal clear waters, sandy beaches and picturesque timber shores, is one of the most beautiful and popular lakes of Northern Idaho. Its irregular shape gives it about 40 miles of shoreline, with the main portion of the lake being seven miles long and one to two miles in width. Normal lake elevation is 2,239ft above sea level, and portions of its reach 800ftdeep. The lake is surrounded on three sides by panoramic timber mountains, which rise to an elevation of 4,500 to 6,000ft, and extend for many miles to the east as part of the Bitterroot Mountain Range. Much of this land is the Coeur d?Alene national Forest, which offers excellent hunting, fishing and camping.

honeysuckle beachHayden Lake has long been used and enjoyed by man. The first known inhabitants,beginning in April of 1864, were the Coeur d?Alene Indians who camped along the shoreline, lived on an abundance of berries and bulbs and fished its waters. As natural resources became scarce, the Indians moved on.

During 1878, Matt Heyden homesteaded the southwestern shore and developed an extensive farm including the first fruit orchard planted in the area. Heyden and a man names Hager were friends who often played cards together and this led to the naming of the lake. So the story goes, the two men had decided to name the lake and elected to let the winner of a game of ?seven-up? select the name. Matt Heyden won and the lake became Heyden?s Lake. The spelling changed throughout time and it is now known as Hayden Lake.

At one times, as many as four steamboats served the logging and mining interest around the lake. Hunting and fishing were excellent and at the turn of the century, attracted many persons, including Presidents Taft and Teddy Roosevelt. Fog, tennis and all forms of water sports are included in the recreational opportunities offered at this beautiful setting. The area is often referred to as the Switzerland of America.

A house, with perhaps the most fascinating heritage of any in Idaho, is located 3.6 miles from Highway 95, on the south shore of Hayden Lake. This is the F. Lewis Clark Mansion, and the details of its past still within hearsay, would make an absorbing novel.

The Hayden Lake villa, sometimes called Honeysuckle Lodge, was designed as a summer home for the Clarks and was finished in 1912. This 15,000sq.ft. house boasted a multitude of rooms which took several years to complete and was the most expensive house in the state at that time. Today the homes is being operated as a very elegant country inn the Clark House of Hayden Lake. Among celebrities, Bing Crosby chose to build his summer home on the northwest shore of Hayden Lake in the 1950?s. Bing?s love for golf and fishing attracted him to the area.

Today the lake is an ideal setting for several hundred homes. Housing is good with a wide variety of homes for particular lifestyles. There are two public campgrounds available on beautiful Hayden lake within a few miles of State Highway 95/ Nearest is Sportsmen?s Park, at the north end of the lake and the other is Mikins Bay Campgrounds, on the east side of the lake. Hayden lake public beach, known locally as Honeysuckle Beach, is located at the southwest edge of the lake and is the only public beach, boat launching ramp and picnic area on the lake.