Nestled in the Rocky Mountains along the border between Idaho and Utah lies the Carribean of the Rockies—Bear Lake—called so for its beautiful blue color. Scenic panoramic vistas and a moderate climate make Bear Lake an ideal vacation destination all year round.
With so many seasonal options for recreation and entertainment, Bear Lake is the perfect location for family reunions, nature lovers, or just a quick getaway.
Outdoor activities such as fishing, golfing, camping, skiing, hiking, and boating are just a few favorites of visitors to Bear Lake. Community events, live music, and festivals also add to the charm of Bear Lake. And with a number of regional airports and interstate highways just around the bend, Bear Lake is easily accessible.
The Party Never Stops in the Rockies!
Winter doesn’t mean the party stops in Bear Lake! Skiing at Beaver Mountain Ski Resort, only 15 minutes west of Garden City, ranks high among winter travelers. Cross-country skiing at Bear Lake Golf Course in Garden City is also a favorite.
In fairer weather, hiking remains a favorite way to explore Bear Lake, with many levels of trails available for the whole family.
The Limber Pine Trail is a relaxing 1.5 mile loop where you can see a giant 560-year-old limber pine tree with a 25-ft diameter trunk standing at the end of the wildflower-studded loop. It’s the perfect place to pause and marvel.
For more advanced hikers, the North Fork of the St. Charles River is a 10-mile challenge, giving you a view of the famous-and-must-see Minnetonka Cave.
From this trail, you can enjoy an exquisitely scenic hike with a gradual elevation gain of 2,000 feet over the trail’s five miles. Along the way you’ll follow a creek and top out at Bloomington Lake, which has a nice alpine feel.
It makes an excellent spot to stretch and enjoy a nice long picnic before returning down the way you came. Hikers beware: the temperatures in the winter can be bone-chillingly freezing, but it’s pleasant as can be in the spring, summer, and fall!
Want to See More? Don’t Miss These!
- The Laketown Canyon Trail: A moderate 7 mile trek
- Sink Hollow Trail: An intermediate-level 9 mile loop
- Hike Steam Mill Hollow in Logan Canyon: A challenging 11 miles round trip
Locals and Visitors alike love Bear Lake Community Events!
Every winter, Bear Lake, Utah holds its annual Bear Lake Water Winterfest. Held in January every year, anglers wade waist-deep in the icy water, fish through the ice, or dip net for the Bonneville Cisco, one of Bear Lake’s most common fish.
Once the day’s limit has been caught, the crowds shift to the State Park Marina where the Monster Polar Plunge takes place. Costumes are encouraged, families and groups are welcome, and every participant gets a prize!
- Annual Bear Lake County Salmon BBQ
Enjoy fresh Alaskan Salmon barbecued over hot applewood flames on a warm July day in the park in St. Charles, Idaho.
- Experience A Hometown Fourth of July
Begin your holiday with a chuckwagon breakfast before heading to the Partis Tabernacle for a patriotic pageant. Don’t miss the parade and the youth rodeo.
- Holiday Craft Fairs
The Holiday Craft Fair and Tree Festival at the Oregon Trail Center and Paris Craft Fair, held in November, will have just what you need to surprise your loved ones Christmas morning.
Getting out on the Water
With 48 miles of shoreline, Bear Lake’s beaches are famous for the beautiful blue water. The lake has 7 boat ramps and Bear Lake Marina offers 305 slips with a 5 lane boat ramp.
For those who don’t bring their own, there are rental sites for watercraft conveniently located in each of the communities around the lake.
- Jet Skis and Waverunners
Jet Skis and waverunners are very popular ways to explore the 160 miles of Bear Lake. They can be rented at locations in Garden City, Utah, and Paris, Idaho, with some outfitters located right on the beach.
Grab your sunscreen, beach ball and a blanket and head to one of the many gentle and serene beaches lining Bear Lake. There is also an indoor pool in Garden City if you’d like to take a dip.
Where to Stay
The Bear Lake area is home to many different types of accommodations. Bear Lake Premier Cabins offers many options for your family vacation, family reunion, or corporate event. Also available are:
- Bear Lake North RV Park and Campground
A full-service campground located in St. Charles, Idaho offers tent camping, cabins and RV hookups, including electricity.
- Bear Lake/Garden City KOA
This marina-side campground with many amenities and events is perfect for a family with children of all ages. Featuring mini-golf and a swimming pool, among other amenities this family-friendly park is also perfect for camping with pets! Don’t forget to rent a banana bike!
The Fun Doesn’t Stop There!
- Rent bikes for the whole family from the Bike Barn (located in the Garden City KOA)
- Go horseback riding at the Beaver Creek Lodge
- Visit the Paris Tabernacle
- Play a few rounds of Golf at the Bear Lake Golf Course or Bear Lake West Golf Course
Local Protip: Don’t skip the raspberry shake at Zipz.
Between the natural landscape, local events and activities, and friendly communities of Bear Lake, it’s easy to see why it’s a favorite destination for people of all ages.
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