Bear Lake State Park - Visitor Information (2022)

The state park offers a developed marina with paved boat ramps and boat slips. In addition, there are boat ramps at several other places around the lake.

Each season lends its own characteristic to the lake. Year-round, visitors enjoy a number of recreational and cultural activities. Experience the rush of snowmobiling in the nearby mountains. Ski nearby at family-owned Beaver Mountain resort. Navigate your personal watercraft across the turquoise water. Feel the rod-bending excitement of a Bear Lake cutthroat on the end of your fishing line. Sail off into the sunset. Explore America's past and discover the stories about mountain men, fur trappers and Mormon pioneers.

The Bear Lake Valley is a great location for a family or business retreat. Hold your meetings in a surreal setting. Leave the crowds, congestion, and traffic behind to create outdoor memories for your family reunion or vacation while enjoying clean air and a safe environment. Take some time during your own favorite season and enjoy yourself at Bear Lake!

Attractions

Beautiful lake ideal for boating, water skiing, swimming, sailing, fishing, and famous raspberry shakes
Very nice developed campgrounds adjacent to the lake

Location

On the Utah/Idaho border, north of the town of Logan
Approximately 145 miles northeast of Salt Lake City
The State Park Marina is located on Highway 89, north of Garden City

(Video) How To Travel Bear Lake [Hidden Gems]

Contact Information

Bear Lake State Park
1030 N Bear Lake Blvd
Garden City, UT 84028
(435) 946-3343

Seasons/Open Hours

Open Year Round

Gates open 6:00 am until 11:00 pm

Quiet Hours 10:00 pm until 7:00 am

Entrance Fees

Clickherefor entrance fee information.

History

The Bear Lake Valley was first inhabited by Shoshone Tribes, then fur trappers. Between 1825 & 1840, many mountain men and Native Americans met on the south end of the lake to swap goods and stories! These meetings became known as mountain man rendezvous.

The first permanent settler to the Bear Lake Valley was reportedly Thomas Pegleg Smith, a crusty, one-legged, ex-mountain man. During the 1840s, he set up a trading post to provide supplies to the emigrants on the famous Oregon Trail. Early Mormon pioneer leader Brigham Young sent the first group of permanent settlers to Bear Lake Valley in 1863. This group was led by Charles C. Rich. The County bears his name.

Bear Lake Basic Information

Elevation: 5,923 ft.
Length: 20 miles
Width: 8 miles
Shoreline: 48 miles
Surface: 112 sq. miles
Depth: 208 ft.
Volume: 6.5 million acre feet

Bear Lake Activities

  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Caves
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Ice fishing
  • OHVing and ATV trails nearby
  • Sailing
  • Scenic Byway Drive
  • Skiing at Beaver Mountain
  • Snowmobiling, 362 miles of groomed trails
  • Snowshoeing
  • Special events (including Raspberry Days)
  • Water skiing and wakeboarding
  • Wildlife watching

Golfing

Bear Lake Golf Course
Garden City, Utah 84028
Enjoy a challenging 9 hole mountain golf course, with a beautiful view of Bear Lake.

Bear Lake West Golf Course
Fish Haven, Idaho 83287
9-hole course, carts, club rentals, lessons, restaurant and lounge overlooking Bear Lake.

(Video) Things To Do At Bear Lake

Montpelier City Municipal Golf Course
Montpelier, Idaho 83254
9-hole course, carts, club rentals, driving range, and lessons available.

Camping

Birch Campground: $25/night (full hookups)
Big Creek Campground: $25/night (full hookups)
Cottonwood Campground: $16/night
South Eden Campground: $10/night (primitive)
Most RV sites are back-in. There are some pull-throughs for vehicles up to 80 feet
Group sites are available for day use and overnight camping

Camping Reservations

800-322-3770 (toll-free from outside the Salt Lake City area)
801-322-3770 (from within the Salt Lake City area)

Facilities

Visitor Center
Marina
Boat ramps
Boat rentals
Campgrounds
Group sites
Picnic sites
Modern restrooms

(Video) What to Expect at Bear Lake

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(Video) Visitors Guide - Rocky Mountain National Park: Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, Emerald Lake, RMNP

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(Video) Ep. 74: Bear Lake, Utah/Idaho | RV travel camping

FAQs

Do I need a reservation for Bear Lake? ›

Timed Entry Permit Reservations are required to enter Rocky Mountain National Park between May 27 and October 10, 2022. Timed Entry Permit Reservations are in effect from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for all areas of the park outside of the Bear Lake Road Corridor.

What is the cost to visit Bear Lake? ›

Bear Lake State Park Fees
Bear Lake State Park Fees
Day Use, Regular Season (May 1 to Oct 31)$10$8
Day Use, Peak Season (FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS and HOLIDAYS, Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day)$10$8
Day Use, Off-Season (Nov 1 to April 31)$7$5
Camping Fees, Rendezvous Beach
55 more rows

Do you have to pay to go to Bear Lake? ›

To access Bear Lake, a daily fee (or park's pass) is required. The lake sits about a half-mile from the parking lot at the end of Bear Lake Road, a dazzling little drive. A short, but easy walk is required to reach Bear Lake's shoreline.

Which part of Bear Lake is the best? ›

North Beach, Bear Lake, Idaho

This beach is on the Idaho side of the lake and is by far the best beach at Bear Lake! If you've ever heard that Bear Lake is called the "Caribbean of the Rockies", this beach is why! Deep turquoise hues and powdery white sand.

How do you make reservations at Bear Lake? ›

To access the parking permit reservation system, visit idahostateparks.reserveamerica.com, search for Bear Lake State Park under “Go Camping,” and select the Daily Entrance option. Or click here for a direct link to the page.

Can you drive up to Bear Lake? ›

Drive up to Bear Lake on the most famous road in Rocky Mountain National Park! This 10.5 mile drive from the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center starts at 7,840 ft and climbs up to Bear Lake at 9,475 ft. Continental Divide peaks tower above you.

How long does it take to drive around Bear Lake? ›

You're Going to Be Driving for Awhile

The 29 mile drive takes about 45 minutes to an hour to conquer on a non-snow day and may take hours when snow is on the ground and chains are on your tires.

Does Bear Lake have sharks? ›

Are there sharks in Big Bear Lake? There are no sharks to worry about at this freshwater lake! The water can even reach a balmy 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 Celsius) in the warmer months and become too hot for swimming due to algae blooms!

Can you drink alcohol at Bear Lake? ›

SWIMMING is allowed within 50 feet of the shore, within a designated swimming area, within 20 feet of a private dock, or as incidental or necessary to waterskiing, jetskiing, sailboarding or in an emergency. There is no alcohol allowed on the lake and you may not get out of your boat and swim; .

Do you have to hike to Bear Lake? ›

So, we always recommend getting there early, on weekdays, and to go during the off-season – if you can. The Bear Lake Trail is a short 0.6 mile loop around a beautiful lake with views of the Rocky Mountains.
...
Trail Snapshot: Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Hike Distance0.6 mile loop
FeePark Pass Required
14 more rows
22 Aug 2015

Is Bear Lake Road worth it? ›

It's among the best drives in RMNP for fall colors. At the end of the road, the Bear Lake Trailhead is a great place to start an afternoon hike or overnight backpacking trip.

What should I bring to Bear Lake Utah? ›

Play in the Water (obviously)
  1. Go early! We like to arrive around 10:00 or so. ...
  2. Bring shade. We always take chairs and our pop-up shade for over the table.
  3. Take food. You don't want to leave to go back for food in town, so bring a lunch.
  4. Bring sand toys.
6 Aug 2018

Can you swim in Bear Lake? ›

Swimming off the nice, gentle beaches of Bear Lake is fun for the whole family. Be sure to bring a sun umbrella, a picnic lunch and a beach ball!

Why does Bear Lake have seashells? ›

Increased lake elevation flooded much of the north end of the Bear Lake valley and lowered the water hardness creating extensive warm, productive shallow areas ideal for mollusk growth.

Can you swim in the Great Bear Lake? ›

Swimming in Big Bear Lake during the summer is refreshing and fun for everyone. For parents who want a safe swimming area to bring the family, Meadow Park is the best place to go. The swim beach is sandy with a lifeguard, a floating dock and water toys, snack bar and public restrooms.

How do you make a reservation at Bear Lake North Beach? ›

Reservations are presently taken from 9am to 9pm over the phone at (208) 945-2941, or anytime online. When reservations are made you will need to pay for the first night of each site. A reservation is not final until you pay the deposit and receive a confirmation number.

Do you have to make reservations at North Beach Bear Lake? ›

The gradual slope of the lake bottom provides an enormous swimming area. Ramps are available for boaters and water skiers who want to enjoy the water, too. Day Pass Reservations are required in the summer.

Can you drive on the beach at Bear Lake? ›

VEHICLE SAFETY

No vehicles on the public beaches or the bed of the lake after 10 p.m. Speed limit of 15 miles per hour.

Why is Bear Lake Road so popular? ›

The short and relatively easy Bear Lake Trail encircles the lake, making it an extremely popular area. Several longer hikes also start from here, including the outstanding four lake hike to Emerald Lake.

Do I need a timed entry pass for Trail Ridge Road? ›

A timed entry permit is required to enter ALL areas of Rocky Mountain National Park—including Trail Ridge Road (US Hwy 34)—when arriving by vehicle between the hours of 6 am and 5 pm whether a visitor parks within the park or outside the park boundary. For reservations and information, visit go.nps.gov/RockyFees.

What is the safest route to Big Bear? ›

The other route is through the high desert, Victorville and Lucerne Valley area, from Hwy. 15 to Hwy. 18 and up the “back way” to Big Bear. This is probably the safest bet to eliminate traffic and less mountain driving.

Is Big Bear Lake Worth Visiting? ›

Big Bear Lake is the heart of the San Bernadino National Forest and is worth visiting. Whether you're looking for a quick getaway or want to spend the weekend exploring nature, there are plenty of places near Big Bear Lake that will make your heart happy.

Can you drive all the way around Big Bear Lake? ›

It is a great drive around the entire lake to see how the" natives". live. Loved the homes built on top of the rocks.

How long does it take to ride a bike around Bear Lake? ›

One trip around the lake proper is a half-century. Double it up if you have the willpower to loop it twice for a full century, knowing that the beautiful views of the water and sandy beaches will be a siren call to stop and relax in the clear waters and on the sandy beaches.

Why is Bear Lake So Blue? ›

Bear Lake contains abundant suspended microscopic particles of white-colored calcium carbonate (lime) that reflect the water's natural blue color back to the surface, giving the lake its intense turquoise-blue color.

How cold is the water at Bear Lake? ›

Water Temperature:

@ 65.7 degrees as measured in the Bear Lake State Park Marina.

How warm does Bear Lake get? ›

The Bear Lake weather in June has average daily temperatures in the 70s heating up to the mid-80s in July, the hottest month of the year in Garden City and Bear Lake. The Bear Lake water temperature averages at 55-65F during the summer so you can always cool off in the calm, brilliant blue waters of Bear Lake.

Can you bring dogs to Bear Lake? ›

Bear Lake is absolutely dog friendly and can be a great Utah vacation location for you and your dog. The crystal clear water is a picturesque place to swim with your dog and many area restaurants welcome dogs on their patios.

Is Bear Lake man made? ›

Bear Lake is a natural freshwater lake on the Idaho–Utah border in the Western United States. About 109 square miles (280 km2) in size, it is split about equally between the two states; its Utah portion comprises the second-largest natural freshwater lake in Utah, after Utah Lake.

Can you kayak on Bear Lake? ›

Kayaks are also a popular way to explore Bear Lake's expansive waters. Again, Garden Park and Rendezvous Beaches are perfect spots to rent a kayak and launch. For more privacy, head to the undeveloped east shore of Bear Lake and paddle around First Point, Cisco Beach, Rainbow Cove, and North Beach.

How long is the walk around Bear Lake? ›

0.8 Miles

What is the prettiest lake in Rocky Mountain National Park? ›

Dream Lake is one of the most picturesque places in all of Rocky Mountain National Park. Get lost in its tranquil beauty as you take in the sweeping views of the lush pine forest and jagged granite spires.

What is the entrance to Bear Lake? ›

Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

This entrance is by far the most well known. From here, one can access the Bear Lake and Glacier Gorge trailheads, which lead to the majority of destinations accessible from the east side of the Park.

Is Moraine Park in the Bear Lake corridor? ›

Get awe-inspiring views of the Rocky Mountains! Moraine Park is located and accessed off of Bear Lake Road. Here, you can find trailheads for both Cub Lake and Fern Lake.

Is the road to Bear Lake open? ›

All areas and trails east of Bear Lake Road have reopened. Most areas west of Bear Lake Road remain closed including the Moraine Park Road at the junction of Bear Lake Road and the Moraine Park Campground.

How long does it take to drive Trail Ridge Road? ›

It has a total distance of 48 paved miles and would require at least 2 hours of driving to complete. It has become one of the most popular byways since its opening in 1938 due to its high elevations, hairpin turns and magnificent sceneries.

Is there cell service at Bear Lake Utah? ›

Will my cell phone work? Verizon wireless has the best cell and data service in the Bear Lake Valley. T-Mobile, ATT and Sprint work as well but seem to not have as strong of signal as Verizon. As with all areas when there are several people using the same service it can become spotty in areas.

Are there fireflies at Bear Lake? ›

#18 Search for Fireflies

If you're visiting Bear Lake in the summer, head to the boardwalk in Garden City Park to search for the bioluminescent lightning bugs putting on their own fireworks show at dusk.

Why is it called Bear Lake? ›

This was the first recorded account of Europeans seeing the beautiful lake. He attended one of the Native American gatherings at the south end of Bear Lake in 1819, aptly naming the area Black Bear Lake after the abundance of black bears in the area. This was later shortened to Bear Lake.

Are there bears in Bear Lake? ›

BEARS - Any bear you encounter in Big Bear Lake will be a black bear. While they tend to avoid humans, they love food and will happily plow through your trash cans and even vehicles if given the chance. Secure all outdoor litter in bear proof containers and do not leave food in your car.

Do you have to pay to swim in Big Bear Lake? ›

You can really make a trip to Meadow Park a full day's adventure. Within the park is also the McDill Swim Beach. This is a specific beach that requires a small fee to enter. There are picnic tables, sandy beaches, clear water, and a fun inflatable slide that are all included with your entrance fee.

Is Big Bear Lake Clear water? ›

If you're looking to have some fun in the sun, you'll definitely enjoy Big Bear Lake swimming. There's nothing more refreshing than cooling off in the clear water! We know that our customers deserve the very best vacation possible, so we've listed out our favorite spots to get in the water.

Are there crabs in Bear Lake? ›

Many Utah lakes contain crawdads; some of the best places to go are Strawberry, Bear Lake, and Joe's Valley Reservoir, according to Miller. There's no limit on how many you can catch.

Is there sand at Bear Lake? ›

Brilliantly blue waters combined with sandy beaches are what call park visitors to play, fish, boat, and camp here at Bear Lake State Park. Minerals (calcium carbonate) suspended in the lake's waters are what help create its spectacular aqua-blue color.

What lives Bear Lake? ›

Many bird species use Bear Lake seasonally or during migrations. Herons, egrets, sandpipers, rails, pelicans, geese, coots, grebes, Tundra swans and osprey are common visitors throughout the year.

What is Great Bear Lake famous for? ›

Plummer's Great Bear Lake Lodge is world famous for providing an unparalleled, all-inclusive fly in fishing adventure. On the edge of the tree line and hundreds of miles from civilization, Great Bear Lake is the 4th largest lake in North America and is fished by only 300 lucky anglers each year.

Is Great Bear Lake freshwater or saltwater? ›

The Great Bear Lake is a freshwater lake. It is located in the Northwest Territories of Canada. It is located on the Arctic Circle and is made up of five different arms, which are called the Dease, the McTavish, the McVicar, the Keith and the Smith.

Can you swim off a boat in Big Bear Lake? ›

Can you swim off the pontoon boats? No, there is no swimming possible from any rental boat on Big Bear Lake as per the lake law.

Is Bear Creek Lake public? ›

Public area has easy access boat ramp and very nice large fishing pier. Gravel parking lot for your vehicle and trailer.

Can you enter Rocky Mountain National Park without a reservation? ›

What Should You Do if You Don't Have a Reservation? You can still enter the park before or after the reservation hours. Park entrance fees still apply. Visitors with campground reservations or reservations for guided trips or commercial tours such as horseback riding do not need a timed-entry reservation.

Is Bear Lake corridor worth it? ›

They are worth it! For day two of hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park we wanted to check out the popular Bear Lake Corridor Trails. These trails take you around Bear Lake and then up to Nymph Lake, Dream Lake and Emerald Lake. There is also a trail to Alberta Falls.

Do I need a timed entry pass for Trail Ridge Road? ›

A timed entry permit is required to enter ALL areas of Rocky Mountain National Park—including Trail Ridge Road (US Hwy 34)—when arriving by vehicle between the hours of 6 am and 5 pm whether a visitor parks within the park or outside the park boundary. For reservations and information, visit go.nps.gov/RockyFees.

Do you have to pay to get into Bear Creek Lake Park? ›

Lakewood's Bear Creek Lake Park is a choice spot for water skiing schools in the Denver Metro. There is an admission fee for general use and a discount for seniors. Camping has a nightly fee and you can make reservations in advance.

Does Bear Creek have first come first serve? ›

“This Provincial Park is extremely popular --- booking a reservation well advance of desired arrival date is strongly advised for stays between mid-June to mid-Sept and all Long Weekends! During spring and fall, Campsites are available on a first come first serve basis.

Can you have alcohol at Bear Creek Lake Park? ›

All shelter rental hours are seasonal and based on park hours. Fees do not include the daily vehicle entrance fee. If alcohol over 6% will be consumed, a permit is required and can be obtained at the time of reservation for $100/event. Commercial activities or special events are prohibited without a valid permit.

What does Bear Lake corridor include? ›

The Park Access + Bear Lake Road Corridor Timed Entry Permit provides access to all areas of RMNP, including destinations along the Bear Lake Road. This option is best for visitors interested in visiting Bear Lake, Moraine Park, Glacier Gorge, and more.

Do you have to pay to drive through Rocky Mountain National Park? ›

A valid entrance fee or park pass is always required to enter Rocky Mountain National Park, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This includes, but is not exclusive to, Lumpy Ridge, Lily Lake, Longs Peak, Wild Basin, East Inlet, and North Inlet.

Is Glacier Gorge in Bear Lake corridor? ›

Glacier Gorge is located southwest of Estes Park, just south of Bear Lake. Alberta Falls is a great place to stop to adjust to the elevation and to take in the views.

How long does it take to drive the Bear Lake corridor? ›

Try this 4.9-mile loop trail near Estes Park, Colorado. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 2 h 33 min to complete. This is a very popular area for birding, hiking, and walking, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring.

Is Moraine Park in the Bear Lake corridor? ›

Get awe-inspiring views of the Rocky Mountains! Moraine Park is located and accessed off of Bear Lake Road. Here, you can find trailheads for both Cub Lake and Fern Lake.

What hikes are in the Bear Lake Road Corridor? ›

Bear Lake Road Corridor includes the following trailheads:
  • Bear Lake.
  • Sprague Lake.
  • Glacier Gorge.
  • Bierstadt Lake.
  • Hollowell Park.
  • and any other trailhead accessed from Bear Lake Road.

Do you have to pay to drive on Trail Ridge Road? ›

What to Bring When Driving Trail Ridge Road. Money; you'll need to pay for access into Rocky Mountain National Park. It's $25 per vehicle for a 1-day pass or $35 per vehicle for a 7-day pass.

Do you need Bear Lake Road access for Trail Ridge Road? ›

One permit is for the Bear Lake Road Corridor, which includes the entire corridor and access to the rest of the park. This reservation period is from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. The second permit is for the rest of Rocky Mountain National Park, excluding the Bear Lake Road corridor, and includes Trail Ridge Road.

How long does it take to drive the Trail Ridge Road? ›

It has a total distance of 48 paved miles and would require at least 2 hours of driving to complete. It has become one of the most popular byways since its opening in 1938 due to its high elevations, hairpin turns and magnificent sceneries.

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