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Bear Lake State Park, Garden City
(4.7/5 based on 200+ reviews on the web)
Bear Lake is a natural freshwater lake on the Utah-Idaho border in the Western United States. About 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. The lake has been called the "Caribbean of the Rockies" for its unique turquoise-blue color, which is due to the reflection of calcium carbonate (limestone) deposits suspended in the lake. Its water properties have led to the evolution of several unique species of fauna that occur only within the lake. Bear Lake is over 250,000 years old. It was formed by fault subsidence that continues today, slowly deepening the lake along the eastern side.Originally named "Black Bear Lake" by Donald Mackenzie, an explorer for the North West Fur Company who discovered the lake in 1819, the name was later changed to Bear Lake. The lake is a popular destination for tourists and sports enthusiasts, and the surrounding valley has gained a reputation for having high-quality raspberries.HistoryThe first known inhabitants of the Bear Lake Valley were Shoshone tribes, but the area was known to many Native Americans. The first record of whites seeing the lake is from 1818 when French-Canadian trappers working for the North West Company followed the Bear River upstream to the valley.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • On our way from Salt Lake City to Jackson we decided to take the slightly slower, but the most scenic route which included the beautiful Bear Lake. This natural freshwater, turquoise-coloured lake, si...  more »
  • I have heard from many folks that Bear Lake is a site to behold. They weren't kidding. This is possibly the most blue water I have seen in a lake and it was breathtaking. From the mountain drive in th...  more »
  • As we are flatlanders from Indiana, we had never heard of Bear Lake. When we were planning our Western road trip, we came across it & researched. After what we found, it was a given that we had to sto...  more »
Google
  • Bear Lake is a very picturesque place, especially from the overlook off of US Hwy 89 before you descend down to the lake. Garden City (not really a city) is more of small business district. For a great place to get an ice cream treat...go the Quick and Tasty for a raspberry milk shake. They have all kinds of other flavors, too. I did a chocolate, raspberry mix...yum. Go, you'll be glad you did.
  • Beautiful lake with lots to do. State park has excellent campground with hookups, bathrooms and pavilions. Local raspberries are awesome, get a shake or some ice cream in Garden City and go enjoy the grey sand beaches and shallow shore water. Great place for kids, families or just you and some friends. A must see in Utah.
  • For locals and for visitors as well, this is a destination that suits a variety of vacationers. Boating? Hanging out by the lakeside? This is your destination. This body of water is among the most pristine I've yet seen, and the community is lush, peaceful and quietly secluded in the mountains by the lake. Other sights nearby: Minatonka Cave. Also reccomend: LaBeau's Icecream.
  • We went early in the year and the water was very cold, but we still had fun. The area is beautiful! We stayed at the KOA at bear lake and it was really nice. I'm not one for camping but the cabin was comfortable, and the kids loved the activities available.
  • Had a blast with the kids. If you don't want to spend money but want to do more than swimming, you will definitely need to bring your own toys. Some of the rentals are a bit expensive.