North Pole Loop
Sharon, Idaho
Bear Lake, Idaho
National Forests

Bear Lake, Idaho-Utah

There's a lot of unique and interesting information about Bear Lake.  It straddles the Utah/Idaho border, slightly more of the lake is located on the Utah side.  Certainly the most commercialized parts of Bear Lake are on the Utah side (marina for example).

Garden City, Utah is probably the un-official town of Bear Lake.  Most of the restaurants, shops and stores are located in and around Garden City.  The area around the lake is know for their Bear Lake Raspberries.  Google Earth says that it's about 32 miles (48 minutes) from North Pole Loop to the center of town in Utah.  Oh, and make sure you learn more about "Raspberry Days" and plan for the fireworks, rodeo and a lot of eating.

You can see just from this satellite image, the lake is a brilliant blue, similar to waters you might see in the Caribbean. In fact it is "often called the Caribbean of the Rockies for its intense turquoise blue water." Apparently this is due to large amounts of limestone suspended in the water.  This website says "Bear Lake has a unique water chemistry with a high amount of dissolved solids, mainly precipitated carbonates, which reflect blue light creating the beautiful turquoise color."

Photo By: Tom Berens

More Photos can be seen by clicking this link.

Bear Lake is very old, and somewhat deep. It's average is only 83 feet, but in the deepest locations, it is ~213 feet.  I also read that early Pioneers thought that there was a channel in the lake which connected it with Loch Ness in Scotland.  This allowed the Loch Ness Monster to move freely between Bear Lake and Loch Ness, which would explain the Bear Lake Monster.  Yes, Bear Lake has a monster.  No, I've never seen it.

Since the lake is so isolated, several species of fish exist in the lake which are unique only to Bear Lake.  The lake is apparently quite a unique endemically endowed body of water.  Bear Lake is host to five unique endemic species of fish The Bonneville Cisco, Bonneville Whitefish, Bear Lake Whitefish, Bear Lake Sculpin, and the Bear Lake Cutthroat.

Bonneville whitefish