Ice Fishing in Bear Lake: Ultimate Guide

Beneath the icy surface of Bear Lake in Winter, this renowned Utah fishing spot is teeming with fish. And when the lake freezes over, Bear Lake transforms into a hotspot for ice fishing.

With the right gear and a bit of patience, anglers drill through the ice, hoping to reel in the lake’s bounty. Simple, cold, and rewarding—that’s ice fishing at Bear Lake.

Ready to join in on one of the best winter pastimes of Bear Lake? Grab your pole and book your stay today!

What is Ice Fishing?

Photo Credit: Denis Pepin

Bear Lake is a popular destination for ice fishing, which is one of the best outdoor activities in the area. Ice fishing is a type of fishing that’s popular during the colder months when bodies of water like Bear Lake freeze over with a solid layer of ice. You’ll strap on your ice cleats, pack your sled with gear, and head out onto the lake.

Anglers will drill or cut holes into the ice surface to ice fish using specialized equipment like augers, Spud Bars (ice chisel), picks, and ice scoops. Once the hole is drilled, they set up their fishing lines or rods, often using live or jigged bait like grubs, worms, or crawlers, and wait for the fish to bite. This is a great time to open the thermos and catch up with family and friends!

Why Bear Lake is Great for Ice Fishing

Photo Credit: ver0nicka

Bear Lake is excellent for ice fishing for several reasons. The first is that it has a fairly consistent track record of freezing over approximately four out of every five years.

Another reason is for its size and depth. Bear Lake is the second largest natural freshwater lake in Utah. Finally, this lake has several different types of fish, four of which you won’t find anywhere else (Bonneville Cisco, Bear Lake Sculpin, Bear Lake Whitefish, and Bonneville Whitefish)!

Where to go Ice Fishing in Bear Lake

Photo Credit: Dan Thornberg

Bear Lake is quite large and dotted with several spots that are excellent for ice fishing. However, there are great spots to ice fish all over Bear Lake, and we recommend fishing in a few different places and depths to see what works best for you. Some of the most popular spots for entering the ice are Bear Lake State Park, Cisco Beach, First Point, and Rainbow Cove.

Additionally, just a short drive from Bear Lake, Montpelier Reservoir offers a quieter alternative for ice fishing. The Montpelier Reservoir is best for catching rainbow trout because they are particularly active in the area.

No matter where you go, be sure to follow important ice safety tips, including sharing with someone where you’re going, talking to the locals for advice, and verifying ice thickness before you go!

Fun fact: Cisco Beach, Rainbow Cove, and the Bear Lake State Park Marina are also excellent for fly fishing on Bear Lake!

Fishing License

If you are venturing over to the Idaho side, check local fishing regulations with Idaho fish and game, and make sure you have a valid Idaho fishing license.

The Fish in Bear Lake

Bear Lake’s reputation as a prime fishing spot is bolstered by the fact that it’s the only place in the entire world where you can find certain species of fish, including the Bonneville Cisco, Bear Lake Sculpin, Bear Lake Whitefish, and the Bonneville Whitefish.

Bonneville Cisco

Photo Credit: Valery Evlakhov

These small whitefish are endemic to Bear Lake, silver in color, and streamlined in shape. They typically prefer rocky areas, and they spawn over at Cisco Beach around the rock piles. The Cisco is a popular fried fish dish around Bear Lake.

Fishing Tips

Timing is everything with Ciscos. Aim for their spawning season in January and February and fish in shallower regions. They also make great bait for larger fish. If you love fishing for Cisco, you should be sure to attend the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest Cisco Disco fishing tournament!

Bear Lake Sculpin

Photo Credit: NYS DEC via Flickr CC 2.0

These bottom-dwellers are unique to Bear Lake, characterized by their spiky dorsal fins and mottled appearance. The older Bear Lake Sculpin often inhabits the deeper, rocky portions of the lake, while the younger ones spend more time at the surface.

Because they’re so small, Bear Lake Sculpins are less sought after by anglers, but they are one of the preferred foods of the Cutthroat Trout! They’re also endemic to Bear Lake.

Bear Lake Whitefish

Photo Credit: Splingis

Like the Sculpin, the Bear Lake Whitefish is a bit too small to catch the eye of fishermen. These fish are pretty special, though, as they’re also endemic to Bear Lake. The Bear Lake Whitefish stay close to the bottom of the lake and are rarely found closer to the surface.

Bonneville Whitefish

Photo Credit: Natalya Osipova

The Bonneville Whitefish is a fish to look out for while ice fishing in Bear Lake. These are great fish to catch close to shore, and anglers typically use jigs or spoons to lure them in.

Cutthroat Trout

Photo Credit: CSNafzger

Cutthroat Trout are native to Bear Lake, get quite large, and they’re found all over the lake. In addition to the Montpelier Reservoir, you can find Cutthroat trout in Rainbow Cove, Cisco Beach, and near the Bear Lake Marina. Along with the Bonneville Cisco and Bonneville Whitefish, these are the main fish you’ll be hoping to catch in Bear Lake ice fishing.

Fishing Tips: We can’t resist Cisco, and neither can the Bear Lake Cutthroat Trout- they make the perfect bait! Lures and jigs also do well with Cutthroat Trout. They’re predators and like to go after moving prey, so anything that replicates will draw them in.

You can also find rainbow trout, lake trout, Mackinaw, and other species in the lake. Check out our Bear Lake fishing guide for more on the different fish in Bear Lake.

Essential Ice Fishing Equipment

Photo Credit: PRESSLAB

To ensure a successful and safe ice fishing trip on Bear Lake, you’ll want:

  • Ice Auger for drilling holes in the ice
  • Ice fishing rod, line, and reel
  • Tacklebox
  • Spoons, lures, and jigs
  • Proper apparel: Waterproof boots, insulated gloves, and thermal wear to stay warm.
  • Something to sit on: You can brave the old school style and simply bring a bucket, or bring along a chair, or even a portable ice shanty if you want to stay really warm.
  • Safety Gear: Ice picks, safety rope, and a whistle for emergencies.

Restrictions and Important FAQs on Ice Fishing in Bear Lake

Photo Credit: SnapTPhotography

Before heading out, familiarize yourself with the local regulations for ice fishing on Bear Lake. Here are a few you’ll definitely want to take note of:

Fishing License

Both Utah and Idaho sides require a valid fishing license for ice fishing and any fishing on Bear Lake.


Be aware of bag and size limits for each fish species. For example, you’re only allowed a daily limit of two trout.

Ice Thickness

Always ensure the ice is thick enough to support your weight. As a rule of thumb, 4 inches of clear ice is typically safe for an individual but always check local guidelines.

Ready for Your Bear Lake Ice Fishing Adventure?

Whether you’re a long-time angler or just getting started with ice fishing, Bear Lake Ice fishing does not disappoint.

After a day of ice fishing on the lake, there’s nothing better than coming home to your cozy, luxurious rental home, ready to warm up by the fire or cook fresh catch. If you’re ready for the ultimate Bear Lake ice fishing adventure, book your Bear Lake Luxury stay today!

7 Stunning Wedding Venues on Bear Lake

Famous for its sparkling sapphire waters and epic surrounding mountains, Bear Lake offers an enchanting backdrop for your dream wedding ceremony.

The options don’t disappoint either. The Bear Lake area is home to several stunning wedding venues, from the romantic Mt. Noami Farms & Vineyards to the regal Riter Mansion.

Here is everything you need to know about tying the knot in Bear Lake including the six most stunning Bear Lake wedding venues.

Sunrise Resort & Event Center

Photo Credit: Martin Maun

Sunrise Hall, located at the Sunrise Resort & Event Center, stands as a crown jewel among Bear Lake wedding venues and event spaces. With a sprawling 6,000-square-foot event center, this venue offers incredible views of the gorgeous Bear Lake from each of its incredible event rooms.

The Sunrise Resort & Event Center has everything you need for your special day, including event rooms for your rehearsal dinner, a bridal room, gorgeous outdoor areas, and all the wedding furniture, decor, and linens you could need.

The Sunrise Resort & Event Center also works with several different catering options in the area, so you have flexibility with your catering options. If you want to get married directly on Bear Lake, this is the best option and one you won’t regret!

Mt. Naomi Farms & Vineyards

Photo Credit: What Diana Did

Want to get married in the mountains? Mt. Naomi Farms & Vineyards is another of the stunning Bear Lake Wedding Venues. Mt. Naomi Farms & Vineyards offers couples a highly customizable wedding venue. You have the freedom to select vendors of your choice, whether that involves food trucks, a formal black-tie affair, a dog-friendly wedding, or something even more unique- the choice is yours.

Mt. Naomi Farms & Vineyards helps couples plan a wedding that’s as stress-free as possible. When you book with them, you’ll have a coordinator guiding you through every step of the day and wedding planning process to make sure your special day goes smoothly.

While the logistics are impressive, the venue is even more so. Backed by the Wellsville Mountains, this Bear Lake Wedding Venue is truly gorgeous.

The venue boasts both indoor and outdoor spaces, each presenting breathtaking views. If you’re looking for a beautiful place to get married near Bear Lake, this is it.

Eagle’s Landing

Photo Credit: illustrissima

Eagle’s Landing is a lovely event venue an hour’s drive from Garden City, Utah. If you’ve ever dreamed of getting married in a lovely red barn surrounded by gorgeous mountains, this wedding venue is for you.

In addition to being beautiful, Eagle’s Landing is all about convenience. You can rent out the space from 11 AM to 11 PM so that you can hold all wedding special events, from the luncheon to the reception, in one location.

Eagle’s Landing is also equipped with amenities like dressing rooms for the bride and the groom, flat screen TVs for slideshows, and a kitchen. They also have outdoor games for your guests and can supply you with linens, tables, and chairs. They also assist with centerpieces and setup.

Castle Manor

Photo Credit: Castle Manor Website

Dreaming of a fairytale wedding? Look no further than Castle Manor. This lovely stone castle has several different options for wedding venues, from an enchanting chapel featuring a grand staircase to a mesmerizing gazebo set against a backdrop of cascading waterfalls.

Castle Manor allows you to work with your preferred vendors and even offers an onsite kitchen. The venue boasts separate rooms for the bride and groom, perfect for privacy and building suspense for that big reveal.

Castle Manor is a great wedding venue to book if you want an outdoor wedding but also want to have a backup option of an indoor space in the case of inclement weather because all outdoor venues come with an indoor space you can move to.

Castle Manor also has an amazing reputation and extensive experience planning weddings.  Located exactly an hour from Garden City, Utah, Castle Manor is a fantastic wedding venue near Bear Lake with multiple options for wedding packages.

The Riter Mansion

Photo Credit: Ironika

For a unique and elegant wedding venue, the Riter Mansion is the perfect choice. Step back in time and get ready to embrace the timeless elegance of Riter Mansion. Located in Logan, Utah’s historic district, about 50 minutes from Garden City, this luxurious inn is the prime venue for those dreaming of a classic Victorian wedding.

Constructed in 1898 by Benjamin Franklin Riter, a noted apothecarist, the mansion stands out with its distinctive history — one of the three exclusive homes in the area to flaunt a formal ballroom.

The Riter Mansion has been a premier location for social events and dances for generations, and today, it’s one of the most beautiful wedding venues in the area.

Riverwoods Conference Center

Photo Credit: Krasnikova Kat

The Riverwoods Conference Center, a 50-minute drive from Garden City, is the premier choice for those seeking a grand setting for their big day.

Ideal for large, lavish weddings, the venue boasts a spacious grand ballroom, offering plenty of room for your celebration. In fact, their ballroom can hold practically any size party, up to two thousand, so this is the perfect venue for larger weddings.

If an open-air ceremony is something you’ve dreamed of, you can say “I do” in their picturesque riverside reception area.

Old Rock Church

Photo Credit: Sergii Sobolevskyi

If you want to combine tradition with modern elegance, The Old Rock Church, an hour southwest of Bear Lake, is exactly what you’re looking for. Established in 1869, the church offers a unique and historic experience as a wedding venue. This charming event space is located in Providence, Utah, and has a heritage and legacy rooted in the state’s pioneer history.

The sparkling white chapel features tall windows, letting natural light pour in. The banquet hall is in the original Old Rock Chapel and comfortably seats 100 people at tables. The venue has a beautiful outdoor courtyard, a bridal dressing room, and an incredible grand piano.

Why Get Married in Bear Lake

Photo Credit: bondart

Bear Lake, known as the ‘Caribbean of the Rockies’ due to its stunning blue waters, is an exquisite wedding destination that has garnered numerous accolades.

Whether you’ve always dreamed of exchanging vows by the tranquil lakeside or you’re captivated by the rustic allure of mountain hideaways, Bear Lake offers a picturesque setting for your special day.

Not only will your guests be thrilled to celebrate your love, but they will also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Bear Lake and indulge in the countless activities available in the surrounding area, from exploring the beaches and taking to the water by boat in the spring and summer to skiing and ice fishing in the late fall and winter.

Your guests will be beyond excited to celebrate your love and explore the beauty of Bear Lake and all the amazing things to do in the surrounding Bear Lake area!

Wedding Party Accomodations

If you need a place for your wedding party or a getaway before the big day, look no further than our luxury Bear Lake rental homes. Our homes are spacious enough to comfortably accommodate a large number of guests. They also serve as a wonderful setting for pre-wedding photos, get-togethers, and even an intimate honeymoon!

Get Ready to Tie the Knot in Bear Lake

From rustic barns to grand manors, Bear Lake is an incredible wedding destination, and the choice is yours. Ready to begin your forever in a destination as unforgettable as your love story?

Secure your dream venue in Bear Lake now, and book our luxury rental homes for your friends, family, and wedding party to stay during the event.

Bear Lake Monster Winterfest (2023)

Have you ever wondered if winter on Bear Lake could be just as magical as those hot summers on the shores? Our answer is a resounding yes!

As the snow blankets the surrounding mountains and the lake freezes over (most years), Bear Lake also dons its festive spirit, bringing legends to life and winter cheer to the lake. Get ready for cook-offs, festivals, and live music with the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest. Locals wait all year for the hot chocolate, fried Cisco, and scones that accompany the festival!

Want the best seat in the house for this winter celebration? Be sure to book your stay at our premium Bear Lake Luxury Rentals. This is your guide to Bear Lake Monster Winterfest!

Why Visit Bear Lake in Winter

Photo Credit: Carolyn Dietrich

While summer on Bear Lake might reign supreme in the eyes of many visitors, locals and long-time Bear Lake visitors know a special secret- Bear Lake is pure magic during the wintertime!

You can ride snowmobiles, go ice fishing, snowshoe, cross-country ski, snowboard, and more. It’s also a particularly joyous place to spend Christmas time in this idyllic location. The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is the center of all that winter fun.

During the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest, the frozen lakeside transforms into a winter wonderland, and the whole Bear Lake community comes together to celebrate the season. Winter really is one of the best times to visit Bear Lake.

About Bear Lake Monster Winterfest 2024

  • Location: Most activities take place in the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort & Event Center
  • Website:
  • Dates: January 26th to January 28th, 2024

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is not only a great way to get a taste of the local vibe, but it’s also a fundraiser. It’s the perfect way to give back to our beloved Bear Lake communityThe Bear Lake Monster Winterfest has fun events for the entire family, including the kids. There’s even a raffle event where you can win cash prizes.

This year, all marina entrance fees will be waived, and visitors are instead encouraged to donate to The Family Place, which is the non-profit the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is fundraising for this season!

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

Photo Credit: Jose Ivan

Curious about the name “Bear Lake Monster Winterfest”? It stems from one of Bear Lake’s oldest legends. The Bear Lake Monster is said to have roamed these waters for centuries, with Native American tribes recounting stories of a serpent-like creature inhabiting the lake long before European settlers arrived.

Today, the Bear Lake Monster is not only a piece of local folklore but has since transformed into a symbol of community identity and pride. Whether real or a legend, the monster plays a starring role in local celebrations, including the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest.

To join in on the fun, plan your trip to the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest and swap stories with the local fisherman about the Bear Lake Monster, who’s since been named “Isabella.”

What’s New at the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest 2024

As if the Cisco Fishing Contest wasn’t fun enough already, brand new for the Monster Winterfest 2024 is the Monster Cisco Disco Dance!

The Event Schedule


Photo Credit: Ross Walker via Flickr CC 2.0

  • 9 am to 3 pm: Monster Winter Sports & Trails Day at Logan Canyon Sinks Area & Bear Lake Overlook Rest Stop Area
  • 5 pm to 8 pm: Monster Winterfest Social and Monster Taste of Bear Lake, both at the Sunrise Resort & Event Center


  • 6 am to noon: Monster Cisco & Disco Fishing Tournament on the East side of Bear Lake
  • 10 am: Monster 5k Run/Walk at the State Park Marina
  • 10 am to 4 pm: Winterfest Village Market & Food Trucks at the Bear Lake State Park Marina Parking Lot
  • 10 am to 2 pm: Monster Chili Cook-off
  • 11 am: Monster Cardboard Boat Regatta
  • 11 am to 3 pm: Monster Raffle
  • 11 am to 12:30 pm: Bear Lake Monster Plunge at the Bear Lake State Park Marina
  • 5 pm: Monster Disco Dance & Awards Ceremony


8 am to 11 am:  Cody’s Sweet Cream Pancake Breakfast at Cody’s Gastro Garage

Bear Lake Monster Winterfest Activities

Here’s a rundown of the specific Bear Lake Monster Winterfest activities you have to look forward to. 

Monster Cisco & Disco Tournament

Photo Credit: Pavel L Photo and Video

The Cisco Tournament is a fun, free fishing tournament with kid and adult categories where each fisherman competes to catch the biggest little Cisco fish and enters it into the tournament. The Disco is a celebratory dance later that night.

Winterfest Village Market & Food Trucks

Photo Credit: Konstantin Venev

The Winterfest Village Market includes a variety of food trucks and local artisans selling their crafts and goods at the outdoor fair.

Monster Plunge

Photo Credit: Nancy Myers-Scholz

Can you handle the cold? If the answer is yes, you’ll love joining in on the fun tradition of this polar plunge into Bear Lake mid-winter. Be sure to come in your best costume for the chance to win individual and group prizes.

Monster 5k Run/Walk

Photo Credit: Blazej Lyjak

Run or walk; it’s up to you! Just be sure to take in the gorgeous views of Bear Lake in winter while you’re at it. If you love running events like this one, you might want to check out the Bear Lake Trifecta, which includes three different races in three days in three different states.

Monster Chili Cook-Off

Photo Credit: BestStockFoto

One of the best ways to warm up in winter is with a hot pot of delicious chili. This cook-off sees local chefs and amateurs alike battle it out to create the most flavorful pot of chili. You might even discover your new favorite chili recipe here.

Monster Cardboard Boat Regatta

Photo Credit: Justin Waits via Flickr CC 2.0

Creativity, fun, and a touch of madness come together for the Monster Cardboard Boat Regatta. Participants design and build their own “boats” using only cardboard and duct tape. The ultimate test? Sailing their creations across the icy waters of Bear Lake!

Whether you’re participating or spectating, the Cardboard Boat Regatta guarantees loads of laughter, and if you’re participating, the perfect chance to show off your engineering skills.

Monster Raffle

Who doesn’t love a good raffle? Purchase a ticket (or a few) for a chance to win some spectacular prizes. Plus, the proceeds go to a good cause, making it a win-win.

Cody’s Pancake Breakfast

Photo Credit: BrunoWeltmann

Winterfest concludes with a Sunday morning pancake breakfast at Cody’s Gastro Garage. It’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on the event’s fun and start planning your trip for next year’s Winterfest.

Tips for Attending the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

Dress Warmly: Remember, it’s a winter fest! Layer up and ensure you’re equipped with warm gloves, a hat, wool socks, a jacket, and a cozy scarf. Check out our Bear Lake packing list for what you need for winter on the lake.

Support Local Artisans: The Winterfest Village Market is a fantastic opportunity to pick up some unique gifts and souvenirs. Plus, you’ll be supporting the local artisans and businesses of Bear Lake.

Bring a Camera: From the gorgeous views of Bear Lake and the surrounding mountains in winter to the lively events, there’s so much to capture during the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest. And hey, if Isabella decides to make an appearance, you’ll want to be ready!

Enjoy the Winter Festivities

As the frosty winds blow and the festive spirit of Bear Lake Monster Winterfest fills the air, there’s no better place to be than right here in Bear Lake. Whether it’s your first time attending or coming back year after year, each Winterfest is better than the last.

Get ready for this fun winter event, and book your stay in Bear Lake today!

Fly Fishing in Bear Lake: Ultimate Guide

Also known as the Caribbean of the Rockies, Bear Lake is an angler’s paradise. The picturesque, turquoise green water is home to a variety of fishing opportunities. From boat fishing to fly fishing and everything in between, Bear Lake is one of the best places to fish in Utah, if not all of America.

This freshwater lake is the second largest of its kind in the state of Utah and is known for having four species of fish that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Talk about a worthwhile catch!

Once you’ve settled into your luxury vacation rental, there’s no better way to spend your trip with us than on Bear Lake itself. And for something unique and seriously fun, we recommend you add fly fishing to your list.

But with so many options to choose from, check out this fishing guide to best plan for your fly-fishing adventure at Bear Lake.

Where to Fly Fish

With options that extend out past Bear Lake itself and into the scenic Bear Lake Valley, it can be hard to decide where to cast your line. Learn a little bit about each location to find a fly-fishing location that is right for you!

Cisco Beach

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Google Images CCL

  • Address: Bear Lake State Park, Cisco Beach Rd, Laketown, UT 84038.

Located within Bear Lake State Park, Cisco Beach is a four-season location for all types of anglers. It’s also one of the best beaches on Bear Lake. Here you will find fishermen along the shoreline fly fishing for cutthroat trout or out on the boat hunting for the deep diving lake trout. The winter months also offer the opportunity to catch the iconic Bonneville Cisco.

Just keep in mind that the water gets deep quickly, reaching a nearly 50-foot depth just a short walk from the shoreline. This does limit the amount of space to move around for anglers on foot.

Rainbow Cove

Photo Credit: Ross Walker via Flickr CC 2.0

  • Address: 940 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028.

Very similar to Cisco Beach, Rainbow Cove is a Bear Lake State Park location that is ideal for all anglers alike. Located on the eastern shores of Bear Lake, Rainbow Cove is a great alternative to Cisco Beach for travelers looking for a more relaxed, less-populated experience.

It is important to note that this is another location with a rapid depth of about 20 feet not far from the shoreline.

Garden City Community Pond

  • Address: 579 Buttercup Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028.

This 3-acre pond is a hidden gem amongst the best places to fly fish around Bear Lake. Those lucky enough to stumble upon this secret treat are rewarded with an easy afternoon of trout fishing. However, because this pond is stocked by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, there is a two trout catch limit per day.

This location is particularly popular for fly fishing in the late fall.

Utah State Park Marina

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Google Images CCL

  • Address: 940 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028

Located right along the Utah-Idaho border, the Utah State Park Marina is a great central location for anglers. The extensive boat ramp makes this a popular place for boat fishing, but it is not uncommon to see fly fishermen along the shoreline as well. This is a great location to catch a variety of trout, cisco, and whitefish.

This is one of the best places to fly fish along Bear Lake because the shoreline doesn’t drop off immediately but rather gradually gets deeper until it reaches a depth of about 15 feet.

Laketown Reservoir

  • Address: Laketown, UT 84038.

Another great option for trout fishing is the Laketown Reservoir and it may even be more of a hidden gem than the Garden City Community Pond. To get here, you will need to travel to the nearby town of Laketown and you’ll end up on a dirt road for two miles before reaching your destination.

Once there, you will be rewarded with an easy place to fly fish for rainbow and cutthroat trout.

The Logan River

Photo Credit: arbyreed via Flickr CC 2.0

Stretching out more than 30 miles as it winds its way through Logan Canyon, the Logan River is by far one of the best places to fly fish in the Bear Lake area. The river and its many tributaries are home to a variety of fish ranging from spawning big browns to roadside rainbows and everything in between.

Fall is when these fish tend to be in abundance but late spring to early summer is considered unfishable due to the heavy spring runoff.

What You Need

Photo Credit: Zadorozhnyi Viktor

If you are looking to fly fish, then you will need to come prepared with the right gear or at least know what gear to rent at one of Bear Lake’s local shops. Here is a list to help you get started.

  • Fly Rod: Choose the right weight depending on what you are looking to catch.
  • Fly Line System: You’ll need a backing, a fly line, and a leader.
  • Flies: Fishing lures that range from dry, wet, to streamers. Opt for rapalas if you want to try your hand at the jigging method.
  • Waders: To keep you dry!
  • Bonus Accessories: Nippers, forceps, split shots, and dip nets are just some of the ways you can take your fly-fishing experience to the next level.

Where to Rent Gear

Photo Credit: PxHere via Google Images CCL

Bear Lake Funtime Rentals

  • Address: 1217 S Bear Lake Blvd. Garden City, UT 84028.
  • Website:

Bear Lake Rentals

Guided Tours

Cisco Charters

Pugstone’s Ripples and Waves Sporting

  • Address: 20 North Bear Lake Boulevard, Garden City, Utah 84028.
  • Phone Number: 435-946-2855

When to Fly Fish

Photo Credit: Edgar Zuniga Jr. via Flickr CC 2.0

Bear Lake is a year-round fishing location but what you can catch and where you can catch it will vary depending on the time of year you visit Bear Lake. Always check out the latest fishing report to see what fish are going to be active during your visit. Late fall tends to be the best time to fly fish with many fish spawning and traveling closer to the surface during this time.

During the winter months, you’ll want to put your fly rod away, but it is a great time and place to try out ice fishing!

What You Can Catch

Photo Credit: Rocksweeper

Bear Lake is home to many different species of fish so there is always something new and exciting to catch on your fly-fishing journey! Plus, the nearby Logan River can widen your horizons even further. Check out this list to see what your fly-fishing catches can consist of and always look at an updated fishing report to see what is biting during your visit!

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Bonneville Whitefish
  • Bonneville Cisco
  • Bear Lake Whitefish
  • Bear Lake Sculpin
  • Lake Trout
  • Bear River Cutthroat Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Common Carp

A Fly-Fishing Adventure

Just a day trip away from Salt Lake City, Bear Lake is the perfect vacation destination for a relaxing weekend of fly fishing. Just make sure to take a look at the local fishing regulations before you cast your line! Bear Lake itself is fishable with either an Idaho fishing license or a Utah fishing license but other options on this list may require more state specific licensing and have other restrictions.

Once you know what you are getting yourself into, it is time to get out IN (or by) the water!

7 Caves In & Around Bear Lake

Escape to the breathtaking Bear Lake Valley, just a short drive from Salt Lake City, to explore some of the region’s most intriguing caves!

The beauty of this mountainous area expands beyond the pristine waters of Bear Lake. You can immerse yourself in thrilling adventures like hiking, biking, off-roading, and, of course, caving! That’s right, the Bear Lake area is home to several unique cave experiences. Some are hidden gems, while others invite pilgrimages of visitors to join organized tours.

Discover the captivating caves nestled around the mesmerizing Bear Lake in this guide of seven of our favorites!

1. Minnetonka Cave

Photo Credit: via Flickr CC 2.0

  • Address: Minnetonka Cave Rd, St Charles, ID
  • Admission: $12.00
  • Season: Opens on Memorial Weekend and closes on Labor Day. Tours run every half hour or more often, starting at 10:00. The last tour starts at 5:30 p.m.
  • Website:

Discover the hidden gem of Utah in the majestic Cache National Forest – the Minnetonka Cave. Unveiling its wonders to over 40,000 awe-struck visitors annually, this captivating cave offers an exceptional experience that cannot be missed. It is one of the only caves on our list that requires you to explore with a guided tour, which takes place every half hour and more frequently during busier times.

A Forest Service ranger will guide you through different rooms filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and ‘cave bacon.’ The latter isn’t edible but a feast for the eyes!

Since it is one of the few caves that offer cave tours, it is a great place to start because you learn about the features you will see in other caves in this area. There are lights and handrails, so you don’t have to jump into a rugged experience!

2. Paris Ice Cave

Photo Credit: PIXNIO via Google Images CCL

  • Address: Green Basin Rd, Preston, ID
  • Season: Open year-round, but the cave isn’t easily accessible until mountain snows have melted. Visitors can easily reach the cave from June through October. 
  • Website:

The enchanting Paris Ice Cave, a crystal-coated wonderland, is only a quick drive north from Bear Lake. Enjoy a scenic drive through Caribou-Targhee National Forest, and don’t be surprised when you hit the gravel 5 miles before your destination. Tucked away at the edge of Paris Canyon, Paris Ice Cave is just remote enough to offer a special experience. This is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in year-round icy beauty.

Once you reach the cave, you will be pleasantly surprised by the makeshift boardwalk that winds through the cave and allows easy access to some of the cave’s coolest features. Admire the ice features and calcium carbonate deposits all throughout the cave.

While this cave is open year-round, you’ll need a snowmobile during the winter season to access the entrance. You can even do a bit of rock scrambling to get up to some tucked-away features. Just don’t forget your flashlight!

3. Hobbit Caves

Photo Credit: Anderson Piza

  • Address: Logan Canyon, Logan, UT
  • Latitude: 41°44’24.8″N  Longitude: 111°47’37.8″W
  • Season: Due to the treacherous winter conditions and the snow that usually accumulates on the trails, it’s usually best to visit from May to October.

As the name suggests, Hobbit Caves is a collection of caves fit for a hobbit! Chances are you won’t be able to fit in all of the small caves here, but your kids definitely will! Bring your whole family along for the adventure because nothing says family fun, like some cave exploration! But don’t worry, there are some adult-size caves as well.

There is very little official information about these caves. To access them, drive about nine miles into Logan Canyon and then make a right onto Right Fork Canyon Road. Then, drive for another half-mile before reaching a small pull-out suitable for just a handful of cars. This is where your adventure begins.

Scramble down to a short trail with scenic highlights like a waterfall and a makeshift board creek crossing before reaching the hidden gem known as Hobbit Caves!

4. Wind Caves

Photo Credit: Livy Rich

Unlike most of the other caves in the area, you have to put in some effort to get to Wind Caves, but it is worth every second. Follow a narrow trail as it guides you until you get to the iconic Wind Caves. The trailhead starts around 40 minutes west of Bear Lake. The journey packs a punch with a steady, two-mile uphill hike, but once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with one of the most breathtaking views in Northern Utah.

Nicknamed the Witch’s Castle, the limestone caves are a one-of-a-kind feature unlike anything else you will see in the area. Spend the afternoon exploring and climbing atop the caves for a variety of views overlooking the surrounding mountain tops. To take things up a notch, consider doing this hike for sunset or during the fall when the foliage is bright with color!

5. Ricks Spring

Photo Credit: beth woodrum via Flickr CC 2.0

Located along Logan Canyon, Ricks Spring is a great stop on a scenic Cache National Forest adventure. Though the cave isn’t as large as some of the other caves on this list, it is surely one of a kind! Right from the road you’ll catch a glimpse of the Ricks Spring grotto, and abundant parking makes it easy to get out and explore.

Take the paved path, paired with a charming bridge crossing the creek, to admire the waters and reach the grotto. Just make sure you don’t drink them! A nearby interpretive sign reminds visitors that this grotto is tainted by the Logan River, and although the water may look refreshing, it’ll make you very sick.

Once you have had your fill of the grotto, head left to explore the cave. You can crawl about 40 feet within the cave, so ensure your headlamp is ready to go. Part of what makes this cave so cool is that not many people come here to visit, so enjoy the feeling of having a cave all to yourself!

6. Providence Cave

Photo Credit: PedkoAnton

While an experienced spelunker might consider this cave to be an easy adventure, it is not the typical cave tour experience you might be looking for. Providence Cave is a great option for beginners who are looking to get into spelunking, but should not be attempted without an experienced spelunker to guide you. Say goodbye to handrails and hello to rope!

The entrance to the cave requires the use of a rope, and while there is usually one already set up there, it is important to bring your own, just in case. You should also bring a headlamp, a helmet, a jacket, and any other important safety items you can think of – perhaps a cave map so you don’t get lost!

The first few sections of the cave are also pretty tight, so don’t forget to be patient and take deep breaths throughout your journey. You will soon be rewarded as the cave opens up into one spectacular room after another.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your friends (and your experienced spelunker) because it is time to go on an epic adventure!

7. Niter Ice Cave

Photo Credit: J. Stephen Conn via Flickr CC 2.0

Opposite of its name, the Niter Ice Cave is an ancient lava tube from a past eruption five hundred thousand years ago. When you arrive at the cave, you will see an interpretive sign that teaches you about how the lava tube was formed and how it was used throughout the late 1800s as a cold storage space for things like butter and milk.

Hold on to the railing as you make your way into the cave, as the stairs are often coated with ice, even in the summer months. Don’t forget your jacket! The cave goes quite a way back, but so does the mud, so come prepared to get dirty. You may also want to leave the kiddos at home because vandals have made Niter a canvas for vulgar graffiti.

A Cave Hopping Adventure

So, whether you are staying at a Bear Lake cabin in Utah’s Garden City or Idaho’s St. Charles, you’ll have more to explore than just the shores of the iconic Bear Lake. Your cave adventures await!

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