March 18, 2020

Bear Lake Hiking Trails

Embark on a little land adventure with your lakeside excursions at Bear Lake on the Utah-Idaho border! Nestled alongside Bear Lake State Park, in the Rocky Mountain range, Bear Lake is located about two hours north of Salt Lake City and less than three hours south of Grand Teton National Park. Its characteristic deep blue waters are an extraordinary sight in the American West, making the Bear Lake area a popular destination for those in search of the beauty of the Caribbean in the heart of the mainland. But the fun isn't limited to the water!

Throughout the Bear Lake area, visitors are welcome to explore a diverse network of hiking trails through aspen forests and alpine meadows with peek-a-boo shores. Temperatures in the valley tend to linger in the 70s-80s during the warmer months, making the lake a welcome reward after the challenging recreation of a summer day, while spring ushers in meadows of wildflowers and fall sees autumn hues in abundance.

In the winter time, many of the area's trail systems transition from serving hikers and mountain bikers to greeting those in search of snow-centric fun and the lake makes a better source for ice fishing than boating .

When you're ready to get fit, get out, and go explore - grab a legendary raspberry shake and hit the trails. We suggest starting with these popular treks:

Bear Trail

9.2 Miles • Out & Back • Easy

Bear Trail offers a paved path spanning 4.6 miles in each direction, for a 9.2 mile round trip. The trail is ideal for bicycling or walking with strollers, and it's perfect for all ages and skill levels. Leashed dogs are also welcome. The trail is accessible year-round, with breathtaking views of Bear Lake.

To pick up the trail from the southern end, head to the east side of Bear Lake Blvd. in Garden City. From the north, begin at Bear Lake State Park.

The Limber Pine Trail

1.5 Mile • Round Trip • Easy

The Limber Pine Trail is a popular, short nature walk with a series of switchbacks. Great for even the youngest explorers and leashed dogs, the dirt-trail loop above Bear Lake is peppered with education stations providing lots of detail about the area's native flora and fauna. A giant 560-year-old limber pine tree stands at the far end of the 1.5-mile loop.

The Limber Pine trailhead (with parking lot and restrooms) is located seven miles west of Bear Lake on Highway 89 toward Logan Canyon.

The Laketown Canyon Trail

7 Mile • Round Trip • Moderate

The Laketown Canyon Trail is one of the most scenic and refreshing hikes in Bear Lake Valley, on the south end of Bear Lake. The dirt trail weaves in and out of the canyon stream, past a reservoir partway with moderate elevation gain to the spring at the top. The trail is open to use for biking, hiking, horseback riding, motorcycles and ATVs .

Park at the Laketown Rodeo Arena to access Laketown Canyon Trail. The arena is located at 10 North 200 East in Laketown.

Sink Hollow Trail

9 miles • Round Trip • Moderate

Sink Hollow Trail is a segment of the Great Western trail, rich with Western history and lush landscapes centered around Horse Lake and the Beaver Mountain Ski Area. The trail is a popular location for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter. The climb up Beaver Creek is smooth and fast, with a steady gentle slope, while the descent involves navigating rock gardens and steeper loose slopes.

The Sink Hollow trailhead can be found near the Beaver Mountain Ski Area on Beaver Creek Road, about twenty minutes up Logan Canyon.

St. Charles Canyon Trail

10 miles • Round Trip • Difficult

The town of Saint Charles is home to the famous Minnetonka Cave, a nine room cave full of stalactites, stalagmites, and banded travertine. Visitors enjoy hiking, biking, horseback riding, and motorcycling on local trails, and fishing in St. Charles Creek. The North Fork Trail features a scenic creekside hike to Bloomington Lake with a gradual elevation gain of 2,000 feet.

Seven miles from the Minnetonka Cave, access the North Fork trailhead at the North Fork Campground area.

Steam Mill Hollow

11 miles • Round Trip • Difficult

Steam Mill Hollow offers a more challenging hike through fir and aspen forests to Steam Mill Lake, nestled among a glacial cirque adorned with wildflowers. Along the path, locate a rusted old steam boiler - a relic of early logging days in the mountains. Keep an eye out for roaming elk!

Find the Steam Mill trailhead off Franklin Basin Road - a short drive up Logan Canyon Road from Bear Lake.

Highline Trail

55 Miles • Point To Point • Difficult

Highline is a long-distance trail along the crest of the Bear River mountain range, crossing from Utah to Idaho. The trail is open to hiking, horseback riding, and mountain bikes as well as dogs, and suitable for cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. The diverse pathway options cover a range from easy to rough terrain.

The Highline Trail is accessible from numerous points for segmented hikes, including Bloomington Canyon, Paris Canyon, Emigration Canyon, and Logan Canyon.

Continue Your Trail Discoveries

National Oregon/California Trail Center • 320 N 4th Street, Montpelier, Idaho 83254

If you can't get enough of the area's legendary trails, make sure to save some time for a glimpse into the most famous trail in United States history! For a guided tour that you will not forget, check out the National Oregon/California Trail Center in Montpelier, Idaho!

Here, you will get a real taste of the wild west and pioneering life along the Oregon Trail, with everything from museum exhibits and guided trail tours to a genuine chuck wagon dinner. It's the best way to celebrate your own trailblazing with your friends and family.