Area Info

Why is Bear Lake Called Bear Lake?

Also known as the Caribbean of the Rockies, Bear Lake stretches out 109 square miles and offers countless recreational opportunities, from boating to caving and everything in between!

Photo Credit: Chase-Karli Willden

Bear Lake is also located right on the Utah-Idaho border so you can set up your homebase in various places ranging from the bustling town of Garden City in Utah to the charming, laid-back community of Fish Haven in Idaho. Wherever you stay, you will be rewarded with incredible views of Bear Lake’s blue waters and the picturesque Bear Lake Valley surrounding it. Not to mention unparalleled views of the Wasatch Mountain Range on the northeast front!

Photo Credit: Nicholas D. via Flickr CC 2.0

But what makes Bear Lake that much more inviting is that it not only makes for the perfect location for a cabin rental but is also filled with a rich history that can be admired from just about any angle. From the historical sites to the lake itself, there is so much to learn about this beautiful location! So that leaves one question – why is Bear Lake called Bear Lake?

An Indigenous Beginning

Photo Credit: Picryl via Google Images CCL

To truly understand the history and origin of Bear Lake, it is important to consider just how long this area has been inhabited. Various Native American tribes have called this place home for over 12,000 years.

Some of these tribes included the Bannock, the Ute, and the Shoshone. They would navigate between the Great Salt Lake Valley and the Bear Lake Valley by following the food sources and, in doing so, avoiding harsher weather.

The tribes gathered plants to help them through the colder months and often hunted for mammals like bison, pronghorn, and deer. When they weren’t out hunting and gathering in the nearby canyons, forests, lakes, and rivers, they would frequently camp by the shores of the wide-sweeping Bear Lake. This was also a great homebase because it provided the tribes with a plentiful food source of fish like the easy-to-catch cutthroat trout.

As time went on, these tribes began to exchange goods with one another. This was an important practice because, by the early 1800s, mountain men would also make their way to the shores of Bear Lake.

The Origin Story

Photo Credit: Jimmy Emerson, DVM via Flickr CC 2.0

In 1818, a group of European mountain men who were trappers for the Northwest Fur Company paddled their way up the Bear River and arrived at what would eventually become Bear Lake.

One of the trappers was a Scotsman by the name of Donald McKenzie, and upon his arrival, he decided to name the lake Black Bear Lake – which was later shortened. They were here, in fact, to trap animals of this kind, so it only seemed fitting. As time passed and the mountain men continued exploring the area, the name was shortened to Bear Lake. Fur trappers and traders also called it Sweet Lake.

Whether or not this is true is one thing, but there is no denying that the Bear Lake Rendezvous of 1828, also known as the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous, was one of the most iconic events in Bear Lake’s history when the Smith, Jackson, and Sublette Company chose the location as it’s first lakeside trading post.

Photo Credit: via Flickr CC 2.0

Hosted at what is now Rendezvous Beach in Bear Lake State Park, nearly 10,000 American Indians and thousands of mountain men gathered during the summers of 1827 and 1828, including famous mountain men like Jedediah Smith and Jim Bridger. The east side of Bear Lake became a stomping ground for fur trading, storytelling, and gambling.

As mountain men began exhausting their trapping perimeters, they continued to push west, looking for new opportunities. This led to what is known as the Oregon Trail and the Oregon Trail-Bear Lake Scenic Byway, a scenic drive that makes a great way to experience both the history and the incredible views that go with it.

Today, you can also head down to Laketown, Utah, to learn more about the lake’s rich rendezvous history.

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

Photo Credit: Gertan

While many Europeans and Mormon pioneers made their way through the Bear Lake Valley, no one decided to settle here until 1863. Led by Brigham Young, a group of Mormon settlers established Paris-Bear Lake’s first official community.

To do so, Young and his people worked out a peace treaty with the Native American tribes, but this was just the beginning. As time went on, more settlers made their way to the Bear Lake valley and established small towns along Bear Lake’s shore.

One of these settlers was a man by the name of Charles C. Rich. He was an apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and was the founder of Rich County, where Bear Lake now resides. These two factors made him an icon of his time, so it was safe to say that anything he said was considered golden and irrefutable.

Home to more than just the iconic Bonneville Cisco fish, Charles C. Rich believed Bear Lake had a monster! In 1868, the Desert News published an article that included multiple eyewitness accounts from Charles C. Rich himself. He stated that he had seen what would become known as the Bear Lake Monster amongst the lake’s waters on various occasions.

Today, the Bear Lake Monster is still an iconic figure in Utah folklore. Every January, anglers and locals alike participate in the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest. This winter event includes the Cisco Disco, a fish-catch-grill extravaganza, and a polar plunge!

Home of the Famed Butch Cassidy Robbery

Photo Credit: Jimmy Emerson, DVM via Flickr CC 2.0

The interesting stories of Native Americans, mountain men, and the Bear Lake Monster is enough to have history buffs running to the shoreline, so the Butch Cassidy robbery is just icing on the cake.

During the summer of 1896, Butch Cassidy and his two accomplices, William Ellsworth Lay, and Henry Meeks, robbed the Bank of Montpelier. Not only was this the first bank that the gang robbed together, but it was also the first bank robbed in southeastern Idaho. To make it that much more interesting, it is the only bank Cassidy robbed still standing today.

The bank has since been restored, and you can visit it today to see where the iconic bank robber first learned to walk (or rob banks!). Stop by the Butch Cassidy Museum in Montpelier, Idaho, to stand where Cassidy once stood and relive the tale of one of Cassidy’s most famous robberies.

Fun Fact: During this robbery, the Wild Bunch Gang stole 7,000 dollars, equivalent to more than 150,000 dollars today!

A Lake Steeped in History

Photo Credit: Dmitry Yashkin

Come to enjoy the turquoise blue freshwater lake and stay awhile to experience the intriguing history of Bear Lake. This year-round destination offers plenty, including boating, mountain biking, hiking, wildlife watching, fishing, snowmobiling, and historical stops.

Walk along the beach where mountain men and Native Americans once exchanged stories, spend time along the shoreline looking for the infamous Bear Lake Monster, explore the first settled community in Paris, and stand in the same spot as the iconic Butch Cassidy. The options are endless when you book a Bear Lake getaway!

Bear Lake Fishing Guide

Often referred to as the ‘Caribbean of the Rockies’ due to its alluring turquoise waters, Bear Lake is the second-largest natural freshwater lake in the State of Utah. Covering 109 square miles from Utah across the Idaho border, it is home to four species of fish that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Around four out of every five years on average, Bear Lake ices over, setting the stage for prime ice fishing opportunities as well. Though Bear Lake has the environment to appeal to anyone in search of an outdoor adventure, anglers are especially in-store for a unique kind of paradise. Once you settle into your Bear Lake vacation rental home, we’re sure you’ll be ready to grab your rod and head to the crystal clear waters of the lake.

Here’s all you need to know about fishing at Bear Lake.

What’s Biting?

Bear Lake is open year-round and hosts four endemic fish species:

  • Bonneville Cisco
  • Bonneville Whitefish
  • Bear Lake Whitefish
  • Bear Lake Sculpin

Bear River Cutthroat Trout and Lake Trout can be found near Cisco Beach, Rainbow Cove, and the Bear Lake Marina, and carp, bluegill, smallmouth, and largemouth bass, and catfish can also be found here. Bear Lake is also home to a trophy cutthroat trout fishery where the Idaho State record cutthroat (19 lbs.) was caught. Lake Trout in Bear Lake may grow to be as large as 30 lbs.

When Are They Most Active?

The Bear Lake area is a legitimate lure for novice and seasoned anglers at any time of year, with fresh fish harvests springing up every season.

Here’s a quick look at when you expect to fish for each fish species in Bear Lake:

  • The Bonneville Whitefish spawn in mid-December, luring Cutthroat close to shore as well. Whitefish remain active in the area until around mid-March.
  • Bonneville Cisco spawn in late January–early February, which creates one of the best times for fishing on Bear Lake, with millions of Cisco drawing larger cutthroat and Mackinaw.
  • The Bear Lake Whitefish have a month-long spawning season beginning around the end of February, continuing a run on Cutthroat and Mackinaw.
  • Bear Lake Sculpin come into spawn around the end of March through mid-April.
  • Bear Lake Cutthroat spawning season runs from mid-April through the end of June, creating expansive trolling grounds for inshore opportunities. Peak time for the most colorful Cutthroats runs from April through mid-June.
  • The Mackinaw spawn in late October and early November, paving the way for prize fly fishing catches averaging around 5 lbs. or more.
  • The once-thriving Rainbow Trout is no longer a prolific species in the Bear Lake area, but an uncommon treat rewards angling enthusiasts now and then. The fishery is on a waiting list to re-introduce this species.

Where To Cast A Line (Or Dip A Net)

Fishing from boats is a classic and favorite option of many Bear Lake anglers, but there are plenty of ways to aim for the catch of the day in these bountiful waters — and more than one method to try, as well! Your successes at fishing Bear Lake largely depend on knowing where to fish, and how to lure the catch, so here are some insider tips!

On the western shores of Bear Lake, just north of Garden City, you’ll find Bear Lake State Park and Marina — home to boat slips, a five-lane boat ramp, great trolling and ice fishing opportunities, and the annual Bear Lake Monster Winterfest event. This popular fishing competition and fundraiser is centered around the winter spawning of the Bonneville Cisco close to shore and finds many ambitious fishermen casting dip nets to pluck Cisco from the ice.

The east side of Bear Lake is also a great place to fish. Still within the State Park, you’ll discover the areas of First Point, South Eden, Cisco Beach, Rainbow Cove, and North Eden here. Trolling and jigging are popular pastimes at Rainbow Cove and Cisco Beach, where boat ramp access is also available. Tip your jigs or bait with sucker meat or Gulp minnows in white, green, and chartreuse for best results! Trollers do well using minnow-type lures, rapalas, and flatfish-off downriggers close to the bottom. For Lake Trout fly fishing, aim to visit in the late fall.

The DWR keeps the Garden City Community Pond stocked with Rainbow Trout. This three-acre pond just off Bear Lake in Garden City is a favorite hidden gem and a popular spot for anglers seeking a relatively easy catch. It’s also a great location for fly fishing in the fall. The limit is two trout.

Not far from the shores of Bear Lake, Laketown Reservoir is located in Rich County, Utah. This is a smaller reservoir and the waters aren’t very deep, but it’s a great place for a family fishing adventure. Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout are the primary species here and can be fished easily from shore using traditional baits and lures. The limit is four trout.

Local Guides And Equipment Rentals

If you’re new to fishing and would like some help finding the best spots to get a bite, there are several licensed local guides available year-round in Bear Lake. It’s also possible to hire boating equipment for every imaginable adventure on the crystal clear waters.

  • Cisco Charters – (435) 994-1649 – Bryce is a licensed captain and an ex-fish biologist, and is known for regaling his guests with fascinating tales of Bear Lake. The educational tours take place on spacious pontoon boats and can be booked in advance.
  • Epic Adventure Center Bear Lake – (435) 946-3742 – hire kayaks, paddleboards, and more, or book a guide if you’d rather leave the driving to the experts. Land lovers will enjoy the Can-Am side-by-side rentals that are also on offer here.
  • Bear Lake Funtime Rentals – (435) 946-3200 – there is a huge range of motorized and non-motorized boats on offer for hire here, and rentals can be made for as little as two hours and as much as eight hours. Beach wheelchairs can also be hired here, too.
  • Bear Lake Rentals – (435) 946-8611 – choose from three boat sizes that seat between ten and 18 people. All three options are powerful enough to pull tubes and other water toys.

Licensing And Fishing Regulations

Anglers in possession of a valid Utah fishing, combination hunting license, OR a valid Idaho fishing license can fish anywhere on Bear Lake. On the Utah side of the lake, you can use two fishing poles per fisherman, but the use of two rods by one person on the Idaho side of the lake requires a special permit. If you are fishing from a boat from the Idaho side of the lake, you must also have a current Idaho Invasive Species Fund sticker on your watercraft.

Buy your license online and review current regulations in detail at You can also purchase your fishing license(s) in person through local vendors or the Idaho Fish and Game and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) offices. You can even display and use your licenses on your mobile device for convenience. License pricing varies based on residency, length of permit time requested, and age. Nonresidents can expect to pay $24 – $40 for three or seven-day fishing permits. For all local, up-to-date fishing information, check the latest fishing report.

All You Need to Know About Bear Lake Fishing

Bear Lake is a fisher’s paradise with plenty of fish biting year-round. Whether you’re looking to hook a yellow perch, crappie, or a host of other species, you’re almost guaranteed a big catch here.

Bear Lake Guide To Restaurants & Dining

Located on the Utah–Idaho border is a turquoise-blue oasis waiting to be discovered. Sometimes called the ‘Caribbean of the Rockies’, Garden City and other lake towns that litter the coast of Bear Lake are destinations that are perfectly suited to those who love the outdoors. With year-round activities on Bear Lake including fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and even jet-skiing in warmer months, the lake stays busy all year round.

With so much to do, you can certainly build up quite an appetite. And you’re in luck because you’ll find plenty of tasty options here, from classic American fare and hearty Mexican food like burritos to Hawaiian-style eats and elegant fine dining.

Although our Bear Lake luxury rentals come with full kitchens for you to whip up your own meals, here are some of the best Bear Lake restaurant options that you’re going to want to pin on your map before your trip.

Bear Cave Drive In

554 Main St, St Charles, ID 83272 • (208) 945-0927 •

On the western shores of Bear Lake in St. Charles, Idaho, Bear Cave Drive-In offers a classic drive-in dining experience, with an adjacent general store. This is a great pit stop to grab some grub before or after a visit to Bear Lake State Park and definitely one of the best restaurants in St. Charles.

For an extra hardy appetite, consider the Bear Cave Monster — two-quarter-pound, top sirloin beef patties with ham and cheese. Bear Cave Drive-In is open Monday – Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Cafe Sabor

82 N. Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 • (435) 946-3297 •

With six locations in Utah and Idaho, including one in Garden City on North Bear Lake Boulevard, Cafe Sabor offers an array of bold flavors from Mexico, South America, and Asia. Guests rave about the innovative takes on traditional favorites like shrimp ceviche, Chino-Latino egg rolls, shrimp and artichoke pasta, tacos al carbon, and fajitas.

Take advantage of the full bar, featuring signature Latin-inspired cocktails. Hours vary by season so check the website before visiting.

Bear Lake Pizza Co. / Bear Trapper Steak House

240 S Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 • (435) 946-3600 •

Located in Garden City, Utah, Bear Lake Pizza uses fresh dough and ingredients to create delicious traditional pizza by the slice or by the pie, plus hamburgers, ice cream, soups, and more. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.

Make sure to stop in next door at Chocolate Bear for homemade chocolate-dipped raspberries, Bear Lake Jam, and more. Bear Lake Pizza’s sister restaurant, Bear Trapper Steak House, is also a part of this tasty trifecta on South Bear Lake Boulevard. Here, you’ll find a smorgasbord of comfort foods from traditional breakfasts to dinner entrees including seafood steaks, chicken, and pasta, all served up in a rustic atmosphere. This hotspot is open year-round.

Campfire Grill Restaurant

427 N Paradise Parkway, Garden City, UT 84028 • (385) 626-7394 •

This rustic, open-air restaurant is located at the Conestoga Ranch, providing an elevated-casual dining experience. Breakfast highlights include the breakfast hash scramble and the pulled pork biscuits with gravy, while dinner favorites such as Wagyu black and blue beef African sewers and wood-fired pizzas are perfectly suited to the earthy atmosphere at dusk.

A high-quality selection of wine and craft beers is on offer, too. Ample seating is available outdoors as well as indoors overlooking the exhibition kitchen. Make sure to save room for dessert! Campfire Grill is open seasonally. If you’re in town when it’s open, be sure to give it a try. It’s one of the local favorite restaurants in Garden City.

Crepes & Coffee

235 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 • (435) 946-2696 •

You simply can’t call your Bear Lake visit complete without a visit to Crepes & Coffee! Enjoy a clever assortment of more than 20 sweet and savory crepes (and more) alongside specialty coffees, ice teas, lemonades, and Italian sodas. If you’re in a hurry, visit the hot and ready station with grab-and-go food options. Proudly serving gelato from Sweetaly Gelato out of Salt Lake City!

Open seasonally, this is a great place to spend a weekend evening enjoying the Summer Music Series spotlighting local artists. There’s often a long line for service here, but consider that a good sign. Locals and visitors agree — it’s worth the wait!

Cody’s Gastro Garage

88 S Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 • (435) 946-3644 •

This is an auto-themed eatery of epic proportions. The flagship location (of two) is located in Garden City in a converted auto garage. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, Cody’s offers a cozy atmosphere with cool decor that petrolheads will love.

Standout favorites include burgers, quesadillas, fries, appetizers, wings, and salads. Make sure to keep an eye out for the iconic Cody’s hot rod during the spring and summer races at Bear Lake! Cody’s is open year-round.

Ephraim’s Restaurant

35 S Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 • (435) 946-2255 •

The whole family will appreciate this unique lakeview dining experience for breakfast, lunch, dinner, take-out, or dessert. Specializing in traditional American comfort food, Ephraim’s serves cooked-to-order burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, Dutch oven chicken and potatoes, fish and chips, and more.

The nostalgic ice cream shop offers an exceptional selection of flavors, and the famous Ephraim’s raspberry shake is made from berries grown on-site. This shake will hold you over until next year’s Raspberry Days!

Cooper’s at Bear Lake West Restaurant and Sports Bar

554 Lewis Loop #100, Fish Haven, ID 83287 • (208) 945-2222 •

Cooper’s Restaurant & Sports Bar is located on the beautifully scenic Bear Lake West golf course. The diverse menu offers something for everyone, from fresh fish and lobster to raspberry-stuffed French toast, as well as thick-cut steaks, seafood, chicken, pasta, sandwiches, burgers, and complete $5 kids meals.

Enjoy seating in the dining room, sunroom, sports bar, or on the outdoor deck — all of which offer expansive views of Bear Lake. Cooper’s is open year-round, but hours vary by season.

Firehouse Pizzeria

50 S Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 • (435) 946-2600 •

This unassuming pizzeria offers stone-fired specialty pizzas and calzones, baked sandwiches, pastas, desserts, and more. Specialty pies include the Down South Cajun Pizza, Texas BBQ Chicken Pizza, and the specialty Montana Pizza.

You can also design your own pizza, or if you’re looking to indulge with your crew, try the legendary Firehouse Monster Challenge — a 36” pizza with up to four flavors added. This is the largest pizza in Utah so bring your appetite!

Hometown Drive Inn

105 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 • (435) 946-2727 •

Family-owned and operated, this low-key, homestyle diner is an iconic place for hearty home-cooked meals. This spot is known for out-of-this-world raspberry shakes served alongside old-fashioned burgers and sandwiches. This classic fast food stop is open seasonally.


284 S Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 • (435) 946-3691 •

Enjoy your meal outdoors while basking in the majestic views of Bear Lake and enjoying lawn games with the family! Most items at Ruca’s are made from scratch daily. Featured items include their famous Danish Aebleskivers, gourmet sandwiches, and original coffee blends. Ruca’s is open seasonally.

LaBeau’s Drive Inn & LaBeau’s Too

69 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 / 75 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 •

LeBeau’s is a family-owned restaurant and a Bear Lake institution. With a menu that boasts more than 40 sandwiches and over 45 varieties of shakes, there’s a flavor anyone can savor! Must-haves include raspberry shakes and the LaBeau’s Special — a hamburger patty served with ham slices.

LaBeau’s is known for generous portions and long lines of loyal devotees who never mind the wait for the original classic tastes served up in this laid-back gem. Hours vary seasonally.

Merlins Drive In

149 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 • (435) 946-8411

This is a quaint and beloved hole-in-the-wall burger joint. There are no frills to be found, but you can count on heaping helpings of tasty grub and luscious, flavorful milkshakes. The outdoor seating area sits alongside a children’s playground and is an ideal stop for a budget-friendly, casual afternoon out!

Summit Inn Pizza

70 W Logan Rd, Garden City, UT 84028 • (435) 946-2870 •

When you spend ten years perfecting your signature dish, it’s bound to be something special, and that’s just what the locals say you can expect from Summit Inn. These guys serve pizza made from scratch daily using only the freshest ingredients and have been voted “Best of State” and “Best Family Pizza” from 2010 to 2016. There are locations in Lehi and Kamas, as well as Garden City.

Waffle Den and Bakery

70 W Logan Rd Suite B, Garden City, UT 84028 • (801) 360-2730 •

How many ways can you enjoy a waffle? Stop in for a bite at the Waffle Den and find out! This fun and creative eatery offers waffle trees, waffle bowls, waffle sticks, waffle animals, and the original Belgian waffle — perfectly topped or filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, homemade raspberry jam, raspberry butter, and more. You can also opt to keep it purely sweet with a selection from the batch of fresh pastries.

Moose Buns

220 West 10 South, Garden City, UT 84028 • (435) 241-7773 •

Moose Buns is a quick-service drive-thru/walk-up coffee shop and juice bar known for its exquisite cinnamon rolls, hot-cold-blended beverages, and flavorful fruit smoothies. Enjoy seasonal breakfast and lunch menus, daily specials, and new Red Bull or apple cider-infused drink options!

This is the place to be when you’re seeking something fun, different, and oh-so-tasty in Bear Lake. Make sure you pop into the on-site gift shop to commemorate your visit with a Moose Buns memento!


75 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 • (435) 946-2810 •

For a zippy drive-thru experience that will leave you scrambling back for more, pop into Zipz! It’s the perfect, nothin’ fancy stop for a classic, all-American meal… with a few twists here and there, for the sake of culinary innovation. Enjoy hot dawgs, corn dawgs, “saucewiches”, Dole Whips, and of course — raspberry shakes! This cozy location is right on Bear Lake and offers stunning views.

Bring a Big Appetite to this Small Town Destination

There are some fabulous dining options at Bear Lake, and whatever you’re in the mood for, you are certain to find a spot that perfectly fits the bill.

Top Bike Rentals Around Bear Lake

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With its crystal clear waters, breathtaking scenery, and pristine location tucked between the Wasatch and Bear River Mountain Ranges, it’s no surprise that Bear Lake is an excellent place for biking.

Whether you’re a seasoned rider looking for some thrilling mountain trails or simply looking to take a leisurely cruise along the lake, you’ll enjoy biking in Bear Lake.

Fortunately, Bear Lake has some great bike rental options near our vacation rental homes , so you can take full advantage of exploring this wonderful area. We’ll walk you through the best options for Bear Lake Bike rentals, along with some of the best biking trails around the lake.

Where to Rent a Bike Around Bear Lake

With miles of excellent trails for riding, Bear Lake is an excellent place for biking. However, there are only a few places where you can rent a bike in Bear Lake, and they are all in Garden City, Utah , on the southwestern side of Bear Lake.

Firefly Power Bike Rentals

  • Address: 2089 S Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT
  • Bikes: E-bikes, E-scooters, bike boxes

Firefly Power Bike Rentals is located in Garden City, Utah. As their name suggests, they rent out both E-Bikes and E-Scooters.

Firefly Power Bike Rentals has an impressive range of bikes and scooters available. Their E-bike inventory includes Rad City Electric Bikes, Radminis, Radrovers, Rize Leisure, and more.

For E-scooters, they have a Firefly Streak Electric Scooter, Mini Badger Electric Scooter, and Grizzly Electric Scooter.

Both their electric bikes and scooters can go up to 25 mph, so you can get around very quickly. However, you can always pedal around without the motor if you prefer a traditional ride.

In addition to E-Bikes and E-Scooters, Firefly Power Bike Rentals also offers a pet trailer/carrier, bike racks, and a bike box that’s great for carrying kids, pets, and gear.

If you’re looking for E-Bike rentals in Bear Lake, this is the best option. Additionally, since they specialize in bikes rather than boat rentals like other companies, this is a great rental option if you have any questions or need any help with your bike.

They also sell their E-Bikes and have a rent-to-buy option which is great if you want to try a bike out before committing to a purchase.

Bike Barn

  • Address: 485 N Bear Lake Rd, Garden City, UT
  • Bikes: E-bikes, trikes, banana bikes, surrey bikes

Another great Bear Lake bike rental option is the Bike Barn. Bike Barn is also located in Garden City, Utah, and it’s a little bike rental shack attached to the Bear Lake KOA.

Bike Barn has many bikes available for rental, including small and large Surrey bikes, trikes, banana bikes, and even E-bikes. If you’re looking for a simple bike to pedal around the Bear Lake bike path or a 4-seater Surrey for the whole family to ride around, this is a great rental option.

Epic Recreation Center

  • Address: 201 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT
  • Bikes: E-bikes, mountain bikes

Epic Recreation Center primarily rents out boats, off-roading vehicles, and snowmobiles. However, they also rent out an E-Bike for the summer and a fat tire mountain bike which is perfect for the wintertime in Bear Lake .

The E-Bike they rent out has a suspension fork, excellent handling, and an extended battery that make it perfect for driving around Bear Lake. The bike is ideal for riding on bike paths, as well as mellow, groomed trails and dirt roads.

The fat tire mountain bike is fun for riding in the snow. It’s got full suspension and is suitable for groomed and dirt trails. You can rent it in youth, medium, and adult sizes, and they are available for full-day, 24-hour rentals.

One of the best reasons to rent a bike from Epic Recreation Center is their helpful staff. They have trail maps available, are conveniently located near popular Bear Lake trailheads, and can help point you toward the best places to bike in Bear Lake.

Bear Lake Bike Trails

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Bear Lake and its surrounding areas have miles of great lakeside hiking and biking trails for all levels. You can choose to stick close to the lake and take in the stunning views of the water, or you can get out into the mountains on some more thrilling trails- the options are limitless! Here are some of the best trails around Bear Lake.

Bear Lake Legacy Pathway & Trail

If you’re looking for a fun, easy, leisurely cruise in Bear Lake with the family, the Bear Lake Legacy Pathway & Trail is the place to go. This 4.5-mile trail is mostly flat and runs from the Bear Lake State Park Marina to the Ideal Beach Resort .

Bear Lake Cruise

The Bear Lake Cruise is a full 51-mile loop around the lake. The route follows Hwy 89 and SR 30 on the lake’s western shore and goes along North Cisco Drive and East Cisco Drive on the eastern shore of the lake.

As the route runs along the bike lane off the main road, you’ll want to use caution and watch out for passing cars while biking this loop.

While the full 51-mile loop of the Bear Lake Cruise is a difficult but rewarding ride, you can also simply choose to bike a small portion of it, out and back, to get the same views but in less time.

Laketown Canyon Trail

The Laketown Canyon Trail is a short but difficult mountain biking trail that experienced riders will love. The trail is 3.5 miles each way and has moderate elevation gain, a few water crossings, and spectacular views.

St. Charles Canyon

The St. Charles Canyon Trail is a difficult but beautiful 10-mile trail through the St. Charles Canyon to the Minnetonka Caves , which are full of stalactites and stalagmites. Taking a guided tour is a great way to experience this trail in the summertime.

Stay and Bike in Bear Lake

There are plenty of unmissable activities around Bear Lake . If you want to get outdoors, explore the lake, and have some fun, biking in Bear Lake is one of the best ways to do just that.

The Bear Lake bike trails are great for both experienced riders seeking a thrill and casual cruisers who want to pedal along the lake with their family. The best part? You can easily rent a bike in Bear Lake from one of the local companies in Garden City near your vacation home rental .

You’re now ready to get out there and hit the trails!

How to Plan a Great Family Reunion in Bear Lake

It’s been years since you saw the cousins you used to run around the playground with. And your great aunt Nelly? She’s enjoying retirement in Palm Beach, but you know she’d love to see you. What if you could see everyone without the typical monotony of a family dinner?

It’s time for a family reunion — let us host you in one of our spacious, luxurious Bear Lake vacation rentals.

Family reunions are a fun and exciting way to reconnect with your extended family. Bear Lake, split in half by the Utah-Idaho border, is a perfect spot for a large family reunion!

Trust us; even the most critical aunts and uncles will enjoy the scenic and exciting destination of Bear Lake. This idyllic family reunion spot is a cornucopia of Mother Nature’s wonders, surrounded by spectacular mountains, tranquil sandy beaches, and turquoise blue waters.

And if your adventure-junkie brother craves a bit more action? Take him fishing , or bring the whole family to one of Bear Lake’s exciting golf courses . The dining options here are abundant, even for the vegetarian in the family. Not to mention there are family reunion picture-ready backdrops at every turn.

We’ll help take the stress out of planning with this guide on hosting the perfect family reunion at beautiful Bear Lake!

Why a Vacation Rental vs. Hotel for Family Reunions

There are many ways to get people together for a family reunion. But a dozen bookings in separate hotels can make it hard to organize events or plan full-family outings. It’s a recipe for miscommunication and the opposite of what a family reunion should be about; ease, connection, and fun. All of a sudden, the fun family trip turns stressful.

Bottom line? A spacious and cozy vacation rental is a way to go! Bear Lake Luxury Rentals has modern and luxurious rental properties for you to choose from, perfect for large groups or even your dysfunctional, giant family!

Here are a few more benefits of booking a Bear Lake Luxury rental.

More Amenities

Our listings have breathtaking views of rolling hills and majestic mountains, but we’ve also got the creature comforts covered as well. Each rental is equipped with modern essentials to keep each family member happy.

  • WiFi
  • Gas grills
  • Swimming pools
  • Hot tubs
  • Fireplaces
  • Fire pits
  • Game rooms

Sure, a hotel might have one hot tub or a lobby fireplace, but you’re not guaranteed access to them whenever you’d like or into the wee hours when the family game of UNO runs late.

Imagine BBQing with your family and catching up on the hotel patio, only to be interrupted with an “excuse me, could we share the grill?” You need more space and privacy for your family reunion, which brings us to the next benefit, the size of accommodations.

Bigger Property

Our Bear Lake rentals were chiseled and chosen with your giant family in mind. For example, the newly renovated Papa Bear Lodge has 6,500 square feet of rustic yet polished wooden finishes, accent lighting, and endless space.

Located in Garden City, Utah, it sleeps 52 people, with 15 bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms! So spread out and settle into your own space while still enjoying time with your family. Many Bear Lake Luxury Rentals feature this expansiveness, perfect for entertaining yet accommodating solo time when needed!

Privacy and Freedom

Unlike the constant presence and intersecting of strangers in hotels and motels, renting a large-group vacation home allows for great privacy and freedom. So if your dad had too much to drink and can’t stop singing John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High, you won’t be bothered by any noise complaints at one of our rentals.

While you’re here, the vacation rental is yours . Feel free to run around the grounds, watch movies as loud as you’d like, stay up until the wee hours of the morning, sleep in, and make breakfast (the way YOU want to make it)!

Fewer Hidden Fees

Maybe you’re thinking: there’s absolutely no way my huge family will fit in a hotel. You’d probably have to spend a fortune on all those separate room bookings, but why not make your money go even further?

Hotels aren’t always transparent when it comes to pricing. Ever notice a surprise “administration charge” or “facility fee?”

Bear Lake Luxury Rentals are upfront and honest about every rental’s pricing. We offer a clear breakdown of the price, and when you book, that’s the price we’ll charge your credit card — no more, no less.

And if you have any questions? No more waiting for hours on hold or waltzing up to an empty reception desk. Call us directly at (435) 554-8237 or reach us through our contact page before you rent!

Group Activities in Bear Lake

Bear Lake offers endless fun and exciting group activities throughout the year. Here are some of our favorites for each season.

Summer: Boat and Swim on Bear Lake

Photo Credit: Kevin via Flickr CC2.0

A lake outing offers ample activity options for every personality. You can lounge on one of the gorgeous beaches and enjoy the lake view, pop up lunch on a picnic table, and the kids can make sand castles, and energetic family members can zip around on the water on SeaDoos or boats.

Looking for a tranquil, intimate activity with a close aunt or your spouse? Try a peaceful paddle trip on a kayak — and don’t worry, the kids are fine with their grandparents. Check out Bear Lake Funtime Rentals (Utah) or North Beach Rentals (Idaho) for kayak, pontoon wakeboard, and boat rentals .

Fall: Go for a Hike in Logan Canyon

Photo Credit:

Everyone always talks about the gorgeous color-changing leaves during a Northeastern Fall, but have you ever seen leaves change against the stunning backdrop of Logan Canyon? Check out the Sink Hollow Trail if you’re visiting during the fall with your family. It’s a 9-mile round trip, making this a great all-day activity for a large group!

While you’re out there, pause to take in the scenery and take pictures of majestic elk, deer, and even moose! Then, enjoy a packed lunch, and chat with your relatives while on this stunning hike! You can even up the ante by mountain biking or renting ATVs — the perfect active bonding experience for close siblings, parents, and kids!

Bonus: Here in the winter? Rent a snowmobile and zip through the soft, fluffy snow as you take in stunning vistas of snow-tipped trees and icy rivers.

Winter: Bring Your Family to Beaver Mountain for Skiing

Photo Credit: Jeff Gunn via Flickr CC2.0

Many outdoor sports await you in Bear Lake during the winter. If you’re coming to Bear Lake, Utah, at the peak of the snow season, try a full-family ski trip to Beaver Mountain Ski Area .

This mountain area has slopes that fit the needs of many skiers and snowboarders and even provides lessons for little ones and new skiers! The mountain has full-day and half-day passes, which are affordable compared to other Utah ski favorites like Park City. Don’t have gear? Don’t worry! The ski area offers rentals.

Spring: Go Fishing in Bear Lake State Park

Photo Credit: On.My.BigfOot via Flickr CC2.0

Spring is a beautiful time to plan your family gathering at Bear Lake. This body of water is the second-largest freshwater lake in Utah. It’s home to many fish species, including the Bonneville Cisco, which lives exclusively in Bear Lake.

Fishing can be an amazing family bonding experience. Not only is there the camaraderie of casting your lines and celebrating each others’ catches, but also the unique opportunity to appreciate nature and learn a new hobby. Bear Lake State Park offers a marina to fish from, or you can rent a boat.

Bonus: Check out the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest ! Go ice fishing, run or walk in a 5K, and delight in free hot cocoa and treats for the whole family!

How to Plan a Bear Lake Family Reunion

Now you’re up-to-speed on why Bear Lake is the best destination for it; you’re ready to plan. Here are five easy steps to plan the perfect Bear Lake Family Reunion.

Plan a Loose Itinerary

Map out a few activities, so you can inform each family member what they should bring. List a couple of schedules and assess costs and considerations for each one.

Think about the make-up of your group. Are all activities family-friendly, or will someone have to plan a different outing with the kids? Do you need to book all tickets in advance, or could you offer some flexibility and spontaneity?

You should account for extra time to spend a day or two at the rental. This lightens the load on your wallet and allows people to relax.

Confirm Numbers

Send an invitation and ask for a reasonable RSVP. Knowing your final group size will help you plan grocery purchases, rental choices, and types of activities.

Find the Perfect Luxury Vacation Rental

Now that you’ve confirmed your guest numbers, you’re ready to book. Renting a large vacation lodge gives you the freedom, flexibility, and privacy that hotels could never offer. Browse our Bear Lake Luxury Rentals and book early to secure a spot.

Remember Why You Planned It

Planning is stressful — no doubt about it. And if you add your entire family’s needs, opinions, and behaviors to the mix? Not everything will go your way, and that’s okay. Remember, you planned this family reunion to reconnect with loved ones! So don’t sweat over the minor bumps along the way.

Enjoy Your Family Reunion in Bear Lake

Magic can happen at a family reunion. You’ll experience nostalgia, appreciation, and good ol’ fun with the people who know you best.

No matter where you go on Bear Lake, adventure and relaxation await you around every corner. We’d be delighted to help you plan your next family reunion. Explore Bear Lake Luxury Rentals to find the perfect vacation home!

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