Things To Do

A Traveler’s Guide to Bear Lake State Park

Photo Credit: Tampa

Bear Lake State Park sits immediately south of the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Formed by tectonic forces along the eastern Bear Lake fault line, this 966-acre park is roughly 150 miles northeast of Salt Lake City and 330 miles from Boise, Idaho.

The northern half of Bear Lake is located in Idaho, and the southern half is in Utah. Initially named Black Bear Lake by beaver trapper and fur trader Donald Mackenzie in 1819. This recreational paradise is 20 miles long and 8 miles wide.

Calcium carbonate in the lake’s waters helps create the mesmerizing aquamarine blue water that has earned this freshwater lake its nickname, the Caribbean of the Rockies. Bear Lake State Park is a hidden gem of Utah that hugs Bear Lake’s West and East shores. It incorporates the lake and three central shoreline locations along Bear Lake’s West and East shores.

Once you’ve checked into your nearby luxury vacation rental home , it’s time for you to enjoy the beautiful outdoors in Bear Lake State Park.

Numerous recreational beaches dot the shoreline:

  • North Beach State Park, the North Beach boat ramp, and Idaho State Park sit at the northern tip.
  • On the east side of the lake are day-use areas of Bear Lake State Park, Idaho, also known as East Beach.
  • A mile or two further south is North Eden, while Cisco Beach is just across the Utah border.
  • And, the famous Rendezvous Beach sits at the lake’s southernmost end.

Each location offers various amenities within the Utah and Idaho State Parks and is open from sunrise to sunset.

Summer at Bear Lake State Park

Photo Credit: Tampa

During the summer, the lake is a water lover’s playground. While water levels can vary throughout the summer, the lake depth averages 207 feet and maintains a refreshing 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

A gradual shore-to-lake bottom slope provides an expansive swimming area. While still leaving lake goers ample space for sailing and paddle boarding.

Scuba diving is also popular at Bear Lake. The 207 foot depth allows for challenging and technical dives, and an underwater cave system leads directly to the lake.

Off the lake, eight hiking trails crisscross beautiful Bear Lake Valley. Many use this region for ATVs and biking.

Bear Lake State Park’s proximity to the National Wildlife Refuge makes it a well-known birding destination important to dozens of migratory and nesting populations, including Canadian Geese, Terns, and a breeding population of American Bitterns.

Every summer, the lake is home to Raspberry Days – a two-day festival and nighttime boat parade celebrating all things raspberry .

Winter at Bear Lake State Park

Photo Credit: visitbearlake via instagram

Although some might shy away from the snowy weather, Bear Lake State Park is full of great winter activities for the entire family.

In the winter, anglers can try ice fishing along the southeastern shore of Bear Lake for the famed Bonneville Cisco . The Bonneville Cisco is one of three fish unique to Bear Lake. First appearing in the Pleistocene Era, these deep-water salmoniform fish are thin and agile — growing only nine inches in length.

Bear Lake Valley’s climate is just as accommodating in the winter as in the summer. With an average of 67 inches of snow each year, the Valley trails turn into groomed paths perfect for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling .

Several lake towns surround Bear Lake State Park, including Garden City, Utah, and Paris and Montpellier, Idaho. These communities have rich histories and numerous attractions to keep everyone entertained. Small grocery stores in each town sell basic supplies, and several restaurants and snack shops line Interstate 89 for when the hamburger and pizza cravings hit.

Bear Trail and Trailheads

Photo Credit:

Bear Lake State Park is also known for the Bear Trail , located near Garden City, Utah, on the lake’s western shore. This 10.0-mile out-and-back trail is paved asphalt and smooth, and the route is easy, taking three hours to complete at a leisurely pace. Open year-round, it is perfect for road biking or running, too.

Another enjoyable path, Bear Lake Trail , is an easy 1.4-mile shore hike. It is paved and well-maintained, offering a peaceful walk along the beach.

Logan Upper Canyon Snowmobile Trail is actively groomed and open each winter for safe and exciting OHVs and cross-country ski use.

Park Marina

Photo Credit:

The Bear Lake State Park Marina on the west side of Bear Lake is open year-round, with roughly 360 short-term and long-term slips available. Slips accommodate sail and power boars up to 34 feet with a 12-foot beam. The Marina also provides dry and wet storage options for trailers and boats. The Marina is located on the north end of Garden City, Utah, and serves as the headquarters for this beautiful park.

Boat Ramps & Launches

Photo Credit:

Bear Lake State Park is known for excellent boating, and its calm water makes yacht sailing a dream. The lake is easily accessible through numerous boat ramps located around the lake.

There are five Bear Lake State Park-approved boat ramps and launches. All types of boats can be launched from Bear Lake State Park Marina and Rendezvous Beach, and in the east are First Point, Cisco Beach, and Rainbow Cove.

The Idaho North Beach boat also has a designated boat launch at the northernmost tip of the lake. Use of all boat launches is lake water level dependent for safety.

Fees & Day Pass

Day-use entry fee is required for all beaches and the Bear Lake State Park Marina. There are different rates for state residents and non-residents. And discounts for Seniors. Utah has a seasonal State Park Pass that visitors can use for park entry and in and out.

There are different rates for the beaches on the east side – including East Beach in Idaho, First Point, North Eden, South Eden, Rainbow Cove, North Eden, and Cisco Beach.


Each central Bear Lake State Park has sufficient free parking for day users and overnight camping guests.


While these lake beaches and recreational areas offer all activities, dogs are unfortunately not permitted on any beach or other part of Bear Lake State Park, including on the lake.

Rendezvous Beach

Photo Credit: hannadanyal via Instagram

Rendezvous Beach sits on Bear Lake’s south shore near Laketown. Another day-use area, it is well-loved for a day in the sun or an impromptu family meal. The sand volleyball courts and picnic tables on this two-mile sandy beach are almost always in use. And the local concessionaire, Rendezvous Beach Rentals, offers beach equipment rentals . They also sell snacks, drinks, last-minute picnic supplies, and necessary items.

On the western shoreline is Epic Adventure Center for year-round water-based enjoyment. The Center offers Bear Lake Boat Tours for a leisurely tour of the beautiful Bear Lake. The Center also provides personal watercraft rentals and water skiing lessons in the Summer. In the winter, visitors can rent snowmobiles and ATVs for outdoor snow-filled fun.

Island Aqua Park

Immediately adjacent to Rendezvous Beach is Island Aqua Park . This unique playground is a staffed floating obstacle course located offshore in shallower water.

Eastside Beaches

On the east side of Bear Lake State Park, Utah, ten miles north of Laketown and accessed via Cisco Road, are highly primitive day-use beaches, including First Point, South Eden, North Eden, Rainbow Cove, and Cisco Beach. Here the terrain is craggy, and the water depth quickly reaches 207 feet. These beaches are primarily for boating, fishing, and advanced scuba diving. South Eden campground provides drinking water.

Cisco Beach

Photo Credit: esselborn1 via Instagram

Cisco Beach offers excellent inland scuba diving within two designated diving areas. These are marked for safety, with nearby wooden boardwalks serving as platforms for equipment portage and preparation. This part of Bear Lake State Park is famous for its winter shallow dip net fishing for the Bonneville Cisco.

East Beach

Also on the lake’s eastern shore, just over the Idaho border, is Bear Lake State Park, Idaho. This day-use, East Beach, sits just below the East Shore Marina and offers basic amenities, including campsites, hookups, and picnic tables.

Tours and Rentals

Photo Credit:

Also on the western shoreline is Epic Adventure Center for year-round water-based enjoyment. The center offers Bear Lake Boat Tours for a leisurely tour of the beautiful Bear Lake. The center also provides personal watercraft rentals and water skiing lessons in the summer. In the winter, park goers can rent snowmobiles and ATVs for outdoor snow-filled fun.

Rendezvous Beach Rentals are available for beach equipment rentals, including jet skis, kayaks, paddle boats, wakeboards, UTVs, and bicycles.

Enjoy Your Time at Bear Lake State Park

Bear Lake State Park, high in the Rocky Mountains, is the perfect location to spend time with family or for a few days of solo relaxation any time of the year.

The Best Places for Bear Lake Snowmobile Rentals

Photo Credit: Denis Moskvinov

Born adventurers know there’s no place quite like Bear Lake. The Utah/Idaho outpost is among the world’s most renowned spots for fun, thrills, and natural beauty. It’s a sheer paradise for anyone who appreciates Mother Nature’s wonders. Everywhere you turn, stunning scenery abounds.

The area itself is a dream at any time of the year. It’s during winter in Bear Lake, however, that the crowds come flocking in search of the ultimate snowy adventure.

From late November to April, winter-weather enthusiasts know that they can come to Bear Lake whenever the snowmobiling bug strikes. The town offers over 300 miles of groomed trails that are ready for the ride. Those same trails are used for ATV rentals when the snow has covered them.

What’s extra-special about this area is that you never know what you might see during your trek. Is that a moose in the distance?

If you’re ready to dust off your snowmobile or you’re preparing for your first trek, here’s some useful information you should know — along with some of the best places for Bear Lake snowmobile rentals in the backcountry.

What Makes Bear Lake Snowmobiling So Special?

It’s incomparable for a reason. The Bear Lake Valley is renowned for everything from its spectacular views to its seemingly endless maze of groomed trails. You’ll have a blast making your way along the snow — without any worry about encountering a disruption, like a fence or a big crowd. Because you have access to such open spaces, you’ll quickly develop a keen appreciation for snowmobiling if it’s your first time.

If you’ve never been to Bear Lake before, prepare to be amazed by what you encounter during your adventures. Sure, Northern Utah is more than celebrated for its legacy of snowy trails, there are other highlights you may spot along the way.

Look to your left — is that a crisp waterfall? Steal a glance below. You may spot a frozen body of water. Look close enough and you just might catch the aforementioned glimpse of a moose or elk somewhere in the distance.

Top Trails to Explore on Your Snowmobile

Among the best-known trails in Bear Lake Valley is the Garden City Trail , a vibrant and often popular option that’s ideal for people with a little bit of experience.

Try the Beaver Creek Trail , just a stone’s throw from the Beaver Creek Lodge, if you’d prefer a little bit more variety or you’re traveling with a group of people, all of which have different preferences for snowmobiling trails. Approximately 6.5 miles in length, it provides a simple and relaxed option for novices. In fact, Beaver Creek Trail is popular among beginners because it all but encourages regular stops for food and beverages along the trek.

Make your way to the Sinks Road Trail if you’d like something a little more exciting and memorable.. It’s connected to the Garden City Trail, and features a range of extensions that allow you opportunities aplenty to explore. For example, you can go off in search of Temple Canyon or the Peter Sinks Loop Trail.

Finally, make some room on your itinerary for the Fish Haven/St. Charles Trail . It’s near the border of Utah and Idaho, offering you the chance to spend all day on the 34-mile round trip trail.

Enjoy the journey and you’ll ultimately end up at Bear Lake, where you can enjoy the view of the Bear River Range.

What Should You Bring for Snowmobiling?

You won’t love snowmobiling if you aren’t equipped with the right clothing and gear for all of the fun! You can rely on a range of Bear Lake snowmobile rental providers to supply everything that you need to make the most of your experience — even clothes! Some even offer guided tours and lessons, giving you a closer look at what makes Bear Lake so special.

Safety is a key reason that the right equipment — and the right snowmobile — are so important. When you choose to rent from a company, you can be sure that the vehicle is in top-tier condition, that it works efficiently, and that it’s fueled for the trip. It’s a good idea to keep a trail map handy (you can get one at many of these rental companies), as cell phone reception may be occasionally spotty. Always ensure that you’re dressed in protective gear to safeguard your journey.

Utah Snowmobiling Rules & Regulations

Keep in mind that there are rules and regulations that apply to operating snowmobiles in Utah. You can’t be younger than 16 years of age, for example; anyone younger can only sit as a passenger. Always ride your snowmobile on the right side of the trail, and be mindful of fellow adventurers who might be out there skiing or snowboarding.

Where Can You Rent Snowmobiles in Bear Lake?

Bear Lake Funtime

Photo Credit: bearlakefun via Instagram

  • 1217 S Bear Lake Blvd., Garden City, UT
  • (435) 946-3200

Take your pick from a variety of high-quality winter rentals at Bear Lake Funtime. The company offers seasonal rentals year-round, with options for four-, six-, and eight-hour intervals. Among the area’s most popular locations for rentals, including boats, Ski-Doos, and ATVs, Bear Lake Funtime takes your enjoyment seriously. Book your rental as early in advance as possible so you can beat the crowds and take to the slopes and trails.

Epic Adventure Center

Photo Credit: Epic Recreation via Facebook

  • 201 N Bear Lake Blvd., Garden City, UT
  • (435) 946-3742

You’ll find plenty of enjoyable winter rentals at Epic Adventure Center. You can pick up a mountain bike or a snow sledding tube, but the real excitement comes when you hop aboard one of the company’s snowmobiles. If you prefer, the company can fuel up your snowmobile of choice before you arrive for a surcharge. Options are available for novices and experienced riders alike.

Beaver Creek Lodge, Inc.

Photo Credit: bclutah via Instagram

  • 12800 US-89, Garden City, UT
  • (435) 946-3400

Situated east of vibrant Logan, the Beaver Creek Lodge is a great place to visit if you’re seeking a comfortable place to stay along with a spot where you can rent snowmobile equipment. You’ll have immediate access to some of the best trails in the entire area, and can take advantage of both half day and full day rentals. The lodge even offers snowmobile clinics with AJ Stevens, a guide known for his expertise in the field.


Photo Credit: clubrecutah via Instagram

  • 3718 N Wolf Creek Dr., Eden, UT
  • (801) 745-3038

With locations in Wasatch and only an hour from many of Utah’s most popular areas, including Park City, Salt Lake City, Logon, and Ogden, Club Rec offers six convenient stops throughout the state. The company offers an extensive selection of rentals, including Ski-Doo multi-day and off-site rentals. ClubRec also offers visitors a chance to get a better lay of the land through its series of comprehensive snowmobile tours. Take advantage of the VIP Tour, Wildlife Tour, or Top of the World Tour no matter what appeals to you.

You’re Ready for an Unforgettable Adventure

Whether you’re visiting Bear Lake with your family, a group of friends, or for a romantic getaway, be sure to add snowmobiling to your list. Don’t worry, once you’ve had your fair share of outdoor excitement, you’ll quickly be able to warm up in your luxury cabin rental . Not only will you get a chance to explore the surroundings and fully immerse yourself in a wintery landscape you’d otherwise not be able to enjoy, it’s also a lot of fun to cruise around in the snow.

Skip to content