Christmas has a way of gracefully warming our hearts like clockwork every December. As we age, it’s not so much the gifts that excite us anymore. It’s more about our surroundings — the soft snow falling against the window, a vision extending to the heavy-blanketed trees over yonder, decorating the outline of a cool, crisp lake.
And, of course, the people we love, surrounding a well-decorated, tall Christmas tree.
A Bear Lake rental in Northern Utah or Southern Idaho gifts both these visions; a stunning backdrop of a midwest winter wonderland and enough space to stretch and move from room to room with excitement and warmth alongside loved ones.
Bear Lake sits peacefully on the border of Idaho and Utah, welcoming your senses with snow-capped peaks with a Christmas holiday presence your kids will enjoy. That, and the endless winter activities in the small-town Garden City, Utah !
Ready to start your holiday planning? We’ve got you covered with our roundup of Christmas activities in Bear Lake!
What’s Winter Like on Bear Lake?
For those chasing traditional Christmas weather, winter on Bear Lake won’t disappoint. Garden City, Utah averages a high of 35° Fahrenheit but dips as low as 10° Fahrenheit — freezing, really. But you’ll feel crisp and refreshed with the soft breeze passing through Bear Mountain, nearby Bear Lake State Park, all the way across the lake surrounding your Coeur D’Alene lodge.
Salt Lake City, Utah is only a 2.5-hour drive away; still, you should make sure you have all the winter fixings you’ll need for a comfortable stay.
For a more in-depth packing list, consult this guide . But for a quick winter packing list:
- Scarfs, hats, and mittens
- Fleece pants
- Thin, long-sleeved shirts for layering
- Wool socks
- Winter boots
- Cozy blankets for stargazing on the balcony
All packed? Let’s have a very merry Christmas on Bear Lake!
Christmas Activities in Bear Lake
EpiClassical Christmas Concert
Photo Credit: pixnio.com
What if you treated the whole family to a magical night of soothing vocals and soft, classical-fused music? On December 3rd, Alicia Blickfeldt will be gracing residents at the Sunrise Resort and Event Center.
The singer’s tough health history informed a strength that powers through her voice, accompanied by orchestral sounds and instruments.
- Best for: Families and music aficionados
- Date: December 3rd, 2022
- Tips: Dress to impress
- Location: 865 N, Harbor Village E Dr, Garden City, UT 84028, United States
Sledding and Snowshoeing at the Sinks
Photo Credit: Nadezda Murmakova
About 10-15 minutes west of Bear Lake, in the direction of Logan, UT, make your way to the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. There, you’ll find the Sinks!
The Sinks is a limestone sinkhole that hosts the perfect place for tubing and outdoor adventure with your loved one or the entire family. You can sled, snowshoe, or even snowmobile at either Peter Sinks or Middle Sink.
FYI – Peter Sinks is a whopping 8,000-foot elevation, so it’s not for the faint of heart. You won’t be up in the Arctic, but the crisp, paralyzing air will certainly make you feel like it.
Feel free to bring your own tubes, sleds, and snowshoes, or rent them from Epic Recreation . Hot chocolate back at your vacation rental will be a great way to warm up after a long day playing in the snow!
- Best for: Anyone who loves snowy-thrills!
- Tips: Dress to impress the winter weather — we’re talking snow pants, parkas, water-proof mittens, and snow boots.
- Location(s): Peter Sinks or Middle Sink, Logan Canyon, UT
Photo Credit: U SFWS Mountain-Prairie
If you love to fish and are willing to brave the cold, ice fishing on Bear Lake will be a peaceful, rewarding activity. Bear Lake is brimming with a few fish species native to the area, including the skinny Bonneville Cisco. These little swimmers can survive in temperatures below -50° Fahrenheit!
If you’re itching to catch a few of these beauties, book your stay from Christmas week to New Year’s Eve, and try to stay as long as mid-January. This is prime time for Bear Lake’s Bonneville Cisco to spawn near the shore. Of course, you’ll also find some juicy rainbow trout around as well.
- Best for: Fishermen and fisher-ladies who don’t mind the cold
- Tips: Make sure to have a valid Utah or Idaho fishing license !
- Location(s): Montpelier Reservoir, Montpelier, Idaho
Bear Lake Monster Winterfest
Photo Credit: Jim Sorbie
Extending your Christmas stay? This year’s Bear Lake Monster Winterfest will take place from January 27-29, 2023. It features a 5K run for the Usain Bolts in the group, a fishing tournament, a polar plunge, and even a chili cook-off. Feast on the food truck fares in the village market with food trucks on Saturday as you relish the potential of winter fun in Garden city.
The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest will show any vacationer how to get down in the winter the way the locals do!
- Best for: Active people and foodies
- Date: January 27-29, 2023
- Tips: Bring cash for the food trucks
- Location(s): Sunrise Resort and Event Center, Logan Canyon Sinks Area, Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina, Cody’s Gastro Garage (Garden City)
Pickleville On Tour Musical / Pickleville Playhouse
Musical and theater enthusiasts, to the front! The Pickleville Playhouse in Garden City is a top spot for plays and musicals, but this year they’re going on tour ! The musical bunch will showcase Juandito’s Christmas Carol in Logan and Salt Lake City.
The Pickleville Playhouse is known for family entertainment, and while they are not currently showing around Bear Lake, a night in Logan or Salt Lake City will allow you to see the big city while being able to later retreat to the comfort of Garden City and Bear Lake. Currently, shows are playing through December 5th in Logan, UT.
- Best for: Families with Children
- Date: December 5th, 2022; more dates updated once you check the website
- Tips: Check Pickleville’s website for 2023 show announcements, which are coming soon!
- Location: Salt Lake City and Logan, UT
Nicknamed “The Beav,” you can ski Beaver Mountain only 20 minutes from Garden City, UT. This would be a great place to ski or snowboard down an alpine slide! All-day passes for adults are only $60 per day. Plus, the kiddies can ski for as little as $45 per day, an exceptional deal compared to nearby ski resorts like Park City.
Beaver Mountain offers rentals for skiing and snowboarding gear, or you can bring your own.
- Best for: Skiers and snowboarders
- Tips: If you’re not a big downhill skier, try out cross-country skiing at the mountain’s base!
- Location: 40000 East, US-89, Garden City, UT 84028, United States
Snowmobiling Near Big Bear Lake
Photo Credit: rawpixel.com
Imagine cruising through soft, fluffy snow with views of majestic trees and mountains zipping by — hang on, is that a moose in the distance? Snowmobiling around Bear Lake will likely showcase some of the region’s wildlife.
Bear Lake Valley has over 350 miles of snowmobile trails to choose from. Renting one is easy with Bear Lake Fun , Epic Recreation , or Beaver Creek Lodge !
- Best for: Winter sports enthusiasts
- Tips: Make sure your snowmobile is registered if you bring your own.
- Location(s): Bear Lake Valley; Bloomington Canyon Trailhead, Diamond Creek Trailhead
Indulge in the Christmas Spirit on Bear Lake
Bear Lake is the magical setting you need to infuse that extra special holiday spirit into your Christmas festivities.
Whether a log-inspired family lodge or modern, updated mountain ranch — Bear Lake Luxury Rentals has you covered with family-friendly accommodation this Christmas season.
Ready to book a Christmas time holiday? Explore Bear Lake rentals today!