January 4, 2023

A Traveler's Guide to Fish Haven, Idaho

Fish Haven, Idaho, is a quaint town near the Utah-Idaho border on the west side of Bear Lake. Less than 3 hours from Grand Teton National Park, the Bear Lake Valley features mountains, valleys, hills, and picturesque views of bright blue Bear Lake.

Fish Haven is the perfect town to marvel at the world’s natural beauty and surrender to its forever welcoming vastness. Whether you’re in Fish Haven in the summer, winter, or somewhere in between, the town welcomes you with unique peacefulness and grounding experiences.

Still trying to figure out how to spend your time in Fish Haven? Keep reading.

We’ve put together a guide with activities, stores, and restaurants that will only enhance your vacation.

About Fish Haven

Photo Credit: Jacob Boomsma

Let’s talk geography. When you stay in Fish Haven, you’re:

  • 5 minutes from St. Charles
  • 15 minutes to Bloomington
  • 30 minutes to Montpelier

Fish Haven lies on the west banks of the shimmering Bear Lake; a natural lake split in half by the Utah-Idaho border. On the other side of Fish Haven lies a stunning mountain range. The mountains slope into valleys, forests of endless sqft, rivers, and creeks.

It’s also not too far from Beaver Mountain Ski Area - a must visit for those visiting during ski season.

This town is a gem of nature, carefully and intentionally chiseled out to accommodate a small population of under 500 people.

The town doesn’t have its government; instead, the Bear Lake County Commission oversees and manages Fish Haven’s affairs. Residents either retired or retreated here to connect with the natural surroundings and each other in this mountain paradise.

Now, where to eat, sightsee, and hike? We’ll find out shortly!

Things to Do in Fish Haven

Oregon Trail Bear Lake Scenic Byway

Photo Credit: visitidaho.org

Starting on US 89 in Fish Haven, you can follow this breathtaking scenic byway for 110 miles to look at the historic sites of the Oregon Trail around Bear Lake and beyond. Take the kids and enjoy the two-hour road trip.

Or if you have the time to enjoy it as a day trip , add some extra stops along the way. Stop by the explosive geyser (nature’s hot tub) or take a gander at some limestone caves.

Don’t get us wrong; you can make the drive any time of year. However, you might want to keep it short in the winter since the roads will likely be blanketed by snowfall.

  • Location: 2839 N Bear Lake Blvd, Fish Haven, Idaho 83287

Fish Haven Canyon Trailhead

Photo Credit: idahohighcountry.org

The Fish Haven Canyon Trailhead is a lovely destination for snowmobile , mountain bike, and ATV enthusiasts. Imagine meandering down through rolling hills with sites of snow-tipped trees and shimmering sunshine peeking through the forests.

To the west, mountains stand tall and proud, welcoming your passing gaze of awe. Bring your own trail vehicle of choice. If you don’t have one? Hit up Bear Lake Funtime Rentals and Epic Recreation, both located in Garden City, UT, for some rentals.

  • Location: 462 Fish Haven Canyon Rd, Fish Haven, Idaho 83287

Bear Lake West Golf Course

Photo Credit: komes

Fish Haven boasts its own nine-hole golf course — a well-managed establishment with friendly and helpful staff. The Bear Lake West Golf Course is relatively challenging, with elevation changes and sloping fairways.

Peppered on the borders sit endless trees and hills, creating a stunning backdrop for your next game. Spectacular lake views might catch your attention enough to interrupt your swing, but time flows slowly here in Fish Haven.

Give it another shot!

Make sure to stop by Cooper’s Restaurant and Sports Bar for a delicious bite to eat afterward (more on the menu shortly). Keep in mind that there’s no driving range at Bear Lake West Golf Course.

  • Location: 554 Lewis Loop # 100, Fish Haven, Idaho 83287

Cooper’s Restaurant and Sports Bar

Photo Credit: Jag_cz

Located on Bear Lake West Golf Course, Cooper’s Restaurant has a beautiful view of the course and lake, offering an exceptional menu to its guests. Pop by whether you’re finishing a course or just want to satisfy a craving for bacon-wrapped scallops — yum!

The restaurant has weekly specials, but we think Thursday’s shrimp + sirloin special is a killer reason to schedule a trip

Cooper’s brings in live music on the weekends and has outdoor seating in the warmer months. They also have a great kids' menu if you bring along your small, picky eaters! Of course, you’ll also relish the joint’s many juicy burgers, from bison patties to mushroom-swiss combos.

With great food, service, and views, Cooper’s Restaurant and Sports Bar is easily on our list of must-eats while vacationing in Fish Haven.

  • Location: 554 Lewis Loop # 100, Fish Haven, Idaho 83287

Fly Fishing in Fish Haven Creek

Photo Credit: Cannon Colegrove

Fish Haven Creek in Fish Haven, ID, attracts many seasonal visitors for a quiet fly fishing trip. However, before you put on your waders to head out into the peaceful waters, ensure you get a fishing license !

Stay on the lookout for rainbow trout, perch, and bluegill fish scampering across the water, most often during the early mornings. You’ll surely catch a few if you start your day around 4 or 5 am.

  • Location: Fish Haven Creek, Fish Haven, Idaho 83287

Fish Haven General Store

Photo Credit: Hafiz Soyuz

Have you ever arrived at your vacation rental only to realize you’ve forgotten some vital supplies? Of course, it doesn’t have to ruin your trip, but we know how hard it can be to find what you need in smaller towns. Enter the Fish Haven General Store , which has everything you need in stock, from groceries to outdoor equipment. PS — they also have fantastic selections of beer and wine as well.

  • Location: 2637 US-89, Fish Haven, Idaho 83287

Gladys’ Place

Photo Credit: vsl

Are you craving a deli sandwich? Maybe some juicy, sliced roast beef on a cheese bun with mustard, greens, and horseradish. Or perhaps you’re hankering for a simple ham and cheese grilled on a fresh bun. Custom sandwiches are one of the many fortes of Gladys’ Place — a town tradition.

The business is one of the great treasures of Fish Haven — a deli, convenience store, and liquor store all in one. When was the last time you could smell freshly baked bread at a convenience store?

The shop and staff are filled with local wisdom, wit, and charm. As of December 2022, Gladys’ Place is currently undergoing remodeling. They’ll reopen soon and focus even more heavily on the deli aspect of the business.

Grab a few car necessities and stock up on water and snacks, but make sure you try a delicious deli sandwich and ice cream scoop before you get back on Highway 89!

  • Location: 2703 US-89, Fish Haven, Idaho 8328

Swimming in Bear Lake

Photo Credit: AstroStar

Bear Lake is the pearl of Fish Haven, surrounded by mountains and shining with bright teal waters. What better way to engage than to immerse yourself fully in a swim?

High temperatures in the summer are usually in the 80s, so you can choose to wade in the water, swim deeper, or simply stay on the beach! Make sure to bring your swimsuits, sunscreen, and beach toys.

  • Location : Multiple, Fish Haven, Idaho 83287

Bear Lake Road Biking Path

Imagine a 52-mile loop around Bear Lake and its gorgeous terrain — a mountain biker’s dream! The Bear Lake Road Biking Path calls out to you if you’re looking for a full-day athletic adventure around Bear Lake.

It’s open from Labor Day to Memorial Day, as the roads are dangerously busy in the summer months.

This whole loop offers spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains. In addition, there’s no need to carry much food or water. When you go through each town, you can stop for restrooms and replenish yourself at the smattering of restaurants and stores along the way. Just remember to wear a helmet.

  • Location: Highway 89, Fish Haven, Idaho 83287

Pink Bench Overlook

A vacation in a place as beautiful and serene as Fish Haven isn’t complete without a stellar lookout point.

Sit peacefully and look out over the mountains and beyond at the Pink Bench Overlook — the spot isn’t fancy or overstated, but a simple bench with a grand view of Fish Haven and all it has to offer.

  • Location: Forest Rd 413, Fish Haven, Idaho 83287

Enjoy Fish Haven

Fish Haven is brimming with charm and natural beauty, the perfect getaway for the nature-focused traveler and peace seeker. An alternative or an addition to nearby Saint Charles or Garden City , a trip to Fish Haven is one to remember!

We hope that you enjoy your time in Fish Haven and can soak up all of the charm and natural beauty it offers.

Longing for that relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Browse through new listings of Bear Lake Luxury Rentals , beautiful vacation homes complete with decks, multiple bedrooms, game rooms, and cozy fireplaces.