A Visitor’s Guide to Summer on Bear Lake

Photo by Brett Taylor Photography

Often referred to as the “Caribbean of the Rockies,” Bear Lake is possibly best known for its gorgeous vibrant blue color. The lake has a unique topography that lends itself to fantastic activities in warm and cold weather seasons. 

Summer in Bear Lake is the perfect season to make the most of the lake itself, with swimming, water sports, SCUBA diving, fishing, and kayaking as some of the most popular activities. Around the lake, you can head out for hiking, horseback riding, and other outdoor recreation in this stunning region of the United States. 

Take your summer vacation to the next level when you book a trip to beautiful Bear Lake. Equally divided between the scenic states of Idaho and Utah, this mesmerizing lake is home to endless exciting activities to make your vacation unforgettable. Read on for what you can look forward to on a Bear Lake getaway this summer. 


Photo by Dudarev Mikhail

There are nearly endless hiking opportunities in the area surrounding Bear Lake, and hiking is one of the top activities for a summer vacation. From easy strolls through Bear Lake State Park to intense backcountry hikes and everything in between, there are great hiking trails for everyone at Bear Lake. 

Limber Pine Trail

Set high above Bear Lake along the Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway is the 1.4-mile Limber Pine Trail. This loop provides a stunning hike, culminating in the massive 560-year-old limber pine for which the trail was named. This ancient tree is actually five trees growing together and is an amazing sight. 

Throughout the loop, you can catch glimpses of the turquoise waters of Bear Lake far below. Stop at one of the benches along the trail for a picnic lunch with an unforgettable view. 

Laketown Canyon Trail

Starting at the rodeo arena in Laketown, this 7-mile out-and-back trail takes you through aspen groves and sagebrush-covered hills. The Laketown Canyon Trail is perfect for a summertime hike because you will cross a stream seven times, giving you a chance to cool off in the cool mountain water. 

There is a reservoir halfway up the trail and a spring at the top of the trail, providing opportunities for spotting thirsty wildlife. This trail is also open to mountain bikers, horseback riders, and ATVs. 

Sink Hollow Trail

About 20 minutes from Bear Lake, you will find the trailhead for the beautiful Sink Hollow Trail. Near the Beaver Mountain ski area, this trail is much more pleasant to hike in the summer months when it isn’t covered in feet of snow. The 9-mile route takes you through sagebrush meadows, aspen groves, pine forests, and finally to Horse Lake, the perfect place to stop for lunch before heading home. 

Bear Trail

This 4.5-mile paved trail is fantastic for an easy walk along the lake and through the charming town of Garden City, where you can stop for a mid-hike coffee or ice cream treat. Enjoy beautiful views of the lake on this family-friendly hike that is easily accessible for everyone. Bear Trail is also suitable for bikes and horses. 

Bear Lake Water Sports

Photo by EpicStockMedia

With over 160 square miles of stunning turquoise water, there is plenty of room for all kinds of water sports at Bear Lake. Lake activities here are heavy on the watercraft! Think water skiing, wake boarding, and jet skiing to experience the lake like the locals! 

Explore the beautiful lake with a canoe or kayak rental for a quiet day. This is a great way to get up close to wildlife that might be scared off by a boat’s motor and allows you to enjoy tranquil views of the lake. Afterward, you can laze around on the beaches that surround the lake.

Certified SCUBA divers are able to dive in the clear blue water, providing beautiful underwater scenes. The thriving marine life and ideal water conditions make Bear Lake one of the top dive sites in Idaho and Utah. Cisco Beach, along the east shore of Bear Lake, is considered the best dive spot in the lake. 

Pontoon boats, speedboats, fishing boats, jet skis, kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, and accessories can be rented at various outfitters around Bear Lake. 


Photo by TeodorLazarev

Bear Lake has fantastic fishing opportunities year-round. There are numerous local outfitters where you can rent a boat and gear or charter a guided fishing trip. The lake is home to a trophy cutthroat trout fishery producing record-breaking fish. Lake trout can also be found in the lake, sometimes reaching up to 30 lbs. 

In addition to trout, four species of fish are endemic to Bear Lake, providing a unique opportunity for anglers. These species are Bonneville cisco, Bonneville whitefish, Bear Lake whitefish, and Bear Lake sculpin. 

Please familiarize yourself with all the fishing regulations for the lake. A valid fishing license in Idaho or Utah is required to fish in Bear Lake. It is important to remember that all cutthroat trout with all fins intact (unclipped) must be released to protect the native fish population. 

Horseback Riding

Photo by Valeri Vatel

The Bear Lake area is very popular for horseback riding due to the high number of horse-friendly trails and endless stunning scenery. Whether you are a total beginner looking for a unique experience during your vacation or an expert equestrian seeking new trails, Bear Lake has something for everyone. 

You are welcome to bring your own horses, or you can book guided rides with one of the local tour operators. Pony Express Horseback Rides and MW Quarter Horses are great local guide services options.

Mountain Biking

Photo by Hitdelight

Trail adventurers will find many fantastic opportunities for mountain biking in the Bear Lake area. From casual rides through town to challenging routes through canyons, you have no shortage of memorable trails to bike during your vacation. 

Bear Trail

Bear Trail is 4.5 miles of paved surface, perfect for a casual ride with the whole family. Following along the shores of Bear Lake, the scenic ride takes you through quaint towns where you can stop for a snack or drink, especially the famous raspberry shakes in Garden City. 

The Bear Lake Road Biking Path

Enjoy incredible views of the entirety of Bear Lake when you ride this 52-mile loop around the lake. Though the mileage is high, the Bear Lake Road Biking Path is considered easy to moderate due to the relatively flat terrain. You can make stops in towns throughout the ride for snacks, drinks, or a restroom break. 

Pro tip: Ride this route clockwise for the best views. 

Bear Lake Summit to Meadowville Trail

This 15.5 point-to-point trail takes you through varying terrain, including mixed conifer forests and depressions in the landscape known as The Sinks. Either plan to park two cars, one at each trailhead, or make this a 31-mile round-trip ride.

Be glad you’re riding the Bear Lake Summit to Meadowville Trail in the summer; the second coldest temperatures ever recorded in the continental US were in the Sinks along this trail! 

Laketown Canyon Trail

Experienced bikers will love the Laketown Canyon Trail. This 7-mile out-and-back route starts at the rodeo arena in Laketown and takes you along a winding dirt road with multiple creek crossings. Watch out for horses and hikers, but there are plenty of opportunities for some fast sections along this trail. 


Photo by Jacob Boomsma

The weather in the Bear Lake area can vary wildly depending on the season. While the region is cold and best suited for skiing and snowboarding over the winter, summertime at Bear Lake is perfect for those who enjoy warmth and sunshine. 

Living up to its nickname as the Caribbean of the Rockies, temperatures can reach the mid-80s in the heat of July. Therefore, June through September are the best months to visit to play in the water and avoid the chilly temperatures common in the other months. 

Summertime Perfection Around Bear Lake

Have the summertime lake getaway of a lifetime when you book a vacation home at the stunning Bear Lake. So pack your swimsuit and sunscreen and prepare for an unforgettable summer at your Bear Lake Luxury Rental.

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