Travel Tips

The Absolute Best Time to Visit Bear Lake

While there is never a bad time to visit the beautiful Bear Lake, the best time depends on what adventures you seek. Summer reigns supreme if you want to bask in the sun on the blue waters. However, fall, winter, and spring all offer their own unique offerings, from winter sports to fishing, birdwatching, and more. 

Here is our guide to the best time to visit Bear Lake, depending on what type of vacation you are looking for. Whenever you decide to make the journey, our luxury vacation homes are waiting for you.


If you dream of a sun-soaked vacation, summer is the best time to visit Bear Lake. With average air temperatures hovering in the 70s and 80s and lake temps at a refreshing 68-72 degrees, it’s the perfect time to be out on the water and enjoy the sandy beaches of the lake. 

The summer months offer fun on the beach, water adventures, and a lively atmosphere. Although it’s the busiest season, it presents a magical time on the lake. 

Summer Activities in Bear Lake


Grab a boat rental and enjoy cruising the sparkling waters of Bear Lake. The 20-mile-long and 8-mile-wide lake also offers plenty of opportunities for waterskiing, wakeboarding, and jet skiing

Non-motorized water sports

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The sparkling emerald waters of Bear Lake are generally calm during the summer making for a perfect place to grab a kayaking or stand-up paddleboard rental. 

Paris Ice Cave

Located about twenty minutes from Garden City in the Cache National Forest, the ice in these caves infamously never completely melts – even during the warmest summers. Explore the incredible underground Paris Ice Cave, full of icicles and unique limestone rock formations. 

Minnetonka Cave

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Between Memorial and Labour Day weekends, you can explore the Minnetonka Caves, one of Idaho’s largest limestone cave formations. This experience offers a great reprieve from the warm weather. 

Beach time

Don’t miss the incredible Bear Lake beaches that easily rival those of any coastal destination! The pristine beaches surrounding the lake feature surprisingly white sand and calm shores. 

Summer Events in Bear Lake

  • Raspberry Days: Experience this full-on raspberry fest every August, featuring parades, live music, games, and delicious raspberries. 
  • Bear Lake Car Show: If you love classic cars, you won’t want to miss the Bear Lake Car Show in July.
  • Bear Lake Monster Swim: Participate or spectate this fun annual race across Bear Lake.


When the summer crowds dissipate, and the heat subsides, fall brings a quiet charm to Bear Lake. Daytime temperatures range from the low 60s to mid-70s, with cooler evenings, making it ideal for outdoor activities that might otherwise be too hot for summer. The lake’s forests explode into shades of red, orange, and yellow foliage and make for a great time to get outside and explore Bear Lake’s picturesque scenery.

Fall is the best time of year to visit Bear Lake if you want to experience a quieter, more peaceful Bear Lake and still participate in a variety of fun outdoor activities.

Fall Activities in Bear Lake

Hiking and biking

Fall is the perfect time to explore the stunning trails around Bear Lake. Some of our favorites include: 

Horseback riding

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There’s nothing quite as serene and grounding as horseback riding around Bear Lake. If you own horses, Logan Canyon, Cache National Forest, and Caribou National Forest are all fantastic places to take your horses and ride. You can also book a guided riding tour through Pony Express Horseback Rides

Wildlife watching

Fall is the perfect time to grab your binoculars and look for several species of migrating birds, as well as moose, mule deer, foxes, minks, salamanders, and snakes, as they prepare for winter.

Fall foliage

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Take a drive along the Bear Lake Scenic Byway to witness stunning foliage. This winding road takes you through some of the most picturesque landscapes in the western United States, with rolling hills, sparkling lakes and bountiful forests as far as the eye can see..


Photo Credit: Patrick Lewis via Flickr CC 2.0

There’s something magical about fall fishing around Bear Lake. With the summer crowds gone, the waters calm down, and the fish tend to get a little more cooperative. There are a variety of fish to be caught, including cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, lake trout, and whitefish. 

Fall Events in Bear Lake


Winter transforms Bear Lake into a snowy wonderland, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. If you don’t mind the cold, winter is the perfect time to visit Bear Lake for fun winter sports and cozy nights spent in your Bear Lake luxury rental. 

Winter Activities in Bear Lake


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This small lake community is home to over 350 miles of snowmobiling trails catering to beginners and seasoned riders, with ample opportunities for deep powder thrills and scenic cruises. There are ample opportunities to grab a rental for a guided tour as well!

Ice fishing

The fishing fun doesn’t have to end as the seasons change- Bear Lake freezes over 80% of winter seasons, providing the perfect setting for ice fishing for Bear Lake Cutthroat Trout. 

Sleigh rides

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To get into the winter holiday spirit, you can take a magical ride in a horse-drawn sleigh. Picture a picturesque winter wonderland with snow-covered trees and twinkling lights. Now imagine being pulled along in a cozy sleigh by a majestic horse, the only sound coming from jingling bells. From romantic excursions under the starry skies to family fun with the kids, a sleigh ride in Bear Lake is something everyone should experience at least once.

Downhill skiing and snowboarding

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Downhill skiing and snowboarding are some of the most popular pastimes in Bear Lake. Some of the closest mountains include the Beaver Mountain Ski Area and the Pine Creek Ski Resort.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing

Additionally, the wilderness surrounding Bear Lake offers the perfect destination for cross-country skiing and exploring. 

Soak in a hot spring

After a day on the slopes or out exploring the backcountry, nothing soothes your muscles like soaking in the 100-degree Bear Lake Hot Springs in North Beach.

Winter Events in Bear Lake

  • Bear Lake Monster Winterfest: This is a family-friendly, annual festival every January that includes fun events like free opportunities to try winter gear, a 5k, a polar plunge, and a chili cook-off!


Springtime at Bear Lake brings new life, fresh blooms, and a host of fun outdoor activities. This is the best time to visit Bear Lake if you want to beat the crowds, and still experience the natural beauty of Bear Lake. 

If you want to experience Bear Lake before the summer crowds, spring is one of the best times to visit Bear Lake. You’ll have ample opportunities to get outdoors, explore, and spot both wildflowers and wildlife.

Spring Activities in Bear Lake


Spring is one of the best times to go fishing in Bear Lake. Bear Lake Whitefish, Sculpin, and Cutthroat Trout are the fish to watch out for during spring.

Hit the trails

As the snowpack melts away, the hiking and biking trails around Bear Lake become full of wildflowers and are extra inviting. There might still be a little mud in early spring, but the crisp weather, beautiful views, and heightened chances of spotting wildlife make it all worth it. 

Some of the best spring hiking trails are:


Photo Credit: Cornell Lab of Ornithology via Google Images Creative Commons Licenses

It doesn’t get much better for birdwatchers than a visit to the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge in the springtime. As the migratory birds return to the area, you can watch for Long-billed Curlew, burrowing owls, and Peregrine falcons. 


Even if the water might be too chilly for a swim, boating on Bear Lake is a popular spring pastime. Especially during Memorial Day weekend! 


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Bear Lake has some excellent golf courses, including the Bear Lake West Golf Course, Bear Lake Golf Course, and the Montpelier Municipal Golf Course. Spring is the perfect time to beat the heat on Bear Lake’s golf courses. 

Spring Events in Bear Lake

Enjoy Bear Lake All Year

Bear Lake offers something truly wonderful year-round. Winter provides a snow-covered wonderland, summer brings long days on the lake, fall brings gorgeous colors, and spring offers an uncrowded Bear Lake and spectacular wildflowers.

No matter what time you visit Bear Lake, you will surely have an incredible stay at your premium, fully-equipped, luxurious rental. Book your Bear Lake getaway today!

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