Bear Lake is a natural freshwater lake on the Idaho-Utah border in the Western United States. About 109 square miles (280 km2) in size, it is split about equally between the two states. Originally named “Black Bear Lake” by Donald Mackenzie, an explorer for the North West Fur Company who discovered the lake in 1819, the name was later changed to Bear Lake. The lake is a popular destination for visitors and sports enthusiasts, and the surrounding valley has gained a reputation for having high-quality raspberries.

Bear Lake has been called the “Caribbean of the Rockies” for its unique turquoise-blue color, which is due to the reflection of calcium carbonate (limestone) deposits suspended in the lake. Its water properties have led to the evolution of several unique species of fauna that occur only within the lake. Bear Lake is over 250,000 years old. It was formed by fault subsidence that continues today, slowly deepening the lake along the eastern side.

Things To Know

  • Bear Lake State Park is located on the north and east shores of Bear Lake.
  • The park can be accessed from U.S. 89 at St.Charles via the North and East Beach roads. The park is two hours south of Pocatello, Idaho and three hours north of Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Bear Lake State Park is open year round.