People of Idaho enjoy the popular camping site of Bear Lake State Park, especially for its blue waters and mountainous valley region. It is an adventurous and popular campsite maintained under the supervision of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) and snow-mobiles, boats and other vehicles need to be registered in order to be used on park grounds. The park lies toward the north and east end of the beautiful 20-mile long Bear Lake.
Bear Lake State Park seeks to improve park facilities and resources by protecting and preserving its natural habitat, while also offering recreational activities for public use. Around 15,000 campers visit the Bear Lake State Park every year to enjoy a number of activities including hiking, kite flying, skiing, and much more.
Bear Lake State Park spans 966 acres at an elevation of 5,900 ft. creating a mix of trails of high and low intensity. You can explore through easy trails as well as difficult ones to see some truly spectacular mountain views and high-altitude lakes during your hiking experience. This park appeals to outdoor enthusiast of many types. People with families can enjoy more relaxed activities on low elevation points, while adventurous outdoor enthusiast can experience more challenging hiking and biking trails.
Bear Lake State Park is located in southeastern corner of Idaho and overlooks the cache mountain range. it is located on Highway 89, north of Garden City. The park can be reached from many routes as it lies 133 miles North of Salt Lake City (three hour drive), 118 miles South of Pocatello (two hour drive), and 134 miles South of Jackson, WY. It can easily be accessed by RV, car, motorhomes and Big Rigs. Once inside park grounds paved and graveled roads lead to the boat ramp and various campsites, picnic areas, restrooms and shelters dotted around the park.
There are 47 serviced campsites, two ADA campsites and three group shelters with facilities like electric hookups, vault toilet, water and dump stations. Bear Lake State Park can entertain up to 50 campers on their group sites, which are available for day use as well as night stays. Most RV campsites are back-in, while some are pull-through and are spacious enough for larger RVs, motor homes and Big Rigs.
Bear Lake State Park provides a visitor center to guide guests on all services offered along with regulations that must be adhered to. Generator use is prohibited between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. and guest can stay at campsites for 14 days at a stretch. The staff is very helpful in sharing maps and guidelines. The park also has a marina, well-built boat ramps, and boats are also available for rent from the nearby retail store. There are modern restrooms across the park along with picnic sites. Pets are allowed in most places but may are prohibited in beach areas and cabins. Bear Lake State Park is the perfect place if you are planning to enjoy mountainous terrain along with water activities this summer!
When visiting Bear Lake State Park, guests can choose from a number of hiking trails that vary in length and difficulty. These trails have low and high elevation points that offer breath-taking mountain views with aspen forests, alpine wildflower meadows, and photo-worthy mountain lakes. The Limber Pine trail is an easy one-mile round trip perfect for families and children alike. The Laketown Canyon Trail is a seven-mile round trip that offers more of a challenge to the average hiker. The Sink Hollow Trail is a moderate nine-mile round trip with other challenging trails that include the north fork of Saint Charles Canyon and hike steam mill hollow in Logan Canyon. You can also explore the caves and see several historic points on your hike that adds to the entire experience.
The blue waters of Bear Lake create a perfect spot for boating for visitors to enjoy the amazing landscape. Well developed ramps are built that are accessible by towing vehicles so don’t forget to bring your sailboats along. Boats are also available for rent at Bear Lake State Park with a selection of paddle boards, kayaks, canoes and paddle boats available to explore the outer fringes of the lake for fishing and wildlife watching. One can often spot deer, moose, cougars, cranes, and pelicans around the lake along with the occasional bear.
You can enjoy cycling around the parameter of Bear Lake. The biking trails offer another great way for visitors to circumnavigate the lake and observe the beautiful shoreline and surrounding woods. A mountainous terrain offers a number of rugged and challenging trails which offers a great workout for the more adventurous mountain bikers. You can bring your bike or get one for rent. Equestrian riding is also available on some of these biking trails.
There is a two-mile-long sand beach on the north end of the lake. There is an enormous swimming area due to the gradual slope of the lake that makes for safe and enjoyable swimming with family and children. Its sandy beach is quite populated during summers with families visiting the beach area for picnicking and water-based recreational activities.
During the winter season, West Whitlock Park offers a number of recreational activities such as cross-country skiing on the Louis Badger Trail. Every year, a large number of skiing enthusiasts visit West Whitlock to enjoy skiing on this almost two-mile long trail. There are snow-blanketed areas called the sinks. They create a perfect place for snow tubing and sledding. It’s low- tech fun that the entire family can enjoy. Do take a thermos with warm drinks to keep you cozy during the day.
During winters, Bear Lake transforms into a vast ice field. If you can stand the cold, it is a great opportunity to catch some native Cutthroat or Lake Trout, and Bonneville Cisco. Official cross country ski tracks are located across the park. You can get the equipment in the rental shop. Ice fishing and cross-country skiing are popular winter activities that are enjoyed by many winter enthusiast who visit the park every year.