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Things to Do Around Bear Lake


Bear Lake is a popular destination for visitors from Utah and Idaho, known for its brilliant turquoise waters and spectacular scenery. The area around Bear Lake is a recreation playground, with dozens of fun activities both in and out of the water.

Boating and Watersports

By Flickr user kkilometer

Boating and water sports are the most popular activities on Bear Lake's deep, clear, turquoise blue waters. You can bring your own boat or jet ski, or rent one at the lake.

Use the Bear Lake Visitors Bureau's Interactive Map to find all the boat ramps and docks at Bear Lake in Utah and Idaho. For boat rentals, a Google search reveals about a dozen options.


Jordan Hipwell

Bear Lake's most popular beaches are Rendezvous Beach and Ideal Beach in Utah, as well as North Beach and East Beach in Idaho. Water levels and water temperatures vary at these beaches, so it's good to check ahead of time to make sure conditions are right for a fun day at the beach.

Places to Stay

Bear Lake Cabin Rentals

There are plenty of places to stay near Bear Lake, for any size group. With a little searching you can find hotels, motels, inns, condos, cabins and campgrounds. One of the largest developments for hotel, motel and condo rentals is Ideal Beach Resort. The Bear Lake area is dotted with campgrounds and RV parks, including public campgrounds at Bear Lake State Park Utah, Bear Lake State Park Idaho, St. Charles Canyon, and Montpelier Ranger District.

Places to Eat

Cooper's, Bear Lake West

Most food places around Bear Lake are grocery stores, convenience stores, delis, or burger stands, but two full service restaurants I would recommend are Caf&eacute Sabor (Mexican) and Cooper's at Bear Lake West.

Bear Lake Raspberry Shakes

Kristen Davis

The Bear Lake area's signature dessert is the Bear Lake raspberry shake. You can get a thick shake made with local raspberries (in season) and local ice cream almost anywhere in the area that sells food, but some of the favorite places to get them are LeBeau's, Quick-N-Tasty, and Hometown Drive Inn, all in Garden City.

Scenic Byways

Idaho's Scenic Byways

If you feel like getting out of the water and exploring the gorgeous natural scenery around Bear Lake, you can take one of the area's scenic byways, including the Oregon Trail Bear Lake Scenic Byway, the Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway, the Bear River Heritage Area or Bloomington Lake.

Minnetonka Cave

Marsha Maxwell

Minnetonka Cave, about 15 miles away from Garden City up St. Charles Canyon, makes a great change of pace or rainy day activity during your trip to Bear Lake. It's a 9-room cave filled with fanciful rock formations, that you can explore on a half-mile guided hike. Admission to the cave is $8 for adults, $6 for children 6-15, and free for children 5 and younger. Bring a jacket; the cave is a cool 40 degrees year round.

Directions: Take U.S. 89 north from Garden City, Utah, or south from Montpelier, Idaho, to St. Charles. Drive 11 miles west from St. Charles along Forest Road 412. The road is paved to its end at Minnetonka Cave.

Bear Lake Eco Tour

Marsha Maxwell

Bryce, the knowledgeable and entertaining owner of Cisco's boat rental and docking facility, knows as much as anyone about Bear Lake's history, geology, wildlife and folklore. Bryce will take your party of up to six people on a personalized tour of the lake, on a 24-foot pontoon boat.

Raspberry Days

Bear Lake Raspberry Days

The Bear Lake town of Garden City holds its Raspberry Days festival the first weekend of August, to celebrate the peak of the raspberry harvest. Raspberry Days events include a Little Miss Berry pageant, craft fair, parade, rodeo, 5K run, pancake breakfast, dances, and fireworks on the beach.

Visit Garden City's Website

Pickleville Playhouse

Pickleville Playhouse

The Pickleville Playhouse in Garden City, in business since 1977, performs hilarious melodramas and lighthearted Broadway favorites. It's a fun date night or family outing after a day on the lake. The onsite restaurant, Bandito's Western Grill, serves western favorites like steak and grilled chicken.

2049 S. Bear Lake Blvd.
Garden City, UT 84028
(435) 946-2918

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