Bear Lake

Bear Lake

Brilliantly blue waters combined with sandy beaches are what call park visitors to play, fish, boat, and camp here at Bear Lake State Park. The lake has been called the "Caribbean of the Rockies" for its unique turquoise-blue color, which is due to the refraction of calcium carbonate (limestone) deposits suspended in the lake. Bear Lake is a natural freshwater lake on the Utah-Idaho border in the Western United States. About 109 square miles in size, it is split about equally between the two states. 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. Originally named "Black Bear Lake" by Donald McKenzie, 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 tourists and sports enthusiasts, and the surrounding valley has gained a reputation for having high-quality raspberries. The lake has many marinas, beaches, and two tourist towns in Utah: Garden City and Laketown. It also has two state parks, each named Bear Lake State Park: one in Idaho, one in Utah. The Utah state park includes one-half-mile-long Rendezvous Beach at the south end of the lake, location of the 1827 and 1828 Rocky Mountain Rendezvous, and three-mile-long Cisco Beach on the east side, plus additional campground, marina, and boat ramp areas. The Idaho state park includes a north and an east unit, each with a one-mile-long beach. Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge extends up from the north end of the lake.