Enjoy the bright blue waters of Bear Lake State Park

October 11, 2018

One of northern Utah’s hidden gems is Bear Lake State Park. Located on the border of Idaho and Utah, Bear Lake offers a variety of activities and brilliant blue water, earning it the nickname, “Caribbean of the Rockies.”

Bear Lake State Park officially opened in 1962, according to park manager Richard Droesbeke. The park consists mostly of marinas and beaches that promote the bright, blue waters of Bear Lake.

“The lake is what attracts most people up here,” Droesbeke said.

He said the lake is 20 miles long and 8 miles wide, making watersports very popular at the park. The marinas even have rental shops available for those who want to ride waverunners or paddleboard along the shoreline.

Droesebeke also mentioned that the lake is great for fishing, even during the colder months. Bear Lake is filled with cutthroat and lake trout.

“Bear Lake’s actually a cold water fishery,” he said. “So when the lake warms up, the fish tend to go deeper. Now that the lake’s cooling down, they’re easier to catch.”

A well-known aspect of Bear Lake State Park is the beautiful and uncommon blue color of the water. The color is because of limestone particles of calcium carbonate that are suspended in the water, according to Droesebeke. He said the particles reflect the blue sky back into the water, giving the lake a “nice Caribbean, azure blue color.”

For those looking to have a beach day in land-locked Utah, this is the park for you. Droesebeke recommends Rendezvous Beach and said the sand in Bear Lake is very fine and soft, perfect for lying in the sun or playing in the water.

Even out of the water, Bear Lake State Park has much to offer. There are numerous trails for riding ATVs and off-highway vehicles. If you don’t have one of your own, the park has shops that offer day-long or hourly rentals. You can find more information about riding trails and rentals at BearLake.org.

Bear Lake State Park is also home to eight different campgrounds, according to Droesebeke. Each campsite has something different to offer such as electrical hookups for RVs, primitive camping spots or running water.

A full list of campsites and their amenities can be found on the Utah state parks website.

The park is open year-round, but some campsites start to close as winter approaches. Rendezvous Beach, for example, closes for the season on Oct. 23, according to the Bear Lake State Park website.

Even though it’s starting to get a little chilly in northern Utah, Droesebeke said that it’s the perfect time to visit Bear Lake State Park and see the beautiful fall colors.

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