America's Scenic Byways

Bear Lake Scenic Byway

15 miles - 20 minutes

This spectacular lake is nearly 20 miles long, from four to eight miles wide, and reaches a depth of 208 feet. Half of the lake is in Utah and half in Idaho. Utah's half has Rendezvous Beach State Park on the south end, just past the rest stop; Bear Lake Marina State Park on the west side of the lake; and East Side Beach State Park on the east side. Idaho's half is served by North Beach State Park.

Although it is a natural lake with no original outlets, Bear Lake was converted into a storage reservoir in 1911 when artificial inlet and outlet canals were constructed. The lake currently serves as the main storage reservoir for water from the Bear River which feeds irrigation canals in Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah.

The lake is excellent for fishing, boating, and all water sports. It also contains cisco, a game fish found nowhere else in the world.

Bear Lake raspberries are a delightful treat in season, and Garden City's raspberry shakes are world famous. A small turnoff offers the first bird's-eye view of Bear Lake, from a meadow at 7,568 feet above sea level. Here you will find parking areas, restrooms, a small information center, and interpretive displays where you can learn about the history and geology of the lake and surrounding areas.