Learn about the "Caribbean of the Rockies."
Bear Lake sits on the border of Utah and Idaho. Garden City is a common area of the lake to stay at when visiting which is on the Utah side. Bear Lake has gotten increasingly popular due to the lake's gorgeous views and variety of outdoor activities. The lake is a bright blue color and has been nick-named "The Caribbean of the Rockies". My husband and I drove up from Vegas which is a little over 8 hours away (548 miles #ouch.) If driving isn't an option for you, the closest major airport is Salt Lake City. SLC Airport is just over 2 hours away from Bear Lake. Flying and renting a vehicle is always an option!
You have options here based on the experience you are looking for. There are hotels and resorts, cabins, campgrounds, RV parks, and even glamping (which is what we did.) Read on to learn more about our stay!
Just, WOW. If you are looking for a one of a kind experience while you are here, this is a great option. Conestoga Ranch gives you the ultimate glamping experience. We came to Bear Lake for a family reunion so luckily I was able to see the multiple different options they have for accommodations. The most basic accommodations are their traditional tents and their Conestoga wagons. These are both so unique and give you an unforgettable glamping experience. These options do not have a bathroom attached. You'll have to go the common area to use the restrooms and shower. You do get a private bathroom and they are very nice and well kept. If you decide to upgrade to the luxury tents, these will have a bathroom and shower attached. The staff is punctual and extremely helpful. There are events and games for kids during the day, bikes for use, and even an arcade. This is a great place for the little ones. There is a restaurant onsite, Campfire Grill, that has spectacular food. It is a bit on the pricey side so just be aware of that. If you are wanting to grill, you can take advantage of the barbecue tent onsite. There are complimentary utensils at the front for rental. Lastly, I HAVE to mention that they even have campfire service with complimentary s'mores. You don't have to worry about the hassle of bringing wood or even lighting and putting out your own fire. How cool is that?! I 10 out of 10 recommend this place.
THINGS TO DO
LAKE DAYS- The lake itself offers plenty of activities. There is something for any mood you're in. You can relax and soak up the sun, paddle board, kayak, boat, jet ski, or fish. At least one lake day is a must! Rendezvous beach is popular but does charge an entry fee and is quite busy. We preferred Garden City Park which is free to the public and has beach access. There are opportunities all along the lake to find a spot and set up for your sunny afternoon. If you're wanting to rent a boat or jet skis we used Bear Lake Rentals.
MINNETONKA CAVE- This is about a 40 minute drive from Garden City. The drive is a gorgeous! You won't be disappointed. Once you arrive you will reserve your ticket and tour time. Your tour guide will take you through and explain the history and geography of the cave. Our tour lasted about an hour and a half. The caves are 40-degrees year around so make sure you dress warm! There are also steep stairs all throughout the cave so proper foot wear is necessary. For only $12, this was definitely worth the experience!
RENT AN ATV- You are surrounded by the Cache National Forest. Renting an ATV is a fun way to get outside and explore the breath-taking mountains. We rented our ATVs through Bear Creek Lodge. There are plenty of off-roading trails that are safe for the whole family. This was one of the highlights of our trip! Bear Creek Lodge also offers horseback riding.
GRAB A FAMOUS RASPBERRY SHAKE
Bear Lake makes for a great family destination. It could also be a great spot for couples. If you love the outdoors and are looking for a more "off the grid" type of vacation, this is definitely worth checking out!
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