Bear Lake Scenic Byway


  • Bear Lake from the Bear Lake Overlook above Garden City
  • Bear Lake State Park marina
  • Raspberry Square in Garden City
  • At the north end of Garden City
  • Pickleville Playhouse, along the Bear Lake Scenic Byway
  • Along the Bear Lake Scenic Byway
  • At Laketown, along the Bear Lake Scenic Byway
  • The original LDS church in Laketown, next to the new one
Driving along the shore of Bear Lake on the Bear Lake Scenic Byway

Bear Lake is a beautiful, azure-blue lake that straddles the border between Idaho and Utah. The lake varies from 4 to 8 miles wide and is nearly 20 miles long. The Utah half of the lake is lined with units of Bear Lake State Park, which includes Rendezvous Beach (made famous by a mountain man rendezvous back in the 1827), the Bear Lake State Park marina (just outside Garden City) and some excellent fishing areas for Bonneville cisco (a game fish found nowhere else on Earth).

Rendezvous Beach, Bear Lake State Park

Bear Lake Scenic Byway is a 15-mile route along the southwestern shore of Bear Lake, between Laketown and the Utah-Idaho state line where it meets with Idaho's Oregon Trail-Bear Lake Scenic Byway. North of Garden City, the route follows US Highway 89, south of Garden City it follows State Route 30.

Other than the annual cisco spawning run in January and early February, the two other big annual events around here are the Raspberry Days Festival in Garden City and the Mountain Man Rendezvous at Rendezvous Beach.

I drove the route in late April and while there wasn't much snow on the ground, it was early in the year for any business. Bear Lake State Park was locked up tight, there were no boats in the water and most of the businesses along the route were closed. Beautiful scenery without any crowds...

Raspberry Days Festival in Garden City
At the Raspberry Days Festival in Garden City
Slideshow photos courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA License
Other photos courtesy of AE Crane via Byways.org