The Bear Lake Regional Commission has become the
organization that deals with managing growth on this unique
regional resource, not always directly, but through itís
abilities to traverse multiple state and regional jurisdictions.
About Bear Lake
Bear Lake County, Idaho and Rich County, Utah, 125 miles north
of Salt Lake City, are located high in the Rocky Mountains. The
Rich County, located in Northeastern Utah, and
County, located in Southeastern Idaho border each
other and share the natural resources of Bear Lake, the Bear
River, and the Cache National Forest.
The high mountain climate is diverse. Elevations range from a low of
5,900 feet in the northern end along the Bear River in Bear Lake County,
to highs of 9,500 feet at Sherman Peak in the Cache National Forest.
Temperatures average in the high 80ís (Fahrenheit) during the summer
with winter temperatures 32 (degrees in Fahrenheit) or less during the
winter months. Precipitation averages of 10 to 12 inches a year are
typical of the arid intermountain west. The traditional cattle ranching
and agricultural industries, due to the short growing season, are
limited to hay and grain crops. But the high altitude and cooler
temperatures are responsible for the famous Bear Lake Raspberries and
ideal high mountain retreats.
Bear Lake with 110 miles of surface area and pristine water quality
is a mecca for water sports. Activities include sail boating, swimming,
skiing, and scuba diving. Resorts in the area provide access to golfing
and tennis. Due to Bear Lakeís isolation, a fragile lake ecosystem has
evolved and resulted in great fishing. Fish story sized mackinaw and
lake trout are sought by avid fishermen along with white fish. The
famous Bonneville Cisco are harvested in mid January by dipping the fish
from the lake in nets, often through holes cut through the ice.
The western edge of the two counties contains a large section of the
Cache National Forest. The eastern border of Bear Lake contains the
Caribou National Forest, and the Pruess Mountain Range, with Rich County
the upper Bear River Plateau and the Crawford Mountains. High mountain
recreational opportunities span the seasons. Winter offers Cross Country
skiing and snowmobiling. Spring features high mountain valleys full of
wildflowers and marshes abundant with waterfowl. Summer and fall hiking,
camping, backpacking, and horseback riding opportunities abound for the
novice or the more experienced. Deep, long canyons show fall colors at
their best with aspen, pine, and maple combinations. Hunting
opportunities include elk, and deer, along with moose and antelope, and
other small game.
The names of natural features such as Pruess Mountain Range, Cache
National Forest, and of towns, such as Woodruff and St. Charles hint at
a historical heritage of Indians, mountain men, and pioneers. Local
legends conjure up adventures to seek the Bear Lake Monster and of Peg
Leg Smithís Golden Cairn. These natural features and rich history offer
a unique western experience.