By Ann Whitaker
October 26, 2016

That’s a confusing title but we like it anyway. Just to be clear, this article is about Bear Lake’s bounty during the cold months.

Dear People With Boats,

We know the saddest day of the year is when you put Eleanor II into storage for the winter. We know your family only snow skis to stay sharp for waterski season. We know Bear Lake feels like your second home — or like your first home, actually, and the home where you “live” is a dumb, distant second where you can’t even catch mackinaw. Well dry your tears! Pine no more for your lost time at Bear Lake! The Caribbean of the Rockies is still there in the fall and winter, and there’s plenty for your family to do and see. (Plus, the Bear Lake Monster is more sluggish in the cold and less likely to interfere with your outdoor adventures.)

Welcome to year-round Bear Lake.

October – November

This is what fall is like up north:

First, your family drives up Logan Canyon Scenic Byway, slowly, harmoniously humming the harmony to Neil Young’s harmonica. You stop halfway to picnic under a canopy of red and orange leaves. Mother made her best batch of pumpkin bread ever and the butter Father churned on-site melts in the warmth of your family’s love. You descend into Garden City, quieter and even more charming than what you remembered from summer days. A few chimneys puff the smoke from cozy fires into the chilly air. You pull into the drive of your biannual cabin rental. A bird calls.

(Okay, so we romanticized it. But only just barely.)


Hundreds of miles of trails. Wear out your maps traversing the mountains.


It’s like a golf cart for the mountains. Trade in your polo for lumberjack plaid.

Mountain Biking

Wheels of eternal return cruise along singletrack heaven.

Local Dining

Yes, there are restaurants still open in the off season.

Hanging out at the cabin (or other lodgings of your choice) in your favorite alpaca sweaters, sipping hot beverages while playing a few friendly rounds of Nerts and recalling stories of the good old days. [Editor’s note: These are the good old days.]

December – March

Christmas at Bear Lake

Bear Lake, aka “Utah’s North Pole” (starting now), all covered in snow. Want to really get into the spirit of things? How about a secluded cabin for you and the entire family? It’s winter vibes, turnt up. Bake gingerbread cookies, go sledding, make wassail… bring your dang Christmas tree and hang your stockings by the rented chimney with care, for all we care.

Plunge into the Depths of Winter

Polar Plunge — Jump into the lake to raise funds for Common Ground Outdoor Adventure.

Cisco Disco — Dip net for Cisco fish (bring your fishing license).

Craft Fair — Crafts, food and raffle prizes.

Bait Tournament — Bring your biggest Cisco fish to the marina for prizes.

Chili Cook-off — Judging & spectator taste-testing.

Ice Fishing

The lake is covered in ice four out of five years, so jig for trout and whitefish to your heart’s content. Unless you’re unlucky.


Three hundred and fifty miles of groomed snowmobile trails with no crowds, no fences and no parents! Keep your eyes peeled for moose and elk.

Cross-Country Skiing

Take the whole fam over to the Bear Lake Golf Course, Logan Canyon and Idaho’s Emigration Canyon for cross-country bliss.