The Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge stretches across a broad valley north of the lake. It offers a superb habitat for migratory waterfowl. More than 160 avian species, including shorebirds, waterfowl, and songbirds, call the refuge’s wetlands, ponds, and meadows home. Wildlife photographers and avid birders gather here to observe the various birds, including huge flocks of Canada geese, sandhill cranes, and numerous duck species.
Anglers come from miles around to enjoy the various fishing opportunities found in the Bear Lake valley. Bear Lake is home to a trophy cutthroat trout fishery where the in 2021 a record cutthroat of 31 inches was caught. Lake trout also inhabit the lake and may grow to 30 lbs. Trolling and jigging from boats can be done throughout the year, winter and spring months being the most productive.
The Bear Lake valley and its surrounding mountain ranges have over 350 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and wide open play areas with no crowds and no fences! There are many connecting groomed trails that take you by spectacular wonders. Early in the spring, these trails provide wonderful snowmobiling. Later in the spring, you can access the trails with an ATV. You may discover a cascading waterfall or follow a meandering stream. You may even catch a glimpse of a elk or moose! The snowmobile season starts in late November and extends into April. The Fish Haven Trail Head is the perfect starting place for snowmobiling, ATV riding and mountain biking. Head west on Fish Haven Canyon Rd 1.2 miles to parking area.
Hiking or Biking
As spring makes its way into Bear Lake, early leaves and flowers welcome you as you ride or walk a lake or mountain trail. Springtime offers some of the best hiking adventures to be had. In the spring, blossoms are out, and melting snow is filling small streams and creating waterfalls. Springtime offers a much great variety of wildflowers including some incredibly rare species that only bloom for a week or two at most. Click here for a list of several picturesque trails in the Bear Lake Valley.
Southeast Idaho, from the Utah border, through Soda Springs and west to McCammon, has been traversed by travelers since before recorded history. First by various tribes of natives on their way to “Po-Ha-Ba,” the healing waters of the hot springs at Lava Hot Springs, later by fur trappers, then emigrants on the Oregon Trail. This scenic drive passes by beautiful Bear Lake, which straddles the Idaho-Utah border and continues through Oregon Trail country. Click here to download a printable map and itinerary.
Right on Bear Lake West property, Cooper's offers a delicious dining experience for the whole family. They provide everything from $5 kids meals and half portions to unforgettable feasts. The menu features fresh thick-cut steaks as well as seafood, chicken, pasta, and burgers. The beauty of Bear Lake surrounds you whether you are seated in the dining room, sunroom, sports bar or deck. There is nothing like the view and atmosphere at Cooper's. They are open year-round and offer big-city flavors with small-town charm. Click here for their menu.