Go ahead, add Bear Lake Valley to your family travel bucket list. It’s called the Caribbean of the Rockies and it is gorgeous. I’m hugely fond of planning travel and finding gems I hadn’t heard of. This post is brought to you by the absolutely lovely Bear Lake Valley. Turquoise waters? Sign me up!
Bear Lake Valley is in Utah between Salt Lake City and Yellowstone National Park, and just happens to be one of the stops on my must see Utah road trip. This could be the place we really stop and stay awhile. You guys know I am becoming obsessed with this gorgeous part of the country, right? For families looking for small town hospitality with beautiful sandy beaches and incredible outdoor adventures on land and lake, look no further.
First, let’s dish on all the amazing things Bear Lake has to offer, and then we can chat about where to stay and how to get there.
Bear Lake Beaches
Family days on the beach are the best. I’m a huge fan of lakes because the range of activities allows for relaxation and almost every water activity under the sun. Bear Lake has white sandy beaches with clear, shallow shores perfect for kids of all ages to play safely. I absolutely love that you can rent rent kayaks, stand up paddle boards and bicycles right on the beach, making it easy to head out on the water or land to explore. You can just relax, go fishing or explore hundreds of miles of hiking and bike paths including a 52 mile fairly flat loop around the lake! To be able to hang out on a beautiful lake with so many options for activities and surrounded by the mountains of Utah would be incredible.
Bear Lake Water & Power Sports
If you are looking for a little speed or adventure, Bear Lake has multiple locations to rent boats, jet skis, ATV’s and even take a horseback ride. I haven’t been on an ATV since I was in high school, but I can’t wait to do it again! I grew up on lakes, and loved water skiing, tubing, jet skiing and all the other fun stuff you can do on the water. You can do it all on Bear Lake. Plus, this lake is 20 miles long and 8 miles wide with a nice breeze. You can sail on Bear Lake! There is nothing better than sailing for us. We love it!
Photo Credit: Bear Lake Valley CVB
In addition to all the things I already mentioned you can explore Minnetonka Cave, go bird and wildlife watching, play golf and hunt. There’s plenty to do here!
Where to Stay in Bear Lake Valley
We have already decided where we will stay when we make our way to Bear Lake. If you are anything like us and love camping, but really really love gorgeous hotels and nice beds and if you also happened to play Oregon Trail in computer lab as a child, you will drool over Conestoga Ranch too. There are huge luxury tents that can sleep up to 8 and wagons that sleep 2 to 6 people. I don’t know what we’d pick, but we all got really excited just looking at pictures of this place! It’s called Glamping and it is awesome.
Bear Lake Valley is a small community, and is not filled with giant hotels. That’s part of its charm, so enjoy renting a room in a smaller hotel or B&B or one of the wonderful homes in the area. They range from simple homes to multimillion dollar lake estates and can handle anything from a romantic vacation for 2 to the best family reunion ever. The Bear Lake CVB has compiled a great list of lodging choices in the area.
How to Get to Bear Lake
I’m so excited to be sharing destinations that I would not have even known to research. Everyone knows about Yellowstone National Park and Jackson, Wyoming, but it’s hard to find these smaller gems. Bear Lake is a very special location and a great place to stop on the way to Yellowstone. If you are coming from far away, like we will be, it’s much nicer to fly into Salt Lake City and stop somewhere lovely like Bear Lake after 2 hours than drive all the way to Yellowstone. Our plan is actually to fly into Denver and make our way all the way up and back around. Bear Lake provides a perfect place to stay and play for at least a few nights! You could fly into Salt Lake, drive to Bear Lake Valley, drive another couple hours to Jackson and Grand Teton National Park and then another couple hours to Yellowstone. Whether you spend a day or a week, Bear Valley should be on your itinerary!
Bear Lake is a small community with a big bang for your vacation buck. Check out what they have to offer on the Bear Lake Visitors Bureau Website and of course, chat them up on social media. You can find and follow Bear Lake Valley on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can never see too many photos of this amazing place or get too much inspiration to plan your own trip!
Seriously, even the barns make for great photos. I’d spend an afternoon here even without the lake!
Photo Credit: Bear Lake Valley
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the lovely people at Bear Lake Valley. I honest to goodness really want to bring my family here, and I thought you might too. Photos courtesy of Bear Lake Valley CVB.