Top 10 Winter Activities in Bear Lake, UT
Visit Bear Lake during the winter and you’ll be back for sure – the contrast of the glistening white snow against the turquoise waters is reason enough to visit Bear Lake in winter!
Bear Lake is a destination known for its vibrant turquoise blue waters ‘The Caribbean of the Rockies” and abundance of summer activities on the lake and in the Wasatch and Bear River mountains. As the snow falls our charming lakeside town is surrounded by a vast expanse of untouched winter wilderness with bluebird days and crisp mountain air that beckon you to play outdoors, endless winter recreation, and some of Utah’s best kept outdoor secrets – only a 2-hour drive from Salt Lake City (4X4 required in winter!)
#1 Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding at Beaver Mountain
Beaver Mountain Resort is definitely one of Utah’s best kept outdoor secrets, only 15 miles from Bear Lake. Beaver Mountain Resort sits at an elevation of 8,800 ft, receives an annual average of over 400 inches of amazing snow, and has 48 ski runs to suit every level of skier and snowboarder, even the tiniest beginners.
The resort is family run, very family friendly and extremely affordable – to ski the full resort all day (2021/2022) is only $60 for adults and $40 for juniors, with packages to ride the beginner and surface lifts only – no need to buy a full day pass to ride the magic carpet! Skiing the Beav is a must on your winter vacation in Bear Lake, UT.
#2 World-Class Snowmobiling
From November to late April, snowmobilers from across the US visit Bear Lake for exhilarating adventures blazing through fresh, untouched powder on over 350 miles of snowmobiling trails (including the famous Bridgerland trail system), open play areas, and off-trail to reach the mountain peaks. Whether you’re a seasoned snowmobiler, adrenaline junkie or adventurous family looking for a unique backcountry experience, this is the ultimate way to experience the beauty of Bear Lake in winter – wildlife viewing, winter waterfalls, glacier fed alpine lakes, backcountry canyons, national forestlands, and the best views of Bear Lake you’ll ever witness!
Snowmobile rentals are readily available from Bear Lake Funtime and Epic Recreation with various locations around Bear Lake to ride straight out onto the trails. For the full Bear Lake snowmobile experience, Beaver Creek Lodge offers snowmobile tours of the backcountry with experienced guides who know all Utah’s best kept secrets!
#3 Ice Fishing in Bear Lake
In the summer months Bear Lake is alive with eager fisherman in search of the ultimate catch but for avid Bear Lake anglers it’s no secret that the best time of year to fish Bear Lake is in winter! Bear Lake freezes over four out of five years (sometimes as deep as three feet) and is a prime destination for ice fishing in the winter months.
The lake is home to trophy size cutthroat trout, lake trout and four endemic fish species – Bonneville Cisco, Bonneville Whitefish, Bear Lake Whitefish, and Bear Lake Sculpin. Prime fishing spots include Cisco Beach, Rainbow Cove, North Beach Marina and be sure to reserve your mountain cabin for the famous Bear Lake Monster Winterfest (the Cisco Disco) in mid-January – it’s a unique and unforgettable Bear Lake winter ice fishing experience.
#4 Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding
The Bear Lake Valley and Logan Canyon have some of the top backcountry ski routes in Northern Utah, easily accessible along Highway 89. The Beaver Mountain Ski Area is the best place to start your backcountry ski or snowboarding adventures, or for the more experienced, the Garden City Bowls off Swan Flat Road are a fun place to adventure off-trail. Always be prepared and never enter the backcountry alone!
#5 Nordic Skiing in the Cache Valley
There’s a vast network of backcountry and gentle, groomed Nordic trails for classic cross-country and skate skiing in Bear Lake. Beaver Bottoms and Sink Hollow near the base of Beaver Mountain have skier only trails away from the snowmobiles, there’s local trails on the 9-hole Bear Lake Golf Course, or explore miles of ungroomed trails in the mountains (watch out for snowmobilers!). Daily Nordic ski rental packages are available at Beaver Mountain Ski Resort.
#6 Fat Biking in the Snow
Renting a fat tire winter mountain bike is a fun way to get around the trails! Many of the groomed trails in and around Bear Lake are open to fat bikes (3.8” tires required) and Epic Recreation has fat bike rentals for the whole family to hit the trails straight from your Bear Lake winter cabin. If the kids can ride on two wheels, they’ll love fat biking in Bear Lake, Utah.
#7 Winter Snowshoeing
For slightly less speed and equally scenic outdoor winter adventures in Bear Lake, snap on some snowshoes and head out for a winter hike. Snowshoes can get you anywhere, from a tranquil snowy family stroll along the Bear Lake Legacy Pathway or a kid-friendly snowshoe hike on the Limber Pine Trail, to the popular Bunchgrass Creek Trail that follows the creek for 9 miles to White Pine Lake with spectacular alpine vistas (no worries – it’s an out and back snowshoe trail and you can turn around at any point!). Epic Recreation has youth and adult snowshoe rentals to get you on the trails.
#8 Go Sledding & Tubing at the Sinks!
The Sinks is another top destination for snowshoeing, but it’s also a hot spot for families looking for sledding and tubing fun near Bear Lake. The Sinks is a natural limestone sinkhole about ten minutes west of Bear Lake and famous for being the coldest spot in Utah, so pack your hot cocoa and dress warm! It is the best place in the Cache Valley for sledding, tubing, and good old fashioned winter snow play (aside from building snowmen and sledding at home!)
#9 Winter Feasts & Fables
While a few restaurants close for the season, most of our favorite Bear Lake restaurants are open year round and it’s never too cold for a famous Bear Lake Raspberry Shake! Our local restaurants are family-friendly with opportunities to gather round an outdoor firepit, sip hot cocoa (or winter cocktails!), feast on home-cooked comfort food, and share stories of your winter adventures in Bear Lake with locals and fellow travelers.
#10 Stay in a Mountain Cabin
Bring the whole family to Bear Lake this winter! Our Bear Lake cabins are geared for families with fully-equipped kitchens for home cooked meals, cozy fireplaces, outdoor hot tubs and fire pits for family gatherings, family game rooms for indoor fun, and easy access to the best winter activities in Bear Lake.
Stay close to town on the shores of Bear Lake or escape to a secluded mountain cabin, accessible only by snowmobile (and with space to bring your own!). Your winter vacation in Bear Lake starts here with Bear Lake Premier Cabins!