Bear Lake

 Dive flag is required since motorized watercraft is allowed on this reservoir. 

About
Bear Lake is a large natural lake on the Utah/Idaho border. Bear Lake is often called the Caribbean of the Rockies for its intense turquoise-blue water. The unique color is due to the reflection of the limestone deposits suspended in the lake.

Getting There
Bear Lake is accessible from U-30 between Lakeville and Garden City and US-89 from Garden City into Idaho. A gravel road provides access to the east shore from Laketown. The road proceeds north into Idaho and intersects with an asphalt road which circumscribes the remainder of the lake. "On water recreation" is extensive and diversified. 
On Bear Lake's Eastside area, Cisco Beach attracts divers with its rocky bottom and a steep drop-off close to shore. Cisco Beach is about 10 miles north of Laketown, Utah.

Cisco Beach: 41°57'15"N 111°16'37"W

The Wreck: 41°57'10"N 111°16'43"W

The "Car Lot": In 2011 local divers located dozens of vehicles submerged in the 30's to form an 'artificial reef'.
I have been asked numerous times about the location. I have been provided the coordinates but have been asked to be very selective of who I distribute them to.

There has been a new feature discovered in the lake as of early September 2015. I'll be diving this new find in a couple of weeks and will ask the founder if they are willing to share  the coordinates.

Accommodations 
There are three Utah State Parks on the lake. Bear Lake Marina is on US-89 two miles north of Garden City. Bear Lake Rendezvous Beach is on the south shore near Laketown, and Bear Lake Cisco Beach (Eastside) is 10 miles north of Laketown. The Marina is a well-developed boating facility with 176 slips that can be rented by day or season, but has only 15 campsites and a small swimming area. Rendezvous Beach has 138 campsites, a mile of beach, concessionaires and small boat rentals. In 2012 Cisco Beach has been upgraded from primitive camping to designated campgrounds on a first come, first served basis. Bathroom facilities remain unimproved. It is much more remote than the other two. Toilets and showers are available at the Marina and Rendezvous only. Idaho State Park is immediately north of the state line on the east side of the lake. Another Idaho State Park is located on the north end of the lake. Several commercial accommodations are available in the area.

Lake Info
Lake elevation (feet) 5,924
Depth (feet) maximum 208 mean 94
Length (miles) 29.5 Width (miles) 11.3 Shoreline (miles) 77.2

Summer Water Temperature 55-65 °F State Parks Current Conditions

Visibility: 20-30 feet
Aquatic life: Cutthroat and Lake trout, Bonneville cisco, Bonneville whitefish, Bear Lake whitefish and Bear Lake sculpin.

Thoughts
In 2012 Cisco Beach has been upgraded from primitive camping to designated campgrounds on a first come, first served basis. You can no longer create your own camp space. New fire rings have also been installed at Cisco Beach. Camp fires will only be allowed in the 56 fire rings. Campers will no longer be allowed to build their own fire pits.
Bear Lake is one of the best dive sites the state has to offer during the summer. Altitude is not extreme and the water between June and September is nice. I have never had poor visibility at Bear. Cisco Beach has some unique features that give you something to look at. Volcanic rock formations for a wall, a gentle drift dive from north to south, a cave (note you must be trained in overhead environments before even considering entering) and new in 2008 a wreck. For the wreck enter the water about 75 yards south of the main entrance. What is great is there is an area marked off for divers but I would still fly a diver’s flag.

14 thoughts on “Bear Lake

    1. admin Post author

      I have a pretty good description of the location although the exact coordinates are not being shared with me. Still trying though.

        1. admin Post author

          Having been on the site last year I can tell you it is south of the marina.
          I have been asked not to publisize the coordinates, not to keep it exclusive, only so  mapping and installing guidelines can be completed. 
          Plans are, with approval, to install a mooring and then publisize a map so divers can see all that is down there. 
          Is it accessable from shore? Yes, but it is a very long surface swim.

           

          1. Ashley

            Any further word on this? I'm planning an exploratory trip to Bear Lake in April to check out dive spots…

          2. admin Post author

            No addtional work has been done that I am aware of. Ice is off and the current water temp is 39 degrees

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  3. Ethan

    Is it possible for me to snorkel in bear lake? and should i bring a wetsuit to avoid hypothermia? Any other advice for a first timer? I am going in a week or so

    1. admin Post author

      Yes it is possible to snorkel in Bear Lake. Surface temperatures should be pretty warm. If you plan to free dive down and wetsuit would be preferrable.

    1. admin Post author

      There is no place close. Logan used to have a fill station, but I beleive that shop has closed down. I would plan to bring your own cylinders

       

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