Bear Lake is a popular year-round getaway destination in Idaho and Utah, and it is especially popular for family summer destinations. The Rocky Mountain weather remains temperate in the summer, and the gorgeous Bear Lake Valley has abundant summertime activities. It is a great idea to stay in a Bear Lake vacation rental, so that you can be right on the water and close to everything. From paddle boarding to horseback riding, to driving along the Wildlife Observation Route, make sure to put these 12 Bear Lake activities and adventures on your list.

1. Go Paddleboarding

Stand up paddle boarding introduces a fun way to play in the water when you’re heading out from your vacation rental. With just a minimum amount of gear, you can get out on Bear Lake and play around or get a full-body workout. To get started, visit Marina Rentals to choose your board and life jackets. Rentals include life jackets and instructions.

2. Go Fishing

Bear Lake Valley offers great fishing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities from the cutthroat trout to lake trout that may grow up to 30 pounds. Troll and jig from boats or enjoy fly casting from the shore. You can use lures and flies in area lakes, streams and creeks or float tubes at the Montpelier Reservoir. Small children and physically challenged anglers can find easy fishing access at the Montpelier Rearing Pond. Children under age 14 who register at the “Take Me Fishing” trailer get free gear to use and do not need a fishing license. Many vacation rentals offer information about this in their welcome packages.

3. Go Horseback Riding

Mount a horse and leave the rest of the world behind as you wind through the mountain wilderness of Logan Canyon, just minutes from Bear Lake. Breathe the fresh air and bask in the beauty of nature in the Rocky Mountains. You may bring your own horses to ride the trails in the Cache and Caribou National Forests or check out the riding lessons and trail rides at Beaver Creek Lodge, where riders must be 7 years or older.

4. Hit the Slopes

If you’re looking for some winter fun, go ski the Beaver. Beaver Mountain Ski Resort, just 15 miles west of Bear Lake, provides opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. The Little Beaver Lift carries beginners to a special area, and skiers of every age and ability can find their snowy delight. If you want some adventure, you can even go night skiing.

5. Visit Bear Lake State Park

If you love the outdoors, Bear Lake State Park offers opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming, kite flying and picnic areas. It is a popular destination for water lovers and is located in the southeastern corner of Idaho near the Cache mountain range. You can go there to hike, bike and bird watch, too.

6. Play Golf

What can be more fun and relaxing than a nine-hole golf mountain course with a breathtaking view of scenic Bear Lake? Whether you are coming from Salt Lake City, Boise, or further away, you’ll enjoy playing golf in the fresh air surrounded by peace and quiet.

7. Explore the Paris Ice Cave

Take a jacket to explore the strange and beautiful world of the Paris Ice Cave. It is very cold in the caves year round, even when the weather outside is hot, so it is a nice, refreshing summertime activity that everyone will enjoy.

8. Kick Back for Casual Dining

Enjoy a meal looking over Bear Lake from the deck, the dining room, or the sunroom at Cooper’s Restaurant and Sports Bar. Savor fresh fish and lobster or raspberry stuffed French toast. If you want something else, check out the steaks, chicken, pasta and burgers. It’s just four miles from Garden City.

9. Go Biking

The Bear Lake Valley features miles and miles of biking trails, waiting to invite you to sample the splendor of the seasons. Spring flowers, summer days and the golden colors of fall await. Bring your own bike or find rentals throughout the area. Contact Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau for maps and brochures.

10. Hop on a Snowmobile

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced snowmobile rider, Beaver Creek Lodge has a snowmobile tour package just for you. From self-guided tours to guided tours, you choose your package. Helmets are included with rentals and reservations are recommended.

11. Drive Along the Wildlife Observation Route

If you want to experience the thrill of seeing the area’s wildlife, visit the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Take a drive along the observation route for excellent viewing opportunities to see waterfowl in their native habitat. Using binoculars from inside your car, you can get close-up views without alarming the waterbirds and shorebirds.

12. Visit the Garden City Indoor Pool

Garden City invites visitors to enjoy their large, indoor pool year round. It is open to the public on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and it’s a fun place to cool off. If you happen to be passing through Bear Lake, this is an ideal place to take a break from a road trip.