Bear Lake was formed 28,000 years ago by earthquake activity. At an elevation of 5,923 feet, Bear Lake is 20 miles long and eight miles wide, 208 feet deep, and covers 112 square miles.
Originally Bear Lake was called Black Bear Lake by Donald Mackenzie, an explorer for the North West Fur Company who discovered it in 1819 while scouting for fur-bearing animals. The name was later changed to Bear Lake.
WHY IS IT SO BLUE? Its beautiful and unique green-blue color is the result of calcium carbonates suspended in the lake.
Bear Lake State Park – Rendezvous Beach is named for the famous rendezvous of fur trappers and Indians held in the summers of 1827 and 1828. A thousand or more Native Americans and mountain men – including Jedediah Smith – attended the gatherings. There were so many campfires at the south end of the lake at these trading sessions that one observer called the area “a lighted city.”
East Side areas of Cisco Beach, South Eden, North Eden, Rainbow Cove, and First Point: These improved, but primitive areas are located on the east side of the lake and are four to twelve miles north of Laketown. The terrain is rocky and the water depth drops off quickly to 208 feet.
Cisco Beach is famous for its midwinter fishing with dip nets for the small, seven-inch Bonneville Cisco, a member of the whitefish family. For 10 days to two weeks at the end of every January, swarms of Cisco come close to the rocky shore to spawn. They are easily scooped up by hardy fishermen wading waist-deep in the icy water or through holes in the ice if the lake is frozen.
Cisco Beach is also known for excellent inland water scuba diving opportunities. The rocky bottom and the steep drop-off close to shore make this location a favorite of divers from the tri-state area.
Opened to the public as a state park in 1962.
Park Elevation: 5,930 feet.