Early July, 2012 – From the alpine forests of Utah’s Mirror Lake Scenic Byway we crossed the bottom corner of Wyoming and then emerged back in Utah at spectacular Bear Lake.
There’s something about Utah that always puts smiles on our faces. And we aren’t alone. Even the barns there are smiling.
Bear Lake lake is known as The Caribbean of the Rockies, and its vivid turquoise color is why. As we looked out across the water at the jet skis and colorful catamarans flying past we had to wonder, is this Utah or are we back in Mexico in the Sea of Cortez again?
There is a campground at the south end of the lake with lots of sites that back up to the water. It was fourth of July weekend and the place was packed. Everywhere we looked we saw barbecues, boats on trailers, fishing gear, happy dads drinking beer, and kids running around in bathing suits. From early morning, it seemed, the air was filled with the delicious aroma of grilling steaks.
One morning we took our bikes along the lake’s shore and discovered the coolest little trailer park. It had been built long before the other bigger waterfront mansions began to take over along other parts of the shore, but it had been built in the most choice location. Sitting high on a bluff, these tiny old single-wides had the best views of the lake.
Just 600 square feet or so inside, each one had a fantastic, sprawling deck that looked out over the lake, and it was clear from the elaborate patio setups that these folks spent summers outside on the deck!
We were at Bear Lake during the full moon, and it rose over the opposite shore each night, leaving a brilliant trail on the water.
We had been here once before, climbing over Logan Pass from the Salt Lake City area to arrive at the western side of the lake. This time we hung out at the south end. It was only as we were leaving that we realized what a big lake this really is – probably 50 miles around the shoreline.
Continuing north along the border of Utah and Wyoming, our next stop was Afton, Wyoming.