Located just two hours north of Salt Lake City on the border of Utah and Idaho, Bear Lake is the ideal location for an off-roading vacation.
Bear Lake ATV Trails
There are hundreds of miles of ATV trails throughout the mountains surrounding the 18 mile long Bear Lake.
The lake is an amazing bright blue caused by minerals (calcium carbonate) in the lake. On some trails, you can see large sections of the lake which makes for a very scenic backdrop for riding.
Most of the trails are on the western side of the lake. Both Idaho and Utah having plenty of ATV trail miles, but Utah has done a better job mapping it out and providing better trail guides. On the Utah side, these ATV trails are part of the Shoshone Trail System.
But, no matter where you get on the trails, it’s easy enough to get in a full day of riding, with plenty of loops and interconnected trails.
Plus, in addition to the excellent off roading, there is also Bear Lake which is a fantastic destination all on it’s own. Swim, boat, Sea Doo, SUP, kayak or just picnic and work on your tan, Bear Lake has it all. There are several venders renting boats and non-motorized toys, so it’s easy to put together a quick getaway without a lot of work.
Bear Lake Website (maps)
Related Post: Roundup Of The Best ATV Trails In Utah
Points Of Interest On The ATV Trails
Bear Lake State Park
Bear Lake State Park is the ideal base camp for hitting the ATV trails. Although there are no OHV trails within Bear Lake State Park, the trails are located right near it with easy access from many different areas.
This state park encompasses the southern Utah tip of the lake. Visitors need to be aware that Bear Lake State Park is separated into three separate section: Bear Lake State Park Marina (where the Visitor Center is located), Bear Lake State Park Rendezvous Beach and Bear Lake State Park East Side.
Rendezvous Beach is a big, popular area. It has four separate campgrounds and a large beach day use area. Campsites with full hook ups start at $40, day use fees are $15 – $20. If you’re camping, you don’t have to pay the day use fee, you can just walk over from the campground.
Do I Need A Street Legal ATV?
Having a street legal ATV will make it easier to get around, but don’t worry if you’re not street legal, you’ll still be able to get around just fine. But, you will need to know how to get around and the best places to camp/stay.
OHVs must be street legal to operate in the state park, on US Hwy 89 and on UT SR30. However the roads in Garden City and Laketown are open to registered, but not street legal ATVs.
Roads Open To Street Legal OHVs
- Bear Lake State Park roads/campgrounds
- US Hwy 89
- UT SR30
Roads Open To OHVs That Are Not Street Legal (*view rules here)
- Cisco Road
- Roads in Garden City and Laketown
- Roads leaving from the park’s east side areas of First Point, South Eden, Cisco Beach, Rainbow Cove, and North Eden
So, if you plan on camping or staying in State Park Marina area or Rendezvous Beach, then you must have a street legal vehicle. Rendezvous Beach requires access from UT SR30 and the Marina area requires access from US Hwy 89.
However, the campgrounds on the lakes east side (First Point, South Eden, Cisco Beach, Rainbow Cove, North Eden) all have access off of Cisco road, so this would be a good place to camp if your vehicle is unregistered. It’s easy enough to travel down Cisco road, into Laketown and onto the trails from there.
Best Place To Stay In Bear Lake For Trail Riding
Garden City is your best bet for a base camp. This is true whether your vehicle is street legal or not. Garden City is ATV friendly – they allow ATVs (street legal and not street legal) in town. Plus, the Garden City Canyon Trail is right in town and it feeds into the greater trail system giving you easy access to all the trails in the area.
And, since most of the Bear Lake ATV trails are on the west side of the lake, it makes since to stay on the west side if riding is your main objective.
There’s only 1 campground in Garden City, the KOA Campground. This is the perfect location for ride in ride out access. Right behind the KOA is a trailhead that takes you up into the mountains where you can access hundreds of miles of off road trails.
Plus, Garden City has businesses/services. Since this is the biggest hub on the west side, it also has a lot of other amenities including a good size supermarket (Mike’s Market), a handful of restaurants, a couple of coffee shops and several hotels/lodging facilities.
Bear Lake FunTime also has a location in Garden City where they rent OHVs.
Bear Lake FunTime
Bear Lake Funtime is an authorized vendor for Bear Lake State Park. They offer virtually everything you need for a fun easy get away at Bear Lake including boat rentals, cabins, food, fuel, boat rentals, Sea Doo rentals, off road vehicle rentals, kayaks, SUPSs and snow track vehicles for the winter.
They have five locations situated around the south part of the lake, but only the Marina location and the Garden City Location offer UTV rentals.
Bear Lake ATV Rentals
Bear Lake Funtime Rentals (2 locations/*see above)
1217 S Bear Lake Blvd
Garden City UT 84028
- 4 Seat Can-Am Maverick 1000
- 6 Seat Can-Am Defender HD9
Bear Lake Funtime is an authorized vendor of Bear Lake State Park with two UTV rental locations, one at the marina and one in Garden City.
You can ride out directly from both of their rental locations, no need to trailer. They offer rentals from 2-8 hours with pricing starting at $249.
In the winter, they put tracks on the 4 seat Mavericks for winter riding.
Beaver Creek Lodge
Garden City UT 84028
- 2 Seat Can Am Maverick Trial
- 4 Seat Can Am Maverick X3 Max Turbo
- 6 Seat Can Am Defender Max DPS HD10
Located in Logan Canyon, this lodge is conveniently located with direct access to the Bear Lake ATV trails and only 15 minutes from Bear Lake. They offer 2-6 seat Can Am vehicles for 2-24 hour rentals, plus room package deals that includes UTV rentals.
2 hour off road rentals start at $209, a package with 1 night of lodging with a half day vehicle rental starts at $479 for two people.
Horseback riding and snowmobiling in the winter are also available at the resort with package deals also available.
201 N Bear Lake Blvd
Garden City UT 84028
- 2 Seat Yamaha Wolverine RMax 850 cc
- 4 Seat Yamaha Wolverine RMax 1000 cc
- 6 Seat Yamaha Viking 700 cc
Located in Garden City, Epic Recreation has 4 and 8 hour vehicle rentals. You can ride out directly from their location onto the trails.
Rates start at $230 for a 4 hour rental of the two seater.