Bear Lake Bike Ride
Sept 2011 - 36 photos
(Last update January 2012)
In September of 2011 we did a bike ride around Bear Lake, located on the Utah / Idaho border. We waited until after the Labor Day weekend as during the summer months the highways and byways there are heavily used, and the road around the east side of the lake is very narrow. There is a paved pathway in Garden City along the west side of the lake that is about 4.5 miles long, and another short section over by Laketown at the south east end, but that one is not much more than a mile. Most of the ride was along paved roads. The roads we chose to use circling Bear Lake gave us a distance of 52 miles. Took us about 5 hours with lunch and photo stops. I think we all said it was the best ride we had done yet. I know that I really enjoyed it.
Bear Lake from Bear Lake Summit, on the Utah side of the lake.
We drove up to Garden City, and rode our bikes all the way around the lake going counter clockwise. Half of the lake is in Idaho, so we rode both in Utah and Idaho this time. The ride isn't really a long one, but on the way up there when we stood on top of the mountain pass, looking down on Bear Lake the first thing I thought was, ' There is no way I can ride all the way around that'. I guess it's the first time I have been in a position where I could see the full distance that I was going to ride. (see picture above) I knew that I could ride that many miles, but seeing it all at once was overwhelming. The others said they felt the same way. We had all done 50 mile rides before, so we knew we could do it.
We picked this time of year so the boaters, campers, and overall traffic would be minimal, and it was. Along the west side of the lake there was some traffic, but not too bad. On the east side of the lake I doubt we saw more than 5 vehicles.
I hadn't been up there for many years, and never had gone all the way around the lake. I had no idea how beautiful the area is. I didn't know there were so many homes around it either. Many are extravagant beyond belief. I saw some nice property for sale, really nice, then read the price. $1,112,000 per lot. No wonder the homes are extravagant. Only millionaires can afford to buy property up there.
The ride around the north, west, and south sides of the lake is fairly flat. I had read that the east side was gentle rolling hills, and found there are about 5 of them. It wasn't too bad, the highest of them was a about 140 feet above the lake. We had talked about riding around the lake twice, to make it 100 miles, but when we finished the first time around, it was obvious that we couldn't do it again before dark.
Everyone we talked to before going up to Bear Lake said, 'Make sure you stop and have a Raspberry Shake', so at the end of the ride we stopped at La Beau's Drive-In there in Garden City and had a shake and more. We felt that we earned those extra calories. Bear Lake is Raspberry Country and their raspberry shakes are the best.
It's a great ride, but if you want to try it I recommend that you do it before Memorial Day, or after Labor Day. Otherwise you will have to contend with very heavy traffic. The road south of Garden City has very narrow paved shoulders, and some places none at all. If a semi came up from behind when cars were coming the other way, you have to get off the road quickly. Along the east side of the lake the road is very narrow, with no shoulder. Along the west side up in Idaho, there are better paved shoulders, two to three feet wide, so we didn't feel quite so vulnerable along there.
- 36 photos -
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I used a small Canon Powershot for these photos, the SX210, 14 Megapixel camera, which has Image Stabilazation and a lens going from wide angle to 14x optical zoom.
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