Bear Lake State Park is gearing up for another busy summer.
Richard Droesbeke, park manager for 12 years, is sure he is in for another summer with crowded campgrounds, beaches and waterways.
He said with the way the weather has been this year, the first weeks of June have been a little slower than usual. However, he generally sees less people the first part of June.
“We usually see a rise in crowds in the middle of June,” he explained. “We are expecting it to get busy about the 14 and 15 of June. More people are starting to show up.”
As the State Parks Manger, he oversees three distinct areas, with a number of amenities for both day and overnight use.
The State Marina on the west side of Bear Lake, at the north end of Garden City, is approximately one mile north of the US 89 and SR 30 junction.
Rendezvous Beach is on the southwest curve of Bear Lake. It is approximately two miles northwest from Laketown on SR 30 from the Cisco Road and SR 30 junction.
The park’s east side areas include First Point, South Eden, Cisco Beach, Rainbow Cove, and North Eden. Distances vary from four to 13 miles north on Cisco Road from Laketown and the Cisco Road and SR 30 Junction.
“We prefer people call and reserve the camp sites,” the park manger said. “Some are reserved as far out as four months in advance.”
Some places on the east side have full hook ups, and some are more primitive locations. There are day use areas on the east side of the lake on Cisco Road. Cisco Beach has undergone some changes. The campsites are more defined and more spacious.
Droesbeke cautioned boat owners about driving under the influence.
“We treat boat drivers like automobile drivers. Don’t drink and drive,” Droesbeke said. “We patrol the waters to keep people safe.”
He said he recognizes certain traits of people driving boats under the influence.
The water temperature is still cool at 50.9 degrees.
“It’s cooler, but the more sunny days we get, the warmer the water will get,” Droesbeke said.
They have been seeing some afternoon thundershowers, too.
“The lake is still rising, there is still snow melting,” he said. “We could see another foot of rise before it breaks.”
He said there is still a lot of good beach above the high water mark.
The Bear Lake area also provides lots of non-water activities. There are a few old pioneer cabins along the highway and the Raspberry Festival the first week of August is always a big attraction. Some people check out the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge in nearby Idaho.
On a historical note, the Oregon Trail went through the Bear Lake area and there are historic markers around the lake if you go looking for them.
The park concession operator is Bear Lake Fun and they have a variety of goods and services. The have motorized and non-motorized water craft rentals, cabins, fast food services, even on-the-water fuel services.
For Bear Lake State Park reservations, go to utahstateparks.reserveamerica.com.