Highway 89 Road Trip Day 7: Salt Lake City to Bear Lake, Idaho

Today’s adventure from Salt Lake City to Bear Lake in Idaho offers a scenic retreat. The shimmering blue waters of Bear Lake, often termed the “Caribbean of the Rockies”, beckon with recreational activities and serene views. Nestled amidst majestic mountains, it’s the perfect spot to relax and soak in nature’s wonders on Highway 89.

This photo by Natali Glado

Morning: Salt Lake City to Bear Lake

The day begins with the allure of Bear Lake, fondly known as the “Caribbean of the Rockies,” drawing you northward from Salt Lake City. As you leave the cityscape behind, the landscape gradually transforms, revealing rolling hills and expansive fields that herald your approach to this natural gem.

Upon arrival at Bear Lake, the lake’s striking turquoise waters immediately captivate your senses. The lake’s serene ambiance invites you to engage in a morning of tranquil exploration. Consider starting your day with a leisurely walk along the shoreline. The gentle lapping of the waves and the soft rustle of the breeze through the trees provide a peaceful soundtrack to your stroll.

For those seeking a bit more adventure, Bear Lake offers a range of water activities to immerse yourself in its natural splendor. Paddleboarding and kayaking are popular choices, allowing you to glide over the clear waters and gain a unique perspective of the surrounding landscape. Rental shops along the shore offer all the equipment you need, and the calm morning waters make it an ideal time for beginners and experienced paddlers alike.

As the morning progresses, find a quiet spot along the beach to relax and take in the stunning views. The beauty of Bear Lake lies not only in its waters but also in the sense of peace it instills in all who visit. Allow yourself to unwind and connect with the natural beauty, setting a tranquil tone for the rest of your day’s journey.

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Afternoon: Heading to Logan, Utah

As midday approaches, continue to immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Bear Lake. The lake’s shores offer perfect picnic spots for a leisurely lunch with a view. After refueling, why not indulge in Bear Lake’s most famous treat? Visit one of the local stands known for their Bear Lake Raspberry Shakes. These delicious, creamy shakes, made with locally grown raspberries, are not just a treat; they’re an experience, embodying the local flavor and the community’s pride.

In the afternoon, consider exploring the small towns around Bear Lake. Each town has its unique charm and history, offering quaint shops, local art, and friendly faces. Take the time to wander, perhaps finding a souvenir or two that captures the spirit of this idyllic region.

As the day progresses, begin your journey towards Logan. Nestled in the heart of Cache Valley, Logan represents a harmonious blend of historic charm and natural beauty. A stop at the Logan Canyon Scenic Byway is highly recommended. This route provides breathtaking views of the canyon, with plenty of spots to pull over and capture the moment or take a short hike.

Arriving in Logan, immerse yourself in the city’s historic downtown. The area is rich in heritage and culture, with beautifully preserved buildings and a welcoming atmosphere. It’s a perfect place to leisurely explore, allowing the day’s earlier tranquility to transition into a quiet evening of discovery and relaxation.

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Evening: Unwinding and Dining in Logan

As the sun begins to set over Cache Valley, Logan’s historic downtown welcomes you with its quiet charm and warm ambiance. The evening is yours to savor the cultural and culinary delights of this quaint city nestled against the backdrop of the majestic Wasatch Range.

Start your evening by exploring the heart of Logan. The city’s Main Street is lined with unique shops, galleries, and eateries, each offering a glimpse into the local lifestyle and culture. As you stroll, the beautiful architecture and the occasional street performer add to the vibrant yet relaxed atmosphere of downtown.

For dinner, Logan’s culinary scene will not disappoint. The city boasts an array of dining options that cater to every taste. [Recommended Dinner Spot] offers a menu that blends local ingredients with international flavors, promising a memorable dining experience. If you’re in the mood for something different, [Alternative Dinner Spot] provides a cozy setting and a variety of comforting dishes that are sure to satisfy.

After dinner, if the night is clear, take a moment to step outside and gaze at the stars. Logan’s location away from larger city lights means the night sky is often bright and clear, perfect for a bit of stargazing. Alternatively, check out the local event calendar. Logan frequently hosts live music, theater productions, and other cultural events that could provide a delightful end to your evening.

Finally, as the night deepens, retreat to the comfort of your accommodations. Whether you choose a charming bed and breakfast or a modern hotel, the peacefulness of Logan is the perfect setting to relax and reflect on the day’s adventures and the natural beauty you’ve experienced.

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Dining Recommendations

  • Recommended lunch spot: [LOCATION]
  • Alternative lunch location: [LOCATION]
  • Recommended dinner spot: [LOCATION]
  • Alternative dinner spot: [LOCATION]
  • Breakfast, snacks, dessert, and more: [INFORMATION]

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Lodging Recommendations

While there are ample camping and vacation rental options all over Highway 89, I personally highly prefer staying at Hilton-branded properties when traveling to national parks and during road trips. As such, here is three recommendations for places to stay in CITY, STATE on day 7 of the ultimate Highway 89 road trip.

  1. Lodging Recommendation 1
  2. Lodging Recommendation 2
  3. Lodging Recommendation 3

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Quick Things To Note

If you’re engaging in water activities at Bear Lake, ensure you’re equipped with life jackets and understand the local guidelines for safe recreation. The lake’s conditions can change, so always check weather reports and heed any warnings from local authorities.

These shakes are a local specialty and a must-try. However, popular spots can have long lines, especially in peak season. Plan your visit accordingly, perhaps avoiding peak lunchtime hours for a shorter wait.

The drive through Logan Canyon is stunning but can be winding and narrow in places. Take your time, enjoy the views, and use pullouts to let faster vehicles pass. The road is well-maintained but can be busy, especially on weekends and holidays.

Logan offers a range of dining options, but it’s a relatively small city. During peak hours or seasons, restaurants can be busy. Consider making dinner reservations at your chosen spot to secure your table, especially if you’re dining with a group.

Logan frequently hosts cultural events, from live music and theater to local festivals. Check the local event calendar to see what’s on during your visit. If you prefer a quiet evening, a walk through downtown or along the Logan River offers a peaceful end to the day.

Areas around Bear Lake and Logan offer excellent stargazing opportunities due to low light pollution. If you’re interested, consider packing a star map or downloading a stargazing app to enhance your experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Bear Lake offers a variety of water activities including paddleboarding, kayaking, and boating. Rentals are available along the shore. The lake’s clear, turquoise waters also make it a popular spot for swimming and fishing.

Bear Lake Raspberry Shakes are available at multiple locations around the lake. [Specific Shake Stand], known for its thick, creamy shakes and use of fresh, local raspberries, is a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.

Logan is known for its historic downtown, beautiful scenery, and cultural attractions. Don’t miss a drive through the stunning Logan Canyon, visiting the Utah State University campus, or exploring the Wind Caves hike for breathtaking views.

Absolutely! Logan offers access to several scenic trails. The Wind Caves and Crimson Trail are local favorites, offering moderate hikes with rewarding views of the canyon and the valley.

Logan boasts a variety of dining options that cater to different tastes. From farm-to-table restaurants to cozy diners, the city offers a blend of traditional American cuisine, international flavors, and local specialties.

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Our Final Thoughts on Highway 89 Day 7

As the curtain falls on Day 7 of our Highway 89 journey, we carry with us the serene beauty and tranquil moments spent at Bear Lake. The lake’s sparkling turquoise waters and the surrounding landscape painted a picture of nature’s tranquility, a stark contrast to the vibrant urban life we experienced in Salt Lake City.

The simple pleasure of savoring a Bear Lake Raspberry Shake while overlooking the lake’s vast expanse offered a taste of local life and its flavors, marking a delightful pause in our journey.

Moving towards Logan, the transition from lakeside serenity to the charming streets of this historic town was seamless. Exploring Logan’s cultural richness, from its historic downtown to its diverse culinary scene, provided a glimpse into the heart and soul of Cache Valley. The juxtaposition of majestic mountains framing this bustling town created an enchanting backdrop for our evening explorations.

As we look ahead to Day 8, the sense of adventure and discovery continues to grow. Each day along Highway 89 unfolds new landscapes, new stories, and new connections, a testament to the diverse beauty and cultural richness of this iconic route. The journey forward promises more exploration, more wonder, and more cherished memories.