Instead of Christmas gifts my parents gave us a trip to Bear Lake with our entire family. I am 100% on board for experience gifts. Anyone else?? Experience gifts don’t have to cost more than presents. They got us an Airbnb, we cooked all our meals at the rental, packed lunch for the lake, went on hikes, played lots of games (ok, just one game, Nertz) and spent two days playing at Bear Lake. It was so much fun.
Thought I would round-up things I shared on Instagram in one post. From what we did in Bear Lake (two years in a row), our new Travel Bags (and bag we used for the top of the car), the best salad dressing my sister made for the lake, charcuterie board and more!
Travel Bags and Car Carrier-
Last minute I decided I wanted to find duffle bags rather than taking small suitcases. A duffle bag fits so much easier in a car and even in a rental. I found these $34 bags at Target and LOVE them!! They can also be a backpack. Easily plenty of room in the bag for 4-7 days.
Kevin also got this Car Top Carrier. We kept checking as we were driving to see if it was there, thankfully it stayed and was so nice to have extra space in the car! We liked that the carrier folds up small when not in use.
Charcuterie and Salad Dressing-
This Charcuterie board was a hit! My sister and I made it and shared it on Instagram before the 4th. One addition not shown was I found some Raspberry Jalapeño Jam to put on top of the goat cheese, soooooo good!!! The Fruit Dip is simply- 8 oz Cream Cheese, 7 oz Marshmallow cream, 8 oz Cool Whip and squeeze of lime or orange juice!
You are going to be making this dressing on repeat!! We just went to Lake Lotawana with 14 girls and my sister made this dressing for every salad, it was a hit. I forgot I did make this all the time too!
We have stayed in Bear Lake twice and love it. My dream would be to get a house here to Airbnb! The house my parents picked was in Fish Haven, it had a lot of bedrooms, which was great, but it wasn’t my favorite, so I won’t be linking it. The house was about 15 minute drive to the lake. If you are looking for rentals, you don’t really have to be on the lake to have a great time!
We mostly cook meals at our rental since we were there with so many people. But we did stop and eat at Zipz! Really good sweet potato fries and raspberry shakes!
The first year we went to the Utah side beach. It is more rocky than the Idaho side and a totally different vibe. Both places had spots to rent paddle boards, kayaks and trampolines (all of them were sold out both times we went tho). The first year we could only get kayaks. Second year we couldn’t get anything besides the trampoline the next day. I would recommend trying to look into booking ahead of time if you can.
Water was really warm this year! Bear Lake is called the “Caribbean of the Rockies”- gorgeous bright blue freshwater! This photo was from the Idaho side, we loved this spot!
Grabbed a screenshot of us jumping on the water trampoline we rented for two hours. We loved every minute of it!
Last year we rented these bikes (right off the main road by Mike’s Grocery store). They were SO fun!!!
Workouts every morning with whoever will join us outside! Always a good time with gorgeous views.
Hiked the Minnetoka Cave last year. Very cool and cold inside, nice break from the heat. Hard for little kids, Finn did well, he was 4 at the time, but we did hold him a lot of the time.
Had to wear masks inside in 2020, they are really cautious to keep the cave protected.
We went on the Wind Cave Hike about 45 minutes outside Bear Lake. Stopped on our way home. Took us about 3 hours with young kids and my mom did great with breaks along the way. It was a moderate hike, about 4 miles round trip.
Limber Pine Nature Trail was an easy hike that was very pretty. About 20 minutes outside of Bear Lake.
I am sure we will be back next year! Please comment below with any suggestions for Bear Lake!
PS- if you go with your family or big group…matching shirts is a must! My parents actually wrapped these tee-shirts and gave us them on Christmas as our surprise!
So if you can only do one side, which would you recommend: Utah or Idaho?