Utah Division of
Forestry, Fire & State Lands

Utah Department of Natural Resources

Bear Lake

The bed of Utah’s portion of Bear Lake lying below the ordinary high water mark is sovereign land and is managed by the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Land (FFSL). The ordinary high water mark of Bear Lake is generally recognized to be at 5,923.65 feet above mean sea level. These lands and resources are held in trust for the use and enjoyment of the public. To ensure Utah’s multiple use policy, the FFSL strives to assure public access to navigable waters for commerce, navigation, fishing, swimming, and recreational boating, while also working to preserve these lands in their natural state.

Bear Lake is a natural fresh water lake covering more than 112 square miles of land that straddles the Utah-Idaho border. It is often called the "Caribbean of the Rockies" for its unique turquoise-blue color, which is due to the reflection of limestone deposits suspended in the lake. Bear Lake is a popular destination for tourists and sportsmen, contributing to the economic prosperity of the region. FFSL coordinates with other state, federal and local entities to ensure that the management of these resources will provide lasting benefit to the Public Trust. Bear Lake is managed by FFSL under the Bear Lake Comprehensive Management Plan.