Beautiful Bear Lake is called “the Caribbean of the Rockies” because of its vivid turquoise-blue water, but why is Bear Lake so Blue? A new booklet published by the Utah Geological Survey answers this and 16 other commonly asked questions about the lake.
The 41-page booklet is filled with dozens of photographs, maps, and figures. It contains information on geology, biology, hydrology, weather, recreation, history, the Ice Age, the modern and prehistoric connection to the Bear River, and laws and regulations governing the use of the lake. Those with a keen eye might even spot the mysterious Bear Lake Monster hidden within its pages.
In addition to its scenic splendor, Bear Lake is a scientific wonder. It is Utah’s deepest and one of North America’s oldest lakes, older than Great Salt Lake, older than the Great Lakes. Bear Lake’s great age makes it a history book of past climates and environments, a hot topic as of late. For this reason the lake was recently the subject of intensive scientific study. Cores drilled in lake-bottom mud show a continuous record back some 250,000 years, but the lake-bottom mud continues beyond what the deepest core (393 feet) could penetrate, and the lake is likely twice that old, perhaps even several million years old. Why is Bear Lake So Blue? highlights this and other findings of the study.