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This small town near the northwest corner of Bear Lake was the birthplace of Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941), the artist and sculptor who carved the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.
Bear Lake straddles the Idaho-Utah border south and east of St. Charles. Known as the “Caribbean of the Rockies” for its turquoise hue, the result of soluble microscopic carbonates suspended in the water, the 120-square-mile lake is popular with fishermen seeking cutthroat trout, sculpin and whitefish. In winter anglers use nets to catch the Bonneville cisco, a species of fish endemic to the lake.
Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge, a 19,000 acre tract of wetlands north of Bear Lake, provides habitat for migratory birds and small mammals. Bear Lake State Park , just e. of St. Charles at 5637 E. Shore Rd., has two units. The North Beach unit has a boat launch and a 2-mile-long shorefront; the East Beach unit, with its 1.5-mile-long beach, offers a campground. Phone (208) 945-2325.
Things to See
Minnetonka Cave
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Current Location: St. Charles, Idaho