Ever since she was a little girl, Dana remembers going to Bear Lake every summer with her Grandma Muriel, or “Myrtle,” along with the entire Sobieski family. It’s a tradition her grandma and grandpa started with their own family many years before Dana was born. So after growing up with Bear Lake summers, she introduced her husband and each of four kids to this beautiful Caribbean lake. Today the family tradition continues, complete with siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, dogs and close friends.

Dana’s love for Bear Lake was missing only one thing, a permanent home. It’s something she and her husband Mike thought about often over the years. After booking campgrounds or renting homes in Garden City for their vacations, they came to know all the pros and cons of many cabins and lake homes in the area. They knew exactly what they wanted in a lake house, and all the prime locations.

Then in early 2017, Dana’s dream to own a Bear Lake residence became a reality. And when it did, she was sure of one thing—she would name it after the woman who started it all—her grandma. So she gave it the name it deserved, Myrtle’s Beach House.

Chimney

With a few weekends of decorating, painting and a few mini-remodel projects—like building custom children’s beds in the loft—they made their new Bear Lake home a special place for family and friends to gather for years to come.

Their hard work has already paid off. The new furniture and beds, along with the freshly painted walls and a few decorating touches, has brought new life into a great home. One that grandma would certainly have approved.

 

Myrtle’s Beach House won’t only be a great retreat for Dana’s family. It will be available for other families to rent during the summers and is the perfect location for a family reunion or group of up to 32 people. The stunning views of the lake from the deck and four of the bedrooms is so picturesque, it seems like you’re looking at a painting rather than a window.

BedroomLocated just a block off the walking trail, it’s a quick minute to walk or ride a bike to the beach…or better yet, downtown to enjoy a classic raspberry shake. At night or first thing in the morning, there is nothing better than sitting on the deck looking at the gorgeous lake—this house offers all of that.

Deck

This home features new furniture, perfectly set up for a large group. There are 7 large bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and a loft room with 8 beds and lots of room to play. Two family rooms and a kitchenette in the basement give you plenty of space to hang out. The kitchen table seats 8, plus 4 at the bar. Two picnic tables on the deck seat an additional 16. You are welcome to use the 4 bikes in the garage, a volleyball net and croquet set to keep you busy when you are not at the lake. Inside, there is free WiFi, a speaker system (just plug in your iPod or phone)  and Direct TV (in both family rooms, the master bedroom and the largest basement bedroom).

Book Myrtle’s Beach House

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Posted by: J. Midgley | April 22, 2016

Round and round the Bear Lake Classic goes.

 

Logan Race ClubBear Lake remains a favorite destination for bikers from Utah and Idaho. The natural beauty can’t be beat. Not to mention that an almost exact 50-mile race track is conveniently placed around the circumference of the lake. It’s almost irresistible. Read more on the event and how to register below.

One of the longest-running century rides in the state, this classic race and ride starts on Friday night with a hill climb challenge on the Bear Lake Summit, followed on Saturday by a 100 & 50 mile UCA Points Race, Classic Century and 1/2 Century fun ride.
May 13-15, 2016

Register for Bear Lake Classic

Posted by: J. Midgley | June 19, 2014

What did you forget to bring to Bear Lake?

Have you noticed that you always remember the thing you forgot to pack after you’ve already left home? It’s especially true when you’re going on vacation. It seems that no matter how well you think things out, there’s always one or two items that completely slip your mind.

BeachCamp

It happens when you go to Bear Lake too. No matter what you’ve got planned—boating, golfing, horseback riding—it seems you always forget something. The link below is a PDF packing list for Bear Lake. It might be a great way to remember that thing you forgot before you forget…

Click this link to view/download the list (PDF):
BearLakePackingList.pdf

PackingList

Posted by: J. Midgley | June 12, 2014

Bear Lake State Park

Nealys on Wheels

When we departed Park City, our next destination was Grand Teton National Park, which was about 4 hours away. Instead of making the drive in one day, we decided to stay at Bear Lake State Park in Utah for a couple of nights. It turned out to be quite a treat! I had no idea how many beautiful lakes Utah has, and we were lucky enough to discover yet another one in Bear Lake.

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Bear Lake’s water was crystal clear turquoise blue. It is a big summer destination, and according to the ranger, during the summer the park is almost always full.  However we were there early, and we pretty much had the entire park to ourselves. All of the sites of full hook-up and we selected one right on the lake.

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About 15 miles up the road is the Bear Lake marina, which is actually part of the state…

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Posted by: J. Midgley | May 3, 2014

First dip at Bear Lake.

In April, the beaches wait patiently for summer, void of congestion with the exception of the occasional group of crying gulls.

The water is inviting, but not exactly warm. Caribbean blue water seems to mesmerize and taunt the early visitor.

The young girl slips off her shoes and socks, rolls up her pants and answers the beckoning.

First dip at Bear Lake.

FirstDip

Posted by: J. Midgley | April 24, 2014

These guys know how to GoPro at Bear Lake!

Combing through the YouTube vids, we found another gem. If anything is going to get you in the mood for a high-energy Bear Lake Vacation, it’s these creative guys via their GoPro Hero 2. Take a look and enjoy the ride!

Posted by: J. Midgley | July 28, 2013

BEAR LAKE CABIN REVIEW — Escape to Lilac Haven

Looking for a slightly more isolated getaway to Bear Lake that provides the advantages of a large yard, scenic views of rolling hills and grazing horses, and plenty of room for an extra-large group? Lilac Haven may be the perfect choice for you. Lilac Haven is located in Garden City, only a few minutes up the hill from the popular Pickleville Playhouse. Pictured below is the view from the front yard looking west (away from the lake).

3PostHorses

In July 2013, our extra-large group chose Lilac Haven as the spot for our annual Bear Lake reunion. We didn’t quite have 41 people staying at this location, though this three-story home can readily sleep that many in beds (and if some bring sleeping bags, you can push that number to as high as 57).

First impressions? This setup offers a lot of options for families of all ages. Many of our seasoned Bear Lake vacationers voted Lilac Haven as the best cabin they had stayed in to date. The spacious 6,000 foot floor plan allows many families to stay at the same time without feeling overly crowded. In fact, it’s easy to temporarily lose a kid or two in this place. With two large refrigerators (one in each kitchen), plus another refrigerator in the garage, we had plenty of room to store food and drinks.

The teens and kids especially liked the daybeds/trundles, which reside in two large rooms upstairs. These rooms provide places where kids can hang out and have their own part of the house. You can even put girls in one of the large rooms and boys in the other (or younger kids and older kids). The upstairs level also includes a pool table and air hockey. Plus, you have two regular-size bedrooms upstairs with queen beds, ideal for parents.

Lilac_Haven_Front
Lilac_Haven_Back

We had our grandma and grandpa stay on the main floor in the master bedroom (with a private master bathroom). Two other bedrooms on the main floor, as well as two more in the basement, gave more couples and small families privacy and space. The extra kitchen in the basement provided another place to prepare meals or cooler lunches for the beach. Without the second kitchen downstairs, the upstairs kitchen would not have been big enough to serve everyone. And the big winner—the home theatre with projector and large screen—gave young kids a place to be constantly entertained. The theatre room includes three movie sofas with reclining seat features and areas to hold a drink or snack. And yes, it’s also a nice place for adults to catch a flick after the kids have gone to bed.

The gathering room on the main floor is not quite as spacious as might be expected (the big room is upstairs), and the home decor is not as rustic or “cabin-like” as some other Bear Lake cabins—so you won’t find any animals on the walls or log-style furniture if that is more your style. However, the home is completely furnished with classic furniture, comfortable sofas, rockers and stone countertops. Plus the large, wrap-around deck offers great relaxing areas, tables to eat meals, as well as breathtaking views of the farm lands, horses and the lake.

If you have an extra-large group, and you want a secluded cabin with all the modern amenities and then some, Lilac Haven is an excellent choice.

Below is a view at sunset from the back deck (toward the lake).

Lilac_Haven_View

Property Description:

Lilac Haven is a 6,000 square foot custom-built home located just south-west of Bear Lake in Garden City. It has a covered wrap around porch with a stunning view of Bear Lake and surrounding farmland. It has large, open rooms that can easily accommodate large groups. It has 7 bedrooms, 5 baths, 2 full kitchens, 2 laundry rooms, a large game room with 5 daybeds with trundles, a bonus room with 5 daybeds with trundles, and a theatre room with a projector and surround sound.

Sleeps 41 (Maximum Occupancy is 57)
6 Queen beds (12)
1 King Bed (2)
10 Daybeds with trundles (20)
1 Full bed (2)
1 Futon (1)
2 Queen mattresses (4)

Linens and towels provided
Plenty of room for additional sleeping bags

Main Kitchen
2 Ovens
Cook Top
Microwave
Full-Size Refrigerator
Dishwasher
Waffle Iron, Griddle, 2 Crockpots
Pots and Pans
Dishes and Utensils

Main Floor
Full-Size Kitchen, Laundry/Mudroom with additional cupboard space
Kitchen/Dining/Family Common Area
40-inch Flat Screen TV
DVD Player
Satellite
Dining Table seats six, additional folding tables available
Master Bedroom with 1 Queen bed/Master Bath with jetted tub and walk-in shower with bench seat
2 Bedrooms with 1 Queen each
1 bathroom with walk-in shower with bench seat

Upstairs
2 Bedrooms With 1 Queen Each
1 Bathroom with tub/shower
1 Bathroom with walk-in steam shower with bench seat

Game Room – 5 daybeds with trundles, pool table/table tennis, air hockey.

Bonus Room – 5 daybeds with trundles, 1 full bed, 2 queen mattresses, foosball

Basement (2 outside entrances)
Full-Size Kitchen
Laundry Room
Utility and Storage Rooms
Theatre Room with projector, DVD player, surround sound
2 Bedrooms, 1 queen and 1 king
1 Bathroom with tub/shower

Basement Kitchen
Electric Range
Microwave
Dishwasher
Full-Size Refrigerator
Dinette (seats 4)

Basement Sitting Area
2 Loveseats
1 TV

For additional pictures and information, visit the blog.

Posted by: J. Midgley | July 24, 2013

Doggonit

Sometimes life, it seems, is not fair.

Remi_Sign

Posted by: J. Midgley | May 26, 2013

How to make Bear Lake Monster pancakes.

Making pancakes is fun. Making creative pancakes is more fun! Below are some ideas from our family on how to make Bear Lake Monster pancakes. They’re good on vacation at the lake or for a delicious breakfast at home too!

Bear Lake, on the Utah-Idaho border, is famous for the Bear Lake Monster. But Bear Lake is also famous for raspberries—so of course that is one of the main ingredients. However, you can use as much or as little fruit as you desire. The method we are demonstrating today requires cutting your fruit into thin slices. The slices are then put on the griddle in the desired pattern before pouring your pancake batter over the top (in the “sea monster” shape of your choice).

A few more tips: You can put the pancake batter into condiment bottles to give you more control in “drawing” your monster or other shapes. Another option not shown here is to mix your raspberry slices (or other fruit) directly into your batter. You’ll also do better with a large griddle and extra-large spatula (depending on how large you make your pancakes). Another option is to use bacon strip sections as flippers or feet. Kiwi can be used for plates along the back and neck or as waves below the monster. When finished, you can pile more fruit on top if you’d like and top it off with raspberry syrup and whipped cream. Yum!

Ingredients:

  • Pancake Batter (your choice)
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Whipped Cream (in a can)
  • Raspberry Syrup (or your choice)

Monster3Monster4Monster1Monster2

Posted by: J. Midgley | April 16, 2013

BEAR LAKE CABIN REVIEW — Get a taste of Blackberry Retreat

“Yikes, a grizzly bear!”

If you’ve ever stayed in the Harbor Village area of Bear Lake, Utah, you may have noticed the cabin with a giant grizzly bear stalking the front yard.

But don’t worry, it’s only a statue (perhaps a tribute to Old Ephraim?), and it’s only one of several surrounding the property. In fact, the Blackberry Retreat cabin is a rustic tribute to the majestic wildlife of the outdoors—and on the inside, too. You’ll find moose, deer and bear trophies bringing the cabin walls to life, just to name a few.

Blackberry Cabin Grizzly Bear

In the summer of 2012, our large family clan stayed at this classic cabin getaway. It’s one of many Bear Lake cabins managed by Mark Hislop of Bear Lake Rental Properties. Shortly after our arrival, Mark showed up and gave us a personal demonstration of how to use the hot tub, Wi-Fi and remote controls. He also let us know that we could call any time if we experienced any issues during our stay (which we didn’t). At the time, Mark didn’t know I would be writing a review.

Our family travels large, at least in number. So this cabin’s room for 32 in beds gave us plenty of privacy and space (seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms). The downstairs features a room with several bunk beds in a row—perfect for younger children to have their own place to hang out too. Having stayed in a dozen or so cabins of this size at Bear Lake, I’d have to say that the space and layout of this cabin are among the best I’ve seen. The long counter in the kitchen with stool seating allows multiple family members to work on making lunch sandwiches at the same time. It’s also a nice setup to seat a row of younger kids for meals or snacks. And for sit-down dinners, you have a large dining table as well.

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Relaxing is easy here. The comfortable family room and upstairs loft allow for gathering spaces with a great view of the lake. Plus, the outside wrap-around deck means you have extra place to relax outside, or even cook a BBQ meal. The large, two-level backyard is great for kids that want to run around and burn some energy. This property is near a canal, so when traveling with very young children, you’ll want to supervise any backyard activities.

The location of the property is just halfway up the hill, which means that it’s within easy walking distance of other amenities like swimming or tennis. The marina is also just minutes away, and there’s plenty of parking in the driveway. The driveway is flat other than the initial 5-foot slope at the entrance.

So if you’re traveling with a large group, and you want a cabin large enough to enjoy private space as well as several gathering areas for games, movies, reading, eating and more, Blackberry Retreat is an ideal choice. With this cabin, you’ll never forget you’re at “Bear” Lake.

Overall, I give it five out of five stars. Location, layout, size, bathrooms, privacy, atmosphere…they’re all here. To see the full Photo Gallery or 360 Virtual Tour, click here. Or browse through all of the cabin rentals available from Bear Lake Rental Properties.

Property Description:

Sleeps 32 in beds, 35 people max. Seven bedrooms plus sofa beds if needed. Includes master suites with king size bed and private baths. Parking for six vehicles plus additional boat, trailer and vehicle parking.

Beds: King size beds (1), queen size beds (5), twin size beds (12), and sofa beds (4). Bed Linens and towels are provided.

Amenities: Big screen TV plus (2) flat screen TVs with DVD players in two bedrooms. Open floor plan that caters to large or small gatherings. Gorgeous rock fireplace , board games washer and dryer.

Kitchen: Full large kitchen stocked with cookware, dishes and utensils. Refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave and range.

Outdoor Features: Lake access by foot or 4-wheeler right out front door, (boat Launching across the street at the Bear Lake Marina). Huge deck with picnic table and gas barbecue grill. Bring extra camp chairs and enjoy a big gathering on this oversize deck. Lawn area for outdoor games, hot tub.

Suitability: Kid friendly. No pets allowed.

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