Oregon Trail-Bear Lake Scenic Byway

Bear Lake straddles the Idaho-Utah border and boasts sandy beaches, great water sports, fishing, boating, and the famous Bear Lake State Park. This byway follows Bear Lake north on US 89 to Montpelier, then north on US 30, where you leave the Cache National Forest and enter the Caribou National Forest.

The intersection of US 89 and US 30 at Montpelier is the site of the attractive National Oregon-California Trail Center dedicated to the history and scenic wonders of the 2,000-mile Oregon-California Trail, part of the largest voluntary migration ever. There, you can ride in computer-controlled covered wagons, journey nearby trails with experienced guides in period costume, and handle the tools and other artifacts used by the pioneers. There is also an expansive park and playground to stretch your legs, as well as a general store and gift shop to help you remember your visit.

There are 13 Oregon-California Trail sites identified in the Soda Springs area. These sites are documented in diaries of the emigrants, in military records, by early mountain men, and settlers. “Travel the Oregon Trail in Caribou County” brochure contains information and directions on each site. The Mormon ghost town of Chesterfield lies 25 miles northwest of Soda Springs and is located right on the Oregon-California Trail.

This scenic byway begins at the Utah state line and follows US 89 north to US 30, then north and west to Soda Springs, where it meets the Pioneer Historic Byway. This section of US 89 is a two-land road. It can receive heavy snowfall in winter. This section of US 30 is a two-lane road with passing lanes and one short, 5 to 6 percent grade at Georgetown Summit. The byway can be seen year-round, and travelers should allow at least 1 hour for this 54-mile trip.

Reprinted from Idaho Department of Transportation Brochure

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