Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Montpelier

#41 of 50 in Wildlife in Idaho
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located in southeast Idaho, seven miles (11 km) south of Montpelier. Surrounded by mountains, it lies in Bear Lake Valley at an elevation ranging from 5925ft on the marsh to 6800ft on the rocky slopes of Merkley Mountain. The refuge office is located in Montpelier.
The 19000acre refuge is mainly made up of a bulrush marsh, open water, and flooded meadows of sedges, rushes, and grasses. Portions of the refuge include scattered grasslands and brush-covered slopes.
Bear Lake Refuge encompasses what is locally referred to as Dingle Swamp or Dingle Marsh. Along with Bear Lake proper, the marsh was once part of a larger prehistoric lake that filled the valley. As it drained and receded, Dingle Marsh was reduced from 25000acre to less than 17,000 before it became part of the refuge.
White-faced ibis, sandhill cranes, swans, ducks, geese, and shorebirds reside in this wildlife refuge during its summer seasons. Moose can sometimes be found on this refuge, along with wintering mule deer. Smaller mammals often seen are muskrats, skunks, and cottontail rabbits.
Make Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge part of your personalized Montpelier itinerary using our Montpelier trip itinerary builder tool.
Create an itinerary including Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
15 reviews
  • Stopped here for the view, which was excellent. Viewing area was located by the Park information center. Lake area was also a place where Mountain Men would have a yearly rendezvous.  more »
  • What can I say? God invented a special blue for Bear Lake. It is so beautiful with the mountains as a backdrop. Only negative was that it was literally full. Signs up telling travelers it was closed.....  more »
  • Needs more signs. Road on the south end needs some attention. Beautiful place and lots of birds
  • Beautiful and breathtaking. Great place to meditate.

Plan your trip to Montpelier

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.