Bear Lake County, Idaho
Seal of Bear Lake County, Idaho
Map of Idaho highlighting Bear Lake County
Location in the state of Idaho
Map of USA ID
Idaho's location in the U.S.
Founded January 5, 1875
Named for Bear Lake
Seat Paris
Largest city Montpelier
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,049.44 sq mi (2,718 km²)
971.38 sq mi (2,516 km²)
78.05 sq mi (202 km²), 7.44%
 - (2000)
 - Density

6.6/sq mi (2.5/km²)
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6

Bear Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2000 Census the county had a population of 6,411 (2008 estimate: 5,798).[1] The county seat is Paris,[2] and Montpelier is the largest city.

The county is named after Bear Lake, a 20-mile-long (32 km) alpine lake at an elevation of 5924 feet (1806 m) above sea level. The northern half of the lake is in Idaho, the southern half in Utah.


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,049.44 square miles (2,718.0 km2), of which 971.38 square miles (2,515.9 km2) (or 92.56%) is land and 78.05 square miles (202.1 km2) (or 7.44%) is water.[3] The county is centered around Bear Lake Valley and includes the surrounding mountain ranges. The valley is high in the mountains, with its lowest elevation at circa 5,900 feet (1,800 m) above sea level. The highest point in the county is Meade Peak at 9,957 feet (3,035 m) above sea level.

Adjacent countiesEdit

National protected areasEdit



Peg-Leg Smith established and operated a trading post on the Oregon Trail from 1848-1850 near Dingle.[4] The first settlement in the Bear Lake Valley was Paris, which was settled by Mormon pioneers led by Charles Rich on September 26, 1863. Thirty families comprised the original settlement. In the spring of 1864, Montpelier was settled on the other side of the valley on the Oregon Trail. Bear Lake County was established in 1875,[5] and the railroad was extended through Montpelier in 1892.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 7,051
1910 7,729 9.6%
1920 8,783 13.6%
1930 7,872 −10.4%
1940 7,911 0.5%
1950 6,834 −13.6%
1960 7,148 4.6%
1970 5,801 −18.8%
1980 6,931 19.5%
1990 6,084 −12.2%
2000 6,411 5.4%
Est. 2008 5,798 −9.6%


As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 6,411 people, 2,259 households, and 1,710 families residing in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile (3/km²). There were 3,268 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.66% White, 0.09% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.08% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. 2.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 28.6% were of English, 16.1% American, 9.4% German, 7.1% Danish, 6.2% Swiss and 5.5% Swedish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 2,259 households out of which 38.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.90% were married couples living together, 6.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.30% were non-families. 22.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.33.

In the county the population was spread out with 33.00% under the age of 18, 7.40% from 18 to 24, 22.40% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,162, and the median income for a family was $38,351. Males had a median income of $33,958 versus $17,829 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,592. About 7.10% of families and 9.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.30% of those under age 18 and 9.20% of those age 65 or over.



Unincorporated communitiesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Bear Lake County QuickFacts, United States Census Bureau, 2009-02-20, accessed 2009-05-29.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  5. ^ - Bear Lake County accessed 2009-05-29
  6. ^ Idaho population by county, 1900-90 - accessed on 2009-05-29
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 42°17′N 111°20′W / 42.29, -111.33

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Bear Lake County, Idaho. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.