The Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located on the north shore of Bear Lake. Over 18,050 acres of the Dingle Swamp, open water and grasslands have been dedicated to preserving bird and wildlife habitat. The reserve is home to sandhill cranes, herons, snowy egret, white pelicans, Canada geese and a variety of waterfowl. The refuge’s White-Faced Ibis colony of 5,000 birds is one of the largest in the West. Trumpeter swans are beginning to nest and use the refuge. In May, Canada geese hatch by the hundreds, ducks and cranes follow shortly thereafter. This refuge also includes the 1,015-acre Thomas Fork Unit near the Wyoming border and the Oxford Slough Waterfowl Production Area near Oxford, Idaho.
To get to the entrance at the north end of the refuge, take the Paris-Dingle Road (200 North) from Paris and go east just under 3 miles. Follow the refuge signs, cross the canal, and watch for the sign on your right (south) side. Another access is from North Beach (Turnpike) Road north of 400 North in St. Charles. Turn east on this road and drive several miles. This road runs along the refuge’s southern border next to Bear Lake. Coming from Montpelier, take Airport Road south from US Hwy 89 for about 7 miles to the refuge’s north entrance.