What Lies Beneath: The Terrifying Legend of the Bear Lake Monster in Utah

Yana Bostongirl

Bear Lake, the second largest freshwater lake in Utah, is 20 miles long and 8 miles wide. It is well known as an outdoor destination on account of its sandy beaches, blue waters, and a variety of water-related activities that tourists can partake in.

Despite all its lovely attractions, legend has it that Bear Lake is also home to a terrifying sea monster as this excerpt explains: "Straddling the Utah/Idaho border in the upper northeastern corner of Utah is beautiful Bear Lake. In addition to its wonderful sporting opportunities for boaters, skiers, and fishermen, Bear Lake allegedly is called home to a sea monster."

Stories of a brown serpent like creature between 40 and 200 feet long have circulated since when the area was inhabited by Native Americans. According to them, the monster was responsible for snatching many of their people who were never heard from again.

While some describe the creature plaguing the Bear Lake as dragon like or resembling a massive crocodile, others claim it is a descendent of dinosaurs as this excerpt explains: "According to the many who have spied the serpent, it has a thin head, a largemouth, and small legs that it utilizes to move swiftly through the water. The slithering snake like-creature has also been described as spouting water upwards from its mouth and moving so fast through the lake, that it leaves a wake behind, much like a boat.Others have said they have seen the monster crawl up onto the beach with short flipper-like legs. Once upon the sand, it holds its head high and turning it from side to side as it looks about."

Per reports, the Bear Lake monster became a household name after Joseph C. Rich published his now famous article about it in the Deseret News, a Utah newspaper.

In 1871 the Salt Lake City Herald reported that a fisherman had captured a "young" member of the monster family although no more details were given as to what happened to the catch. A movie based on the urban legend is currently in the making.

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