Bear River (Utah)

Bear River (Utah)

Geobox | River
name = Bear River
category = River

image_size = 300
image_caption = Lake at the head of Bear River, Uinta Mountains, Utah (photo taken 1868-1870).
etymology =
country = United States

state = Nevada
state1 = Idaho
state2 = Wyoming
region_type = County
district =
parent =
tributary_left =
tributary_right =
source =
source_location = Uinta Mountains
source_region = Summit County
source_state = Utah
source_elevation_imperial = 4203
source_elevation_note = GNIS|1438485|Bear River]
source_length_imperial =
source_lat_d = 40
source_lat_m = 52
source_lat_s = 2
source_lat_NS = N
source_long_d = 110
source_long_m = 50
source_long_s = 9
source_long_EW = W
source_coordinates_note =
mouth =
mouth_location = Great Salt Lake
mouth_district =
mouth_region = Box Elder County
mouth_state = Utah
mouth_country =
mouth_note =
mouth_lat_d = 41
mouth_lat_m = 27
mouth_lat_s = 30
mouth_lat_NS = N
mouth_long_d = 112
mouth_long_m = 17
mouth_long_s = 25
mouth_long_EW = W
mouth_coordinates_note =
mouth_elevation_imperial = 1281
mouth_elevation_note =
length_imperial = 350
watershed_imperial =
discharge_location =
discharge_round =
discharge_imperial =
discharge_note =
discharge_min_imperial =
discharge_max_imperial =
discharge1_location =
discharge1_imperial =
discharge1_note =

map_size = 300
map_caption = Map of the Bear River watershed.
commons =
The Bear River is a river, approximately convert|350|mi|km long, in southwestern Wyoming, southeastern Idaho, and northern Utah, in the United States. The largest tributary of the Great Salt Lake, it drains a mountainous area and farming valleys east of the lake and southwest of the Snake River Plain.


The course of the river essentially makes a large inverted U around the north end of the Wasatch Range. It rises in northeastern Utah in several short forks on the north side of the high Uinta Mountains in southern Summit County. It flows north, cutting across the southwest corner of Wyoming past Evanston then weaving along the Utah-Wyoming state line as it flows north. It turns northwest into Bear Lake County, Idaho and flows through the Bear Lake Valley, Idaho, past Montpelier where it receives the short Bear Lake Outlet Canal that drains Bear Lake, which straddles the Idaho-Utah border. At Soda Springs, at the north end of the Wasatch Range, the Bear River turns abruptly south, flowing past Preston in the broad Cache Valley that extends north from Logan, Utah. It re-enters northern Utah, meandering south past Cornish and Newton. It is impounded to form the Cutler Reservoir, where it receives the Little Bear River from the south. From the west end of Cutler Reservoir it flows south through the Bear River Valley past Bear River City. It receives the Malad River from the north just before emptying into the mud flats of a broad bay on the east side of the Great Salt Lake, approximately convert|10|mi|km southwest of Brigham City.

Bear River is believed to have once been a tributary of the Snake River. It is thought however, that lava flows near Pocatello, Idaho diverted it into what was then Lake Bonneville.Fact|date=September 2008

Uses and protected areas

The river is used extensively for irrigation in the farming valleys through which it flows in its lower reaches Idaho and northern Utah.

The lower convert|10|mi|km of the river near its delta on the Great Salt Lake are protected as part of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.


In the early 19th century the river valley was inhabited by the Shoshone people. Fur trappers from the Hudson's Bay Company began to penetrate the area, exploring south from the Snake River as early as 1812. The Cache Valley was early destination for Mormon pioneers in the late 1840s. On January 29, 1863 troops of the United States Army attacked a Shoshone winter village in the Cache Valley, slaughtering many of its inhabitants. The incident has come to be known as the Bear River Massacre.

ee also

*List of rivers in the Great Basin
*List of Utah rivers
*Mormon Trail


External links

* [ Bear River Watershed Historical Collection: Utah State University]
* [ Utah History Encyclopedia: Bear River]
* [ Utah History Encyclopedia: Bear River Massacre]
* [ USFWS: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge]
* [ "Bear River: A National Wildlife Refuge"] by V.T. Wilson and Rachel Carson (1950) (online pdf)

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Bear River City — Bear River City, UT U.S. town in Utah Population (2000): 750 Housing Units (2000): 233 Land area (2000): 1.570566 sq. miles (4.067746 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.570566 sq. miles (4.067746… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Bear River City, UT — U.S. town in Utah Population (2000): 750 Housing Units (2000): 233 Land area (2000): 1.570566 sq. miles (4.067746 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.570566 sq. miles (4.067746 sq. km) FIPS code:… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge — is a convert|74000|acre|km2|0|sing=on National Wildlife Refuge in Utah, established in 1927. Leased by the government from private property owners.The refuge encompasses the Bear River and its delta where it flows into the northern part of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Bear River National Forest — was established as the Bear River Forest Reserve by the U.S. Forest Service in Utah on May 28, 1906 with 267,920 acres by combining the Logan Forest Reserve with other lands. On March 4, 1907 it became a National Forest. On July 1, 1908 part of… …   Wikipedia

  • Bear River massacre — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Bear River caption= partof=the American Civil War (Indian Wars) date=January 29, 1863 place=southeastern Washington Territory (present day Franklin County, Idaho) result=U.S. victory (massacre)… …   Wikipedia

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