Have you heard of the Bear Lake Monster? Explore the origins of the Bear Lake Monster legend in our June 2014 featured digital collection. The Bear Lake Monster is a regional legend from Bear Lake Valley (Utah and Idaho), home to a large, deep lake where the monster purportedly resides.
Many believe the legend originated in 1896 with Joseph Rich, an early Mormon settler and developer of the area, who used the legend as a marketing ploy to get visitors to Rich County, Utah (named for his family); he later said it was a joke. Joke or not, the legend persists and has grown to include a connection to the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland. For many locals, the legend serves as a cautionary water tale and well-known local joke.