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Idaho Counties
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Idaho Counties

There are forty-four Counties in Idaho. When Idaho became a territory in March, 1863, there were four Counties in existence: Boise, Idaho, Nez Perce and Shoshone. By the time Idaho became a state, there were 15 counties. The rest of the 44 Counties came into existence during the 30 years after Idaho became a state. Two of the former counties disappeared during this time. Alturas, which was created in 1864, was later divided into the many counties now found in central Idaho. Logan County was only in existence for six years, from 1889 to 1895. It was combined with Alturas to form Blaine County and Lincoln County, which was formed just two weeks after Logan lost its identity.

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Bear Lake County, Idaho

Bear Lake County Education, Geography, and HistoryBear Lake County, Idaho Courthouse

Bear Lake County is a county in the state of Idaho. Based on the 2010 census, the county had a population of 5,986. The county was created in 1875 in the Idaho Territory, fifteen years before statehood.  The county seat is Paris. Bear Lake county is named after Bear Lake.

Etymology - Origin of Bear Lake County Name

Bear Lake County is named for Bear Lake, which lies partly within the county and partly within Utah.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Bear Lake County History

Established January 5, 1875 with its county seat at Paris. Named for Bear Lake, which lies half in Idaho and Half in Utah. In 1863 the first permanent settlement was at Paris, established by forty Mormon families who came in wagons, in ox carts and on foot over very difficult terrain from Cache Valley, Utah.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,049 square miles (2,720 km2), of which 975 square miles (2,530 km2) is land and 75 square miles (190 km2) (6.1%) is water.

 Bear Lake county is located in southeast Idaho. Bear Lake, a large alpine lake at an elevation of 5,924 feet (1,806 m) above sea level. The northern half of the 20-mile-long (32 km) lake is in Idaho, the southern half in Utah. 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 over 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).

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • East: Lincoln County, Wyo.
  • South: Rich County, Utah
  • Southwest: Cache County, Utah; Franklin County
  • Northwest: Caribou County


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