Intermountain Region Viewing Area

LOCATION and PHOTOS

Road map displaying the route to Bloomington Lake from Bloomington, Idaho.

Bloomington Lake.
Bloomington Lake. Photo by U.S. Forest Service.

Parry's primrose, Primula parryi.
Parry's primrose (Primula parryi). Photo by Rose Lehman.

Bloomington Lake Viewing Area

Forest: Caribou-Targhee National Forest

District: Montpelier Ranger District

Description: The predominant physical feature at Bloomington Lake is the north-facing headwall, the steepest in the Idaho portion of the Bear River Range. It holds snow in the chutes and along cliff bases much longer than any other area of the range creating habitat for plants unique to the area. The presence of two rare plants found, Rydberg's musineon (Musineon lineare) and green spleenwort (Asplenium viride), is only one indication of this. Other species occurring there, such as alpine mountain sorrel (Oxyria digyna), common alplily (Lloydia serotina ),and Parry’s primrose (Primula parryi), were not seen elsewhere in southeastern Idaho, and indicate environmental conditions that normally exist 2000 feet higher than those at Bloomington Lake. Also the diversity of plants along the trail and at Bloomington Lake makes it a worthwhile place for viewing wildflowers.

Viewing Information: The best time to visit is early in July. The drive up to Bloomington Lake will provide an opportunity to drive by various plant community types – wooded stream, aspen groves and open areas of sagebrush and tall flowering forbs. The best wildflower viewing though will require the short walk to the lake that will take you around a small pond before you reach Bloomington Lake. The plants associated with the headwall are best viewed from a distance at the lake since the hike to where they grow is difficult.

Safety First: The road into Bloomington Lake can be dusty and on hot weekend days in the summer there is a lot of people driving to the lake to escape the heat. The last mile to the lake may be rough. Like any adventure into the mountains come prepared with water, food, warm clothes, good hiking shoes, etc.

Directions: The Lake lies at the head of Bloomington Creek in the Bear River Range near Bloomington, Idaho. Drive from the town of Bloomington west about 12 miles along FS road #409 to a well marked trailhead. The trail to the lake is about 0.5 miles long.

Ownership and Management: Caribou-Targhee National Forest; Area is managed as a Special Emphasis Area in the Caribou Revised Forest Plan for its unique geologic, ecological, botanical and zoological resource values.

Closest Town: Bloomington, Idaho.