About St. Charles
The beautiful blue Bear Lake fills much of the south end of Bear Lake Valley, with its northern shores just east of St. Charles. The grassland and farmland of the valley stretch for miles to the north and sagebrush-covered hills border the valley on either side. St. Charles sits at the foot of the hills on the west side of the valley, near the mouth of St. Charles Canyon. The elevation is 5,960 feet.
St. Charles is laid out in spacious ten-acre blocks, with scattered houses and open space through the town. It was settled by Mormon pioneers in May of 1864. Swan Arnell, Sr., Charles G. Keetch, Sr., Robert Pope, and John Windley and their families were the first settlers, sent by Mormon Church president Brigham Young. As of 2000, the population is 156.
Bear Lake is a big attraction to tourists in the summer months, and St. Charles has a large number of summer homes. For the year-round inhabitants, ranching is the main occupation. U.S. Highway 89 passes through the town heading northward to Bloomington and southward to Fish Haven.
St. Charles makes a claim to fame in that Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mount Rushmore, was born here.