Bear Valley Mountain Resort is California's 7th largest and most centrally located mountain resort, situated on scenic and all-weather Highway 4. The closest major ski resort to the Bay Area, Bear Valley's central Sierra location and 8,500 foot summit provide some of the lightest and deepest snow conditions in all of California. (Bear Valley Ski Area is operated under special use permit with the Stanislaus Forest.)
NEW FOR 2010/2011 SEASON! 400 ACRES OF NEW TERRAIN! Nine lifts service Bear Valley's 1,280 acres and breathtaking 1900 foot vertical descent. Skiers and snowboarders will enjoy the diverse terrain, offering 60 different trails: 25% gentle beginner, 40% intermediate and 35% advanced. Say goodbye to lift lines.
Bear Valley offers several terrain parks, sculpted and maintained by several big stage competitors. If you want current , contemporary rails, boxes and huge air jumps, we have them.
2 miles west is the tiny town of Tamarack, onetime base of operations for characters like Turkey Johnson and Monte Wolfe.
For the more advanced skiers and boarders, Bear Valley's famed Grizzly Bowl has enough cliffs, chutes and steeps to keep even the best occupied. In fact the 1969 Downhill Nationals were held here in Bear Valley ending at the bottom of Grizzly. Grizzly Bowl is the best kept deep powder playground in the West.
In Bear Valley, some of the best runs are not actually runs. Bear Valley features a "soft boundary" which allows true back country skiing that is lift serviced. Because of this, Bear Valley attracts many telemark skiers. Bear Valley is the host for the West's largest telemark festival held each February. Mountain Adventure Seminars (MAS) offers clinics, avalanche classes, back country tours and a great dance party for hundreds of telemark enthusiasts.
Bear Valley Ski Area also offers guided Out-Of Bounds trips and Snow Cat sking. Snow Cat skiing is heli-skiing's poorer cousin. Riders are transported by snowcat into ares generally inaccessible to other riders. These trips are guided by MAS guides as well as Professional Ski Patrollers who really know safety and the backcountry. Come give it a try! You can also book the entire cat for a private session with just you and your friends.
Bear Valley Cross-Country offers one of the largest groomed trail systems in the country including 33 different trails. The trails are groomed for both striding and skate skiing. The area is complete with warming huts, picnic tables spaced throughout, and ridges offering spectacular views. Equipment rental, lessons, restrooms, parking, food, snowshoe rentals, Sno-Park permits and ice skating are available at the cross-country ski center.
Bear Valley is the site of several annual ski races including the infamous Bjornloppet race which attracts begginner to expert racers each year. Bear Valley breeds cross country competitors. Olympians and other ranked racers have called Bear Valley home to train on the impeccably groomed trail system.
Extensive cross-country and snowmobile trails can also be found three miles above Bear Valley at the Lake Alpine Sno-Park area. Located approximately four miles above Arnold, the Calaveras Big Trees State Park offers scenic cross-country trails when snow conditions permit.
The Bear Valley area boasts the most incredible snowmobile area in the entire state. State Highway 4 is closed to cars in the winter just past the Bear Valley ski area and routinely snow cat groomed for snow mobiles for 26 miles in to the High Country. There are groomed trails that lead right from the Bear Valley Village to Lake Alpine. Eventually the trail ends at Highland Lakes on the Pacific Crest at elevations approaching 10,000 ft.
The public can rent snowmobiles to use on this highway width snow road system from Bear Valley Snowmobile right in the town. If you have your own machines a Sno-Park permit for your vehicle must be obtained for parking and is available in Bear Valley. The Stanislaus National Forest does not allow ATVs and snowmobiles in specified areas, and there are also wilderness areas which restrict motorized use.
The Bear Valley/Lake Alpine area is the only area in California where you can rent snowmobiles and go on an unguided adventure.
Locals ride snowmobiles into the deep High Country to gain access for back country skiing and snowboarding. Please stop by Bear Valley Snow Mobile for a map. Respect non-motorized Wilderness areas and obey speed limits where posted through town and the Lake Alpine area. Be aware of avalanche dangers when traveling off the groomde snow highway.
Sledding and Tubing at Bear Valley is great. There's a groomed, supervised hill at Bear Valley Cross Country. Or you can head out on your own in the Stanislaus National Forest.
Many rock climbing sites, some of which are only 10 minutes walking distance from our office, are located in our backyard. Locals fondly refer to Bear Valley as "the land of half-pitch climbs" as most climbs are no higher than 100 feet tall. This characteristic, plus the lack of crowds, makes Bear Valley an excellent climbing instruction location. The rock climbing is on solid granite with both face and crack climbs. While some bolts exist most anchors are built from gear and the climbing difficulty ranges from 5.5 to 5.11. Perfect summer and autumn destination.
Mountain Adventure Seminars (MAS) teaches basic to advanced rock climbing and offers guided trips to mnay local locations.
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