or Connect

Bear Valley Mountain

Check out the Unofficial Guide to Bear Valley for details on things like secret stashes, best places to ski, avoiding lift lines, and other local insights on the mountain. 


arrow_down.png TRAIL MAP arrow_down.png CONDITIONS arrow_down.png TRANSPORTATION arrow_down.png LODGING arrow_down.png DINING arrow_down.png MORE





Name Description Maximum Occupancy Price Range

Bear Valley Lodge

Bear Valley Lodge
3 Bear Valley Road
Bear Valley, CA 95223
(209) 753-2327



Private bathroom, Dish Network Satellite television, a telephone and a free continental breakfast. 2-4 Ski and stay packages starting at $85 per person double occupancy, not on weekends or holidays

Bear Valley Vacation Rentals

P.O. Box 5250,
Bear Valley, CA 95223

209 753-2334




A variety of condos and vacation homes

Condos 4-8

Homes 4-15

$80 to $325 per night, add adult lift tickets to your rental package for more than a 35% discount

Base Camp Lodge

148 Bear Valley Road
Bear Valley, CA 95223



BaseCamp offers fourteen private guest rooms and a large group bunkroom, game room and a spacious living-room complete with flat screen satellite television, DVD player and complimentary Wi-Fi access 3 $25-$75

Tamarack Pines

18326 California 4
Bear Valley, CA 95223
(209) 753-2895

All rooms are Self-Contained Vacation Suites equipped with full kitchens or kitchenettes and private bathrooms, VCRs, microwaves, refrigerators and coffee makers. 2-28 (whole lodge) $150 to $1250

Update 12-18-11: Bear announces $39 tickets through Christmas. Discount reflects limited operation.



Rental Gear






Bear Valley Mountain

Located between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, Bear Valley is a great skiing alternative to Tahoe's sometimes congested shores. A medium-sized mountain with 1,900 vertical feet and 1,680 acres, Bear Valley is family-friendly; the terrain is divided 25% Beginner, 40% Intermediate and 35% Advanced. Nearby Gold Country towns are super charming. Tony Crocker's bestsnow.net site lists average snowfall at Bear Valley (7750') as a very respectable 367 inches. Bear Valley's 'base' (the Day Lodge) is at the mid-point of the area (the above 7750' elevation), and the entirety of the resorts beginner terrain lies above this elevation. The major intermediate terrain pod (accessed primarily by the Polar Express high-speed quad lift) starts at 7545' . These base elevations are high for the Tahoe region, and comparable to the base of Kirkwood, the highest Tahoe area resort. This translates to softer, more reliable snow conditions for the beginner or intermediate Bear Valley skier. More advanced riders, though, will be reliant on the less consistent conditions of the lower elevation Grizzly Bowl/Snow Valley, which ranges from 6595' to 7750'. Grizzly Bowl is steep, open and varied and competes well with the best advanced terrain in the entire Lake Tahoe region. Since the terrain is below the Day Lodge and faces west it's rare for Grizzly Bowl to open before January. When Grizzly does open, powder days should be taken advantage of - the combination of gnarly terrain, good snow and low crowds virtually guarantees a great experience.

Snow making percent
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Magic carpet1
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Rope tow
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Poma
Lifts-Surface Lifts-T bar
Lifts-Surface Lifts-J bar
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Single
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Double5
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Triple2
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Quad
Lifts-Chair Lifts-High speed quad1
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Five person
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Six person
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Eight person
Lifts-Coggle train
Lifts-Total number of lifts9
Lifts-Total lift capacity
Trails-4-Expert only
Trails-5-Terrain park
Trails-6-Half pipe
Runs-Steepest run
Runs-Longest run
General-Base elevation6600'
General-Vertical drop1900'
General-Mountain range
General-Annual skier visits
General-Back country access
General-Total area in bounds1280 acres
General-Snow making coverage100 acres
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Pros: Well-Rounded Ski Resort

Cons: Not Super Advanced

Bear Valley is a great alternative to Tahoe. The traffic is easier to handle from the Bay Area to Bear Valley. The Gold Country towns in the region are really fun and charming. And the mountain is not half bad. It is no Squaw Valley, but it has enough terrain to keep you busy. The snow has been very decent every time I have skied there.


Pros: amazing terrain offers tons

Great, Friendly mountain


Pros: Small, quaint, good for beginners

Cons: Short RUns, subpar lodge, slow lifts, lacks ammentities.

If you just want an easy backdrop for visiting Arnold or Murphys, then BV is a good enough place to ride for a day or 2. After that, you will be bored by the short runs (unless Grizz is open and you are an EXPERT skier). The amenities (think food, lodge, etc) are minimal - nothing to rave about. The staff is usually friendly, but others have had problems. BV doesn't handle large crowds well, so pick a good snow day that is NOT during the Holidays. As I said, the runs are short, almost all lifts are antiques, and it is more difficult than it should be for riders to get from the lodge to the first lifts. Ticket prices should be lower than Tahoe (they are not), since the place
 doesn't even compare to a true ski resort experience.


Pros: Family friendly and unpretentious

Cons: No village at the area

This area does not have the long runs of some Lake Tahoe resorts, or a large village to shop and spend the night.  It does have a nice layout, good cruisers for the little ones, and some challenging terrain when there is enough snow. The restaurant is adequate...there is nothing gourmet on the mountain.   It is a pleasure avoiding the Tahoe traffic driving there.  You can even visit some nice caves on the way back home.  Overall, Bear Valley is a good value for families and for those who don't need to ski the bigger mountains of Lake Tahoe  My family will go back there.


Pros: lots of steeps, incredible powder days, unbeatable price

Cons: not much cons

Bear can be the best around.  The Area still hold the US record for snowfall.  On a good year, when Grizzly Valley is open 4 months, you can't beat the steeps and soft boundaries anywhere in the Sierra.
Jer Nelson