Bear Valley, California, thats my home...Ryan, it really is a great smaller area. It's old motto was "The best kept secret in the Sierra's", and I think it still is. It was founded in the 60's by Kyle Rasmussen's (USST DH'er) grandfather, Maury. Kyle can still be found ripping around the hill, when he isn't bass fishing or building houses.
You may want to hit it on the way up to El Dorado Hills,or on the way back to SoCal. Especially if you are planning on hitting and of the actual Tahoe resorts
It isn't the easiest place to get to. From El Dorado Hills, go south on Hwy 49 (about 50 miles), all the way to Angels Camp (home of the Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, of Mark Twain fame), then turn East on Hwy 4. It's just about 50 miles of winding 2 lane road with few passing zones up to the ski area. You will pass the actual town of Bear Valley, going about another 4 miles up the hwy.
If you want to hit while traveling North on Hwy 99, turn East on Hwy 4 in Stockton, and follow it thru Copperopolis, into Angels Camp. Then reverse the directions to get to El Do Hills.
It is a bit antiquated, with all older lifts. It has quite a few double Riblets, and a few (slightly) newer triples. But the skiing is fantastic... About 2000' vert, with steeps on the lower mtn. In Snow Valley, and Grizzly, you'll find enough fun to keep you very busy for more than a few days.
Great tree skiing on the upper mtn and the backside. If you would like, drop me a PM, and I'll hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you the best it has to offer...
Wish I was going to be there with you....
What were those dates again...? I can be there in about 4.5 hrs....!