Bear Valley (resort)

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Bear Valley Mountain Resort
Bear Valley.jpg
Location Alpine County, California, U.S.
Nearest city Angels Camp, California, U.S.
Coordinates 38°29′32″N 120°00′24″W / 38.49222°N 120.00667°W / 38.49222; -120.00667Coordinates: 38°29′32″N 120°00′24″W / 38.49222°N 120.00667°W / 38.49222; -120.00667
Vertical 1,900 ft (600 m)
Top elevation 8,500 ft (2,600 m)
Base elevation 6,600 ft (2,000 m)
Skiable area 1,280 acres (520 ha)
Runs 67 total
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg 25% beginner
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg 40% intermediate
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg 35% advanced
Lift system 9 (1 high-speed quad, 2 triples, 5 doubles, 2 carpet lifts)
Lift capacity skiers/hr
Snowfall 359 inches
Snowmaking 100 acres (40 ha)

Bear Valley is a ski area located on highway 4 between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite—about three hours southeast of Sacramento, California. It is around one and a half hours from Angels Camp, California. The alpine ski area and a portion of the real estate in the village of Bear Valley was owned by an investment partnership led by a Canadian company, Dundee Realty, from 2005 to 2014. In 2014, Skyline International acquired Bear Valley.[1]


Nine lifts provide access to 75+ runs covering 1,680 acres (6,800,000 m2) skiable. Prior to the 2010-2011 ski season, an additional 400 acres (1.6 km2) of non-lift serviced terrain was opened to the public expanding the resort to 1680 skiable acres, making it the 8th largest in skiable acres in the state of California. The resort is known for its commitment to snow making and snow science expertise, and as a result of snow management, was one of 6 resorts in California that remained open into mid-spring during the worst drought in California history. Bear Valley is also known for its rich racing history and one of two resorts in California that operates a NASTAR course nearly every weekend of the winter season. In 2015 the ski areas Season Pass became valid at both the alpine and cross country ski area. Known as "The Forever Pass" the pass gives access to unlimited downhill and cross country ski trails during the winter season. The Bear Valley Cross Country and Snowshoe Trail System consists of 35 trails covering 3,000 acres (12 km2) of terrain. Bear Valley Cross Country is owned and operated by Paul and Diane Petersen. Paul Petersen is co-author of The Essential Cross Country Skier: A Step By Step Guide and a pioneer in the Nordic skiing industry in California.[2]

The Bear Valley back country offers endless options to access the back country via alpine touring, telemark, and back country skis or snow shoes. Mountain Adventure Seminars, based in Bear Valley, offers instruction in telemark skiing, avalanche safety skills, mountaineering guide services, and extended overnight tours of the surrounding back country. MAS, in conjunction with Bear Valley Mountain Resort, also offers snow cat assisted tours of both back country and side country ski areas outside the patrolled areas of the alpine resort. [3]

Base facilities[edit]

The base village includes a hotel, spa, cabins, 3 restaurants, 2 full bars, a sport shop with rentals and boot fitting. The Lodge at the base facility is known for its majestic granite fireplace and post and beam construction of the atrium style hotel. The hotel's Cathedral Lounge is a desired location for weddings and special events. The village also includes a US Post Office, museum, general store and snowmobile rental center.

Future development plans[edit]

A new lift from town is planned, as is a mountain top day lodge and terrain expansion.[4] In early 2013, the partnership that owns the ski area operation and a portion of the real estate in town decided to sell their holdings which now include entitlements for over 300 condominium homes. In September 2013, a deal to sell the ski area operation fell though.[5] In December 2013 a group of Bear Valley property owners announced an initiative to explore community ownership options for both the ski area operation and the village. In February 2014, the Bear Valley Mountain Cooperative was formed with the objective of acquiring and managing those assets on behalf of the community. In 2014 the resort was acquired by Skyline International and currently owns and operates the resort.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Skyline Acquires Bear Valley Mountain Resort in Northern California; accessed January 10, 2015.
  2. ^ Bear Valley Adventure Company; accessed August 24, 2014.
  3. ^ Mountain Adventure Seminars website; accessed August 24, 2014.
  4. ^ Bear Valley Mountain Resort expansion plans; accessed August 24, 2014.
  5. ^ "Business deal fall through",; accessed August 24, 2014.

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