About Bear Valley
Bear Valley sits in a stunning area of the Central Sierra Nevada Mountains undiscovered by the crowds. Our properties are the nearest accommodations to downhill skiing and snowboarding at Bear Valley Mountain Resort, cross-country skiing at Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure Company, snowmobiling, sledding and amazing winter family fun!
With five mountain lakes and two mountain passes nearby, summer offers perfect temperatures and world-class recreation in the form of hiking, mountain biking, road biking, kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, rock climbing and fishing, along with the annual Bear Valley Music Festival and myriad summer camps. With all of these reasons to be here, what are you still doing at home?
Access Bear Valley, year-round fun and the Sierra Nevada mountains with what many of our guests term the quickest and easiest drive from the Bay Area and Central Valley. Read more for an introduction to Bear Valley, the scenic Highway 4 corridor and beyond. Bear Valley is located on nationally-designated scenic byway Highway 4. We share the Highway 4 corridor with Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Moaning and Mercer Caverns, and the Murphys wine region to the west. Just beyond Bear Valley, the highway narrows into a road that traverses the mountain passes and deposits the adventurous driver (an hour plus drive for 36 miles) in Markleeville, the East Fork of the Carson River and Grover Hot Springs to the east. National Forest and Wilderness lands, along with the rivers, lakes and trails that lie therein, surround the town on all sides. Bear Valley Village is tucked beneath ridges that make up a portion of the skiing and boarding terrain at Bear Valley Mountain. The two wooden bear carvings near the highway mark the entrance to town. Across from the entrance lies what locals colloquially call “The Meadow.” In the summer, cattle graze high country grasses while in winter, the expanse is transformed into a cross country skiing wonderland.
The village consists of all Bear Valley Condos, businesses and lots for winter parking. Just beyond the village, the subdivision begins. Here is where all Bear Valley Homes are located. Here, too, lies the boundary of plowing. About three miles beyond the carved bears and turnoff to the village, is California’s shortest highway. Meet Highway 207, the two-mile stretch of road that leads to Bear Valley Mountain. Should you stay on Highway 4 (waving a friendly hello to Highway 207 as you pass by), you’ll quickly arrive at the Lake Alpine Recreation Basin. This is the end of the road, so to speak, during winter, when Ebbetts Pass closes to vehicle traffic, but opens to touring ski, snowshoe and snowmobile traffic as a Sno-Park. During summer, Lake Alpine is a favorite for fishing, kayaking, swimming and hiking.
Five miles west of the entrance into the village, Sky High Ranch subdivision is situated off of Skyline Road. Between Sky High Ranch and Bear Valley is the turnoff to the Spicer Reservoir Recreation Area. This is a Sno-Park in winter whose groomed roads can be enjoyed on foot, ski, snowshoe, snowmobile and sled! Both Lake Alpine and Spicer Sno-Parks require a parking pass to access. During summer, this road leads to easy access of the Stanislaus River as well as Utica and Union Lakes and Spicer Reservoir where hiking, fishing and kayaking opportunities abound.
Bear Valley offers a unique snowbound setting in the sloping subdivision where the cabin rentals are situated. The Village (where both the condos and businesses are located) is accessible year-round, but the houses are tucked on snowy roads that in winter must be accessed on foot, ski or snowmobile only. The founders of our village envisioned a winter wonderland where visitors can park their car for the weekend and enjoy a winter experience on foot (or ski, or sled)! We can’t help but agree. There is something very special about being surrounded by a fresh blanket of snow. Learn how our over-the-snow transportation works!
All winter, access to Bear Valley homes is by snowmobile, snow cat, cross country skis or walking. The roads in the village portion of Bear Valley, where the businesses (such as ours), and condos are located, are accessible by vehicle all year long, including the winter. If you would like to be able to drive to your winter vacation rental, booking a condo is the perfect choice for you. However, guests of all ages have come to experience (and love) the snowbound experience!
When you rent a home in Bear Valley through Bear Valley Vacation Rentals we can transport your entire party, as well as your luggage, groceries and gear to your rental home upon arrival and departure. We work to set a “take-in time” that works with the schedule of our transportation team, setting an appointment for you be transported via snowmobiles outfitted with custom trailers designed to move both people and baggage. Please note additional fees apply.
Once at your rental home, you choose how you would like to get around. You can ski from any home to the free ski area shuttle bus in the village center. You can also rent a snowmobile from the local outfitters. Many guests choose to walk to and from their rental homes to the village. There are groomed and patrolled ski trails to the village center. Check with the friendly staff and ski patrol at Bear Valley Mountain to discuss the given conditions and ability level necessary to ski to the village.
Bear Valley oozes family-friendly. That’s the vibe we like to give and that’s the feedback we’re continually receiving. Bear Valley offers an eight-week summer day camp as well as several specialized sports camps from soccer to lacrosse to archery. Put the kids in camp for the week and spend the time exploring the nearby trails, lakes and single tracks yourself. There is no reason that “camp feeling” should just be for the kids! For more information on the Bear Valley Day Camp (ages 3-16) click here. Bear Valley also offers specialized sports camps: Soccer, Lacrosse, Archery. Bear Valley also offers many events during the summer. Please visit their website for upcoming events. http://bearvalley.com
We are big fans of you “floating your boat.” Between Bear Valley Adventure Company and Lake Alpine Resort you can rent single or double kayaks, canoes, boats and stand up paddle-boards for use at the nearby lakes. Naturally, you’re invited to bring your own boats along too! Kids of all ages will enjoy themselves on (and in) the water. Splash, paddle, float, repeat.
The Bear Valley Music Festival is a yearly summer event in the second half of July and the beginning of August, celebrating 50 years in 2018. This event features an eclectic mix of music. Please visit http://bearvalleymusicfestival.org for more information regarding this longstanding event.
A Bear Valley stay isn’t complete without a sledding or tubing session. And a sledding or tubing session isn’t complete unless followed by hot cocoa. Many choose to bring their own sleds and access the National Forest via our local Alpine and Spicer Sno-Parks. Many choose the ease of a visit to the maintained sledding and tubing hills at Bear Valley Cross Country. Slip off the mittens and follow either fun with chocolate goodness at the BVXC Warming Hut.
Bear Valley Skyline Resort offers 25% beginner terrain… in other words, this easy-going, family-focused resort is a great place for your kids to strap on skis and start their love affair with the winter outdoors! Children’s lessons available daily. Watch little Sprout gain ability and confidence as they move from Cub to Koala levels.
Bear Valley often has lift ticket deals at https://liftopia.com.