Bear Valley Mountain Ski Resort

Bear Valley Mountain Resort is a beloved destination for both Sierra locals and visitors alike. Located in a secluded part of the Stanislaus National Forest along Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway at 7,000 foot elevation, the resort boasts a dramatic view 3,800 feet into the deep, granite cut of the Mokelumne River. Aside from the striking views of the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains and the towering Mokelumne Peak standing just across the river, the resort has a laid-back vibe that can be difficult to find at most quality snow sport facilities.

Bear Valley Resort offers visitors a break from large crowds with space enough for beginners to get on their feet and for experts to indulge uninterrupted. Ease of access make the resort a great day trip and the variety of lodging options allows for an affordable over night stay.The drive to and from the resort provides a rare glimpse into an untouched wilderness, something that is hard to come by in today's day and age.

The pristine expanse of Sierra Nevada wilderness presently referred to as Bear Valley was first sought out in 1967 when there was a heightened awareness and interest towards winter sports. Two companies,  Mt. Reba Inc. and the Bear Valley Development Company, purchased the area to meet the growing demand for a winter sport recreation area.The acquired land was first called Mt. Reba Ski Bowl. It was not until 1991 that the management of the Ski Bowl changed hands and was formally named the Bear Valley Ski Company.  Family man, ski enthusiast and outdoors man, Jim Bottomley, purchased the property with plans to renovate the resort's infrastructure and amenities, paying increased attention to the experience of its guests.

In 2005, two years after the passing of Jim, the family decided to sell the property to Dundee Corporation, a well known and trusted organization with a positive track record in the snow sport industry. Still Bottomley's sons, Tim and Eric Bottomley have remained the authority on much of the area's management. Even ski pioneer Jon Mahanna was brought on board as Director of Operations, during the 2008 season. Mahanna holds positions with the United States Ski Association and is a certified member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America. "Bear Valley is a sleeping giant... All of our improvements are going to make Bear Valley Mountain the premier destination for skiing and snowboarding in the Central Sierras" , said Mahanna. Bear Valley Resort has remained one of the most prominent ski stops in California, all the while maintaining a lasting investment towards its community and the environment.

Bear Valley Resort is an active member of the National Ski Area Association’s Sustainable Slopes program, Renewable Choice Energy and recipient of Green-e Certified Clean Source power.In addition, Bear Valley Mountain continues to set a precedent of environmental stewardship within the snow sport industry through state of the art efficiency practices ranging from their infrastructure to snow making equipment.

Bear Valley is also home to one of the biggest Telemark festival in the country. Every year, from February 10th to 12th, interested participants gather to take part in technical clinics, free-skiing adventures, live music, banquets, demos, back-country skiing, with plenty of prizes and fun to go around.Aside from the mountain resort's world-class winter sports, Bear Valley hosts sensational summers, offering all types of outdoor activities and adventure, annual music festivals and exciting special events, not to mention lots of fresh air, rivers, lakes and streams, towering conifers and dramatic vistas in all directions.

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Latitude: 38.4927 Longitude: -120.0443 Elevation: 7784 ft


Snow Sports Area By the Numbers

Lifts and Terrain

  • 1 high-speed quad
  • 2 triple chairs
  • 5 double chairs
  • 1 carpet lift
  • 1,280 ski-able acres

Snowfall and Snow Making

Natural snowfall average is 359″ (30 feet) annually. 

Bear Valley's advanced snow making system covers a network of runs served by 9 lifts; beginner through advanced terrain; blankets 795 vertical feet; approximately 100 acres of coverage.


  • Summit 8,500 ft.
  • Mid Mountain Lodge 7,750 ft.
  • Lower Mountain Base 6,600 ft.

Trail System

Bear Valley Resort host a total of 67 trails. 25% of these trails are designated Beginner, 40% are designated Intermediate, and 35% are Advanced. Bear Valley has a vertical drop of 1,900 ft. from summit to base.

Best Access and Parking Area

Bear Valley is conveniently located on scenic all-weather Highway 4, regionally located between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. Access is easy from all areas of Northern California.

MapQuest Directions When using MapQuest keep in mind that the mountain is located just up the road from Bear Valley Village on Hwy 207; Continue 2 miles east past the village to reach the mountain.

Approximate Operating Season

Ski/Snowboarding Season: December - May. Closed during the Summer.


The best drive to Sierra skiing. It is never crowded on Highway 4 to get up or down the mountain. Great family ski destination for all abilities. I’ve been on their most crowded weekend this year with never a lift line more than 10 people on the quad.

Donald Ewen, 3/27/2012

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