- Overall Rating 5
- Family Friendly 4
- All-Mtn. Terrain 5
- Terrain Park 2
- Nightlife 1
Pros: Great Expert terrain - like lift accessed snowcat skiing
Cons: Poor middle management. Questionable marketing decisions
Recommended For: Family Friendly
Date Visited: Jan 1, 2010
I have skied for 40 yrs. I was a ski rat a Squaw for many years in my teens. Done Tahoe, been there , done that. Bear Valley is absolutely one of the best undiscovered secrets of the sierra. I am a pass holder and expert skier. I enjoy steep, deep and adventure terrain and Bear Valley offers plenty. Anyone who thinks this is a small resort should ski with me for the day. Bear has so much expert terrain, it is rare that I see more than a few people in the course of a day skiing. Example: Presidents holiday. I skied the whole day down in Grizzly bowl and saw only a few people but when I left that afternoon, I notice the parking lot was full to the max! Busiest day of the year and I skied solo for most of it. Bear Valley offers powder skiing days after a storm. I can go ski two days after a storm and still get great fresh tracks!
Oh, the highway you ask? Hwy 4 NEVER closes! Always a quick and easy drive, even in extreme blizzard conditions(yeah! love it!)
Bear Valley is also a great family resort, I taught my two girls to ski there and we enjoy family days all the time. The topography of the area is a bowl, with the lodge at the bottom - very easy to meet up with anyone, like the kids, for lunch.
BV is also the friendliest mountain in the sierra. If you have an attitude(like Squaw and Kirkwood), well don't come - nice people only. It is very laid back.
I could go on about the virtues of this resort but I would encourage a visit for anyone looking for a very mellow, yet pleasant resort , this would be the place.