True to the Founder’s original vision, Bear Valley provides a magical High Sierra winter wonderland whereby the intrusion of automobiles is mitigated. In the wintertime, from approximately the week after Thanksgiving to the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, all the roads in the single family home areas of Bear Valley become impassible by automobile. The paved roads then covered in snow are groomed with a snowcat to create hard packed snow roads.
All winter, access to Bear Valley homes is by snowmobile, snow cat, cross country skis or walking. This is by design and we like it. Because of this, Bear Valley tends to attract families who are outdoors oriented, hardy and who enjoy recreating.
When you rent a home in Bear Valley through Bear Valley Vacation Rentals we transport your entire party, all of your luggage and groceries to your rental home at the beginning of your stay, and back out at the end.
This transportation is via snow mobiles outfitted with specialized custom trailers designed to move people and baggage.
Once at your rental house,you can ski from any home to the free ski area shuttle bus in the village center. You can also ski from the ski area back down to all homes. There are groomed and patrolled ski trails to the village center. However, some homes are easier or harder than others to access depending on your ski ability. Once here, many residents park their car once and don’t touch it again until they leave.
While making your home reservation you will be asked to also make a reservation for your over-the- snow transportation. These are available in half hour increments up to 9:00 p.m. all winter.
When contemplating your take-in time, consider your drive time from home, plan stops for gas, groceries and dining, and then factor in the weather and driving conditions. If you find that you are running late, please call us as our staff is generally waiting outside in the snow for you.
If you are more than a half hour late without notifying us of your lateness, you will forfeit your take-in time and will have to wait until the staff next becomes available. During busy times, this could take a couple of hours as we deal with the subsequent guests checking in. If you arrive after 9:00 pm without notifying us, no staff will be on hand to take you to your home. You will either have to walk in or rent a room at the Bear Valley Lodge (space available) and be transported in the morning. No refund of any portion of your rent will be given for a forfeiture of over the snow transportation.
In the winter, our temperatures drop to between 0 and 20 degrees at night. Sometimes colder.
When you arrive, you will be pulling your vehicle up to a snow loading area outside. Our staff appreciates your help in unloading your vehicle onto the snow bank whereby we will load our trailers. You will then take your car to one of the close by parking areas.
You’ll be outside for a period of time while the loading is taking place. Then, depending on which house you’ve rented, you will be in either an open air or covered unheated snow coach for a 5 to 15 minute ride. To increase uphill capacity, you may also be riding behind the driver on the snow mobile. Parties of 10 or more can take several trips to transport everyone and everything in. We like to take kids, the elderly or the super tired and cold in a party in first.
It could be windy, a white-out, raining, hailing or anything else in Nature’s bag of tricks. Don’t be that person who shows up in pedal pushers and pumps with no coat. For you guys, flip flops and shorts sure look cool but …..
Depending on the proximity of your rental house to the town, you may choose to rent your own snowmobiles to get around on during your stay. Some homes are located about a one block walk to the village center and don’t really require a snowmobile other than for us to get your luggage in. Other homes are up to one mile from the village center. To get to restaurants at night a snowmobile would be nice.
If you want to rent a snowmobile ( with dogsled type trailers) call Alpine Snowmobile Center (209-753-2620) or Bear Valley Snowmobile @ 209-753-2323. Discounts to our rental guests are offered. During holiday periods, reserve your snowmobile well in advance.
You can drive your car to all CONDOS in Bear Valley . They all have designated parking or under the building covered parking. Check in anytime after 4:00pm. Late check-ins are no problem.
With 4wd and good clearance you can also drive to several Sky High Ranch homes. Sky High is located 5 (miles) minutes before Bear Valley. Full time residents there drive Subaru, Volvo Cross Country wagons, and all forms of SUV’s. What doesn’t work in big storms to get up the hill are sports cars, sedans and mini-vans with chains on. SUV’s with low profile performance tires ( think BMW X5) often don’t have the necessary traction either.
To reserve your arrival time snow transportation, click here to book now.
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