Today’s Bear Valley is a master planned community, founded in 1954 by cattleman Bruce Orvis. It was a highway toll station from 1863 to 1910, and for thousands of years before that it was a summer home to the Washo Tribe. The Old Subdivision has dirt roads and no architectural controls. The New Subdivision has paved county roads, underground utilities, and architectural controls. Subdivision roads are not plowed in winter; homeowners and guests park in community lots in the village center and go over the snow to the cabins. There’s a well organized oversnow transport system. Condominiums and shops in the village center area are always accessible by car.