Purchase Of Bear Valley Fills Out Cali Pass Coverage
Located two hours from Stockton, Bear Valley fits nicely into Cali Pass' 400-mile south-to-north stretch from Mountain High above Los Angeles, China Peak above Fresno and Dodge Ridge above Modesto -- now all owned by Mountain High-based California Mountain Resort Company.
Opened in 1967 as Mt. Reba Snow Bowl, Bear Valley boasts 1,900 vertical drop on 1,680 acres. It catches tons of snow in good years, like 2022-23 when snowfall came for 55 days totaling 428 inches.
The layout of the mountain is awkward -- somewhat upside-down -- with no lift out of the main base village and the steepest runs on the lowest sections of the mountain. Traditional "front-back" distinction is blurred, vertical drop isn't continual, and moving around the mountain's four distinct sections takes time.
A 2.5-mile shuttle ride gets to the mid-mountain day lodge where the lift system and the more modest terrain begins. Parking is limited there.
The lift inventory includes two high-speeds to serve the moderate terrain on the upper mountain, and four of the mountain's original fixed-grip chairs (1967-1970). The vast majority of trails are rated intermediate or advanced, making the mountain a playground for laid-back cruisers and unhurried families.
The new owners told Storm Skiing Journal that the first order of business will be putting up a lift out of the base village to connect all sections of the mountain: "That's been the biggest hurdle that's probably held Bear Valley back for 40 years."
It's unclear whether any or all of the mountains will retain current participation in the Powder Alliance or Indy Pass. Owners did hint at the possibility of future resort purchases.