Powder day at Bear Valley
Outdoor Adventures, Snow Play

Snow Day

I almost don’t want to tell you where I went the day after Christmas, because I’m selfish and wanna keep this little secret to myself. But some things are just too good not to share with friends.

When everyone and his mom is heading up to Mammoth Mountain for a powder day, the place to be is an hour north at a hidden gem in the Sierra called Bear Valley. This relatively unknown resort is a little more out of the way, but every good thing like that is an unexpected discovery to be made.

Picture powder stashes to be had even days after a storm, without a hike… groomers for all ability levels… a black-diamond bowl to keep the rippers happy… fun and challenging terrain frontside and backside… no lift lines… and lift ticket prices that don’t require you to give up your firstborn. That’s Bear Valley — a speck in Stanislaus National Forest, but no less a powdery playground than its behemoth neighbors in Mammoth and Tahoe.

Now that I’ve told you all that… sshhhhh!

And afterward, you can unwind with a little snowshoe or cross-country ski exploration in the snowy wilderness of Spicer Meadow nearby. At this time of year, the meadow is dotted with butterscotch-scented Jeffrey and ponderosa pines dipped in several feet of whipped cream. It looks just as delicious as it sounds!

Spicer Meadow

Cross-country skiing at Spicer Meadow

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