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Snowshow Magazine

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing at Bear Valley Cross Country in California

PO Box 5120, Bear Valley CA 95223

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Bear Valley Cross Country (209/753-2834, www.bearvalleyxc.com) is in Bear Valley, CA on Highway 4 on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the land of giant Sequoia trees. It is at 7,000 - 7,800 foot elevation and boasts substantial annual snow depths making it in most years the first to open and last to close among the Sierra xc ski centers. There are 35 trails and 70 km of trails groomed for classic and skate skiing with 2 kids trails, 4 trailside huts, and a groomed downhill area.

Trail fees are $25 for an adult, $18 for senior (60-69) or Junior (13-17), $10 for child (9-12) or 70 + and $1 for 8 and under.

Lessons offered to all ages including Skier Bears (4-8 years old) on weekends. Group instruction ($30 without trail pass) for complete Introduction to skiing package ($57), skate skiing package ($62) or private lessons ($50 per hour) available. XC ski, pulk sleds and snowshoe rental equipment are available. Rossignol Demo Center offers try before you buy for equipment including telemark skiing. There is a sledding hill and BVCC sleds are required at $11 or tubes are $16. XC rentals are $22/day; skating gear rentals are $27 and snowshoes are $20/day. Snowshoers need to have a trail pass. Kids rentals are lower priced.

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Paul Petersen, Bear Valley's director authored "The Essential Cross Country Skier - A Step by Step Guide" which is can be previewed or ordered at amazon.com

Bear Valley Lodge offers accommodations with 51 rooms, lounge, Grizzly Bar dining room, shops massage and ski storage. Stay & Play Special includes lodging and a trail pass Sunday - Thursday nights, non-holiday, double occupancy at the Bear Valley Lodge. Must book package by phone at 209-753-2327. CCSAA member

Bear Valley alpine ski resort nearby. The Calaveras Big Trees State Park has two groves of Sequoia trees and a Visitor Center that is a popular attraction any time of year. Other activity info at www.visitcalaveras.org