Cross Country Skiing

Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure Company

Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure Company

Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure Company209-753-2834
1 Bear Valley Road
Bear Valley, CA
bearvalleyxc.com

65 Km. of scenic groomed track, skating and snowshoeing trails, four trailside huts, trailside cafe.  Sledding hill.  Complete cross country ski rental and lesson programs.

Amenities include 35 trails carefully groomed for track and skate skiing and snowshoeing, the Meadow Cafe, a complete rental, demo and retail facility, 4 Trailside Huts, picnic tables, park benches, two kids’ trails, a new waxing hut, groomed downhill practice area and a sledding/tubing facility. Trails are open from 9am to 4:30pm daily.

Related links: Bear Valley Adventure Company

Blogs featuring Bear Valley Cross Country:   Top Family-friendly Picks for Winter Activities | Winter in Calaveras: Catch the Highlights | Winter in Calaveras: Active adventures | Winter

Videos fearing Bear Valley Cross Country: Paul’s Pointers: Getting Started | Paul’s Pointers: Clothing and Gear

December is a Winter Wonderland in Calaveras

December is a Winter Wonderland in Calaveras

Perhaps it’s the fact that the fall colors seem a little more vibrant than previous years, or that we’ve already had a few chilly storms come through our region, but winter feels like it’s in the air.   With another round of snow on the way this week and El Nino predictions abounding, you can feel the excitement here in Calaveras for a fun and wintry holiday season.

The view from Bear Valley Mountain

The view from Bear Valley Mountain

The 2015-16 season has just launched at Bear Valley Mountain resort for downhill skiing and snowboarding. The recent storms have provided an ideal snow base to begin operations, and cold temperatures have allowed for additional snow making on 100 acres of their terrain. “We’ve been out packing snow throughout the mountain to ensure great coverage and a solid base,” says Mattly Trent, Director of Guest Safety, “winter has been shaping up nicely here in Bear Valley.” They’ll be running lifts on weekends from 9:00am-4:00pm until December 19, then seven days a week for the rest of the ski season.

Last weekend was also the season opener for Bear Valley Cross Country, where you’ll find 38 trails groomed for track and skate skiing and snowshoeing on over 3,000 acres. They offer a full service sport shop for equipment rentals and sales, as well as options for sledding and tubing.

It’s shaping up to be a white Christmas – and New Year – and what better way to spend the holidays than in a cozy cabin at 7,000 feet in the Sierras? Be sure to check out Bear Valley Lodge for their current packages and availability. Bear Valley Real Estate will set you and your family up in a rental cabin or condo located near the ski shuttle.

Bear Valley Snowmobile

See the forest from the seat of a Bear Valley Snowmobile

Perhaps you need a little more speed for your glide over the snow.  Consider renting a snowmobile for the day from Bear Valley Snowmobile.  If you’ve never driven a snowmobile through the mountains, you’re in for a huge treat. With breathtaking views and beautifully groomed trails, you’re sure to enjoy the outdoors in a whole new way.  They have options for the whole family, including kids as young as two. Besides renting snowmobiles, owners Greg and Sandy offer VIP homeowner valet service to Bear Valley residents, SKI DOO servicing for those who own their own snowmobiles, and SKI DOO sales.

Regardless of when you come up, the trip to Bear Valley is a great winter adventure, as you travel along Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, through towering trees with views of the snow-capped Sierras.   Check in with Sierra Nevada Adventure Company and Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods in Arnold for gear rentals and updates on snow and weather conditions. They also sell Sno-Park parking permits, which you’ll need if you want to venture out on snowshoes or backcountry gear in the high country. Bear Valley Cross Country is also a good resource for outdoor gear and snow safety information.

For a fun small town winter tradition, head to Murphys on December 4 for the Holiday Open House and Parade. Shops stay open late, offering holiday treats and the streets are filled with locals and visitors celebrating the season. Also kicking off this evening is the Holiday Festival of Wines, with many of the town’s wineries offering music, small bites and big sales!   The festival will continue through the weekend at participating wineries.

Murphys Holiday Open House and Parade
Murphys Main Street
December 4, 5:00-8:00pm

Festival of Wines – featuring Calaveras Winegrape Alliance member wineries.
Various Locations throughout Calaveras County
December 4, 5:00-8:00pm
December 5-6, 11:00am-5:00pm

Mountain Ranch Christmas Parade
Main Street, Mountain Ranch, CA 95246
December 12, 2:00pm

Mokelumne Hill Open House

Horse-Drawn Hay Rides at Mokelumne Hill Open House

December 13 Mokelumne Hill hosts their annual Holiday Open House and Artful Celebration in conjunction with Petroglyphe Gallery.  The gallery will be offering 20% off most of their regular priced jewelry lines—specifically for this event. Find those unique & special gifts from the gallery’s selection of fine art & jewelry with free signature gift wrapping.  Have a photo taken with Santa at the Historic Hotel Leger and take a Horse-Drawn Hay Ride down Main Street. Merchants will be offering special activities such as face painting by Leslie Vasquez at Petroglyphe Gallery and Reindeer Games at McHale’s Revival.  Mokelumne Hill comes to life with a special day for the whole family.

Mokelumne Hill Open House and Petroglyphe Reception
Main Street, Moke Hill, CA 95245
December 13, 2:00-7:00pm

Winter Wonderland at Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Winter Wonderland at Calaveras Big Trees State Park

How about a snowy carriage ride among the giant sequoias? Mark your calendars for the annual Winter Wonderland celebration at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Enjoy games, prizes, music, hot beverages and treats – but grab your tickets early because this one sells out every year!

Winter Wonderland at Big Trees State Park
December 29, 11:00am-4:00pm
Tickets: $12.50 adults / $8.50 children under 12
Order online at www.bigtrees.org or call 209-795-1196 for more info.

Don’t forget to download our 2015 Holiday Shopping Guide to help you navigate all the great small businesses and gift shops here in Calaveras County.  You’re sure to find something for everyone on your list!

 

 

Lake Alpine Sno Park

Lake Alpine Sno Park

209-795-1381
Highway 4, 2miles past Bear Valley
(Where Hwy 4 is closed in the wintertime.)
Lake Alpine Sno Park

Lake Alpine Sno Park is a great place to go for family friendly snow play.  Great for cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snow play, and snowmobiling.  To park at the Sno Park, you must purchase a pass.  Sno Park passes can be purchased online at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov.  Pases are $5.00 a day or $25.00 for a season pass plus a service fee of $1.95

Passes can also be purchased at the following locations:

Bear Valley Cross Country, 1 Bear Valley Road, Bear Valley
Bear Valley Snowmobile, 3 Bear Valley Road (Inside Village Lodge), Bear Valley
Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods, 925 Hwy 4, Arnold
Sierra Nevada Adventure Company, 2293 Hwy 4, Arnold

 

Mountain Adventure Seminars

209-753-6556
3 Bear Valley Road
Bear Valley, CA 95223
mtadventure.com

Mountain Adventure Seminars (MAS) is a year-round mountaineering school and guide service based in Bear Valley, offering family, group and individual rock climbing workshops, adventures, camps and specialty programs. Winter activities include mountaineering school, seminars, and workshops, telemark skiing, backcountry skiing and guided and private snowshoeing.

MAS staff are hired for their technical and personal skills and have proven themselves as professional educators, mentors and leaders. The MAS staff takes pride in leading safe, educational and fun programs.

Blogs featuring MAS:  Kid Favorites in Calaveras | Calaveras Itineraries for Happy Kids on Vacation

SNAC Murphys

SNAC Murphys

Sierra Nevada Adventure Company Murphys209-728-9133
448 Main St.
Murphys 95247
snacattack.com

Great selection of outdoor gear, clothing and footwear in the Sierra! Featuring rental equipment for every season in the Arnold store… recreational kayaks and canoes, tents, snowshoes, downhill skis, snowboards, and more! Open daily.

Related Links: Sierra Nevada Adventure Company | Sierra Nevada Adventure Company – Winter Sports

Blogs featuring SNAC:  Gateway to high country adventures | How to spend your vacation on the water | Winter in Calaveras – Active Adventures | Winter – Unwind, indulge … or both | Holiday Shopping at its Best |  Top Family-friendly Picks for Winter Activities

Spicer Sno Park

Spicer Sno Park

209- 795-1381
South side of Highway 4 at Spicer Road
(4 Miles before Bear Valley Village)
SpicerSnoPark

Spicer Sno Park is a great place to go for family friendly snow play.  Great for cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snow play, and snowmobiling.  To park at the Sno Park, you must purchase a pass.  Sno Park passes can be purchased online at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov.  Passes are $5.00 a day or $25.00 for a season pass plus a service fee of $1.95. There are no parking fees–only the Sno Park pass fee. You can find a map of the trail system here.

Passes can also be purchased at the following locations:

Bear Valley Cross Country, 1 Bear Valley Road, Bear Valley
Bear Valley Snowmobile, 3 Bear Valley Road (Inside Village Lodge), Bear Valley
Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods, 925 Hwy 4, Arnold
Sierra Nevada Adventure Company, 2293 Hwy 4, Arnold

 

The Pooch Perspective on Cross-Country Ski Trails

The Pooch Perspective on Cross-Country Ski Trails

We love this new GoPro video of border collie, Lily, and friends enjoying cross-country skiing trails behind Tamarack Lodge in dog-friendly Calaveras County. Get your trail passes from Bear Valley Cross Country – good for you and your pooch and hit the trails for some awesome winter wonderland fun.

This video was made by talented, local videographer, Sandi Pearce of Sierra Sentry Mountain Home Services.

Top Ten Ways to Get Fit this January in Calaveras

Top Ten Ways to Get Fit this January in Calaveras

Welcome to a new year! It’s that time, full of hope, when we make all sorts of promises to ourselves to commit to get fit – or refit, perhaps. Let us help you make it easier with our top ten list of Calaveras-based activities for January to get you out there and on your way to a healthy year ahead!

A street near Murphys Park – the easiest thing might be to get out and take a walk. | Photo: Cindy Rochelle

1. Take a walk – Let’s start with the basics – just moving your body outside for twenty minutes can energize your day and bring fresh perspective. Take a spin down the picturesque streets of downtown Angels Camp, Murphys or Mokelumne Hill. If it’s an unpeopled landscape you prefer, there are fabulous and very accessible trails on the outskirts of Arnold (Arnold Rim Trail), Angels Camp (New Melones Recreation Area) and Valley Springs (Lake Hogan).

2. Run – Take it up a notch, and turn any of the above into a run! And if you’re a runner, check out the 25th Annual Copper Run in Copperopolis on January 28.  Choose from a half mile, 2 mile or 10K. Proceeds will benefit the local Fire Department, school and Copper Library.  Registration packets available here.   Later in the year, sign up for the Angels Camp Gold Run, it usually takes place in September, but check their Facebook page to stay up to date.  We’re always adding new events like community runs to our Calendar of Events, so check back often.

3. Golf – Winter is a great time to check out Calaveras’ fun and challenging courses at La Contenta, Saddle Creek and Greenhorn Creek.

Disc golf in Calaveras County

Lake Hogan disc golf | File Photo

4. Disc Golf is also well represented throughout the county, with courses at Lake Hogan in Valley Springs, Quinones Park in San Andreas and Feeney Park in Murphys (as well as Bear Valley and White Pines in warmer months). If you’ve never tried it, give it a shot – it’s harder than it looks and you get a good walk out of it! Plus, most courses are either free or have small park entrance fees. SNAC in Arnold and Murphys are your source for golf discs.

Mtn_Bike_foothills

5. Bike – The trails mentioned above – especially those at New Melones Recreation Area – are a great place to sample local mountain biking (the Arnold Rim Trail tends to be covered in snow this time of year, but can be in excellent shape with a spell of dry weather). The mild daytime temps in the foothills can make for a great day of road cycling as well. Calaveras has many popular cycling events throughout the year, here are some of our favorites:

Try a winter day hike on snowshoes or cross country skis at Big Trees State Park. | Photo: Dave Bunnell

Try a winter day hike on snowshoes or cross country skis at Big Trees State Park. | Photo: Dave Bunnell

6 & 7. Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing – Whether it’s on a pair of snowshoes or cross country skis, few winter activities combine both the challenge and reward of these snow country sports. Once you arrive at the crest of a trail to take in the views of the Sierra Nevada, you’ll be glad you pumped your way to the top. Bear Valley Cross Country has world-class striding, skating and snowshoes trails, and a full rental, retail and demo center.  Big Trees State Park is also magical in the snow, and a snowshoe through the park is a truly unique way to experience this ancient forest.

snowshoeing bear valley sno park

Snowshoeing near Bear Valley in the Stanislaus National Forest. | File Photo

Explore the Stanislaus National Forest on your own by using the parking areas at Spicer Road, Round Valley or Lake Alpine. For these, you’ll need a $5 Sno-Park pass, which you can find along with snowshoe rentals, maps and other area info at Sierra Nevada Adventure Company, Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods, or Bear Valley Cross Country.

mercer-caverns-dave-bunnell4

Mercer Caverns walking tour. | Photo: Dave Bunnell

8. Caving – For something deep, check out the special offer this month at Moaning Cavern Adventure Park and Black Chasm Cavern. During January, guided walking tours at either location are 20% off with their Get Fit Coupon. Burn calories while exploring some of Calaveras County’s famous limestone caverns!  Our two most popular caves, Moaning Cavern and Mercer Caverns are both vertically oriented – meaning there are plenty of stairs for you to get a unique workout any time of year.

 

acro_yoga_murphys

Acro yoga at Intelligent Body Studio in Murphys | Courtesy Photo

9 & 10. Yoga and Fitness Studios – The mind and spirit need to stay fit too. Visit Intelligent Body in Murphys for a variety of yoga styles, including Vinyasa, Forrest and Kundalini – as well as a new Meditation class. In Arnold, Core Connection offers both yoga and fitness classes such as Pilates, Aerobics and Dance.  Angels Camp’s newest fitness studio, The Body Shop offers classes for all levels, including weight and interval training, TRX and BASE methods. All of these studios have drop in pricing, ranging from $12-15. Check their respective websites for specific class schedules.

Angels Camp Body Shop

Getting a workout at The Body Shop, Angels Camp | File Photo

Be sure to check our Calendar of Events throughout the year for fun ideas to stay active and connected here in Calaveras!