Snow Play – 7 Different Ways to Enjoy the Snow in Calaveras’ High Sierra

Looking for new ways to enjoy family snow days? From adrenaline pumping adventures to gentle forays into a winter wonderland, Bear Valley and the snowy Calaveras County High Sierra corridor have got you covered. Read on for our top 7 favorite ways to enjoy the snow in and near Calaveras County along the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway during your next snow day adventure. Remember to always bring chains for your vehicle in case of extreme weather conditions.

What to Know Before You Go ✅

Snow Condition Updates: As of December 9th, we have fresh powder in Bear Valley, CA and East of Bear Valley. Want updates on snow conditions at lower elevations? Give us a call 7 days a week at 1-209-736-0049, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram at GoCalaveras for the latest updates on Calaveras County fun!

⚠️Know Before You Go – Swing by the Calaveras Visitors Bureau for a FREE Hop Lightly pack-it-out trash bag, great for diapers, broken sleds, and picnic trash. Wherever you choose to play outdoors, please remember that the Stanislaus National Forest and surrounding areas are home to many species of wild birds and animals that can be seriously harmed by any trash you leave behind. Please pick up after yourself and your family, dress warmly, be safe and have a wonderful time!

1. Enjoy Snow in Calaveras County – Snowshoe

Looking to take in the sights and sounds of winter at a gentler pace? As the saying goes, if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Snowshoeing allows you to extend your hiking and jogging through the snowy season, with the addition of specialized snowshoes.

Snowshoe adventure I Courtesy of Instagrammer @sara_jemai

2. Enjoy Snow in Calaveras County – Try a fatbike

Looking for something you’ve never done before? Why not hop on a fatbike this winter? What’s a fatbike, you say? A fatbike is an off-road bicycle with oversized tires designed for low ground pressure. This low ground pressure allows fatbikes to traverse  soft, unstable terrain, such as snow. You can rent fatbikes at Bear Valley Cross Country and Adventure Company, or bring your own for your next Calaveras High Sierra adventure.

fatbike, bear valley, snow, bear valley cross country
You can rent fatbikes at Bear Valley Cross Country I Courtesy of Instagrammer @shredasaurusrex

3. Enjoy Snow in Calaveras County – Ski and/or Snowboard 

What makes Bear Valley so special? Bear Valley Resort is the place to be for some epic skiing or snowboarding.

Snow, Snowboard, Ski, Skiing Lessons, Snow Report, Bear Valley
Bear Valley Snow Joy Courtesy of Instagrammer @jeffryraposas

4. Enjoy Snow in Calaveras County – Get Cozy

Who said enjoying winter snow had to mean working up a sweat? Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a wintry view without all the work.

Snow, Cozy, Hygge, Warming Hut, Camp Connell, Sled, Sledding, Tubing
Camp Connell General Store I Courtesy of Instagrammer @fragmentsoftheuniverse

5. Enjoy Snow in Calaveras County – Go Snowmobiling

Looking for an outdoor activity to enjoy with the whole family? Snowmobiling is loved by everyone from kids, to teens, to parents, and grandparents.  Unlike a lot of other snow sports, snowmobiling can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of fitness level. So why not get those engines revving and head out into the great unknown? At Bear Valley Snowmobile, you can enjoy scenic views of Lake Alpine, Spicer Reservoir and many other points of interest along the beautifully groomed trails of Stanislaus National Forest.

Snow, Bear Valley, Snowmobile, Bear Valley Snowmobile, Bear Valley
Bear Valley Snowmobile I Courtesy of Instagrammer @alyxfairman

6. Enjoy Snow in Calaveras County – Go Sledding and/or Tubing

From roadside slopes to pay-to-play facilities with restrooms and sled rentals, we’ve rounded up a handful of options to help you have a safe and fun snow day next time you venture up. sled, sledding, tubing

7. Enjoy Snow in Calaveras County – Go Cross Country Skiing

More energy efficient than long distance snowshoeing, cross country skiing is the perfect sport for a variety of interests, allowing you to enjoy quick forays into the woods for an afternoon outing or for those with a little more time available and a sense of adventure, you can venture so deep into a magical winter wilderness you may encounter regions more wild than known. Interested? You’ve come to the right place.

Looking for cross country ski lessons? Cross country ski lessons and gear rentals are available at Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure Company here.

Snow, Cross COuntry Ski, Cross Country Skiing, Bear Valley, Bear Valley Village, Bear Valley XC, Bear Valley Cross COuntry
Cross Country Skiing at Bear Valley I Courtesy of Instagrammer @_lauren_ho

Staying below the snowline? Explore fun things to do in towns below the snowline through the town information and directories here: Angels Camp I Copperopolis I Mokelumne Hill I Murphys I San Andreas I Valley Springs tri-lake area.

(Featured image courtesy of Instagrammer @mnwkr. )

? Get SNO-PARK Permits Here

SNO-PARK Permits

To park at a SNO-PARK, you must purchase a sno-park permit. SNO-PARK permits are $5.00 a day or $25.00 for a season pass.

Purchase SNO-PARK permits in person at the locations below.

Purchase SNO-PARK permits on-line here: Purchase SNO-PARK passes on-line

? Find Snow Gear Rentals + Supplies Here

Snow Gear Rentals and Supplies

  • Snow Gear Rentals and Supplies – Arnold, CA
    • Sierra Nevada Adventure Company (known locally as SNAC)
      • Offering: In addition to year round gear for purchase, SNAC has a great selection of parkas, pants, Merino wool long underwear and socks, snow boots, ice cleats, goggles and sunglasses, gloves, helmets, books, maps, toboggans, saucers for purchase. They also rent winter and summer gear.
      • SNAC Winter Rentals: Explore SNAC Winter Rentals on-line here.
    • Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods
      • Offering: Specializing in High Sierra sporting goods; as well as  a variety of snow goods such as snow boots, goggles, ski gloves, troopers, beanies, sleds and discs. They also rent winter gear including skis, snowboards, snowshoes and winter apparel including adult and child-sized snow boot and clothing rentals
      • Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods Winter Rentals: Explore Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods Winter Rentals on-line here.
  •  Snow Gear Rentals and Supplies – Bear Valley, CA
    • Bear Valley Cross Country
      • Offering: Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure Company is a year-round mountain resort with one of the largest cross country ski areas in California with 35 trails for 65 kilometers of groomed track and skating lanes, and summer mountain recreation activities including kayaking and mountain biking.They also rent winter and summer gear.
      • Bear Valley Cross Country Winter Rentals: Explore Bear Valley Cross Country Winter Rentals by activity on-line here.
    • Bear Valley Resort 
      • Offering: Ebbetts Pass corridor’s only ski resort, Bear Valley Resort offers terrain for all skill levels. Rentals include helmets, boots, skis, and snowboards. Hitting the mountain? When arriving at Bear Valley, follow signs for Equipment Rentals.
      • Bear Valley Resort Winter Rentals: Explore Bear Valley Resort Winter Rentals on-line here.
    • Bear Valley Snowmobile
      • Offering: Bear Valley Snowmobile has been renting snowmobiles on the groomed trails of Lake Alpine and Spicer Reservoir with the US Forest Service for over 45 years. Bear Valley Snowmobile is the only snowmobile rental operator who has the privilege to rent snowmobiles in the Ebbetts Pass corridor.
      • Rent a snowmobile: Rent a snowmobile at Bear Valley Snowmobile here.

Happy travels!