Calaveras County doesn’t close for winter. With Ski season in full bloom at Bear Valley ski resort her is a great reminder of the winter activites available in Calaveras.
One day winter itinerary for Calaveras:
Power up at Arnold Bistro Espresso located right in the heart of Arnold before a big day of powder.
As breakfast settles, drive just 30 miles for perfect skiing and snowboarding conditions. Snag a half-day pass for High Sierra snow fun at Bear Valley Mountain, a picturesque 1280-acre ski hill at 8,500 feet in the Stanislaus National Forest that offers everything you want from a resort, minus the attitude. Hit the runs in Grizzly Bowl for big challenges and what seems like your own private mountain at times.
Big drops work up big appetites. Head to Bear Valley Village and try to land a table at the Creekside Dining Room in Bear Valley Lodge for lunch. This chic café’s creative menu, which changes daily, highlights fresh ingredients and will have your mouth watering.
On your way back down the hill look for the National Forest sign for Big Meadow. In the summer it’s a campground, but in the winter it turns into parking for a prime snowshoeing spot. Explore the rolling snow hills and icy streams that meander through this scenic area. Snowshoes can be rented from SNAC in Arnold or at the Bear Valley Cross Country Center.
For a great dining experience try Sarafina’s Italian Kitchen in Arnold. Here, old world Italy meets contemporary California for pasta, chicken, steak, seafood, and vegetarian options goodness. And their woodsy cabin feel is a perfect setting to relax in at the end of a day in the snow.
Have more time in the area? Here are a few other suggestions…
Ride the snow highway. There is another way to get to Ebbetts Pass once the road closes for the winter, and it’s much more thrilling. Bring your snowmobile (or rent one from Bear Valley Snowmobile) and zip through 15 miles of groomed trails through a winter wonderland to reach the pass. Keep going and you can reach the secluded Highland Lakes area.
Work up a sweat. One of the most extensive cross country trail systems in the country, Bear Valley Cross Country, offers skiers 35 groomed trails ranging from beginner to advanced on over 3,000 acres of National Forest Land. Bring a few bucks along and treat yourself to lunch at the area’s full service café conveniently located on the trail system. Ski rentals available or bring your own.