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“Crowded but the staff was great”
Review of Snow Valley

Snow Valley
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Attraction details
Owner description: Popular ski/resort area that receives the most natural snowfall in Southern California.
Reviewed 29 December 2016

We went to Snow Valley in between Christmas and New Years so it was really crowded. We got there at about 4:30 the day before we wanted to ski. I wanted to get the rentals and lift tickets then so I wouldn't have to hassle with it the next day. I was told at the ticket office that it wasn't possible to do that but then she sent me to the Guest Relations. Miranda and Bonnie figured out what I wanted to do and made it possible for me to get it all done. Because the lift tickets were time sensitive, I had to stop by there the next morning to get the lift tickets and ski lesson package but at least they let us get the rentals the night before. The next morning, Miranda remembered what I needed done and worked the accounting of it so that I was taken care of pretty quickly
The rental department people were a little less impressive. The gal helping with the boots was about 16 and seemed completely uninterested in helping find a good boot. My son needed a change in ski boots and she seemed completely put out. We went to the next station where a big guy barked at us to stay behind the green line and that he could only help one at a time. I was barely allowed to approach the desk to help explain what I was trying to do. Because I was renting the day before and was going to keep the equipment for 2 days, he was really thrown off and barked a few "rules" about doing that. He told us that even though we could take the equipment home the first night, the second night we had to bring it back to the rental place to store overnight. That was for the 2 snowboarders but the skier could keep his both nights. Weird so I blew that off and we kept the equipment with us both nights.
My snowboarders took an intro lesson, which despite having 30 people in it, they felt like it was productive and helpful. There were 3 instructors so it wasn't too bad. They came back smiling. The lesson is supposed to be 90 minutes but it went 2 hours so that was nice of the instructors. Even though the line was long for the lessons window, Debbie was there to help and was so nice. I saw her go out of her way several times in the past 2 days to make sure guests were taken care of. The next day my kids did a private lesson. I found the instructors to be very flexible and accommodating, even starting the lesson 15 minutes later because my kids weren't quite ready.
I heard a lot of people complaining but I really think they just didn't get the lay of the land early enough. If you are going up the same day, I'd recommend getting there about 9am or 11 as everyone and their brothers are showing up at 8. I never had to stand in lines so I really think going up the night before was better.
Next time, however, I will rent my equipment from Bauers in Running Springs for $17.50 a day compared to Snow Valley's $33 per day. They were so much less crowded and so nice. You can do season rentals there for $150 a season so if you go a lot, that would make sense.
Snow Valley recognizes that the traffic going down the hill is horrible between 3 and 6 so they opened up the resort for night skiing to encourage people to stay on the mountain. It was great- it was pretty icy but much less crowded.
We stayed in Lake Arrowhead at the Lake Arrowhead Resort, which was a nice easy drive and allowed us to avoid the bad traffic.

6  Thank Holly T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 December 2016

Due to Christmas traffic we spent 4 hours on the road (just from the foothills till Running Springs). We did not proceed to Big bear as we were frustrated so instead stopped at Snow Valley. Snow chains were needed and there were installers to help out if you are unable to do it. ($40 for installing chains on two tires).
Kids attempted winter sports for the first time: snow boarding and skiing. Both kids took lessons (2 - 2.5 hrs long) at Snow Valley and then hit the slopes by themselves. Spent the entire time on the slopes and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Weather was perfect (sunny). We rented the gear and it felt clean. We were told that we could have bought tickets online at lesser cost. There is a lounge right next to the slopes where you can eat. Overall a nice place and we will certainly visit again. We have never been to Snow Summit in Big bear so cannot offer any comparisons.

1  Thank SPKarnik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2016 via mobile

You can find more challenging slopes in Southern California. Both Mountain High and Big Bear feature longer expert runs and more terrain features for the dare devil sportsmen among us. But Snow Valley has two great advantages over these resorts, especially for us intermediate skiers. One, it's inexpensive. And two it's closer.

To which can be added a third: it is almost always less crowded. All of which makes for a very pleasant experience. Lift lines are reasonable. I rarely wait more than a few minutes. The routes are scenic and fairly challenging for the non experts among us. And, to be honest, the burgers are great.

In fact, I'm so taken with this small resort and their friendly staff that I am buying a season pass for next season. Will I outgrow it? Hope not, but it's worth noting their season pass includes free lift tickets at Brian Head and Mountain High, so for the price you can hardly go wrong.

And speaking of price, here's a quick tip: you might want to stop at a board or ski rental shop in Running Springs on your way to Snow Valley. You can save a little on ticket price (about $5) and perhaps 15 minutes in line waiting at the resort proper for a lift ticket. Rentals at the resort are also relatively inexpensive, but again you can save a little more at the rental shops in Running Springs.

1  Thank FritzCrestlineCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2016

We wanted our child to see snow, and of course the weekend we booked in arrowhead was 60... so we went to Snow Valley to take her sledding. It was great sledding, very easy, ride the lift up, very long sledding hill down, very worthwhile. Although I will say its super expensive! it was over $30 per person! I was a bit astounded by the cost, but we got to play in snow. would recommend for kids, family sledding for sure. Although probably want to bring a picnic. We got 2 burgers and chicken strips and waters, and the bill was over $50... i had to chuckle...

2  Thank drnkwine1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 February 2016

my kids (7 & 5 yrs old) are tired of riding tubing. so we decided to try skiing this year. enrolled both of them in learning center. both of them liked it. however the little one (5 yrs old) wanted to ride with parent on second day. so we took her out and ski together. overall snow valley seems good choice for beginners.

Thank Gyuhong L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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