This family friendly vacation home is in a great location and is a fun get-away in all seasons. Call with any questions (408-828-5019, owner 7am-9pm PST). SEE END OF THIS SECTION FOR GUEST COMMENTS as written (exactly, without names) in the cabin guest book. There are many, many more positive reviews, these are just a sampling. Feel free to call me with any questions about our cabin or the area.
This is a nice family vacation cabin/home that we share with renters on dates when we are not using it. In 2009 we upgraded to granite kitchen counters, and new sink, faucet, refrigerator, floors, and dishwasher. (Jenn-Air oven/stove is original). The Cabin is at 4,300 foot elevation in the Blue Lake Springs neighborhood in the town of Arnold, about a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from San Francisco or San Jose. The cabin is across the street from the pool/pond at Snow Flake Lodge! And ~30 minutes to Bear Valley Ski Resort. This cabin is on one of the first roads plowed and has easy Hwy 4 access to Bear Ski Resort.
“The Dancing Bear at the Lodge” is decorated with many bears. One family counted and reported finding 101 bears! The Cabin backs up to Calaveras Big Trees State Park where kids enjoy playing on the hillside looking for treasures (the perfect pinecone!), hiking and sledding in the winter.
This comfortable, clean and spacious house is family-friendly with many games, movies, books for all ages, and for the little ones, a baby gate (for the stairs), playpen, a highchair, booster seat, stepstool and a baby monitor all available for your use. In addition, you will find free wireless (no extra charge), television, DVD/CD player, VCR, and telephone for calls in the USA.
On the main level there are 2 bedrooms with queen beds, 1 full bathroom, and a great room - with foosball - open to the remodeled kitchen. The upstairs loft has 2 double beds, a fold-out sofa (if needed) and a 2nd bathroom with a shower. The laundry room is downstairs where you will also find the tire swing to clip on the big tree out front.
In the winter you might get to enjoy building snowmen, snowball fights and sometimes – if you’re lucky - just watching the snow drift down to blanket the deck and trees in pure white. There are snow-parks nearby for sledding, and Bear Valley is a family-friendly resort for downhill and cross-country skiing.
There are endless options for outdoor recreation, such as hiking at Calaveras Big Trees State Park, golf at Sequoia Woods Golf Course, as well as swimming, fishing and kayaking or boating at Lake Alpine, Spicer, Utica and New Melones reservoirs.
With an entrance fee, the Snowflake Lodge (across the street) offers fantastic recreation, including a pond, pool, snack bar, play yard, basketball courts, horse shoes and tennis courts. As a parent, my favorite aspect of the cabin’s location is that we can walk to the lodge in just a few minutes, or watch the older kids walk to the lodge themselves as we relax on our sunny deck and smell the sweet forest.
Proximity to the lodge is very convenient for carrying rafts and pool toys for the kids or going up to the house to get snacks and cocktails to enjoy by the pond. The Lodge also offers children’s entertainment, such as “cubby bear time” with arts, crafts, and stories, bingo, swimming lessons and tennis lessons. In the summer months, you can walk down to the Blue Lake Springs outdoor amphitheater to watch movies with the whole family.
Enjoy the comforts of home while watching your children play in the great room. There are portable speakers for the deck where you can enjoy your meals or gaze at the stars. The house accommodates up to 8 people most comfortably (10 if you use the fold-out sofa bed) and we prefer to rent to families (no youth groups or ski clubs).
There are several nice restaurants in the area, including the private restaurant at the Snowflake Lodge, Sarafina's Italian Kitchen in Arnold (you’ll need reservations for both), and lots of quaint, yummy places in Murphys, a gold-rush era, upscale town where you’ll enjoy shopping and wine-tasting (about 15 minutes away).
There are numerous wineries nearby, including Ironstone Vineyards, which also offers a series of summer concerts in their beautiful outdoor amphitheater. Columbia State Historic Park is not too far away and is a restored old West town right out of the 1800s with gold panning and a unique blend of museums, town tours, live theater plays, shops, restaurants and attractions.
Most of all, we wish you a wonderful stay in the mountains - enjoy!
**** Below are comments exactly as written in our guest book:
'Kids had a lovely time exploring the woods, building huts and dug-outs. Mom enjoyed rising each morning to see day light slowly fill in behind the tall forest trees outside the large windows. Dad filled many hours road trips to see lakes, Giant Sequoias, valley views and even small patches of snow. Fantastic cabin layout, lovely fireplace and a perfect kitchen. We all agreed our 'one time' cabin experience should turn into a yearly routine. Thanks!!'
'Thank you for sharing your beautiful cabin with us. We have twin girls who are 21 months old, so they were excited about all the bears and the adorable little kid's bench. Everyday we went for walks and enjoyed the park and pool at BLS. We had a really wonderful time and look forward to our next visit. We LOVED your cabin and hope it's available every time we visit :)'
“Thank you for the wonderful time @ your cabin. Did you know there are 98 bears in the cabin? The extensive selection of CDs kept the fun all weekend. Thank you!”
- “We had a great 4-day weekend. Great cabin with wonderful views. There was 2-3 feet of snow! Loved the Arnold area, went to Big Trees - lots of snow. Had a great Saturday in Murphys, complete with wine tasting. We even spent a day house-hunting up here. Finally, wi-fi was much appreciated and allowed us to send pictures and videos to friends in Northern and Southern California. Thank you!”
“Thank you for sharing your home with us. We enjoyed multiple 'family movie nights' while we stayed here. We loved the close proximity to the rec center too! We hope to visit again soon!”
“We shared the cabin with our friends. We loved being here. We saw deer and fawn this morning! We loved the huge pine cones found on our daily walks. Our kids (10 and 8) loved the loft, tire swing and the deck. Our youngest child loved cuddling up with all the bears found in every room of the cabin.”
“We had a wonderful time here. We had a reunion of 8 families renting cabins (2 families per cabin) to celebrate 10 years of friendship. The kids loved your loft, tire swing and foos ball. Many frogs were caught in the lake and everyone was tired after a long day of swimming at the lake and pool. Today we are going to Columbia for the day. Thank you for allowing us to enjoy your home as our own for 4 nights. Thank you!!”
“We enjoyed the cabin - thank you! We especially liked the close proximity to the Blue Lake Springs (BLS) recreation facilities and restaurant. I personnally liked the recliner and frosted pint glasses in the freezer and enjoyed watching a few Giants games while on vacation. :) ”
“As we leave on this St. Patty's day, we look forward to many future visits. This was truly a home away from home. Thanks so much for this short vacation.”
“Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with our family! This is the first white Christmas most of our family has ever experienced and it was picture perfect. Your Dancing Bear theme set the tone for the holidays and a great time was had by everyone. I hope your Christmas was as special as ours.”
“I lived up here 21 years, but had to move away and I miss this area immensely and decided to rent your cabin. The snow - oh the snow was timed perfectly! It snowed silent and mystical as it does - Christmas eve and day! This cabin is awesome, letting me experience once more the great joy of living up here. This has been a most priceless gift. Your Dancing Bear theme is very cheery. And, thanks for the wood supply (dry and covered). P.S. Kayaiking at Utica resevoir in the summer is awesome!”
“Simply put -- this was Simply Wonderful! Thank you”
“We love your cabin! We just love the loft. I love the bears and the name Dancing Bear. It is a very fun cabin. This is Andrew and I am 8 years old. Thank you”
“My family and I have truly enjoyed your home. My girls loved all the bears and took turns sleeping with a different one every night. We hope to be able to book your home again - we all felt quite at home. Thank you!”
“We had a great time at the cabin! Yesterday we went to the pool and all the kids played inner-tube waterpolo! That was awesome. We really had a fun time and it was our first time not staying in a hotel and I am so glad we got to experience the outdoors in a cabin. We wish we could have stayed longer!”
- “Dear Dancing Bear, I came all the way from Germany to have a wonderful year of adventurous experiences in the USA. I am very happy to count as one of these adventures my visit here in your cozy walls and the peaceful and fun atmosphere filled with very interesting and great people. I am always amazed at the hospitality of Americans. Thank you for skiing tomorrow which I am just burning to do! I hope I will visit you again, maybe in the summer and make a safari in the beautiful nature.”
Keywords: cabin, house, retreat, mountain home, ski, swim, summer+ More