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Great Bear Recreation Park, Sioux Falls
(3/5 based on 25+ reviews on the web)
Great Bear Recreation Park, more commonly referred to as Great Bear, is a small ski hill in the northeastern section of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in the United States. It is owned by the city of Sioux Falls, and co-managed by Great Bear Recreation Park Inc.HistoryGreat Bear Ski Area was established in 1963 by Dennis Finke and Jerry Dirks. Great Bear started out as an old gravel pit with one rope tow and two runs. One longer run to the left of the rope tow and one shorter run to the right. Dennis and Jerry built the first chalet at the ski area. In the early days Great Bear was open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday expanding hours in the 1970s to everyday. By the early 1970s Great Bear had expanded to three rope tows and seven runs. Great Bear began expanding into a year-round recreation park in the summer of 1998. The renovation of the Chalet at Great Bear was completed December 2001 and offers a wonderful 270-degree panoramic view of the surrounding area. The 2002 completion of the Ralph and Doris Wallin Nature Trail System marked the completion of the Great Bear Expansion Project and officially opened the park to four-season use.FacilitiesThe ski hill has 12 runs with 3 lifts . It also has a Terrain park. The tubing hill has 4 runs with one lift, a handle tow. Both the ski and tubing hills have snowmaking. Mountain biking is not allowed on the trails in the summer.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Great Bear is a great place to go with your family to ski, snowboard or just watch the other skiers. My daughter always wants to go their at least a couple times a year. We live 2 1/2hours away. Its r...  more »
  • Great Bear is a great place to experience different winter sports. Skiing, snowboarding, and tubing to name a few activities. Very well kept, and enjoyable for all ages. 
  • We'd never been tubing before but decided to go, as a family, the last weekend they had tubing open. It was a lot of fun and even our 3 year-old loved it so much he stole my tube to ride in it himself...  more »
Google
  • Great area for hiking, and quite unique because it's inside of Sioux Falls. Trails range from manicured to quite rustic, and the inclines can provide a challenge. The area is heavily wooded, and wildlife abounds. Be sure to check out the Skyline Trail--one of the more difficult trails--to have a great view of the industrial skyline of Sioux Falls' north end.
  • My daughter and granddaughter live there. I took my daughter there her first time. She had semi disastrous results for good though. The bug was started. I am a higher level skier who was looking to bond with his kid after post divorce separation. The techniques she learned at Great Bear are great. We've been to Breckenridge and Vail together. After 1 day of lessons my grand daughter was in the woods ! cause she wanted too. The point is very this everyone needs a beginning. A place where the ski bug first hits. Great Bear is a great place to start. They are friendly. The rentals are top notch and it's an overall A plus value. Oh I like it cause I'll get a rental there and just get the kinks out.
  • I enjoyed the time I was there and I felt that 26 bucks isn't expensive for an all day pass! I had a lot of fun especially going with friends and hanging out with new people there!
  • I love hiking these trails, easy access and beautiful views.
  • Only one lift with uncomfortable seats, no jumps in park, only one bathroom, good rentals, decent hill for east river.