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Great Bear Recreation Park, Sioux Falls

(25+ reviews on the web)
Ski Area
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 check out in Sioux Falls. Beautiful hiking/walking trails, a wonderful venue for a wedding and reception. During winter months you can tube, ski, snowboard with great in...  more »
  • The place is highly recommended for winter sports. We can do Skiing ad Tubing primarily at reasonable cost.They even have 1 hour training session for skiing.  more »
  • 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 »
Google
  • I came here to go tubing with a church youth group a couple of months ago, and it was wonderful. This was my first time visiting Great Bear. I didn't think it would be worth it, since we moved from the Rockies not long ago. I was wrong. It is certainly not the same, but it is reasonably priced for what they have to offer. My kids loved the tubing and the other amenities fit well with their activities. It was one of those times I was glad to be proven wrong and we will definitely be back.
  • 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.
  • I am taking a skiing course here for my university. Dave, my instructor, is amazing and tailors his teaching to what I feel comfortable doing. It's also reassuring that he knows his skiing techniques and rules very well. I also have had pleasant interactions with the rest of the staff. As far as the facility, it's kept up. The slopes are pretty nice but I don't know how credible I am for this because I know no others. I hope to make it back here after my class has finished because I have had such a good time.
  • The best place to go for a hike for free near Sioux Falls. It is on the edge of town, is a city park, has several trails with a lot of variety in difficulty. This is the best place near Sioux Falls to train for an actual mountain climb, the only thing missing are large rocks to scramble over. I visit the trails here often so I can get some real challenge. 400 feet of elevation gain in under 3 miles is not bad for Eastern SD.
  • I love this place... grow up here as a child now my children are enjoying it as well... we can't ask for much more then this in the Sioux Falls area so we are very lucky to have what we do... great place very clean great staff great rental shop.. just great all together just like the name GREAT Bear!!