Frequently Asked Questions

Pricing (reflects current rates) and policies subject to change.

Please contact us at 605.367.4309 with additional questions.

General Info

The park’s hours of operation vary. Hours are subject to change. Please call 605.367.4309 to verify.

Spring, Summer and Fall Hours: The Wallin Nature Trail System is open 8 a.m. – dusk, 7 days a week.

Winter Hours: Monday - Thursday: 3 pm to 9 pm (Tubing open 4 pm to 8 pm, closed Mondays & Thursdays), Friday: 12 pm to 10 pm (Tubing open at 4 pm), Saturday, Sunday & School Holidays: 9 am to 9 pm (tubing in sessions).

Lost & Found is located at Guest Services. Items are donated after 30 days.

Great Bear accepts VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express debit and credit cards. The park also accepts checks and cash. There is an ATM located by Guest Services.

The winter season at Great Bear Ski Valley is dependent on the weather. The park usually opens for skiing and tubing in December and closes mid-March. On average, the season is about 90 days long.

Gift cards are available at Guest Services for any amount and they never expire. They are valid for anything at Great Bear including tickets, food and retail items. They may also be purchased online at greatbearpark.com/gift-cards and will be sent in the mail.

Money may be added directly to a season pass and it functions like a normal gift card. Remaining balances at the end of the season will transfer to the next season. Money may be added to a pass over the phone with a credit card number. Gift cards may not be redeemed for cash.

Donations requests can be sent to Jill at donations@greatbearpark.com. Please attach an event flyer. Requests will be reviewed monthly. Donations are in the form of weekday tubing tickets.

Skiing & Snowboarding

Lift tickets are $15 to $35 depending on when you visit. Equipment rentals are $29 per person. For more info, visit greatbearpark.com/tickets.

Great Bear offers private and group lessons based on availability. To schedule a lesson, visit greatbearpark.com/lessons or call 605.367.4309.

If a pass is lost, a new one may be printed for $15. If a pass is forgotten at home, Guest Services may look up the season pass number.

Each skiing/snowboarding season pass comes pre-loaded with four buddy lift tickets (does not include rental equipment). Present your season pass at Guest Services to redeem.

Yes, all guests who are skiing, snowboarding or tubing need a lift ticket, including guests who are not on skis but assisting another guest. The beginner hill utilizes a conveyor belt lift.

Great Bear prefers guests be on skis while on the beginner hill, but it is not required. The guest, however, must have a lift ticket. If assisting another guest on the beginner hill on foot, please stay off to the side.

No, guests must ski or snowboard down the hill. You are not able to ride the chair lift back down. 

Uphill skiing, or skinning, is prohibited at all times at Great Bear. Guests may not access the hill outside of regular operating hours and no uphill traffic is allowed during operating hours.  

Tubing

Rates for tubing vary by day, ranging from $8 to $24 per person. For specific pricing, please visit greatbearpark.com/tickets.

Tubes are included in the price of a ticket and are located at the bottom of the tubing hill. If conditions permit, double tubes are available upon request for adults and their children.

Great Bear Ski Valley recommends that for safety reasons, pregnant women and children aged 4 and under or under 42 inches tall do not tube. All tubers must purchase a tube ticket and only one person is allowed per tube. The use of helmets is also recommended, but not required. Rental helmets are $11 at Guest Services.  

Rental Equipment

Lockers are available in the rental shop for $4 a day. Otherwise, Great Bear asks that guests leave items at home or in their car.

When a guest under the age of 18 is renting equipment, a parent or guardian’s signature on the rental form is not required but preferred when available. Rental waivers may be filled out online.

Great Bear Ski Valley does not reliably sell winter clothing such as jackets and snow pants. However, hats, gloves, neck gaiters, goggles etc. are available for purchase at Guest Services. Great Bear Ski Valley does rent downhill skis, cross country skis, snowboards, boots, poles and helmets. 

Yes, Great Bear offers equipment waxes for $15 but does not sharpen edges. Waxes are available most days and can be purchased at Guest Services. Depending on availability and the temperature of the equipment, a wax will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Equipment cannot be stored overnight.

The Lodge

Great Bear offers a variety of food and beverage in our food court, including breakfast, burgers, pizza, fries, soda and more. Alcoholic beverages are available in the Bear’s Den Lounge to guests with proper ID. A water cooler located in the food court is available to guests free of charge.

There is no outside food or beverage allowed in the chalet, except approved birthday cakes. Guests may eat outside food in the parking lot or on the deck.

No, Great Bear does not have on-site lodging. Stay & Play packages are available through Homewood Suites by Hilton in Sioux Falls. For more info, visit greatbearpark.com/stay-play or call 605.338.8585.

Yes, there is ample seating in the lodge and on the deck for guests to watch those skiing and tubing.

Yes, Great Bear has complimentary Wi-Fi in the chalet. No password is needed. The signal is strongest on the main level.

Miscellaneous

Each season, Great Bear makes snow on the downhill skiing and tubing when weather permits.

The decision to close Great Bear Ski Valley is determined by evaluating the forecasted air temps and wind speeds and direction. Great Bear’s main concern is the safety of our guests and staff. Since Great Bear is a Sioux Falls city park, closure is affected by the status of Sioux Falls City Hall.

Guests and employees may only smoke or vape in the designated smoking area located on the deck. They may not smoke in the parking lot or in parked cars.

Yes, guests can snowshoe on the park’s cross-country trails. There is no fee to access the trails, but Great Bear does not have rental snowshoes available.

All positions will be filled with applicants aged 16 and over (18 and over for maintenance and snowmaking). Those applicants aged 14 & 15 may work in food service or as a park attendant if there are any available positions. 

Dogs on a leash are permitted on park grounds, including the hiking or cross-country trails. Pets, with the exception of trained guide dogs or service animals, are not permitted inside the lodge at Great Bear Recreation Park during operating hours.

Great Bear Recreation Park’s policy states that no animals shall be allowed on ski or tubing terrain and ski or tubing lifts during the winter season, unless specifically trained, or is in the process of being trained, for avalanche search and rescue work and is under the direct control of Great Bear personnel.