Yosemite’s Winter Wonders

What’s the best season to visit Yosemite?  Winter!

Accessible year round, Yosemite Valley’s granite beauty is just as impressive in the winter.  Whether you want to snowshoe across untouched snow, take a guided full Lake in the foreground with granite peaks, trees and snowmoon walk, shop at the Ansel Adams gallery or sip cocoa at the base of Yosemite Falls, it’s all waiting for you. 

Open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day Yosemite National Park offers something for everyone.  The Yosemite Valley Visitor’s Center complex offers a wonderful museum, the Ansel Adam’s store (located in Adams’ old studio), a gift store and food options from simple (Degnan’s Deli) to elegant (The Yosemite Majestic).

Check Yosemite’s fall/winter trip planning guide for even more ideas.   Hike on one of the Yosemite Valley’s many trails or take a guided bus tour.  A winter trip to Yosemite is not complete without a visit to the Ice Skating Rink at Half-Dome Village, scheduled to open November 16th, 2019 (weather permitting).  The Yosemite Conservancy often sponsors guided Full Moon hikes in the Mariposa.

If you want a bit more action, check out the snow sports in Yosemite.  The Yosemite Valley rarely gets enough snow for skiing, but just a bit higher up and you will find several ungroomed trails for Nordic (cross country) skiing.  A good place to start is the Crane Flat Lookout Trail which starts at Crane Flat and goes for 1.5 miles and affords excellent views of the park.  In the same area, see the two of Yosemite’s groves of giant Sequoias.  Take the 1-mile (one way) trail Tuolumne Grove or the 1.5-mile (one way) trail to the Merced Grove.  Longer trips for more experienced skiers are available in Yosemite as well.  The 3.5-mile (one-way) trail to Dewey Point offers spectacular Valley views.  Ready for a real challenge?  Take the 10.5-mile (one-way) trip to along the snowed over Glacier Point Road to the Glacier Point Ski Hut. 

Yosemite also offers downhill skiing and snowboarding at the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area.  Ski, board and snowshoe rentals available.

If you are looking for a guided experience in Yosemite National Park, several great guiding companies can customize a Yosemite Tour for your group.  Check out some of our favorites: Yosemite Family Adventures, Echo Adventure Coop and Y Explore

After a full day of adventure in the park, settle into your room at the Groveland Hotel and warm up with a nice bottle of wine, accompanied by some tasty snacks!

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