Dramatic landscapes, stunning views, waterfalls, and giant red trees – what isn’t there to love about Yosemite National Park? The fun isn’t just to be had in the summer, though, in fact winter offers most of the same outstanding adventures – without the crowds. Bundle up and head outdoors for some brisk hiking, or stay indoors and cozy up in front of one of the Ahwahnee’s three grand fireplaces. Either experience is not to be missed.
For most, winter means snow-play. Though the Valley rarely gets enough snow for skiing, just a bit higher up in the Badger Pass Ski area and Crane Flat you’ll find ungroomed trails for downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Or try a one-of-a-kind ice skating experience in Curry Village with a spectacular view of Half Dome. The rink opens mid-November (conditions permitting).
If cultural is more your thing, there are programs going on in the Park almost every day. You can join the Yosemite Conservancy for a Sequoia Stroll in the Mariposa Grove on December 14th. Visit Yosemite Village Visitor Center to peruse a huge selection of all things Yosemite. Meander over to the Ansel Adams Gallery to view the current exhibit: Light on the Landscape – Photographs of William Neill. Take in Ken Burns’ film Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit playing on the hour in the Theater behind the Visitor’s Center.
If you are short on time, a guided tour may be just the ticket. There are several great guiding companies who will customize an experience for your group. Some of our favorites are Echo Adventure Coop, Yosemite Family Adventures, and Y Explore.
Once you’ve explored Yosemite, end your day in a warm and comfortable room at the Groveland Hotel. Grab a nosh in Provisions, add a glass of wine, beer, or bourbon and you’re set! If you’re lucky enough to be here on a weekend, our chef creates fabulous dinner specials at very reasonable rates.