Yosemite in the winter
I'm taking the little kiddos for a day. Where should I go? Hikes, views,snowshoe?
Give me some tips greater Norcal area.
If the valley has snow then you won't have to go very far for great views. Badger Pass has some good snow shoeing but from my experiences, there wasn't much in the form of scenery over there. Mirror Lake if frozen over can look really nice and is a great place to snap off some photos, you also get an awesome view of Half Dome.
Your kids are strong, right? I vote for snowshoeing up to Clouds Rest to see the better side of half dome.
They are in the off season complaining mode
Originally Posted by beaverbiker
hit up arakawa - that guy knows the place like none other
will do. I think he grew up there and his baby is up there every week now.
Originally Posted by mtb-ripper
I once walked around mariposa grove when there was just a couple inches of snow. Enough to cover the ground but still able to make out the path. Very beautiful, no crowds, silence.
With the kids just have fun with them, no crazy hikes through deep snow, make snowmen, have snowball fights, if there is a sledding hill around hit it up.
If there's snow in the valley, stay there. Good for short hikes and then warm up with some hot coco or a bus ride. It's cool to see Yosemite Falls when it freezes.
Yeah, just hanging in the valley and checking out the normal sights is still pretty spectacular with the addition of snow. Snowshoes aren't necessary (webcams don't show that much snow on the valley floor), but some water proof snow boots are always nice.
Ice skating in Curry Village is always fun for the kiddos. Hot cocoa by the HUGE fire places at the Awahnee Hotel is nice too.
If you can find the "spider caves" on the approach to lower Yosemite Falls, that can be real fun for kids. Bring headlamps or flashlights. Don't worry, there aren't spiders. The collection of massive boulders to the left of the paved walkway to the falls are stacked in such a way in a couple places (at least) that enable you to enter one place and come out another... all while going up, down, over and between granite rocks. There are no signs for them. You either have to poke around (look for worn "paths" off the paved walkway), or ask a ranger or worker.
Here are some photos I found on-line of one family's excursion. The exit is maybe 25 yards away (left) from where you go in. You can't get lost. Entrance To Spider Cave | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (then click "newer")
Took this from their FB site.
Here's the word from the great Forrest A:
Dude, are you kidding, it's going to be the best time ever there!!! That is awesome!!! OK, here goes!
1) Mariposa Giant Sequoia grove is awesome this time of year!!!
2) Mirror Lake hike for sure!!! Super rad mellow hike starting at Ahwahnee hotel, it's amazing! From there you can keep hiking up towards snow creek if you guys are up for it!
3) Lower Yosemite falls trail should still be open as well, it's a must see for sure! I'm not sure if they have closed the upper trail yet. I bet they did.
Also, just drive and check out all the views, they will be amazing with the new snow!
Was in the valley today. There's 3-6 inches of fresh powder on the valley floor, it's gorgeous everywhere.
- Hike anywhere in the valley
- If you ski/board Badger will be a blast right now.
- Cross-country ski trip out to Glacier Point would be awesome.
- Snowshoe/ski out to Dewey Pt for an epic view
- Go sledding
- Go ice skating at Curry Village
- If you have at least an AM bike with you go for a run down Sidewinder
It's been a few years since I made the trip, but we did the whole loop on bikes and it was great. Your kids might be a bit small for that. The cool thing about biking it is there are tons of little falls and you don't have to mess with parking every time you stop. The downside is people in cars are a*holes and in Yosemite is not entirely bike friendly (which is stupid but there it is).
If it's a day trip ....
1) Don't get lost because daylight is valuable.
2) Drive towards Glacier Point/Badger Pass so you can go to the vista point of that picture you have.
3) Badger Pass snowshoe hike ... 1ish hr hike with the Park Ranger. (Free! They even provide the snowshoes too! If I remember correctly, it starts @ 10 am in front of the 'A' building. Check the newsletter at the entrance!) (Get snowshoeing out if you have never done it.)
4) Drive back into the Valley and check it out.
a) Mirror Lake - starting at the Ahwahnee hotel
b) Yosemite Lodge for Yosemite Falls
c) The walkway that cuts thru the valley's meadows.
the hike for upper pines campground to Mirror lake and or Happy Isles is great even in the snow so is just messing around lower Yosemite falls. Are you camping ( tent or RV) or Hoteling ? XC skis or Snowshoes are fun [ hit up REI Saratoga to see if any snowshoe rentals are available]
Warning: Consumption of alcohol may make you think the person on the barstool next to you is attractive
Snowshoe hike from Badger Pass Ski area to Dewey Point! The hike is a 7.5 miles out and back to Dewey Point overlooking Yosemite valley.
You can rent snowshoes at the Cross-Country Ski Center at Badger Pass for $24 for the day and the center opens at 8:30am. The Snowshoes need to be returned by 4pm.
ibikergal justjeff and myself are doing this hike Sunday December 30th with a 9:30am start time come join us!
This hike has about 1,300ft of climb for the 7.5 mile round trip and takes about 4 hours total.
Snowshoe Hike at Yosemite by mtbjeff at Garmin Connect - Details
Yosemite's Dewey Point well worth the walk - SFGate
Just got back. It was ok
So many times, the kids 'WOAHHHHHH!' That says it all right there. We did a smart thing which was give everyone a camera and set up an impromptu photo contest. The kids were so in to it. We took over 800 photos.
Last edited by fc; 12-31-2012 at 08:11 AM.
Here's some photos!!! Thank you for all the advice. The day was definitely short as it's pretty much done by 4pm due to daylight.
What I learned:
- Highway 120 entrance is beautiful but sketchy as one has to go over a pass. Current Conditions - Yosemite National Park for road conditions.
- Ahwahnee hotel is awesome. Lounge is good and restaurant is grand.
- Bus system is good. Park anywhere and take the bus to any of the 20 stops
- Mirror lake hike is awesome. It's about 2 miles from Ahwahnee on singletrack. The shorter route is 1 mile from the closes bus stop along the river.
- Days are short. By 4pm, it starts getting dark in the valley specially if there's a lot of clouds.
- crowds are thin and everything is accessible. It is not hot. It can be cold but it's easy to bundle up.
Next time try 140. It's faster and there are far less tourists on the road.
Originally Posted by francois