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[Yosemite]

Four Day Trip near Christmas

Travelling to and visiting Yosemite National Park in Winter and most of Spring, when snow is on the ground. Includes visiting in winter, snow play, downhill and nordic skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and snow camping.

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Favorite Season of Yosemite

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Winter
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Total votes : 4

Four Day Trip near Christmas

Postby gkam2 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:42 pm

Hey guys,

I am starting to plan out my December trip to Yosemite and I wanted to get some input on it. I plan on doing 4 days/3 nights in the valley. My partner and I were going to camp probably in upper meadows with the first come first serve spots for the first two nights and then get a room over at the Lodge.

As for the day activities(where I need the advice):

-One day devoted to cross country skiing
-----renting the equipment from the ski center at Badger Pass. Is this a realistic option? How long is the drive from the valley all the way over to Badger Pass? Would it just be better to rent the equipment before we got to Yosemite in general?

-One day, or multiple, doing various day snow shoe hikes
-----Some good snowshoe hikes? Im pretty familiar with the valley during the summer but I know a lot of options won't be the same.

How much harder is snow shoeing than summer hiking? I've read that you should cut your hikes by 30% to 40% of what you would do in the summer. My partner and I are young and active and can handle a good amount. Is this still applicable to us?

How busy do you think it will it be at Upper to try and get a first come first serve spot?

And if you know of any good/long day hikes to do at this time as well that would be great.

Thanks a lot guys
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Postby AlmostThere » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:28 pm

Upper Meadows? do you mean Upper Pines? Shouldn't be hard to get a site in December.

Snow shoeing is harder than hiking no matter your age. We've snowshoed Mariposa Grove, and around Badger. You are forced into a wider stance and if you go off the groomed roads the powder can get pretty deep and hard to wade in. Lot of work, more if you carry a backpack. Dewey Point is a popular destination and probably is an overnight trip on snowshoes. You can also snow camp at Glacier Point in winter, a long walk on the road, probably a couple days of shoeing, and less if you ski (the road is groomed for cross country skiers).

Renting at Badger is no more expensive than at REI or Herb Bauer in Fresno.
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Postby hotrod4x5 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:57 pm

We are also planning a December trip. Have four nights in a tent cabin in Curry already reserved. One trip we plan is to Dewey point, not as an overnight, but out and back on show shoes in a day. From what I have read, it is doable. I'm still working on the rental options. Badger pass rents them, but they are only open from 8 am to 4 pm. I'd prefer to leave earlier in the day, so I plan to call and find out if I can rent them at 3:45 and then return them the next day for one day's charge.

It'll take about 45 mins to get to Badger pass from the valley, very doable. They have groomed trails along the Glacier point road, so once you park your car to rent, you don't have to go back to your car till you are done.

You don't really need show shoes for the valley in winter, just some good snow boots. If you like to ice skate, you can do that at Curry Village.

We are considering taking part in the annual bird count as well. http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/a ... -count.htm
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Re: Four Day Trip near Christmas

Postby dan » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:19 pm

gkam2 wrote:-One day devoted to cross country skiing
-----renting the equipment from the ski center at Badger Pass. Is this a realistic option? How long is the drive from the valley all the way over to Badger Pass? Would it just be better to rent the equipment before we got to Yosemite in general?

Yes, they have cross-country ski rental at Badger Pass. It would be better to rent ahead to save time in the rental shop, but if you are traveling a long distance, it is a lot of bother to bring skis as extra baggage.

gkam2 wrote:-One day, or multiple, doing various day snow shoe hikes
-----Some good snowshoe hikes? Im pretty familiar with the valley during the summer but I know a lot of options won't be the same.

There may not be enough snow in the valley for a snowshoe hike. You can still do that at Badger Pass though. Whether or not there is enough snow for snowshoeing, Yosemite Valley is beautiful in winter, especially along the Merced River. Bring good waterproof boots and extra dry socks.

gkam2 wrote:How much harder is snow shoeing than summer hiking? I've read that you should cut your hikes by 30% to 40% of what you would do in the summer. My partner and I are young and active and can handle a good amount. Is this still applicable to us?

Yes. It takes about 2 or 3 times as long to get anywhere on snowshoes. It depends on how soft (fresh) the snow is.

gkam2 wrote:How busy do you think it will it be at Upper to try and get a first come first serve spot?

It's easy as long as it's not around the holidays (Christmas--New Year) and not on a weekend. Some campgrounds in Yosemite Valley are closed in Winter. For a list of campgrounds and closing dates, see:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/campground.htm

gkam2 wrote:And if you know of any good/long day hikes to do at this time as well that would be great.

From Yosemite Valley, hike the Yosemite Falls Trail to the top. The trail gets a lot of sun, so most of the trail has no snow or less than 1 foot of snow.

Also, from Yosemite Valley (at Happy Isles), hike the beginning of the John Muir Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls.

More ideas here and a PDF hiking map of Yosemite Valley:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/valleyhikes.htm

From Badger Pass, ski or snowshoe to Dewey Point for a view of Yosemite Valley from above. Get a map from the Ranger Station or click on the maps online below:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/brochures.htm
If you are snowshoeing, trail 14 to Dewey Point is better (shorter)
If you are skiing, trail 18 to Dewey Point is better (easier grade, slightly longer).
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