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Snowshoeing to Dewey Point in early January 2013

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.

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Snowshoeing to Dewey Point in early January 2013

Postby numberoneladies123 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:58 am

HI there,

I am looking for some advice about snowshoeing to Dewey Point this coming weekend (Jan 4-6th 2013). There is no ranger-led hike so my family wants to do this ourselves. How hard is it to follow the trail there and back with the snow? Is the trail marked in someway or do you have to hope that you can follow in the footsteps of some earlier snowshoer or skier? Has anyone done this and how long does it take, approximately? And if there a danger of drop off near Dewey Point that you need to watch for or is the tip of the Point/trail well marked?

Are there any other snowshoe treks you can recommend? Thanks so much and Happy New Year!
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Re: Snowshoeing to Dewey Point in early January 2013

Postby Dave Miller » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:20 pm

The hike to Dewey Point is pretty popular and the trail is generally easy to follow. The first half of the hike is pretty easy, but the last half of the hike can feel strenuous since the trail winds a bit and there is more up and down. It's a little over 7 mile round trip. If it has not snowed in a while, then the path will be very clear and a bit easier to hike. If there is fresh now and you are the first to hike it, then watch for the trail markers in the trees. They are triangle shaped (with the trail number) or rectangular flags attached to the trees. When you get to the point, it will be obvious where the drop offs are. The view is amazing and well worth the effort. Just keep in mind that 7 miles in snow shoes is different that 7 miles on a trail, especially with the young ones. I took my son on this trip when he was 12 and he did pretty well, but then he has been backpacking with me since he was six. Here's a write up I did for Backpacker Magazine: http://www.backpacker.com/rip-go-dewey- ... ions/13824. Make sure you download the pdf file which gives more details. Here's my write up for my blog on the hike. As far as how long it will take, that all depends on you. When snowshoeing, I always estimate I'll travel about 1.5 to 2 MPH (depending on the photo opportunities). Figure on how much time you will want to spend at the point too. The rocks at the point are a great place to eat lunch! I did the trip again last February and It was still magnificent, but it seemed a bit more challenging than the first time. Mostly because the snow was a bit fresher.

If you feel you are not up for the 7 miles, another good hike is down to Tuoulmne Grove. It is a shorter hike, about 2 miles downhill to the grove and then back up. I hiked past the grove a bit, but you don't have to. I did that trek in heavy snow and almost blizzard conditions and loved it! Here's a write up I did for that trip. http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip/352465

Good luck on your trip. I just returned from two days in the valley and it was magnificent!
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Re: Snowshoeing to Dewey Point in early January 2013

Postby numberoneladies123 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:05 pm

Hi Dave,

Thanks so much for this reply. After posting the query this morning, I did some looking in the Yosemite forum archive, and found an old post with a link to your review in Backpacker magazine. It is very helpful. Our 12 and 14 year old have been hiking and backpacking in Yosemite since they were 8, so they are good hikers. We sometimes find ourselves getting off trail if we are enjoying the scenery, and if we are on a trail that is not marked well--though this usually happens more often in CA State Parks than in Yosemite. So getting too far off trail in the snow is my main worry, but if the trail is marked then it sounds like we will do OK. We will also try some snowshoe hikes around Crane Flat and also the one you recommend out of Tuolome Grove.

I see from your review and the map with it that we could take trail 18 or trail 14. Do you have a recommendation for which one to take uphill and which one to take downhill? Does one trail give a better view coming down or does it not matter much? Thanks!!
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Re: Snowshoeing to Dewey Point in early January 2013

Postby Dave Miller » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:41 pm

Trail 14 is the Ridge Trail and longer and more strenuous than Trail 18. I did not take that trail because I didn't want to over do it with my son. I can't comment on the views from there other than it will be incredible whichever way you go.

Looks like you will have good weather this weekend.

Enjoy!!
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Re: Snowshoeing to Dewey Point in early January 2013

Postby numberoneladies123 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:29 am

Thanks very much, Dave! Yes, forecast is for great weather. Happy New Year!
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