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Yosemite Trip in January

Travelling to and visiting Yosemite National Park. How to get there, what to see or do, and other Yosemite trip advice.

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Yosemite Trip in January

Postby CalHiker » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:26 pm

Hey there:)
I plan to visit Yosemite National Park in the first week of January. I’ve already read that many roads are closed during that time. I wanted to ask if you know what places are good to visit and what roads are good to drive on during that time? Also, are there any roads where I won’t need snow tires?
Apart from that I would be happy about any low budget hotel recommendations and any other tips that are good for a visit in January!
Thank you!
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Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:19 pm

Re: Yosemite Trip in January

Postby Phil » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:08 pm

Snow tires, 4-wheel drive, and or chains are always required for all vehicles, at all times during winter.

Barring temporary closures, you're going to have basically a north-south axis on roads spanning the length of the park on Hwy 120 from Big Oak Flat to the north to Hwy 41 at the Wawona entrance to the south. You'll also have access from the entry station on Hwy 140 to the west. All of Hwy 120 ( Tioga Rd) will be closed for the entire season from Crane Flat east. The Valley will be open, as will Glacier Point Rd up to Badger Pass. That's it, and it's always good to check on weather and road conditions when you plan to travel for any changes in status.

You'll probably want to avoid doing much exploring too far off the roads or on any accessible trailheads unless you have solid winter navigational skills. Out of Yosemite Valley you'll have trail closures on most of the major trails like Mist, 4-Mile, and possibly Yosemite Falls, dependent on conditions. Snowshoeing and/or x-country skiing is always an option both in the valley and beyond the road closure at Badger Pass. In the valley, you'll basically have all the usual tourist sights and hikes that are available year-round, just with snow on the use trails and lower flow on the falls in most cases.
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