Winter is a beautiful time to explore Yosemite and its gateway towns. With fewer visitors during the season, you can find peace in this winter wonderland, and also adventure without waiting in lines.
1. Cross-country Skiing
Of the hundreds of miles of cross-country ski trails, our favorites wonder past giant sequoias.
Tromp through a wintry landscape on snowshoes on your own or take a guided trip.
3. Ice Skating
Skate at the outdoor ice rink under Half Dome in the park or head to covered rinks near the south and west entrances.
4. Sledding and Snow Tubing
There are two official snow play areas inside Yosemite plus sledding hills at the south entrance and in Strawberry near Sonora Pass.
5. Winter Sightseeing
See frazil ice, frozen waterfalls, and in February, watch Horsetail Fall light up at sunset.
Head out on your own to explore the dark winter skies or attend a night event at Bass Lake.
7. Winter Camping
Get a free wilderness permit and snag a camping spot near Dewey Point or Glacier Point. Outside the park, camp near Bishop and in the Sierra National Forest.
8. Stay at a Backcountry Hut
Three popular ski huts are inside Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.
9. Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
Ski at Badger Pass Ski, Tube and Snowboard Area (previously called Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area) inside the park (4th graders ski free).
10. Ride a Horse-drawn Sleigh
Your whole family will enjoy a sleigh ride pulled by Belgian Draft Horses complete with jingle bells.
11. Visit Museums
Winter is a great time to avoid the crowds at popular museums such as the Yosemite Visitor Center, Ansel Adams Gallery, Indian Culture Museum. Outside the park, visit Railtown 1897, the Navel Museum, the Eastern California Museum, or the Mariposa Museum and History Center.
12. Celebrate the Holidays
Participate in local traditions with holiday parades, theater performances, and events.
13. Dine at Yosemite's Food & Wine Events
Special winter dinner events at the Ahwahnee and Wawona hotels include Renaissance-style Bracebridge dinners in mid-December, a special Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, and a New Year celebration. Yosemite’s Chefs' Holidays at the Ahwahnee, held each year in January and February, feature some of the country's most innovative and acclaimed chefs. Find more information about specialty dining events at www.travelyosemite.com/things-to-do/specialty-events/