Most park visitors arrive between May and September, making winter a special time to visit Yosemite. With fewer crowds, you can better enjoy the solitude of the valley when it's covered in a blanket of snow, with icy waterfalls and craggy Sierra Nevada peaks rising all around.
Although the park's roads over Tioga Pass, to Glacier Point and into Mariposa Grove are all closed from late fall through early spring (opening dates vary by location and year), you can still visit the Yosemite Valley, Badger Pass, and Wawona year-round.
Winter is a beautiful time to explore the park and gateway towns. With fewer visitors, you can find peace in this winter wonderland, and also adventure without lines.
Does spending a night tucked into a cozy shelter in the remote wilderness sound like fun? Then make tracks for one of the Yosemite area's backcountry huts.
Stay on the west edge of the park to take a deep breath and disconnect. Enjoy food and wine events. Hike on less-traveled paths. Swim and soak in salt water pools.
Generations of families have learned to ski on Yosemite's beloved ski hills off Glacier Point Road. It's a great family ski area.
Explore hundreds of miles of x-country ski areas inside the high elevations in the park, between ancient sequoia trees, and areas surrounding Yosemite.
In summer, learn to rock climb at the Yosemite Mountaineering School, or rent a raft or bike. In winter, head for Badger Pass Ski & Snowboard Area or snowshoe the trails.
If ice-skating isn’t something that usually takes your breath away, the stunning views of the Half Dome and Glacier Point totally will.
Come play in the snow inside Yosemite and also nearby winter play areas such as Tenaya Lodge
Strap on your winter gear and enjoy the two-hour guided naturalists' ramble around the snowy pine forests of Badger Pass Ski Area off Glacier Point Road
If you've never snowshoed through a wintry landscape, Yosemite's marked winter trails and gorgeous scenery make it an excellent place to try the activity.
Solitude and stunning snowy terrain await for hardy winter visitors. You'll need backcountry travel experience and avalanche know-how to winter camp.
In the southern Sierra Nevada, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are where to take the kids tubing and ice skating, then put on snowshoes or cross-country skis.
Winter and early spring are the only times to see a pair of fascinating natural phenomena in the Valley. Watch of video of winter moments.