Winter Activities

Cross-country Skiing in Yosemite Country

Explore hundreds of miles of x-country ski areas inside the high elevations in the park, between ancient sequoia trees, and areas surrounding Yosemite.

Explore hundreds of miles of x-country ski areas inside the high elevations in the park and surrounding areas.

X-country Skiing At Yosemite

Though the Valley typically doesn’t get enough snow for skiing, move up a bit in elevation and you’ll find miles of ungroomed trails for Nordic skis. At Crane Flat, try the 1.5-mile (one-way) Crane Flat Lookout Trail to climb to excellent views of the park or the flat, 1.75-mile Crane Flat Campground Trail loop.

And don’t miss one of Yosemite’s best winter experiences: the chance to ski or snowshoe among the sequoias. Descend into the Tuolumne Grove on the 1-mile (one-way) trail off Tioga Road; reach the Merced Grove via the steep, 1.5-mile (one-way) trail from the summer trailhead.

Cross-country skiers can also head up to the Badger Pass Ski, Tube and Snowboard Area to kick and glide down miles of trails groomed for classic and skate skiing.

Top trip for experienced skiers: The 10.5-mile (one-way) trip down snowed-over Glacier Point Road to the Glacier Point Ski Hut. For a shorter but very scenic trip, head out on the 3.5-mile Meadows Trail (one-way) to Dewey Point for wonderful Valley views. Ski rentals are available at the resort.

X-country Skiing in the Region

Ski hundreds of miles of both groomed and ungroomed trails in the Sierra National Forest south of Yosemite: For access to trails ranging from easy to challenging, take off from the Coyote Nordic Trailhead off CA 168.

West of Yosemite, there is great snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in Stanislaus National Forest. Our favorite starting points are the Crabtree Cross-country Ski Trailhead, Gooseberry Cross-country Ski Trailhead, and the Highway 108 Sno-Park.

In the Mammoth Lakes area to the east, head to Tamarack Cross-Country Ski Center or the Mammoth Lakes Nordic Trail System. The Lake Tahoe area also has cross-country trails at both groomed resorts (such as Northstar and Kirkwood) and free public lands (Carson Pass).