During winter, the most popular place to visit outside Yosemite Valley is the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area off Glacier Point Road. There you’ll find rangers ready to lead guided snowshoe walks almost every morning during winter, weather permitting. (A small donation is requested for borrowing snowshoes.) Once you’ve strapped on your winter gear, enjoy the two-hour guided naturalists’ ramble around the snowy pine forests.
Afterward, reward yourself with a hot chocolate inside the ski lodge or Snowflake Room lounge. And if you don’t feel like driving yourself to the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area due to winter road conditions (which often require chains or 4WD with snow tires), just hop aboard the free twice-daily shuttle bus up from Yosemite Valley.
Also located at the ski area, the Yosemite Mountain School (YMS) offers more adventurous, all-day snowshoeing treks out to Dewey Point, a thrilling overlook perched more than 3000 thousand feet above the valley floor. The park’s concessionaire, Aramark, offers guided snowshoe walks on full-moon nights, as well as morning snowshoe trips into the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias and near Crane Flat in the northwest corner of the park. For all of these snowshoeing trips, which aren’t led by rangers but are often guided by local area outdoor-activity experts, advance sign-up is required and a fee applies.
For more information, call the Nordic Center at (209) 372-8444 or visit www.travelyosemite.com/winter/yosemite-ski-snowboard-area/snowshoeing