Does skiing or snowshoeing to a a cozy shelter in the remote wilderness and spending two or three nights sound like fun? Then make tracks for one of the Yosemite area’s backcountry ski huts. There are two backcountry ski huts inside Yosemite National Park.
Glacier Point Ski Hut
The stone-and-log Glacier Point Ski Hut sits on a lofty perch at Glacier Point with views over Yosemite Valley. Inside, skiers will find a wood stove, hot meals, indoor bathrooms, and dorm-style bunk beds. Getting there requires a 10.5-mile, intermediate-level cross-country ski or snowshoe trip from Badger Pass Ski and Snowboard Area to Glacier Point Road.
Make reservations for either a guided or self-guided trip with the park concessionaire (www.travelyosemite.com/lodging/glacier-point-ski-hut/).
Ostrander Ski Hut
Advanced backcountry skiers and snowboarders also have the option of Ostrander Ski Hut, a stone shelter built in 1941. Tucked alongside Ostrander Lake at 8,500 feet, the hut is surrounded by thrilling backcountry slopes for experienced winter travelers. The hut is rustic (toilets are outdoors, and you’ll melt snow for water; visitors provide their own meals) but snug, with a warm fire and bunk beds for 25. To get there, snowshoe or skin about 10 miles (there are several different route options) from Badger Pass Ski and Snowboard Area.
Spots are very popular and distributed by a lottery system each fall by the Yosemite Conservancy (yosemite.org/experience/ostrander-ski-hut/).
Pear Lake Winter Hut in Neighboring Sequoia National Park
Nearby Sequoia National Park has its own high-altitude ski haven: Pear Lake Winter Hut. This rustic, 10-person shelter sits in a snowy bowl at 9,200 feet, close to skiable slopes reaching up to 11,000 feet. Get there via a challenging 6-mile ski or snowshoe route (avalanche safety skills required). Apply for a spot through the annual fall lottery at the Sequoia Parks Conservancy (www.sequoiaparksconservancy.org/pearlakewinterhut.html).