Yosemite in Winter – Bracebridge, Skiing and More

When you travel to Yosemite in the winter, you enter into a special wonderland. Winter has its own magic in Yosemite and there is still plenty to do. The high country is mostly closed. The roads over Tioga Pass and up to Glacier Point will close when the snows fall and won’t reopen until probably sometime in May. But other places are open and when the snow falls they can be wonderful places to visit.

Wawona and the nearby Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias are a wonderland in the winter. The rustic Wawona Hotel provides a quiet and simple place to relax and imagine a simpler time. It is open during the holiday season and then closes for the winter. It is usually full during that time of year because it houses people who are going to the famous Bracebridge dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room.

Bracebridge has been staged at the Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room since it opened in 1927. It is based on a Washington Irving’s Sketch Book, which describe the times and customs of a 17th century English squire. The dinner and the performance last 4 hours and is filled with entertainment and carols. Soon after it started the famed photographer Ansel Adams became the producer of the event and designed the show in pretty much the form it has today. The Bracebridge dinner goes on for about two weeks starting in mid-December. If you want to go make your plans well in advance, it is usually sold out almost a year in advance.

There are more than just special events to keep you coming to Yosemite in the winter. If you like to ice skate, then try the rink that is set up are Curry Village. There is lodging available at Curry Village as well as at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls and Ahwahnee.

The snow piles up in the high country around Yosemite Valley but the valley itself is often quite clear of snow, being only about 4,000 elevation. But you don’t need to go far to find snow and lots of it.

Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are available in the park during the winter. There are many trails including ones in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

But the king of winter sport in Yosemite national Park is the Badger Pass Ski Area. It is located part way up the Glacier Point Road. You can downhill ski and snowboard at Badger Pass. Both day passes and season passes are available. One of the coolest things you can do is cross country ski up to Glacier Point. It’s 21 miles round trip. You can even arrange to stay overnight at Glacier Point. What a way to spend a winter night in Yosemite.

That’s just some of the things you can do in the winter in Yosemite National Park. So don’t worry about the snow – enjoy it.