Visiting in the Winter Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb.

Yosemite in winter is one of the best-kept secrets in California travel. Skiing and snowshoeing opportunities are endless. Favorites include Ostrander Hut, Glacier Point Hut and the wild backcountry high places, like Mt Hoffman. Rangers offer a fantastic free family-friendly snowshoe walk daily at Badger Pass. Any place you can access in the winter takes on a new personality and always seems a little more untrammeled.

Badger Pass is one of the best deals in family skiing . A small resort, it’s perfect for learning to ski and taking an affordable family ski trip.

Down at the lower elevations, it's not always wintery. Most hiking trails at 4,000 feet stay usable throughout the season. You often enjoy a classic hike like Yosemite Falls or the 4 mile trail completely to yourself. You’ll find plenty of parking spaces. Waterfalls start flowing again, the rock cliffs are just as majestic and inspiring, and the photography is excellent. As a former resident of Seattle, I (Holly) appreciate the sunny blue skies in November as the one month that stands out to remind me why I am so glad I moved!

Special events including the Vintners and Chefs holidays, Bracebridge, the Yosemite Winter Club Snow Ball, and even a ski race for “Ancient Jocks” over 30 years old.

Another favorite is the Day of the Woodpecker, a special hunt for all the species of Woodpecker found in Yosemite, led by the Yosemite Conservancy and the extraordinary Pete Devine. The only rough thing about the season is the short days, so a comfy fireplace, like we offer in both our Yosemite Stay homes, helps out a lot.

Even though we have officially labeled October our favorite month, the winter season is really in a tie for our favorite, because winter is its own pleasure we savor every year, and there is no comparison.

If you haven’t visited Yosemite in winter yet, you should make it your next visit.


Very uncrowded, experience Yosemite like a local as if its your own personal National Park, often sunny and very hikable, fabulous special events, terrific ski resort, unmatched snowshoeing, incredible scenery and photography, often winter waterfalls, and more! A true hidden gem.


Exact conditions are hard to predict in advance, especially snow conditions. Days are short, if its raining it can put a damper on your best attempts at outdoor fun. Driving might require chains and you should always carry them.
Your host Jeff, Yosemite Winter Trail Expert

Explore The Four Seasons of Yosemite