Searching for Snow: Spending a Weekend in Yosemite in the Winter

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Yosemite in the winter? I know, I know. Though Yosemite is an incredibly popular (and wildly packed) destination in the warmer months, I’d argue that Yosemite has an altogether different sort of magic to offer once snow falls. It’s funny to think that just a year before this, I had never been on a camping trip in my entire life. And here I am, months later, slapping gaiters and crampons onto well-worn hiking boots and trekking up mountains while knee-deep in powder.

Winter in Yosemite

Even though I spent my entire life living in warm places, I’ve always associated winter with snow. It just doesn’t feel like winter without it. Let me tell you, Yosemite delivers winter weather and then some. The entire week leading up to our trip, it was snowing, raining, flooding (!), and storming. The forecasts looked like something out of a movie. By the end of the week, we saw what we’d been dreading the most – road closures and campground alerts. The odds were definitely not in our favor.

But amazingly, on the night before we were scheduled to go, everything cleared up. Despite all my worrying, what we were left with when we arrived was beautiful, fresh, powdery snow and picture-perfect blue skies. It really was like some twisted comedy, after a week filled with worrying whether all hope was lost.

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yosemite-shoot-1 Winter in Yosemite

Yosemite is kind of like the Disneyland of campgrounds. There are heated tents (highly recommend. I don’t care how hardcore you are. Heated tents in 20 degree weather is heaven), gift shops, and a food lodge with WiFi. During the day, we hiked into the Valley to see Half Dome, which was just as breathtaking in real life as it is in pictures.

Winter in Yosemite Winter in Yosemite

If you plan on heading to Yosemite in the winter, be sure to plan accordingly and make sure you have everything you might need if the weather takes a turn – tire chains, an ice scraper, crampons, gaiters, and a first aid kit should all be easily accessible at the very least. And, check for heated tents several months ahead of time as they do book up! Being able to sleep in a warm, though pretty bare, canvas tent in the middle of the national park is one of the best ways to experience this special place up close.

Winter in Yosemite

When are you going to Yosemite National Park? Tell me below!

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Rachel Off Duty: A Weekend Getaway in Yosemite
Rachel Off Duty: A Weekend Getaway in Yosemite

Hey there! I’m Rachel, a travel writer and a full-time advertising / marketing expert. In 2019, I traveled more than 25 times while working 9 to 5, and since then I’ve committed myself to living a more adventurous life, even if it means bringing my laptop along for the ride.

Are you hungry to travel more, but overwhelmed with how to juggle work and play? You’ve come to the right place!

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4 Responses

  1. I LOVE that jacket, and Yosemite in the winter looks so beautiful! I also didn’t know heated tents were a thing… So looking out for that in the future 😀

    1. They are DEFINITELY a thing and you should totally rent one! It was a lifesaver to say the least. I’m a wuss in the cold.

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