We figured that if we were going to do some snowshoeing, we had better get out there to do it while we still had snow. Whether we wear snowshoes or hiking boots, the hike to Dewey Point has unbeatable views that look up into the Tenaya Canyon and beyond to see snow covered mountains!
Where: Yosemite National Park
Distance: 7.31 Miles
Elevation Range: 7,217′ – 7,575
Date: February 17, 2014
Maps: El Capitan
Highlights: My favorite part of this adventure is when you reach Dewey Point and the Tenaya Canyon just opens up in front of you, with snow capped Half Dome, Clouds Rest, the Clark Range and snowy peaks too many to name. You can look straight down into Yosemite Valley and straight across to El Capitan.
We parked at the Badger Pass Ski Area, and then walked up to the cut-off that leads down to Glacier Point Road. I mentioned the lack of snow and how it was melting fast, but I apologize by opening up with a picture that shows those conditions, but that is how it was. Since there was so little snow, we didn’t put our snowshoes on yet, just walked up the road.
We made a quick stop at the bathroom at Summit Meadow, then headed north on the Meadow Route. I always think Summit Meadow is very pretty and the rail fence sure frames the picture nicely.
We strapped on our snowshoes and off we went.
It wasn’t long before we arrived at a beautiful snow covered meadow. At the upper end some snow campers were breaking camp.
The snow was beginning to melt in the creek area. I just had to try and capture some pictures of the brown vegetation that contrasted so beautifully with the frozen ice and snow. Gail Gilbert caught a couple of pictures of my “technique.”
The trail was well worn so it was very easy to follow, but we still watched for the yellow trail markers in the trees as we snowshoed along.
We came across parts of the trail that had no snow but since it wasn’t rocky, we kept our snowshoes on in those parts. Photo by Gail Gilbert.
We followed the trail and signs to Dewey Point.
I always get a happy feeling when I see the view starting to reveal itself on the approach to Dewey Point, named for a Spanish American War hero named Admiral George Dewey. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.
And those views!
Although this adventure occurred on President’s Day, a holiday and a Free Park Entrance Day, we had Dewey Point to ourselves for lunch. We headed back out the same way that we came in til we reached a fork in the trail and chose the Ridge Route for the return.
The return was not without entertainment. As Gail jumped over a log in the afternoon melting snow, a snow frog must have jumped in front of her, causing her to make an unscheduled landing. Of course, I needed to document this for you.
We made it back to Glacier Point Rd. where the below sign greeted us.
And someone had lost a glove. A kind soul put it on a stick by the side of the road. It looked to me as if the glove was giving us a high five as we passed by it on the way back to the car.
We were brought back to reality when we were greeted by a group of people with a small pack of dogs. I felt bad for the cross-country skier, trying to enjoy the Yosemite Wilderness Area, where dogs are not allowed to do this.
If you need to brush up on the rules regarding dogs in Yosemite, including where you can walk them and how they need to on leash in the allowed areas, I have included a link at the bottom.
Although we would have preferred better snow conditions for this adventure, we wanted to make sure we got a snowshoe hike to Dewey Point before all of the snow melted away. I sure hope we get more snow. There are so many additional great snowshoe hikes close by that I would love to do this year.
If you are interested in snowshoeing to Dewey Point, the Badger Pass Ski Center rents them. For more information on Badger Pass or their rates, check out http://www.yosemitepark.com/BadgerPass.aspx You can also check out their webcam and online information for current conditions.
Schaffer, Jeffrey P. Yosemite National Park, A Complete Hiker’s Guide. Berkeley, CA: Wilderness Press, May 2008. Pages 295-297.
White, Michael C., Snowshoe Trails of Yosemite, Berkeley, CA. Wilderness Press, 1999, Pages 59-61.
Hartesveldt, Richard J. Yosemite Valley Place Names. 1955