Can you believe the incredible and beautiful snow that we have recently received up on our local mountains? We haven’t seen this in a while and it is ready to be enjoyed. We headed up before our big snow storms to visit those wonderful views that Dewey Point provides. Badger Pass Ski Area is open for business and you can rent showshoes, cross country skis, even joining a tour!
Where: Yosemite National Park
Distance: 7.35 Miles
Elevational Range: 7,236′ to 7,379′
Elevation Gain: 743′
Date: December 20, 2021
CALTOPO: Badger Pass Meadow Route Snowshoe to Dewey Point
Dog Hike: No
The roads were a bit icy when we headed up Hwy 41/Wawona Road, then up Glacier Point Road to Badger Pass Ski Area. Just shy of the ski lodge, we turned left and parked at their lot up near the trailhead. It was about 8 am and 28 degrees when we got out of the car, put on our snowshoes and headed up the trail. The “trail” follows snow covered Glacier Point Road for a while and it was beautifully groomed. Just wonderful!
After about a mile, we soon reached Summit Meadow.
And that bathroom is usually a pretty good gauge of the snow accumulation on the day we snowshoed but keep in mind that it will look very different after our recent snow!
We decided to head out the Meadow Route because we didn’t see good tracks where the Ridge Route met Glacier Point Road before Summit Meadow. I guess we were feeling a bit lazy that day, not feeling like breaking trail.
There are a couple of routes to snowshoe into Dewey Point. The Ridge Route #14, a little shorter but steeper, intersects Glacier Point Road just west of Summit Meadow and the Meadow Route #18 intersects Glacier Point Road just east of Summit Meadow. More information on the winter trails is at the end of the blog.
We soon reached a beautiful meadow.
At the north end of the meadow there are a small group of trees and for some reason they seem to hold the colder air a little longer in this spot, decorating the needles with ice crystals.
We continued on up the trail, snowshoeing though the snow coated trees.
As we made the final approach to Dewey Point, I always have a sort of anticipation of what the view will be.
That view slowly started to reveal itself.
I began to catch glimpses of the high country.
What would the view look like once I reached the edge and could look into Yosemite Valley and up Tenaya Canyon? I slowly walked up a packed trail that someone else had walked up, kind of sneaking up on the view.
And what a view it was! I just love the views from Dewey Point (7,316′ elevation) looking up Tenaya Canyon where I cam see the snow coated higher country such as Clouds Rest, way up toward Tenaya Peak and beyond.
Dewey Point is named after Admiral George Dewey of the Spanish American War. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. He was also the only person in the history of the United States to have attained the rank of Admiral of the Navy, the most senior rank in the United States Navy.
The Library of Congress has a short biography of him located at the website listed in Sources at the bottom of the blog.
George Dewey was born on December 26, 1837 in Montpelier, Vermont. Upon his graduation from the Naval Academy in 1857, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1861. During the Civil War he served with Admiral Farragut during the Battle of New Orleans and as part of the Atlantic blockade. From 1871 until 1896, Dewey held a variety of positions in the Navy. In 1897 he was named commander of the Asiatic Squadron, thanks to the help of strong political allies, including Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt.
Roosevelt’s help was also essential in supplying Dewey with guns, ammunition, and other needed supplies so that his fleet would be prepared if war broke out with Spain. An aggressive commander, Dewey ignored China’s neutrality and took on coal for his fleet at Mirs Bay. He was forced to leave Hong Kong on April 25, but not before the U.S.S. Baltimore had arrived from Honolulu with needed ammunition.
Thus prepared for battle, Dewey launched his attack, through mined waters and firing shore batteries, on Admiral Patricio Montojo’s slow, outmoded, under-supplied Spanish squadron at Cavite in Manila Bay. On May 1, he engaged the Spanish forces and demolished them, inflicting very heavy casualties. His troops occupied the bay and Manila itself alone until General Wesley Merritt’s soldiers arrived in August.
News of the victory in the Battle of Manila Bay reached President McKinley on May 7 and soon Dewey became a national hero. Congress awarded him a promotion to real admiral and handed out citations to members of his fleet. Although he thought about running for president, he settled for writing accounts of his famous victory and publishing his autobiography in 1913.
We took plenty of pictures.
We had made good time and it was only 10 am, so we stopped for a snack break and watched those views for a while. Although we were the only humans at Dewey Point, ravens kept a watchful eye for handouts, which they did not receive from us.
It was soon time for us to head back.
As we headed back the Meadow Route, we saw a few small groups of people headed up to Dewey Point, maybe about 20. We were very happy that we had hit the trail early and it gave us the opportunity to enjoy Dewey Point all to ourselves . . . with the ravens.
If you were interested in snowshoeing out of Badger Pass Ski Area, they rent snowshoes and there are even lessons, guided snowshoe and ski hikes. They are open through April 1, 2018 as conditions permit. You can also check out their webcam, along with the rental and snowshoe hikes and current conditions at the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area Page here. Yosemite National Park has some great information on how you can safely enjoy winter sports on the Glacier Point Winter Trails handout. It has a great trail map but also descriptions of the trails.
There are many other areas to snowshoe near us. In Yosemite, I have snowshoed in Tuolumne, Merced and Mariposa Groves. A couple of other options out of Fish Camp are at the Goat Meadow Trailhead and Snow Play Area, and out of Tenaya Lodge. The Tamarack SNO-PARK area above Shaver Lake has some beautiful trails. These are just a few of my favorite local snowshoe hiking areas but there are plenty more out there. Enjoy!
Dog Hike? No
Dogs are not allowed on this Trail.
Where Pets Are Not Allowed
- On trails, including the trail to Vernal Fall (however, pets are allowed on the Wawona Meadow Loop)
- On unplowed roads covered in snow
- In undeveloped and wilderness areas
- In public buildings
- On shuttle buses
- In lodging areas
- In all walk-in and group campgrounds/campsites, including Camp 4
- In any other areas, as signed
These regulations protect both pets and wildlife from disease and each other. The National Park Service has prohibited pets on trails for many years. In particular, some pets chase wildlife, pollute water sources, and can become defensive and dangerous in unfamiliar surroundings. Pet owners have the burden to assure their pet does not damage the park values for others in those areas where pets are allowed.
What is a Doarama? It is a video playback of the GPS track overlaid on a 3 dimensional interactive map. If you “grab” the map, you can tilt it or spin it and look at it from different viewing angles. With the rabbit and turtle buttons, you can also speed it up, slow it down or pause it.
Map and Profile:
CALTOPO has some free options for mapping and here is a link to my hike this week overlayed on the 1883 Topographic Map: CALTOPO: Badger Pass Meadow Route Snowshoe to Dewey Point
Prior Blogs in the Area:
Hartesveldt, Richard J. Yosemite Valley Place Names. 1955