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Snowshoeing to Dewey Point during the Government Shutdown

The Federal Government shutdown made it a bit harder for us to get up to Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area (Badger Pass) after a good storm that deposited lots of snow but we were determined to get up there and check out the tremendous views from Dewey Point.

Where: Yosemite National Park
Distance: 7.57 Miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevational Range: 7,234′ to 7,389′
Date: January 8, 2019
Map: El Capitan Topographic Map
Dog Hike: No

A result of the Federal Government shutdown, the south entrance on Wawona Rd./Hwy 41 had restrictions on entrance. We had checked the latest online information ahead of time just to make sure a change had not occurred in our favor, knowing that Yosemite’s normal public information may not be updated in a timely manner due to that shutdown and furloughing of workers. The latest information at Yosemite National Park Alerts in Place showed the following:

Park rangers will screen incoming vehicles at South Entrance from 9 am to 6 pm, allowing only those with a reservation for lodging or camping inside the park to proceed. All others will be asked to enter Yosemite via Highway 140. Local residents and guests staying in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite West, and Wawona will be allowed to enter via South Entrance.

Visitors planning to visit the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area will be asked to enter the park via Highway 140.

So we headed up the long way through El Portal, past two road construction delays and the Ferguson Slide one way traffic regulated by a stoplight. I know, we really wanted to get up in that snow bad to do this. After driving through the unstaffed entrance, we made a stop at the port-a-potties across the street from the Cascade Creek Falls parking area. They were not perfectly clean but they did the trick. I had packed some extra garbage bags with me for the day in case we saw trash but we didn’t see any. I credit this to the many volunteers who have been picking up trash daily. Thank you so much for helping to keep Yosemite National Park clean during the shutdown!

We made a quick stop at Tunnel View on our way up before it was just too darn gorgeous to resist.

Tunnel View (Photo by Gail Gilbert)

As we turned onto Glacier Point Road, a Ranger asked us if we were carrying chains and of course we were, so he invited us in. We also asked him if we could exit through the South Entrance and he told us that we could, so that was our plan. We drove up to Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area (Badger Pass) just shy of the ski lodge, then turned left and parked at their lot up near the trailhead. We put on our snowshoes and off we went, making sure we stayed out of the cross country ski tracks on the trail.

On the way up, we had talked about snowshoeing on the Ridge Route to Dewey Point and came up with a plan that we would go that way if someone had already broken the trail for us because we just didn’t feel like doing that. We also acknowledged that the Meadow Trail was probably also unbroken but since there wasn’t so much up and down on that trail, we figured we could do that but knew it would be hard. When we reached the Ridge Trailhead, no one had been up it since the storm so we continued on up Glacier Point Road.

We weren’t sure if the Summit Meadow restroom would be open and sure enough it was, so Gail used it but it was a bit smelly.

We reached the Meadow Trailhead and no one had headed out that way since the storm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We admired the view where the trail would lead us but also knowing that we were just starting the tough job of breaking trail.

Steve led the way through the wet snow which made it even heavier to break through. Taking the lead was tough but it wasn’t much easier bringing up the second and third positions because we were all breaking trail. As we reached the bottom of the meadow, Steve stopped and said he saw something moving around at the top of the meadow and wasn’t sure if it was a small bear or a coyote. Well, we stood there trying to figure out what it was and I took my camera out to zoom in.

Turns out it was a coyote watching us, trying to figure out what we were up to. After a while it slowly wandered off. I guess we weren’t very interesting.

We continued on and breaking trail.

Photo by Gail Gilbert

And then we heard a group of snowshoers moving quickly up on us, thanks to our trail that we had broken, and we were very happy when they took the lead, breaking the trail.

As we worked our way through the snow covered meadow, we were all hit with how quiet and calming this view was.

Photo by Gail Gilbert

Then we continued on, following the other snowshoers.

Some of the trees still had snow loaded on the limbs but it was a rather warm day and above freezing, so we heard the plops of snow dropping from those trees throughout the day.

We were soon approaching Dewey Point and I always love this area because the huge view starts to unveil more and more beautiful high country.

Before I actually reached Dewey Point, I stopped and turned around, capturing the beauty of the snow.

We all reached Dewey Point, took pictures and admired the view. It was also the best place to stop for lunch.

One more look at those views.

Photo by Gail Gilbert

One more photo op.

Then we were back on the trail and headed out the same way we came in. We traveled quickly because we had such a beautiful and easy trail to follow!

If you are interested in snowshowing out of Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area, they rent snowshoes and there are even guided snowshoe 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 at the link at the end of the blog. You can also access a PDF of their Glacier Point Road Winter Trails brochure on this link, which includes a map of the trails in the area with safety information.

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.

Yosemite Hospitality operates a dog kennel in Yosemite Valley from approximately late May through early September. Written proof of immunizations (rabies, distemper, parvo, and Bordetella) must be provided. Dogs must be at least 20 pounds (smaller dogs may be considered if you provide a small kennel). You can get more information about the kennel by calling 209/372-8326.

Map, Profile and Doarama:

Snowshoe to Dewey Point Doarama

Snowshoe to Dewey Point Topographic Map

Snowshoe to Dewey Point Profile

Prior Blogs in the Area:

Snowshoeing to Dewey Point December 20, 2018

Snowshoeing to Dewey Point March 12, 2018

Snowshoeing from Chinquapin to Monroe Meadow aka Badger Pass aka Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area March 7, 2018

Hiking from Tunnel View to Dewey Point January 12, 2018

Snowshoeing from Chinquapin to Monroe Meadows November 30, 2016

Snowshoe to Dewey Point . . . Again December 30, 2015

Snowshoe to Dewey Point 2015

Dewey Point Snowshoe Hike February 17, 2014

Tunnel View To Dewey Point Hike January 8, 2014

Snowshoe to Dewey Point January 22, 2013

Sources:

Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area

Glacier Point Road Winter Trails

Hoar Frost Wikpedia

About Candace Gregory

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