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Snowshoeing to Dewey Point

The most snow that we had seen in a long time had dumped in Yosemite National Park and I couldn’t wait to get over there to some high point where I could look out at those white covered high mountains. We snowshoed our way over to Dewey Point to check it out.

Where: Yosemite National Park
Distance: 7.24 Miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevational Range: 7,233′ to 7,381′
Date: January 27, 2017
Map: El Capitan Topographic Map
Dog Hike?  No, dogs not allowed in Yosemite National Park Wilderness

We drove up Hwy 41 to Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area aka Badger Pass Ski Resort, parking at their parking lot near the trailhead. This trail is a snow covered and groomed portion of Glacier Point Road that was closed above Badger Pass. We headed up that groomed trail.







When we reached Summit Meadow off of Glacier Point Road, the snow was so deep that it covered the split rail fence along the meadow. A good measuring stick for the amount of recent snow is the bathroom roof.

Just past the bathroom and on the left, we took the Meadow Route Trail to Dewey Point. You can also go in via the Ridge Route, which starts before you get to the Summit Meadow bathroom, but it is a little more difficult and we saw only one set of ski tracks coming out it, so knew that if we took that trail, we would be breaking trail all of the way. The trail we were taking had already been broken by a set of snowshoes and ski tracks followed along the snowshoe tracks.

As soon as we started up the trail, we had to negotiate a log across the trail, but no problem!

The trail skirted a beautiful meadow. It was such a pretty spot that we each took a picture of each other, looking the opposite way.

Photo of me by Gail Gilbert










The frost and snow on the trees was absolutely gorgeous.

The trail took us through trees that were loaded with snow.

Then we broke out into the sun.

We were almost to Dewey Point when we caught our first clear glimpse of the high country to the east.

Arriving at Dewey Point always takes my breath away. The view as you look up Tenaya Canyon, across at El Capitan and down at Yosemite Valley cannot be described, especially after a recent snowfall.

Dewey Point is named after Admiral George Dewey of the Spanish American War who is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

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 was 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.

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. He was 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. Although he thought about running for president, he settled for writing accounts of his famous victory and publishing his autobiography in 1913.

We picked out a great lunch spot where I lay down my plastic garbage bag that I had brought and propped my backpack behind me as a back rest, watching this amazing view.

After devouring my sandwich, apple and Tahoe Bar, we explored Dewey Point a little more, looking to the east and to the west.

From Dewey Point, looking to the northeast

From Dewey Point, looking to the west

It was time for us to head back. We took a look at the Ridge Route Trail when we reached the junction to it and there was still only that one set of ski tracks. The snow was getting a little wetter with the afternoon sun, so we opted for the easier option of returning the same way that we had come in through the Meadow Route.

Photo by Gail Gilbert

As we snowshoed through the meadow, the sun was hitting the swirls of snow, creating a beautiful and peaceful view.

If you are interested in snowshowing out of the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area, they rent snowshoes and there are even guided snowshoe hikes. You can also check out their webcam, along with the rental and snowshoe hikes and current conditions 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.

Map and Profile:

Dewey Point Snowshoe Doarama

Dewey Point Snowshoe Topog

Dewey Point Snowshoe Profile


Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area

Yosemite National Park Blog Badger Pass 80th Anniversary

Badger Pass Ski Resort Wikipedia

Yosemite National Park Winter Sports

Library of Congress George Dewey

Prior Blogs in this Area:

Snowshoeing from Chinquapin to Monroe Meadows Nnovember 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

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