Undoubtedly stunning year round, the vistas from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park only grow in stature with a fresh coat of snow and the knowledge that you have the place entirely to yourself. During the winter months the National Park Service closes down Glacier Point Road beyond Badger Pass to automobiles, but the route stays open for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. The result is 10.5 miles of groomed trails leading out to one of the nation’s most famous lookout points.
The straightforward, there-and-back trip can be accomplished in one day by the hearty, though many choose a two-day itinerary for a more leisurely pace. Bathrooms are kept open along the road, and expansive views across Mono Meadow reach out to Buena Vista Crest and the Clark Range. Worthwhile side trips can also be taken out to Dewey Point, Taft Point, and Sentinel Dome.
For those interested in spending the night out at Glacier Point, the Glacier Point Ski Hut offers hot meals (dinner, breakfast and a lunch to pack out), a comfortable area to relax around a wood stove, indoor lavatory facilities, and a bunk area that sleeps up to 20 skiers dormitory style (in one big room). The current price per person per night is $138. More information can be found online. Snow camping options also abound the area. Be sure to check in at the Badger Pass Ranger Station before heading out.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.