One of the primary snowshoeing and cross-country skiing destinations that leaves from the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area (formerly Badger Pass) in Yosemite National Park, the Dewey Point Trail offers groomed trails, beautiful Yosemite forests, and big views of Yosemite Valley at its terminus. At about 7.5 miles round-trip, the Dewey Point Trail is substantially shorter than the full Glacier Point ski trek (21 miles) and sees somewhat more traffic as a result. As a day trip, however, Dewey Point is much more manageable and still offers great rewards for the effort.
Two trails (14 and 18) reach Dewey point, creating an opportunity to make a loop out of the majority of the trek and enjoy more fresh scenery than a straight out-and-back. Trail 14 (Dewey Point Ridge) is about 0.5 miles longer and somewhat more aggressive, but both it and Trail 18 (Dewey Point Meadow) see significant traffic and are well packed, putting them within the reach of even beginning snowshoers. The trails are well marked and easy to follow. Trekkers congregate at Dewey Point itself before turning around; bring a picnic lunch and soak up the views.
For those who have never ventured out of the valley onto Wawona Road, driving up to the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area takes visitors right past the famous Tunnel View vista point, from which Ansel Adams and countless other photographers have captured stunning frames of the Yosemite's most well-recognized features. It's definitely worth a short stop on your way to your snowshoeing adventure.
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.