Snowshoeing Yosemite to Dewey Point

After bidding our heated tent-cabin adieu, we had breakfast, and then drove up to Badger Pass, a small ski area in the park where they also rent snowshoes.

We all got suited up, and started towards Dewey Point on the recommendation of a park ranger. There are two ways to get to the point, one harder one easier, but the harder route forked off first, and everyone seemed cool with that. What did we know? So off we trudged into the forest.

Trail map to Dewey Point

As promised, it was a beautiful, diverse hike, with lots to see and photograph along the way. The snow was at least two feet deep. Aside from the well-trodden trail, it felt like we were very much in the wilderness, very much on our own. But it was also pretty hard going, with lots of ups and downs and twists and turns.

Given that we had to get the snowshoes back by 4, we were all well aware of our turnaround time—but it created a dilemma: how hard do we push ourselves, how far do we go, would we make it to Dewey Point? I did my fair share of cajoling, but once we reached that turnaround window, and with a reasonably expansive view in front of us, we all stopped to prepare the dinner we had conveniently been unable to enjoy the night before. Hot dogs never tasted so good!

Turns out Dewey Point was just a few hundred feet ahead (we learned from some cross country skiers), so we headed down for a quick look-see before beginning the trek back. The hot dogs were a great reward, but actually reaching our goal and standing on the edge of the world made all the difficulty getting there seem worth it.

By then we really had to get moving back. I was a little worried about the rental office closing on us, but we managed to reduce our return time by taking the less-strenuous meadow trail back (yay, a loop!), which we were all very glad for. It was still really freaking hard, and harder still knowing we had to get back at a specific time. But we all made it—and just in time.

The snowshoers: Marcia, Joy, Kyle, Stephanie, Justin
Group shot at the beginning of the hike (Marcia, Joy, Kyle, Stephanie, and Justin)
Artful shadows cutting across the trail
Shadows fall across the trail
Taking a breather
Everyone taking a breather
Stephanie leads the way
Stephanie leads the way!
Justin cooking hot dogs in the snow
Justin cooking hot dogs in the snow (thanks to Joy for the photo!)
Dewey Point in sight
Dewey Point is just ahead
Looking west from Dewey Point, standing on a very treacherous bit of snow
Crazy view with a crazy drop
Kyle, Joy, and Marcia on the same bit of snow
Kyle, Joy, and Marcia standing at that crazy drop
Justin and Stephanie
Justin and Stephanie at Dewey Point (thanks to Joy for the photo!)
Taking the well-sworn meadow trail back
Snowshoe prints in the meadow
It was sort of a death march
It was kind of a death march towards the end

7 Comments

Looks incredible. I think I’ll have to take a trip there someday soon.

thanks, definitely go. it’s “grand canyon” great.

Melanie

I really enjoyed these pictures.

Chris

Was the trail marked?

Chris, yes, there were yellow triangles attached to the trees with the trail numbers on them.

Dan L

Did this on 01/18/09. Weather was great and you could probably get by with out snow shoes. The snow was packed tight with all of the people on the long weekend. At least w/shoes you can get off the trail and play in the deep snow. View is AWESOME and worth the effort. Drive up to the Badger Pass area was fine – no chains or 4X4 required

But did you have hotdogs at the end…?

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