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Yosemite Winter Lodging: The BEST Places To Stay (& Things To Do)


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Effie Letourneau



Winter in California offers a unique and captivating experience, especially in the stunning wilderness of Yosemite National Park. Nestled in the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting adventure seekers and nature lovers from around the world.


With its breathtaking landscapes, towering granite peaks, and glistening snowy vistas, Yosemite in winter is a sight to behold. But what truly completes the winter experience in Yosemite is finding the perfect lodging, offering both comfort and easy access to the park’s winter activities.


In this article, we will explore the best places to stay during your winter visit to Yosemite National Park. Whether you’re looking for cozy cabins, luxurious hotels, or family-friendly accommodations, Yosemite has something to offer for everyone.


From the iconic Yosemite Valley Lodge to the historic and elegant Ahwahnee Hotel, there are numerous options to choose from. If you prefer a more rustic and communal experience, Half Dome Village might be the perfect fit. And for those who wish to immerse themselves in the peaceful serenity of the surrounding forests, Tenaya Lodge or Rush Creek Lodge will be ideal choices.


But a winter trip to Yosemite isn’t just about finding a place to stay. There are plenty of exhilarating activities waiting to be discovered. Imagine snowboarding or skiing through pristine powder, strapping on snowshoes to explore the quiet trails, or enjoying a delightful ice skating session in Yosemite Valley.


Moreover, Yosemite provides opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to observe winter wildlife at its best. From majestic bald eagles soaring above to playful otters in the streams, the wilderness comes alive during this magical season.


So, whether you’re a seasoned winter adventurer or someone seeking a peaceful retreat amidst nature’s beauty, Yosemite National Park is the perfect destination. Let’s dive into the details of the best winter accommodations and activities that await you in one of California’s most treasured gems.


Yosemite Valley Lodge

Yosemite Valley Lodge is a popular choice for visitors seeking both comfort and convenience during their winter stay in Yosemite. Nestled in the heart of Yosemite Valley, this lodge provides easy access to a plethora of winter activities and stunning natural wonders.


The lodge features spacious rooms and cozy cabins, perfect for couples, families, or groups of friends. Each accommodation is well-appointed and designed to provide a relaxing and inviting atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable stay after a day of adventures.


One of the highlights of Yosemite Valley Lodge is its proximity to Yosemite Falls. Imagine waking up to the view of the iconic waterfall blanketed in snow, right outside your window. This mesmerizing sight is not to be missed.


In addition to its convenient location, the lodge offers excellent dining options. The Mountain Room Restaurant serves delicious and hearty meals, perfect for fueling up before or after your outdoor activities. For a more casual dining experience, the food court offers a variety of quick and tasty options.


After a long day of exploring Yosemite’s winter wonders, you can unwind by the fireplace in the cozy lobby or enjoy a refreshing drink at the lounge. The lodge also offers a gift shop where you can find souvenirs to commemorate your visit.


When it comes to winter activities, Yosemite Valley Lodge is the perfect starting point. Strap on your snowshoes and embark on a peaceful hike through the snowy meadows. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, hit the slopes at Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area, just a short drive away.


For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, take a winter wildlife tour and witness the park’s resident animals in their snowy habitat. Keep an eye out for the elusive bobcats, curious foxes, and majestic deer that call Yosemite home.


Yosemite Valley Lodge offers a comfortable and convenient base for your winter adventures in Yosemite National Park. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking to relax amidst stunning scenery, this lodge has everything you need to make your stay unforgettable.


The Ahwahnee Hotel

Nestled in the heart of Yosemite National Park, The Ahwahnee Hotel is a historic and luxurious accommodation option that seamlessly blends elegance with the natural beauty of its surroundings. This iconic hotel offers a truly special experience for those seeking a memorable winter getaway.


Boasting grand architecture and exquisite craftsmanship, The Ahwahnee Hotel exudes charm and sophistication. From its majestic stone walls to its soaring ceiling adorned with intricate wooden beams, every corner of the hotel is a testament to its rich history and timeless beauty.


The Ahwahnee Hotel features spacious and well-appointed rooms, each offering a blend of modern comfort and classic elegance. Cozy up by the fireplace, enjoy the stunning views of Half Dome or Yosemite Falls from your window, or indulge in a long soak in a luxurious bathtub.


One of the highlights of The Ahwahnee Hotel is its exceptional dining experience. The hotel’s renowned dining room offers a menu that celebrates seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, allowing guests to savor delectable cuisine while surrounded by breathtaking views of Yosemite Valley.


During the winter months, The Ahwahnee Hotel offers a range of activities to cater to every guest’s preferences. Take a guided snowshoe hike and explore the tranquil forests and meadows adorned with snow. The hotel’s expert guides will lead you through the park, sharing their knowledge of the area’s flora, fauna, and history.


If you’re looking for a more leisurely experience, enjoy a scenic horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy landscape. Snuggle under warm blankets as the horses gently pull you along while you take in the serene beauty of Yosemite in winter.


For those who wish to embrace the festive spirit, The Ahwahnee Hotel hosts a variety of special events during the winter season. From holiday-themed dinners to live music performances, there’s always something to enjoy during your stay.


Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a luxurious escape, or simply a chance to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Yosemite, The Ahwahnee Hotel provides the perfect setting. Revel in the timeless elegance, indulge in exceptional dining, and create lasting memories during your winter retreat.


Half Dome Village

For those seeking a more rustic and communal experience in the heart of Yosemite, Half Dome Village is an excellent choice for your winter stay. Formerly known as Curry Village, this historic and iconic lodging option offers a unique blend of cozy accommodations and a vibrant atmosphere.


Half Dome Village offers a variety of lodging options, ranging from heated canvas tents to rustic cabins with shared bathroom facilities. Each accommodation is kept warm and comfortable, ensuring a cozy retreat after a day of winter adventures.


One of the highlights of Half Dome Village is its prime location, nestled beneath towering granite cliffs and surrounded by the beauty of Yosemite Valley. Staying here means you’re just steps away from world-famous landmarks, such as Half Dome and Glacier Point.


The village offers several dining options, including a pizza parlor and a general store where you can find all your essential supplies. You can also enjoy a hot cocoa or a hearty meal at the heated tented pavilion, perfect for warming up and gathering with fellow travelers.


When it comes to winter activities, Half Dome Village is an excellent starting point. Strap on your snowshoes and embark on a scenic hike through the snow-covered meadows. Take in the stunning views of Yosemite Falls or marvel at the majestic granite cliffs that surround you.


If you’re up for some adrenaline-pumping fun, head to Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area, just a short drive away. Test your skills on the slopes or try your hand at snowboarding. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there’s something for everyone at this popular winter destination.


For a more leisurely activity, grab a pair of ice skates and glide across the outdoor rink located in the heart of Half Dome Village. Surrounded by towering trees and breathtaking mountain views, this tranquil setting provides an unforgettable experience.


Half Dome Village also offers a range of guided tours and programs, allowing you to explore Yosemite’s natural wonders with knowledgeable guides. Take a photography workshop to capture the beauty of the park, or join a wildlife excursion to observe winter animals in their natural habitat.


Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, or as a family, Half Dome Village provides a vibrant and immersive experience in the heart of Yosemite National Park. Embrace the communal spirit, embark on exciting winter adventures, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

If you’re looking for a luxurious and serene retreat amidst the natural beauty of Yosemite, Tenaya Lodge is the perfect choice. Located just outside the park’s entrance, this elegant lodge offers a tranquil escape with easy access to the wonders of Yosemite National Park.


Tenaya Lodge features beautifully appointed rooms and suites, designed to provide a comfortable and relaxing stay. Whether you’re looking for a cozy room with a fireplace or a spacious suite with stunning views, Tenaya Lodge has accommodations to suit every preference.


One of the highlights of staying at Tenaya Lodge is the exceptional dining experience it offers. Indulge in delicious farm-to-table cuisine at the lodge’s signature restaurant, Embers, which showcases the flavors of the Sierra Nevada region. Alternatively, enjoy a casual meal at Timberloft Pizzeria or casual dining at Jackalope’s Bar & Grill.


During the winter months, Tenaya Lodge offers a range of activities to make the most of your Yosemite experience. Explore the snowy trails on a guided snowshoe hike, accompanied by knowledgeable guides who will share fascinating insights about the park’s natural wonders.


If you’re looking for some outdoor excitement, head to Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area located nearby. Strap on your skis or snowboard and glide down the slopes, surrounded by breathtaking panoramas. After an exhilarating day on the slopes, relax at Tenaya Lodge’s luxurious spa and indulge in a soothing treatment.


For families, Tenaya Lodge offers a Kids Adventure Club, where children can enjoy a range of supervised activities, including arts and crafts, nature walks, and movie nights. This allows parents to have some time to themselves, knowing their kids are in good hands.


After a day of exploration, unwind in the lodge’s cozy lounge area, complete with a roaring fireplace and comfortable seating. Or, gather around the outdoor fire pits and share stories and marshmallows with fellow guests, creating cherished memories.


Tenaya Lodge provides a serene and luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Yosemite, indulge in exceptional dining, and let the welcoming ambiance of the lodge envelop you during your winter retreat.


Rush Creek Lodge at Yosemite

For those seeking a peaceful and nature-focused retreat just minutes away from Yosemite National Park, Rush Creek Lodge is an excellent choice. Nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, this stunning lodge offers a perfect combination of rustic charm and modern comfort.


Rush Creek Lodge features a variety of cozy, well-appointed accommodations, including spacious rooms, suites, and hillside villas. Each lodging option is carefully designed with comfort and relaxation in mind, providing a tranquil haven after a day of exploring the wonders of Yosemite.


One of the highlights of Rush Creek Lodge is its exceptional dining experience. The lodge’s full-service restaurant, known as the Rustic Bar & Lounge, offers a menu inspired by local, sustainable ingredients. Enjoy delicious meals with stunning views of the surrounding forested landscapes.


In addition to its comfortable accommodations and exceptional dining, Rush Creek Lodge offers a range of amenities and activities for guests to enjoy. Relax by the outdoor swimming pool and hot tubs, surrounded by towering pines and breathtaking mountain views.


For those seeking adventure, Rush Creek Lodge provides a complimentary shuttle service to Yosemite Valley, allowing convenient access to popular attractions like Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. Take advantage of guided tours, nature walks, and horseback riding to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the park.


If you prefer a more relaxed pace, indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment at the lodge’s on-site spa. Pamper yourself with a massage or unwind in the sauna, letting the stress melt away as you reconnect with nature.


Rush Creek Lodge also offers a range of family-friendly activities, making it an ideal choice for those traveling with children. Kids can enjoy a dedicated play area, complete with games, crafts, and a playground. The lodge’s game room provides entertainment for guests of all ages, with board games, air hockey, and more.


As the sun sets over Yosemite, gather around the outdoor fire pits at Rush Creek Lodge and share stories with fellow guests. The lodge’s welcoming atmosphere fosters a sense of community and allows for memorable moments and meaningful connections.


Rush Creek Lodge at Yosemite offers a serene escape where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while enjoying modern comforts. Embrace the tranquility, indulge in exceptional dining, and create lasting memories during your winter retreat.


Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite

Tucked away in the peaceful and picturesque surroundings of Yosemite National Park, Evergreen Lodge offers a rustic and charming escape for those seeking a true wilderness experience. Nestled among towering pine trees, this eco-friendly lodge is an ideal choice for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


Evergreen Lodge features a range of cozy cabins and cottages, each beautifully designed to provide comfort and relaxation. From intimate one-room cabins to spacious family cottages, there’s an option to suit every size and preference. Enjoy rustic-chic decor, comfortable furnishings, and modern amenities that provide a comfortable retreat after a day exploring Yosemite’s wonders.


One of the highlights of Evergreen Lodge is its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. The lodge has implemented various eco-friendly practices, including energy-efficient lighting, composting programs, and locally sourced food. Guests can enjoy the beauty of Yosemite while knowing they are leaving a minimal impact on the environment.


Evergreen Lodge offers a delightful dining experience at its on-site restaurant, called The Restaurant at Evergreen. Savor delicious meals made with locally sourced ingredients and indulge in a selection of wine and craft beers. The cozy and inviting atmosphere makes it the perfect place to relax and reminisce about your day’s adventures.


When it comes to outdoor activities, Evergreen Lodge has plenty to offer. Embark on guided hikes through the pristine wilderness, go fishing in nearby streams and lakes, or rent a mountain bike to explore the park’s trails. For a more leisurely experience, relax by the outdoor pool or participate in yoga sessions amidst the natural beauty of Yosemite.


During winter, Evergreen Lodge provides easy access to Yosemite’s snowy wonderland. Strap on your snowshoes and explore the park’s trails, taking in the peace and tranquility of the snow-covered landscapes. If you’re feeling adventurous, head to Badger Pass Ski Area for a day of skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.


After an exhilarating day in the outdoors, unwind by the communal outdoor fire pits and share stories with fellow guests. The lodge’s welcoming and friendly atmosphere encourages a sense of community and allows for memorable connections.


Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite provides an authentic and nature-centric experience, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of Yosemite National Park. Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, cozy up in a charming cabin, and create lasting memories in one of California’s most treasured gems.


Tenaya Lodge Skating Rink

For a winter activity that combines fun and nostalgia, look no further than the Tenaya Lodge Skating Rink. Located at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, this outdoor ice rink offers a delightful experience for visitors of all ages.


Set against the backdrop of towering pine trees and snow-covered mountains, the Tenaya Lodge Skating Rink provides a picturesque setting for a day of ice skating. Lace up your skates and glide across the smooth ice, surrounded by the beauty of Yosemite’s winter wonderland.


The skating rink is perfect for both beginners and experienced skaters. Whether you’re taking your first steps on the ice or performing graceful turns and spins, the rink offers ample space for everyone to enjoy the experience.


If you’re new to ice skating, the rink provides rental skates in various sizes. Skating aids are also available for younger children or those who may need some extra support. These aids help beginners build their confidence and balance on the ice.


For those looking to elevate their skating experience, the Tenaya Lodge Skating Rink offers themed skate nights. Enjoy skating to lively music, participate in games and contests, or indulge in hot cocoa and warm treats from nearby concessions.


Skating at Tenaya Lodge is not limited to daylight hours. The rink comes alive in the evening as well, with twinkling lights creating a magical ambiance. Imagine skating under the stars, with the crisp winter air filling your lungs and the sounds of laughter and music filling the air.


After a day of skating, warm up by the outdoor fire pits surrounding the rink. Toast marshmallows, sip on hot cocoa, and share stories with friends and family as you bask in the cozy atmosphere.


The Tenaya Lodge Skating Rink provides a delightful activity to complement your winter stay at Yosemite. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner, you’re sure to create cherished memories as you twirl and glide on the ice, surrounded by the enchanting beauty of Yosemite National Park.


Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area

For winter sports enthusiasts, the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area is a must-visit destination. Located just a short drive from Yosemite Valley, this ski resort offers a range of exciting activities for skiers, snowboarders, and winter adventurers of all levels.


Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area features a variety of slopes and trails, catering to beginners, intermediate riders, and advanced skiers. From gentle beginner runs to challenging black diamond trails, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.


For those new to skiing or snowboarding, the resort offers lessons and rentals. Professional instructors will guide you through the basics, helping you build confidence and improve your skills on the slopes. Rental equipment is available, ensuring you have everything you need for a fun-filled day on the mountain.


More experienced skiers and snowboarders can explore the diverse terrain that Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area has to offer. Zoom down the mountain, carve through fresh powder, and experience the exhilaration of gliding through the snowy slopes surrounded by breathtaking panoramic views.


But Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area isn’t just about skiing and snowboarding. The resort also provides a tubing area, where you can slide down the snow-covered hills on inflatable tubes. This thrilling activity is perfect for those who prefer a more laid-back and family-friendly winter experience.


The resort offers amenities to enhance your experience, including a dining area where you can refuel and recharge with delicious meals and hot beverages. Take a break from the slopes and immerse yourself in the cozy lodge atmosphere, surrounded by fellow winter enthusiasts.


At Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area, the winter fun continues beyond daylight hours. Enjoy night skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, where the slopes are illuminated, creating a unique and magical atmosphere. Experience the thrill of gliding down the mountain under the starry sky.


Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner learning the ropes, Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area is a winter playground that promises exhilaration and adventure. From challenging runs to family-friendly activities, this resort offers endless opportunities to embrace the snowy wonderland of Yosemite National Park.


Snowshoeing in Yosemite

For an immersive and serene winter experience in Yosemite National Park, snowshoeing is a fantastic activity that allows you to explore the park’s breathtaking landscapes at your own pace. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and venture into the snow-covered trails, discovering the tranquil beauty that Yosemite has to offer.


Snowshoeing is a popular activity in Yosemite during the winter months, providing a unique way to traverse through the snowy terrain and access areas that may be otherwise inaccessible. It is an activity suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a great option for families and groups.


Yosemite offers a variety of snowshoeing trails, ranging from easy, scenic routes to more challenging adventures for the experienced snowshoer. The Yosemite Valley provides a multitude of options, allowing you to witness stunning vistas of snow-dusted meadows, icy waterfalls, and towering granite cliffs.


Guided snowshoe tours are available in Yosemite, offering a chance to learn about the park’s natural history, wildlife, and winter ecology from knowledgeable guides. These tours provide valuable insights and allow you to deepen your appreciation for the park’s unique ecosystem.


One popular snowshoeing route is the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, where you can meander through the ancient giants of the park. The towering sequoias covered in snow create a majestic and awe-inspiring atmosphere.


Another must-do snowshoeing experience is a trek to the Glacier Point overlook. As you make your way up the snowy trail, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Half Dome, the Yosemite Valley, and the surrounding snow-capped peaks.


When snowshoeing in Yosemite, it’s important to be prepared and stay safe. Dress in layers to stay warm, wear waterproof boots, and bring plenty of water and snacks. It’s also crucial to check weather conditions and trail closures before embarking on your snowshoeing adventure.


Witnessing the beauty of Yosemite in winter through snowshoeing is an experience unlike any other. The tranquility, the untouched landscapes, and the sense of exploration all contribute to a captivating adventure. So, grab your snowshoes, breathe in the crisp mountain air, and immerse yourself in the winter wonderland of Yosemite National Park.


Ice Skating in Yosemite Valley

For a classic winter activity that’s fun for all ages, lace up your skates and glide across the ice at the ice rink in Yosemite Valley. Located in the heart of Yosemite National Park, this outdoor ice skating rink offers a magical experience surrounded by breathtaking winter scenery.


The ice skating rink in Yosemite Valley is the perfect place to showcase your skating skills or learn some new moves. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner, the rink provides a spacious and well-maintained surface for you to enjoy hours of skating fun.


As you gracefully glide on the ice, you’ll be captivated by the stunning views that surround you. Towering granite cliffs, snow-draped trees, and the serene Merced River create a picturesque backdrop for your skating adventure.


The ice skating rink is family-friendly, welcoming skaters of all ages and skill levels. If you’re new to ice skating, you can rent skates in various sizes, ensuring a comfortable fit for everyone. Beginners can also seek the assistance of skate aids or take lessons from experienced instructors to build confidence and improve their skills.


For those who prefer a laid-back approach, grab a pair of rental skates and simply enjoy the joy of gliding on the ice. Whit exploring Yosemite Valley in winter, the ice rink provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature, get some exercise, and create lasting memories with loved ones.


The ice skating rink in Yosemite Valley offers a welcoming and festive atmosphere. You can warm up by the outdoor fire pits, indulge in hot cocoa or warm snacks from nearby concessions, and listen to lively music that adds to the festive ambiance.


Ice skating sessions are available throughout the day and into the evening, allowing you to enjoy this delightful activity under the stars. Whether you’re visiting with family, friends, or a loved one, ice skating in Yosemite Valley is a memorable experience that embodies the magic of winter in the park.


Plan your visit to the ice rink in Yosemite Valley, experience the thrill of gliding on the ice surrounded by the stunning beauty of Yosemite National Park, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.


Snow Tubing at Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area

For a thrilling and family-friendly winter activity, head to the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area for an exciting day of snow tubing. Located just a short drive from Yosemite Valley, this snow tubing park offers a fun-filled experience for visitors of all ages.


Snow tubing is a popular winter activity that requires no special skills or equipment. Simply grab an inflatable tube and slide down the specially designed slopes covered in fresh powdery snow. The exhilaration of speeding down the hill, the laughter of friends and family, and the stunning scenery create a memorable winter adventure.


The snow tubing park at Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area features multiple lanes of varying lengths and speeds, ensuring there is something for everyone. Whether you prefer a gentle ride or a more adrenaline-pumping descent, there’s a tubing lane to suit your preference.


The resort provides the tubes, so all you need to bring is your sense of adventure and a desire for winter fun. Hop on your tube, slide down the hill, and let the joy and laughter fill the air as you enjoy the thrill of snow tubing in the pristine landscapes of Yosemite.


Snow tubing is a fantastic activity for families with kids, as well as groups of friends looking to enjoy some winter excitement together. With its easy accessibility and minimal physical demands, everyone can participate in the fun.


Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for all snow tubers. The slopes are regularly groomed to maintain optimal conditions, and attendants are available to provide guidance and assistance if needed.


After a thrilling day of snow tubing, warm up at the resort’s facilities. Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, indulge in warm snacks, or gather around the fire pits to share stories and relive the excitement of your tubing adventures.


Whether you’re a child or an adult, snow tubing at Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area is a winter activity that promises laughter, excitement, and unforgettable memories. So, grab your tube, embrace the snowy slopes, and experience the sheer joy of snow tubing amidst the stunning beauty of Yosemite National Park.


Winter Wildlife Viewing

Winter in Yosemite National Park offers a unique opportunity to observe the park’s wildlife in a tranquil and serene setting. As the snow blankets the landscapes, the park’s resident animals adapt to the colder temperatures, creating fascinating opportunities for winter wildlife viewing.


Yosemite’s diverse ecosystem is home to a wide variety of animals, and winter provides a chance to witness their remarkable adaptations and behaviors. From majestic bald eagles soaring through the skies to agile coyotes trotting through the snow, the park is teeming with wildlife waiting to be discovered.


One of the best ways to experience winter wildlife viewing is by embarking on a guided tour or joining a wildlife excursion led by knowledgeable guides. These experts can lead you to the best spots for observing animals and provide insightful information about their behaviors and habitats.


The meadows of Yosemite Valley often attract large herds of deer during the winter season. Watch as these graceful creatures navigate through the snow, foraging for food and displaying their impressive agility.


If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a bobcat stealthily making its way through the snow-covered landscape. These elusive predators are a true testament to the park’s diverse and intricate food web.


Keep an eye out for the playful American river otters that frolic in the streams and rivers. These entertaining creatures are known for their acrobatic moves in the water as they hunt for fish and explore their wintry habitat.


Winter is also a great time to spot the iconic Yosemite bighorn sheep. These majestic creatures, with their impressive curved horns, traverse the steep mountain slopes with ease. Equipped to handle the harsh winter conditions, they are a sight to behold against the snowy backdrop.


As you venture deeper into the park, you may encounter the black bears that call Yosemite home. While they are less active during the winter, catching a glimpse of these magnificent creatures in their winter dens is a rare and special experience.


It’s important to remember that wildlife is best observed from a distance, allowing the animals to go about their natural behaviors undisturbed. Be respectful, use binoculars or a telephoto lens for a closer look, and never approach or feed the wildlife.


Winter wildlife viewing in Yosemite provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature and witness the resilience and beauty of the park’s inhabitants. So grab your camera, keep your senses alert, and embark on an adventure that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the incredible wildlife that calls Yosemite home.


Badger Pass Ski Area

Badger Pass Ski Area, located in the heart of Yosemite National Park, is a winter haven for skiers, snowboarders, and outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. As California’s first ski area, Badger Pass offers a rich history and a range of winter activities that showcase the beauty of Yosemite’s snowy landscapes.


Badger Pass is renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere, making it an excellent choice for beginners and families with children. The ski area boasts gentle slopes and a supportive environment, with lessons and rentals available for those new to winter sports.


For skiers, Badger Pass offers a variety of trails that cater to different skill levels, from gentle runs for beginners to more challenging tree-lined slopes for experienced skiers. The wide open spaces provide a perfect setting for practice, making it an ideal learning environment.


Snowboarders can also indulge in the exhilarating experience of carving down the slopes at Badger Pass. The area features a terrain park that offers jumps, rails, and other features for riders to hone their skills and try out new tricks.


A highlight of Badger Pass is the breathtaking scenery that surrounds the ski area. As you make your way down the slopes, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Yosemite’s majestic granite cliffs, towering trees, and snow-capped peaks.


Beyond skiing and snowboarding, Badger Pass offers other winter activities to enjoy. Take a guided snowshoe hike to explore the snowy meadows and forests at a leisurely pace. The quietude of the winter landscape offers a chance to connect with nature and soak in the serene beauty of Yosemite.


After your winter adventures, take a break and rejuvenate at the ski area’s cozy cafeteria and lounge. Enjoy a warm meal, sip on hot cocoa, or simply relax by the fireplace as you recount the day’s activities with fellow adventurers.


Badger Pass also hosts special events throughout the winter season, including ski races, snowboard competitions, and themed activities. These events add an extra layer of excitement and create lasting memories for visitors of all ages.


Whether you’re a beginner learning the ropes or an experienced skier or snowboarder, Badger Pass Ski Area offers a family-friendly and welcoming environment to enjoy the winter wonderland of Yosemite. So gear up, hit the slopes, and experience the thrill of winter sports amidst the stunning beauty of the park.


Yosemite Valley Floor Tour

The Yosemite Valley Floor Tour is a fantastic way to experience the iconic beauty of Yosemite National Park. This guided tour takes you on a journey through the heart of the park, providing a comprehensive overview of the famous landmarks and natural wonders that make Yosemite so renowned.


The tour begins at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, where knowledgeable guides provide insightful commentary about the park’s geology, history, and ecology. With their expertise, they highlight the significance of the various landmarks and help visitors appreciate the incredible natural diversity of Yosemite.


As the tour winds its way through the valley, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring sights that have captivated visitors for generations. Marvel at the towering granite monolith of El Capitan, a world-famous symbol of rock climbing prowess. Gaze up at the iconic Half Dome, with its sheer vertical face, and imagine the daring hikers who summit its challenging peak.


Pass by the cascading beauty of Yosemite Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in North America, and feel the mist on your face as you stand in awe of its breathtaking grandeur. The tour also includes stops at other notable landmarks, such as Bridalveil Fall, Sentinel Rock, and the peaceful Merced River.


Throughout the tour, you’ll have ample opportunities to capture stunning photographs of the park’s natural beauty. The guides know the best scenic viewpoints and will help you capture those picture-perfect moments that will forever commemorate your visit to Yosemite.


In addition to the magnificent landscapes, the Yosemite Valley Floor Tour also provides insights into the park’s rich cultural heritage. Learn about the indigenous people who have called this area home for countless generations and discover the stories of early settlers and conservation pioneers who played key roles in preserving the park’s natural treasures.


While the Yosemite Valley Floor Tour allows you to appreciate the grandeur of the park from the comfort of a guided tour, it’s important to note that there are many other ways to explore and immerse yourself in the park’s beauty. Hiking trails, scenic drives, and other guided adventures offer different perspectives and opportunities to delve deeper into the wonders of Yosemite.


Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a Yosemite enthusiast, the Yosemite Valley Floor Tour offers a captivating and insightful journey through the heart of this remarkable national park. Gain a deep appreciation for the natural and cultural wonders that make Yosemite a true gem of the Sierra Nevada mountains.


Yosemite Valley Stable

For an unforgettable adventure in Yosemite National Park, look no further than the Yosemite Valley Stable. Located in the heart of the park, this historic stable offers an opportunity to explore the stunning landscapes of Yosemite from the back of a gentle and well-trained horse.


The Yosemite Valley Stable offers a variety of horseback rides for riders of all levels, from beginner to experienced equestrians. Whether it’s your first time on a horse or you’re a seasoned rider, there’s a ride that suits your comfort and skill level.


Guided by knowledgeable wranglers who know the park intimately, horseback rides from the Yosemite Valley Stable take you through some of the most picturesque areas of the park. Wind your way through towering forests, traverse meadows adorned with wildflowers, and amble along the tranquil banks of the Merced River.


As you explore the park on horseback, you’ll have the opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty of Yosemite and the incredible diversity of its ecosystems. The slow pace of the ride allows for quiet contemplation, providing a deeper connection to the serene landscapes surrounding you.


Various rides are available, ranging from one-hour introductory rides to longer half-day adventures. Depending on the ride you choose, you may have the opportunity to visit notable landmarks, such as Mirror Lake or the banks of the Merced River, where you can pause and take in the breathtaking scenery.


The Yosemite Valley Stable ensures the safety and comfort of both riders and horses. The well-maintained and well-trained horses allow even novice riders to enjoy a smooth and enjoyable experience. The stable also provides helmets and other necessary safety equipment for riders.


For families with children, the Yosemite Valley Stable offers special rides tailored to younger riders, allowing them to experience the joy of horseback riding under the supervision of experienced wranglers.


Embarking on a horseback ride from the Yosemite Valley Stable offers a unique and memorable way to immerse yourself in the beauty of Yosemite National Park. The bond between rider and horse, the serenity of the surroundings, and the connection to nature create an experience that will leave a lasting impression.


Whether you’re seeking a leisurely ride through scenic landscapes or a more adventurous journey into the wilderness, the Yosemite Valley Stable provides an extraordinary opportunity to explore Yosemite in a way that is both timeless and enchanting.



Yosemite National Park in winter is a truly magical destination, offering a wealth of experiences for those seeking adventure, tranquility, and natural beauty. From the stunning landscapes of Yosemite Valley to the snowy peaks of Badger Pass, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this winter wonderland.


Throughout this article, we have explored some of the best places to stay and the most exciting activities to partake in during your winter visit to Yosemite. Whether you choose to cozy up at Yosemite Valley Lodge, indulge in luxury at The Ahwahnee Hotel, or immerse yourself in nature at Half Dome Village, Yosemite offers a range of accommodation options to suit every preference.


And once you’ve settled into your lodging, the adventures await. Hit the slopes at Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area or try your hand at snow tubing. Embark on guided snowshoe hikes, witness the grace of ice skaters in Yosemite Valley, or marvel at the serenity of winter wildlife viewing. The possibilities are endless.


Yosemite National Park in winter is also a perfect place for relaxation and introspection. Wander through the snowy landscapes, breathe in the crisp air, and let the natural beauty of the park enchant and rejuvenate your soul. Immerse yourself in the quietude of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.


It’s important to remember to be responsible stewards of this treasured natural gem. Respect the wildlife, practice Leave No Trace principles, and appreciate the fragility of the ecosystems that make Yosemite so special.


So, whether you’re seeking thrilling winter adventures, peaceful hikes through snow-covered trails, or simply a chance to bask in the serene beauty of nature, Yosemite National Park in winter offers an unforgettable experience for all. Plan your trip, pack your winter gear, and set forth on a journey to discover the breathtaking beauty of one of California’s most iconic destinations.