Mariposa Grove and Glacier Point Cross-country Ski (Yosemite)

“You can drive to a lookout and see a great view, but watching the sunset from the top of a mountain you’ve climbed is something you will remember for the rest of your life. When it’s cost you something, when you’ve really had to earn it, seeing something beautiful makes you feel like a part of nature and not someone looking in from the outside. This is both awe-inspiring and empowering.”
~Dressed in Dirt – Famous woman outdoor enthusiast and blogger

Just go…on this life list trip! It is EVERYTHING and more. The High Sierras received a dump of new snow just before President’s Day holiday.Yep, the conditions were stellar.


Day 1We stopped at Herb Bauer in Fresno, CA to rent skies. This gem of a sporting goods mecca is now my favorite. It has great hard to find brands, large product selection, friendly informative customer service, great prices and hours, and even satisfies the tastes of lightweight hikers. Next, we headed up to the Mariposa Grove located moments after entering Yosemite National Park to get a little skiing in before our 2 day trip into Glacier Point. That night we stayed at The Comfort Inn in Oakhurst outside the park. It was clean, inexpensive, quiet, nice and we plan on staying there again.

Day 2 – A free Wilderness Permit must be obtained from the ranger hut at Badger Pass Ski Resort before starting this trip. The office opens at 8:30 AM. The 10 1/2 mile ski to Glacier Point was pristine. About 3/4 the way into the trip, just passed Clark’s View heavy fog rolled in and of course the temps dropped.  Upon arriving at Glacier Point, the views were blocked by fog and was VERY disappointing. Bernie, the Glacier Point Hut keeper extraordinaire greeted us with food and hot drinks. The stay at the hut was a fantastic experience with delicious healthy food, knowledgeable company, and warm, clean, scenic accommodations. Just go!!!!

Amazingly enough, the fog disappeared about 20 minutes before sunset. The unveiling of the sweeping views east to west, left the onlooker gawking at Half Dome, North Dome, Royal Arches, and Yosemite Falls rising abruptly above U-shaped Yosemite Valley. Words cannot describe this experience.

Bernie the totally amazing host, had nachos and wine ready after our surreal sunset event. Dinner was delicious and I was really happy to be in the company of excellent skiers, snow groomers, outdoor enthusiasts, climbers, gear experts, and just plain good guys!

Day 3 – After enjoying the sunrise, eating breakfast, and packing a lunch we reluctantly headed out on freshly groomed snow. Be sure to view all the pics on Flickr taken with my new little camera.

Mariposa Grove Day Ski

Rough snowshoe and ski trail
Grizzly Tree

Glacier Point Cross-country Ski Overnight

Enjoying the sunset
The Diving Board, Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls, El Capitan,and Yosemite Valley

Trip Stats:
LENGTH
21 miles round trip, 2 days
ELEVATION GAIN 2200 feet
HIGH POINT 7830 feet
TRAIL HEAD Starts at Badger Pass Ski area in Yosemite National Park on the snow-covered Glacier Point Road
DIFFICULTY Moderate to Strenuous
BEST TIME TO GO December through March
ROUTE Trip passes by Summit Meadow, Bridalveil Falls Campground, Mono Meadow, and Sentinel Dome with picturesque sites of the nearby Clark Mountain Range with a 1/2 mile descent into Glacier Point
PLACES TO STAY We LOVED the Glacier Point Ski Hut for luxurious accommodations. The cost is $120.00 per person a night that includes dinner, breakfast, and a packed lunch for the trip out. There are also lots of areas to winter camp. Be sure to fill out a  Wilderness Permit at the Ranger Hut at Badger Pass Ski area.

TIPS AND FUN FACTS:
* Winter is the time to visit this area without thousands of tourists.
* Glacier Point Road is skillfully groomed during the winter with ski tracks. Snowshoe or walk on the outside of the groomed ski tracks.
* Equipment is available for rent at the Badger Pass Ski Area.
* At the end of the road are magnificent vistas from Glacier Point of Yosemite Valley.
* Glacier Point Road is a gateway to plenty of backcountry routes and loops that take off from the road.

Dinner guests
Heading back, Half Dome looming in the distance!

To view the complete trip photo album and topographical map, click the links below:

* Photo album on Flickr

* Topographical map on Everytrail with interactive photos

Sunrise view from Glacier Point
(Unfortunately I didn’t get to the LX5 video guide instructions before the trip, so no sweet settings yet)

BTW: all trip photos were taken with my new Panasonic LX5. They were posted with NO post editing and no cropping. I used Standard in Aperture mode, +1 sharpening, -2 noise reduction and did not shoot any photos in RAW format. Hey, how does the point and shoot measure up? and LX5 users what are your favorite settings on this powerful little camera?

19 Comments

  1. Pingback: Freebie: February Wallpaper | Lady on a Rock

  2. Thanks for the shout out! You are putting out a lot of great material lately. Go team.

    • Hey great to hear from you!!!! 🙂 and thanks for your encouraging words. We do have so much interesting and unending material to work with.

  3. First class Rockin , great comprehensive trip report. You just get better and better. Thanks!

  4. I love xc skiing! Never been to Yosemite and I love the video. Really got me psyched. I’ll finally get there this summer when I do the JMT side trip. Half Dome baby!

  5. Great trip report and site! It was fun meeting at the Glacier Point Hut, and I’m happy to report that I survived the trip down to the valley. Enjoy all your future adventures!

    -Bernard

    • Hello Bernard, Thanks for visiting. You guys were true adventurers skiing off Glacier Point into a chute that led straight into Yosemite Valley…safely I might add. Truly a once in a lifetime experience! It was a privilege meeting and eating dinner with you. Happy travels to you.

  6. Your pictures are stunning. Makes me want to get out there and try my luck. First I need to get out of my house and move!! You two are an inspiration.

    • I think I am going to be spoiled by this little camera and of course how can you go wrong with absolutely breathtaking scenery??? Perhaps… a trip in the making? Just go…

  7. Great blog. I worked at Yosemite in 1988. I worked at The Ahwahnee Hotel. What a great experience. I sure wish I had the digital camera then I have now.
    Hiked to the top of Half Dome, will never forget it.

    • Yosemite certainly is an amazing place in ALL seasons. You are among the few who actually lived and worked there for a period of time. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  8. Wow. Stunning views, great mountains. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  9. Wow. I’m envious… Looks like a great trip. Have to keep this in mind for the next time I’m in the US in winter. What was the state of the roads leading to Badger Pass? Is it possible to get there with a crappy rental and probably without proper winter tires?

    • Hello Frank, Often a gently used rental would make it fine, but most likely you will need to rent chains for the last 5 miles into Badger Pass. All cars are required to carry chains during the winter in Yosemite National Park. WHEN you visit the US, if you haven’t already enjoyed Yosemite, you must. Yosemite is usually packed with tourists, but it is SO worth it! Thanks again for reading.

  10. Barbara Tieskoetter

    wow oh wow oh wow! If only I were 15 years younger, 35 pounds thinner and a million times more motivated! But enjoy your trip reports vicariously! Thanks.

    • As I remember it, you could give anyone a run for their money! Thank you for reading and the encouragement. So many fun things to plan and do. Hope you are doing well.

  11. You truly amaze me! You’ve climbed some really beautiful spots!

    -Teal

    • We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful area. The options are endless. I let Bernie the Glacier hut keeper know our staff of awesome, fun ladies will be visiting! Thank you for stopping by.

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