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7 reasons to visit Yosemite National Park in the winter

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Yosemite National Park in California was the first park US government decided to preserve as a space for public. The official opening took place in 1890 which makes 2020 a big year for Yosemite – a 130 year anniversary!

Throughout the year Yosemite hosts nearly 4 million visitors who fly, drive, and take trains to hike, climb, get close to the waterfalls, or just simply take in the sites. Over the years the park has developed a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy full year round but with an array of special events winter in the Yosemite is a heaven for foodies and adventures alike.

Image courtesy of Yosemite National Park

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Vintners’ Holidays

A wine lovers event which takes place during various days in the winter and showcases some of the best wines and winemakers from the state. Meet the Vintners reception is one of the biggest actives, held at The Ahwahnee, a AAA four-diamond hotel. This package includes: accommodation at The Ahwahnee or Yosemite Valley Lodge, Meet the Vintners reception, wine and hors d’oeuvres, wine tasting seminar, a five-course dinner and free transport during the stay.

Essential details:
Reception and lodging package: start at $338 per night (3-night minimum stay)
Dinner only: $215.00 per person
Reservation required.

Chef’s Holidays

California’s biggest culinary names, award winners and Michelin-starred chefs gather at Yosemite for cooking demonstrations, five-course dinners, and receptions. The dinner reception consists of a five-course dinner in The Ahwahnee Dining Room with wine-pairings.

Essential details:
Dates: January 12th through 31st, 2020
Reception and lodging package: start at $317 per night (3-night minimum stay)
Dinner only: $215.00 per person
Reservation required.

Snowshoeing at Tenaya Lodge

Tenaya Lodge offers a few different snowshoeing packages like Guided snowshoe flashlight hike ($20/person), guided snowshoe hike (included with lodging), and self-guided snowshoeing in the Sierra, which take you through trails leading into the Mariposa Grove.

Essential details:
Snowshoe rentals: $15 Hour, $30 Half-Day, and $50 Full-Day
More information here.

Image courtesy of Yosemite National Park

Ice skating in Curry Village

The rink at Curry Village offers stunning views on the Half Dome and the valley walls, a truly special place to state and one of the most unusual locations in the world. On the outskirts of the rink are outdoor fire pits to relax and warm up by.

Essential details:
Open daily through mid-March as conditions permit. Hours vary.
Adult/Seniors: $11.00
Children (Ages 12 & under): $9.50
Skate Rentals: $4.50

Ski, snowboard, and tube in Badger Pass

California’s oldest ski area is Badger Pass. As a premier alpine destination Badger Pass has a ski school and is made up of multiple groomed trails and two downhill ski runs. The ski area also offers shuttle busses from multiple areas in the Yosemite, shuttle schedule can be found here.

Essential details:
Dates: Open until March 29, 2020 (if conditions permit)
Lift passes start at $30 (lower lifts)
Adult season pass: $435
One-ride ticket: $5.50
More information here.

Winter hiking

Most of the back country and trails are open through the winter. People looking for a short light hike can get a  view of the Half from the Dome Mirror Lake loop. For the adventurous visitors there is Chilnualna Falls, which goes along the many waterfalls and is a much more difficult journey.

Stay put in AutoCamp Yosemite

AutoCamp* opened last year and combines luxury accommodation with “authentic outdoor ruggedness”. Spread over 35-acres in the Sierra Nevada mountains the hotel has a clubhouse, outdoor pool, heated outdoor furniture, 15 luxury tents, and 80 deluxe Airstream trailers.

Essential details:
Daily YARTS shuttle takes you straight to Yosemite National Park
Accommodations: starting at $199 (based on 2 person lodging)
More information here.

Image courtesy of AutoCamp Yosemite
Image courtesy of AutoCamp Yosemite

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