Accessible year-round along the Big Oak Flat Road and a portion of the Tioga Road, this stretch of rolling woods and meadows rewards cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and winter hikers with giant sequoias and broad mountain views. Tire chains may be required from October through April.
The Crane Flat Snow Play Area is a good place to start from. Sled and play in snow! It is located just south of the Crane Flat gas station, near the Crane Flat Campground. The snow play area is open when there is sufficient snow.
Crain Flat is only about a 30 minute drive from the Peregrine Lodge. Located At 6,200 feet Crane Flat is at the same altitude as the Peregrine Lodge.This area is laced with a number of ungroomed ski and snowshoe trails of varying length and difficulty.
The 3-mile roundtrip trek to the Crane Flat Lookout is well worth the effort, given the fine view available from the fire tower. More impressive prospects are available from the Clark Range View Trail, a 4-mile roundtrip route tracing a former logging track.
An easy 1.75-mile trail explores the Crane Flat Campground. Another short, popular route drops one mile into the Tuolumne Grove, one of several stands of giant sequoia in Yosemite.
The Merced Grove, accessible via a 1.5-mile trail, is another beautiful sequoia wood; the drop into the grove is quite steep and when conditions lean toward icy it would be a good idea to bring climbing skins for your skies.
The 2.25-mile Rockefeller Grove Trail leads to the namesake wood of enormous sugar pines, the most massive pine species in the world.
The Rockefeller Grove winter trailhead is the Merced Grove parking lot. For those visiting Yosemite in winter who seek a long, vigorous snowshoe or ski outing, the 6.25-mile Gin Flat Loop Trail is a good choice. It commences off the Tioga Road. Remember to dress properly for your cross-country adventure
TIP! Skiers and snowshoers, please make and maintain separate, parallel trails. This will make the experience better and safer for both acivites.
Because weather can change so quickly at Yosemite, and temperatures dropped quickly as you gain altitude, it's important to be prepared for any weather you may come across—especially if you’re cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. It's possible to be gliding along in the sunshine one minute and hunkered down for a blizzard the next.
Remember Yosemite Bears do not hibernate all year round. They may wake up and roam around looking for a snack. Don't lose your food to a bear with bed hair and a cranky disposition. Always practice smart food retention. When eating never be more then an arms reach from your food. And of course pack it in, pack it out. Don't be a litter bug.
Toilet facilities are available at the Tuolumne Grove trailhead. There is no water available there. Limited food, water, and other supplies are available at the Crane Flat gas station. The nearest lodging facilities are in Yosemite Valley.
Tire chains my be required depending on weather conditions. You must have chains when entering a chain control area even if you are driving a four-wheel drive or rental vehicle. NPS strongly recommends to have chains or cables in your possession during November through March, however, chain requirements can happen as early as September and late as May. Please keep in mind that chains are dependent on the weather condition and not time of year. Find more information at National Park Service Tire Chains.
For up-to-date information on Yosemite's road conditions, call the 24-hour National Park Service road status line at 209.372.0200. Select option #1 from both menus. You can find additional information online on National Park Service Yosemite Current Conditions. Download our Winter Driving Tips PDF doc.
The following roads close each winter. Closures typically begin in November and end in May.
Tioga Road (CA 120 East) When Tioga Road is closed, there is no access to Yosemite's high country by car. The eastern entrances to the park at Lee Vining Canyon via Highway 395 is closed when the road is closed. Tioga Road typically opens in late May/June and closes in October/November.
Glacier Point Road When the Glacier Point Road is closed for the winter, the first 5 miles are plowed and maintained to provide access to Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area. The road beyond Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area is groomed for cross-country skiing. Glacier Point Road is typically closed Mid-December through March.
Proprietor: Vonnie Coombs
7509 Henness Circle, Yosemite CA, 95389
Yosemite Peregrine Lodging is located inside the gates of Yosemite National Park in the Yosemite West development. You have to enter Yosemite to get to Yosemite West. Don't let other hotel operators fool you. Ask for a physical address and check them out on a map before you make your reservation. Some accommodations claim to be minutes from Yosemite and are actually an hour or more.