Snowshoeing Badger Pass to Dewey Point in Yosemite

Last winter I got the unique opportunity to visit one of my favorite places in the whole world, Yosemite, in the snow. It was a beautiful place and winter is an amazing way to take it in without the summer crowds. One of the adventures I was most excited about having was a snowshoeing trip but I wasn’t sure where. Being that it was my first time snowshoeing I was recommended in the park to do the seven mile round trip trek out to Dewey Point near Badger Pass, so I loaded up on the bus that morning with my family and all seven of us made the 1 hour trip to Badger Pass to start our adventure.

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Details

  • Length: 7.5 miles (out and back)
  • Total Elevation Gain: ~700 ft.

In the Badger Pass parking lot you can rent snowshoes if you don’t have them for around 25 bucks a day. From there you proceed up the parking lot to the start of the cross-country ski area and the snow. This is where you will need to put your snowshoes on, the snow was pretty packed here so we didn’t really need them to much until the second junction.

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The path just follows the road that winds out to Glacier Point in the summer but is closed to automotive traffic during the winter.

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This is a nice way to get used to the snowshoes before you actually go out in the real snow. This path is about a mile and a half long and when you see the bathroom on your right then you will take a path off to the left and toward Dewey Point.

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If you are going right after a snowfall I imagine this would be a really hard place to navigate as you would not be able to see any footprints, but luckily when we went there was a lot of snowshoe traffic on the road so there was a clear path to follow.

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If you go on your own make sure to look for the yellow signs on the trees, this is a perfect way to see where you are as they mark the path and it helped me know I was going the right way many times on this trail.

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When we were hiking the snow depth was around 3 and a half feet, I measured it with my hiking stick; however, walking on the snow was really easy with the snowshoes and all of my group of seven had no problem doing it. When you rent snowshoes they give you a waterproof map as well that can help and that I highly recommend.

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To say this hike was beautiful would be a serve understatement, it was amazing to see the untouched snow and I don’t know if I have ever seen snow like this in my life. So much of it was untouched, so for me it was completely amazing. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the adventure.

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When we finally made it to Dewey Point my group was pretty tired, but upon seeing the view it is hard not to feel the sense of achievement and no one would say the hike was not worth it.

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The view from Dewey Point looks over the vast Yosemite Valley and allows you to see all the way to Half Dome and Clouds Rest. It really is amazing and I could not have picked a better day, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

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We sat in awe and ate our lunches before starting the long 3.5 miles of snowshoeing back. You can see how deep the snow was in the below picture.

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I would say there is about 700 feet of elevation gain, so while not a super hard hike it is also not easy. If you are in decent shape you should be fine though. Also make sure to take the first bus up to Badger Pass as at the rate we went, we only made it back about an hour earlier then the 4 o’clock bus (the last one that brings you back to the valley).

I would love to hear what you think in the comments if you have done any snowshoes or have any recommendations for me. Check out other Winter Yosemite adventures here.

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  • Gustavo

    I am going to California in the end of January/2015, do you think It will be snowing by the Yosemite Park?

    • Best bet would be to check the weather before you come but these photos are from January so there is a good chance it will be like this!

  • Breanna Mottau

    I am thinking about doing this trail in January, where did you stay when you did it?

    • Yea, it was around January when I did it as well, but it does depend on the snow each year as to whether or not it will be a good time. I stayed in the valley at Yosemite lodge when I did it, which was a nice hotel that lets you be close to everything.