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The Winter season in Yosemite National Park is great. It's well worth the extra effort getting there in rough driving conditions. Check the latest road conditions and weather forecast before you head up. Bring tire chains, your going to need them! ( required by law )
All of these images were taken by me. They have been altered in size only.

tunnel view  

I have three favorite areas for "snow play" in Yosemite. The Mariposa Grove, Badger Pass / Glacier Point Road and Yosemite Valley. I will attempt with photos to show something of what it's like to go into these places in winter. This second diary, "part two" will cover the Valley.

Ski on past the orange snow bank if you want to see more.

Winter in Yosemite Valley has variable conditions. Located at about 4000 feet in elevation the snow line can be above or below for any storm that comes through. No matter what the weather brings it is always a very special place.


Upper Yosemite Falls Trail


This trail can often be closed in winter due to hazardous conditions. If it is open going up to the top of the falls has rewards for the intrepid winter hiker.


Sunrise half dome view from the trail.

half dome sunrise




The rock faces surrounding Upper Yosemite Falls can build up ice overnight. With the warming of the sun during the day great slabs will fall off with booming crashes.


falls ice 1


falls ice 2



The next three photos show a shower of ice coming down just left of center on the falls.
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Here are some photos from up at the top.

bridge



Looking upstream from the bridge.

looking upstream


Looking downstream from the bridge.

looking towards brink


Heading to the overlook.

overlook clouds


The first set of steps to the overlook. Snow and ice require extra caution.

trail to overlook 1



Looking back upstream to the bridge from just above the overlook.

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Looking down the falls from the overlook.

from the top


Heading down in the afternoon almost all the ice has fallen off.

heading down




Four Mile Trail


This trail is closed each year in the winter. Here are some photos taken just prior to seasonal closure. Starting with a series of Yosemite Falls across the valley taken from the trail. Again this is showing the Ice melt over the course of a morning. The sounds of the ice crashing down can be heard all around the valley.
yf1





The next five photos show an ice chunk crashing down just to the right of center.

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El Cap

el cap from trail





Half Dome

hd from trail




Snow on the Trail

snow on trail




Avalanche Chute on the Trail

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Another Avalanche Chute on the Trail

chute 1





Glacier Point

gp




Ski Hut ( Store ) Building at Glacier Point

ski hut




Ahwahnee Hotel from Glacier Point

ahwanee from gp

Hint, The hotel is the little tan thing at the center bottom of the image





Half Dome from Glacier Point

hd from trail 2




Half Dome with Nevada and Vernal Falls from Glacier Point

hd and falls from gp
Nevada Fall is on the right side about in the middle top to bottom of the photo, Vernal Fall is down and to the left from Nevada.





Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point

yf from gp


John Muir and Mist Trails


Some portions of these two trails are open all year. Other parts are closed in winter. These photos are from the sections of these trails that close in winter.


John Muir Trail and Nevada Fall

nevada 1


nevada 2


nevada 3



tree down



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dw2


dw3


dw4




Looking downstream from the Bridge

dwn strm




Looking Upstream from the Bridge

up strm




Looking back at the Bridge from the Falls Overlook

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overlook


looking down nevada





Mist Trail and Vernal Fall



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Yosemite Valley




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Bridalveil Fall

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Yosemite Fall

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Horsetail Fall

During the Second Half of February if conditions are right during sunset there is this.

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Ahwahnee Hotel

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aw2


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aw4


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Valley Snow Scenes

When there is snow on the valley floor touring on skis or snowshoes is very nice.

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I hope you have enjoyed this photo diary. The photobucket site has been acting a little wierd about image rotation lately. If any of the images are sideways my appologies.

Originally posted to jbob on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse, National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, and J Town.

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