Snowshoe to Glacier Point from Badger Pass

Rate this Adventure 22 miles 2200 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Kendall Plant

Experience one of the most popular destinations in Yosemite in complete solitude. Snow-dusted views of Half Dome and the Valley are a few of the many amazing rewards for taking on this grueling trek.

Glacier Point is one of those iconic Yosemite destinations, with sweeping panoramas of the Valley and Half Dome. But visiting this amazing location after a fresh layer of snow removes the crowds and adds a healthy dose of adventure and challenge. During the winter months, the road out to Glacier Point is turned into a well-groomed cross-country ski trail open to skiers, hikers, and snowshoers. So non-skiers like me, rejoice! This is a challenge on foot, but the rewards are unforgettable.

Glacier Point is 10.5 miles one-way from the trailhead at Badger Pass Ski Area. The roads up to Badger Pass are usually well-maintained, but check road conditions in case chains or snow tires are required. Snowshoes and skis are available for rent at the cross country school at Badger Pass. You can also pick up wilderness permits at the Badger Pass Ranger Station if you're planning on staying the night at Glacier Point.

The cross-country ski trail out to Glacier Point is very well-maintained. If it hasn't snowed in a couple of days, the snow is usually packed enough to simply walk along the ski trail instead of having to strap on snowshoes. Avoid pissing off any skiers and follow the trail rules!

Despite its amazing upkeep, the length of this hike is an ass-kicker, especially if done in one day. Be prepared for 22 miles of hiking to complete this as an out-and-back. If you're not used to hiking in the snow or using snowshoes, make sure to budget extra time than what you're used to. Most of the trail is relatively flat with some gradual ups and downs, but the last stretch to Glacier Point is almost entirely downhill (which of course, means a whole lot of uphill on the way back). Whether you're skiing, hiking, or snowshoeing, hiking poles are a must for this trek.

Regardless of when you start your trek, it's worth it to bring a headlamp. We ended up hiking in total darkness for about 2 hours at the end of our hike. We had headlamps with us, but we passed several skiers who weren't so lucky. Be prepared for winter conditions. Temperatures can stay below freezing for the entire day and drop down significantly once the sun sets. Be smart! Good boots, lots of water and food, warm layers, etc. Make sure you check in at the Badger Pass Ranger Station before starting your trek.

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