Cross-Country Ski to the Ostrander Ski Hut

Rate this Adventure Yosemite Badger Pass

  • Activities:

    Photography, Skiing

  • Skill Level:

    Advanced

  • Season:

    Winter

Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Distance: 20 miles round trip. Elevation gain: 2000ft. An overnighter, but many people will split this trip into 3 days/ 2 nights. One of the most coveted overnight trips is a spot at the Ostrander Ski Hut.

Start your trip from the Badger Pass ski area. The Glacier point road is closed past here, and you'll spend your first couple of miles skiing mostly downhill to the Bridalveil Falls trailhead.

The Bridelveil Creek trail gains slightly less elevation but is less scenic and longer than the more popular Horizon Ridge trail. We went up to the hut this way and came down Horizon Ridge.

If you are going later in the season, the trail should be well tracked, although there are also reflective blazes on trees the whole way. The next 4 miles up Bridalveil is a continuous uphill ski. When you reach the connection with the Horizon Ridge trail, you've got 2 miles left to go...up Heart Attack Hill. After climbing that last 700 ft, you'll hit a short downhill section to Ostrander Lake and the hut.

Enjoy the communal area, where you'll likely find other skiers drinking wine, playing cards, and warming themselves by the fire. Get a good nights sleep on one of the bunks!

You can return the way you came or take Horizon Ridge down back to Glacier Point road. Horizon does have magnificent views, although it will add a bit of elevation gain and some significant technical downhills to your trip.

Pack List

  • Winter clothing
  • Gaiters
  • Plenty of water (or fuel to melt snow)
  • Extra pairs of socks
  • Waterproof pants/jacket
  • Food and stove
  • First Aid
Staying at the hut (reservations required, and you must bring):
  • Food
  • Water filter
  • Sleeping bag
Provided at the hut:
  • Bare mattresses
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Stove
  • Hot water

Winter Travel: You MUST be prepared to spend the night outside the hut should you encounter difficult conditions, start late, get lost, or find yourself injured. Bring a shelter, pad, and stove in case you don't make it!

DO NOT bring classic XC skis. Be sure you have Touring/Backcountry skis. These have metal edges, are slightly shorter and will make your life exponentially easier on downhill terrain and untracked snow.

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Kyle FrostExplorer

Designer and Adventure Photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. I designed this site :) I'm @kylefrost pretty much everywhere.

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