Sometimes, traveling to some of the more popular national parks can be a bit of a drag especially if you go in the summertime and especially bad if you go on a popular weekend like Memorial Day or Labor Day. Sure, the park might be a national treasure, but if you’re standing 3 or 4 people deep in a crowd gathered at the base of Yosemite Falls, you might not find the bounty so enjoyable. If you have enjoyed Yosemite in the summer months when the weather is nice you probably know what I’m talking about. For that reason, my wife and I, along with some photography friends of ours, took a trip to Yosemite in winter a few years ago to see what it would be like. We couldn’t have been more delighted.
We went up in January when there was plenty of snow and very few people. Obviously, you need to be prepared for some colder weather, but you will be heavily rewarded with uncrowded vistas. The park’s attractions are so enjoyable when you don’t have to deal with crowds and the traffic that can often take some of your focus off of what you really came to see.
The texture of the sheer granite faces that surround the valley is easily seen with the snow that lines every available perch. The high altitude mixed with the scent of the evergreens and the crisp winter air invigorate you like a brisk morning run. Little details that you might not notice otherwise become attractions in their own right like the snow covered reeds at the edge of a pond.
If you’re looking to do something a little different next winter, definitely give Yosemite a shot. The park is just as enjoyable and breathtaking. And, you will have more of it to yourself!