Skiing in America seems to be my thing. That’s not to say that skiing is my thing (my wobbly legs and nervous smile give me away). It’s just that when I do venture onto the slopes it seems to be in the USA, rather than the closer to home European resorts. In-keeping with this trend, I’m taking advantage of my upcoming trip to San Francisco by squeezing in a few days at Yosemite Park, specifically Badger Pass.
Yosemite may be widely known for its green hiking trails, but come winter it also has a snowy side. I’ve seen lots of pictures of this national park in the sunshine and have read blog posts warning of the need to start treks early in the morning, before the glaring sun becomes too powerful. However, until I started planning my December trip to San Fran I didn’t really realise that I had the option of snow and Californian sun. It’s just a four hour journey away from the city. For a greedy want-it-all girl, a road trip to Yosemite is perfect.
The winter activities officially start on 12 December this year (weather permitting). This is when the park starts to receive some colder weather and gears up for festive fun. There are countless options including:
The ski zone is known as Badger Pass ski area. It has ten runs, most of which are for intermediate skiers. Luckily for me, 35% of the ten runs are classed as beginner slopes. In Colorado the beginner ones definitely looked a lot bigger than the baby ones I’d seen at the artificial ski slope back home, so I’m interested to see if the ones at Yosemite really are for beginners. You can find out more about Badger Pass here.
Now this looks like more my kind of sport. Sit back on an inflatable and let gravity pull you down the slopes. It’s open from 11.30am – 1.30pm and then again at 2pm – 4pm. It’s designed for, let’s say ‘younger adults’, but as it’ll be my birthday whilst I’m out there I’m planning on hiding the zero on my 3-0 badge. I’ll let you know how I get on!
I’m yet to try snowshoeing but I’m really, really intrigued. Supposedly it’s a big tradition in Yosemite. It’s claimed that if you can walk, you can showshoe. No experience necessary. I’m not a natural skier, so if I have enough time I’m hoping to try this out.
A Yosemite tradition since way back when (1930 to be precise), ice skating in the park sounds amazing. The rink is beneath the famous Half Dome, and Glacier Point. Can you imagine the scenery and atmosphere? After skating it’s customary to make s’mores over the fire pit. It may be a little cliché, but I’m so excited! You can find timings and prices here.
Where to Stay
There are a few options for accommodation in Yosemite, some tucked on the outskirts of the park and some a lot closer to the action. As I’ll only have a few days to cram in as much as possible I’m planning to stay at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. It’s not as flashy as $300-500 per night, The Awahnee, where James Franco recently visited. However, it’s bang on location. As the name suggests, it’s closest to Yosemite Falls. It’s a tiny £70-80 a night and includes free wifi. I’ll be out most of the time so I’m pretty much sold.
In these last few months I’m going to be psyching my inner-skier up and revisiting some of these seven pearls of wisdom for skiing holidays. I’m determined to fly down those slopes like I’m a pro. If all goes to plan, my early December Yosemite experience could well be practice for a New Year’s skiing holiday in Europe. I’ve been eyeing up some of these ski offers from Neilson.
Do you have any tips, recommendations or advice for my upcoming trip to Yosemite Park? Have you been or is it somewhere that you’d like to visit? I’d love to hear from you. X
This post is brought to you in association with Neilson, who recently asked me about my skiing plans.