On Friday, my friend Don invited me to join him and a friend skiing out to Dewey Point. I haven't been there for probably ten years or more, so I decided to take him up on it.
We got a late start -- had to drop my girl off at school. We were finally on the skis (rented at Badger Pass) at 11 AM. The only tough part was that they closed up at 4 PM. But it turned out that we had plenty of time.
The trail out starts the first half mile over the groomed road to Glacier Point. But then it leaves the road heading northward through the forest. There are two trails, a ridge route, (cuts off the road sooner) and an easier one through meadows. Not being the most skilled x-c skiers, we opted for the meadow route both directions.
We found a well-beaten snowshoe path all the way. Pretty much parallel, was a ski track. It appears that 90% of the people heading to Dewey Point use snowshoes. I don't blame people, as there are a few places where it is just too steep to handle the terrain easily on skis. In fact, we all took off the skis and walked several sections. A group of three on snowshoes started back about the same time we did, and they finished about the same time. So in those conditions (steeper hills in places), snowshoe travel is about the same as x-c skis.
The trail was a bit icy in the morning, but quite nice in the afternoon. There was an unusual warm balmy breeze at times. My thermometer showed 52 F, but at times the breeze felt like 70. About noon, a honey bee landed on my pants -- looking for food! Can't imagine where it came from. On the way back, we experienced more warm gusts, with icier cold interspersed. Must have been air heated on the Yosemite Valley's big granite walls finding its way to us.
It took up over 2 hours getting out, only about 90 minutes coming back.
Mike on the snowshoe path
Don, Mike and Steve at Dewey Point. Clouds Rest, Half Dome and Sentinal Dome on the right.
A zoom in on the Coast Range mountains sticking above the Central Valley fog layer. Possibly Mt Hamilton, above San Jose.
All the pictures here