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Yosemite National Park: A Peek at Skiing the Peaks

- Cristina

When my mom told me that we and a couple of friends would be going up to Yosemite for Valentine’s day weekend, I was excited. Had I known that getting there would take roughly 12 hours, a  bus trip, a train trip, and yet another bus trip through the middle of nowhere, I might have been less excited!

We covered the 320 miles between Los Angeles Union Station and Yosemite Village in northern California by lunchtime. Endless hours of travel had made me weary, but stepping off of the bus into brisk mountain air refreshed my spirits. What I saw as I absorbed my surroundings left me speechless! There were sequoias (redwoods) that were so tall their branches seemed to graze the sky, cliffs and boulders covered in lime green moss, and mountain peaks flushed white with fresh snow.

A peek at the peaks surrounding Yosemite village

I was awestruck by Yosemite’s natural beauty, but I soon learned that Yosemite was not just for looking at.

The front desk at the Yosemite Lodge where we were staying provided us with information on all the activities the village had to offer: ice skating, skiing, and snowshoe hiking to name a few. An efficiently run shuttle system made getting to local eateries and resorts easy, and we built our plans for the next day around its schedule.

A snapshot of Badger Pass.

The next morning we took a shuttle to Badger Pass about 45 minutes outside of Yosemite. Badger Pass is one of the more popular resorts in the area, so it was bustling with activity by the time we arrived. Having never been to a ski resort, I was ecstatic to see the ski lifts, the crowds of people dressed in skiing and snowboarding gear, and more snow than I had ever seen in my life. I was even more ecstatic when I signed up for my first ski lesson with my friend Sequoia (yes, Sequoia like the tree). After about a half hour of bruising my knees and filling my back pockets with snow, I finally started to get the hang of skiing. After two hours, I felt like I’d been doing it for years. There are few things quite as exhilarating as streaming down a slope at 40 or so miles per hour with the wind whipping your hair. That was by far the best part of the trip.

Although many people go to Yosemite in the winter for adventure, it is by no means reserved for the adventurous or the athletic. If you wish to simply relax and enjoy the peace and solitude of an almost completely wild environment, Yosemite is for you, too. An abundance of neat gift shops, information centers, and intimate, modest restaurants are perfect ways to while away the hours.

And if snow isn’t your thing, Yosemite promises to be just as fun and beautiful in the spring and summertime. Rock climbing and hiking are available for most ages and all levels of expertise when greenery returns to the mountains.

So no matter your preferences, you will find something to love in Yosemite. I strongly recommend it for families, and I really look forward to going again within the next few years.

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