Nordic Lights: The Best in Cross-Country Skiing

Yosemite: Touring Ansel Adams Country
  |  Gorp.com

If the summer crowds get you down, try visiting Yosemite in the winter. There are 90 miles of groomed and marked cross-country trails in the national park, with daily nordic classes available for all ages and skill levels. Telemark training is also offered at nearby Badger Pass ski area. If you want to get into the high country, try an overnight hut trip to Glacier Point or Ostrander Lake. For even more solitude, bring your tent and snow-camp under the stars.
The ultimate Yosemite skiing adventure, though, is a 6-day trans-Sierra crossing. Starting from the eastern slope of the Sierra, you ski across 9,041-foot Tioga Pass and down to Yosemite Valley. Along the way, overnight in alpine huts, with a night or two of tented snow-camping, depending on conditions. Since the Tioga Pass road is closed in winter, you and your companions will be the only travelers along the route—it's like having Ansel Adams's dream world all to yourself.

Practically Speaking
The trans-Sierra crossing runs arounds $6000 per person, and participants should have strong alpine skiing abilities, good stamina, (since there is a quite a bit of climbing), and previous snow-camping experience is helpful. Seasoned backcountry skiers can make the journey on their own, but we recommend going with a guide who will assist with route-finding, avalanche avoidance, and making camp when you can't reach a hut.


Paul McMenamin is the author, editor, and photo director of the original Ultimate Adventure Sourcebook.

Published: 30 Jan 2001 | Last Updated: 3 Dec 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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