We got up before 8 today which was a nice change. We got ready & headed out the door with our destination being the Badger Pass Ski Area where we intended to do some snowshoeing. We entered the Park & took the turnoff towards Bridalveil Falls. That road took us through the tunnel and we stopped before entering at the viewpoint looking over the valley. I’d forgotten about this view but it’s likely the best view in the park. You can see El Capitan, Half Dome & Bridalveil Falls from there. Very nice view! There were plenty of parking spots when we got there but all were gone soon after. It looked to be another busy day in the Park.
Once through the tunnel we steered towards the 41 which took us up to the turnoff to Glacier Point. The road is closed right at the ski area for the winter but we had very little ice going up. Once there we grabbed our snowshoes and headed for the Nordic Ski office to see where we should go. We got some advice & a map an we headed out towards the Dewey Point Lookout. We started out on the fire road which was groomed for cross country skiing so the going was pretty easy. My ankle that I bruised yesterday ice skating was killing me again today and the snowshoes didn’t help that at all. Anything off camber would cause my boot to press against my ankle which was pretty painful. We got down maybe 2 miles and came across a bathroom which we used. At this point we saw people going off on a trail to our right. My ankle hurt enough that I didn’t think I could do that so we continued on the groomed trail thinking that it would take us to Dewey Point. About another mile & a half further we found out talking to others that the trail we were on was Glacier Point Road & not something that would lead us to Dewey Point. We decided to eat lunch there since it was 1:00 at that point.
After lunch we looked at the map & the turnoff to Dewey Point was actually off to the left when we were at the bathroom. We took off walking back towards the car and when we got to the turnoff to Dewey Point Joyce wanted to go in a bit. It was 2:15 or so then and the trail was 2.5 miles one way so it would be a 5 mile hike plus the distance back to the car. So likely about 7 miles. I felt it was too late to start but Joyce wanted to try a bit of it so in we went. This trail was much more uneven since it wasn’t groomed at all. It wasn’t too hard to find our way since the trail was beaten down into the snow. The trail hurt my ankle worse than the groomed trail and at about a mile in the trail started going up. It was 3:00 then and again worried about it getting too late to be able to get out before dark I said we should turn back. I checked my headlamp and it seemed the batteries had drained but I had it on lockout so once I unlocked it I got light so that gave me some comfort knowing we would have a light to use. Joyce went ahead to check out a bit more of the trail & I ended up following and the next thing I knew we were hiking on again. I think I tried to turn back another time but Joyce seemed to want to finish so we did get to the Point at about 3:40. We took a few photos and the view was beautiful. If we had more time we would have climbed out onto the point but we took a few photos and were out of there by 3:50.
The sun was going down by then and we made the return trip as it continued to get darker. The trees are marked with yellow signs where the trail goes so these helped up to navigate when we were uncertain about where the trail was heading. As it got darker we had a tougher time seeing where the snow was beaten down and relied on the yellow signs on the trees. We did finally make it back to the groomed trail as it got dark and we were able to follow that back to the car despite the dark. We got back to the car about 5:45 and I was glad since my hands were starting to get cold. It was 31 degrees at the car so pretty chilly for me. The final tally on my GPS was 10.1 miles and 2,550 ft of ascent/descent. This is a pretty big day for us. We got our stuff into the car and headed out before the roads could get icy. We stopped & got a bit of gas on the way. I didn’t fill up all the way since the prices were pretty bad but we have enough to get out of here tomorrow.
Back in the hotel we snacked a bit and then ate some spicy Korean ramen in the room. After that we packed up and I took some stuff to the car so we can get an earlier start tomorrow. The forecast is for rain tomorrow & there could be snow on the Grapevine so I’d like to get over that before there are any issues. I don’t want to be on the road too late tomorrow since it will be New Year’s Eve.