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Yosemite in December
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Scott S
Yosemite in December on 12/12/2013 18:08:39 MST Print View

A few of us (30 year old guys) are headed to Yosemite this coming weekend for some winter backpacking.

We're planning to sleep in the valley, summit Clouds Rest and then spend the 2nd night at LYV.

We're trying to figure out whether to bring spikes, crampons, and/or snowshoes. Also trying to estimate the low temp, which looks to be about 20F.

Has anyone been up LYV recently or in the past and could share some info?


Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Yosemite in December on 12/12/2013 23:02:17 MST Print View

It's been a month since I was in LYV, so I don't have any current info. But you can get an idea for the snow conditions by looking at the webcams:

If you don't get any good info (try asking the rangers) you could carry crampons and snowshoes up to the top of Nevada Falls, and stash them somewhere if you don't find any snow. The Mist Trail would be where you needed crampons, if anywhere.

Scott S
Re: Re: Yosemite in December on 12/13/2013 08:33:12 MST Print View

Great idea!

How were the temps in LYV?

Rangers are super helpful for conditions in the valley but are hesitant to provide info about the backcountry:

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Yosemite in December on 12/13/2013 10:19:26 MST Print View


Temps in November were nice. It only got down to 35F or so. That was above average... I'd expect it to be much colder now. The forecast says lows around 20F.

Two more pieces of info:

Badger Pass Ski Resort delayed opening this week due to a lack of snow.

TR from Thanksgiving:,71247

If I were you, I'd bring crampons for the Mist Trail but leave the snowshoes at home. Gaiters, warm socks and a little postholing should get you through any snow up there. The Clouds Rest trail is south facing once you get out of LYV, so it should melt faster than the surrounding areas.

Edited by andrew.f on 12/13/2013 10:22:13 MST.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Clouds rest on 12/14/2013 11:00:31 MST Print View

I did clouds rest in late October.
Spent first night at LYV, summited clouds rest day 2, and spent the second night a mile below clouds rest summit.
There's an AWESOME campsite there. A little plateau/ledge area that overlooks the whole valley. It turns bright gold at sunset.
Not much water at the time, so I'd be prepared to melt some snow if you stay up there.

Scott S
Re: Clouds rest on 12/16/2013 09:36:42 MST Print View

Christopher - that's pretty much what we did buy stayed at LYV both nights. we got really lucky with the weather!! no wind, precipitation or clouds at all.

Friday night: night hike under an almost-full-moon to LYV. parked 0.5mi from happy isles. trail was icy, but microspikes were perfect. arrived in LYV at 12:30a - covered the 5+ miles in 4 hours. Temps in the teens overnight.

Saturday: hiked up to clouds rest and back to LYV. temps were 70 in the sun. trail was broken in all the way to the half-dome junction. from there to CR, it was snowshoeing in knee high powder, especially during the last 1,000 feet. warm, sunny summit. 9 hour round trip.

Sunday: hiked back to the car in ice and then slush. warm air at the beginning, then cold on the south side of the merced river, low 30's back at the car. 2.5 hours.

clouds rest 2 night in LYV

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Yosemite in December on 12/16/2013 09:42:41 MST Print View

Cool! Any pics?

Scott S
Re: Re: Yosemite in December on 12/16/2013 10:52:57 MST Print View

Still sorting through but a few below...





Edited by scott1120 on 12/16/2013 10:53:56 MST.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: Yosemite in December on 12/16/2013 10:57:36 MST Print View


Edited by on 12/16/2013 10:58:46 MST.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Awesome! on 12/16/2013 21:48:56 MST Print View

Glad ya had a good trip!
I might have to try snowshoeing it some day too.
(No snow when I was there in Oct)

I did a snowshoe trip up yosemite falls last year that was fun. A good trip if you only have a night or 2.
Ideally you can head out to eagle peak for day 2, but at the time it was too tough for me.