Yosemite in Winter
I've been wanting to go to Yosemite in the winter for quite a while. Do any of you have experience with a trip like this? I'd appreciate any advice that you might have to make the most of the trip, and I'd especially like advice as to lodging, meals, and other logistics (camping vs hotels, etc).
I have stayed in Curry Village in the winter. As the park does get snow if you plan on camping you will need gear that can keep you warm at below freezing temperatures. There are some trail closures in the winter, notable the mist trail since it becomes very dangerous with the formation of ice. Food in the valley can be hit or miss, as it is in the warmer months. The park store does offer reasonable prices for basic food stuffs if you don't feel like eating out. Depending on the direction you come into the park you might need snow chains/cables. The higher passes are not plowed in the winter.
Once in the park to make the most of it i recommend getting up before the sun. In the winter you don't get that much sun light into the valley. But what you do get in low light that is great for photographing the park. The valley takes on a much different character in the winter months, frozen water falls and rivers, the meadows are made softer with snow. Its well worth a trip.
It is my favorite time of year to visit! No crowds, it is easy to feel that you have the whole valley to yourself. The lodge is comfortable and the cafeteria is open. Camping and tent lodging are c-c-cold. And yes, the park store is reasonable for groceries and prepared foods. Be prepared for the low level of light because there is little direct sun at this time of year. If you want to splurge, a meal at the Ahwahnee Hotel can be memorable (or stay there and enjoy the comfort!). It's a great time to make pictures, there is usually beautiful drama in the atmosphere and sky.