Located towards the insides of Yosemite National Park, Badger Pass Ski Area is a small place which also happens to be among the very few (three) ski areas that are serviced by lifts in the National Park in the US. Situated on the intersection of Wawona Road, it is very close to the Glacier Point Road that is the mode of access to the ski area. This glacial point Road is made to terminate during the ski season or heavy snow, and the rest of the road is used to provide access to the various destinations in the high country and the Glacier Point through cross country skiing.
With effect from the 1st of March, 2016, Badger Pass Ski Area was renamed Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area due to some disputes regarding naming rights where Delaware North Parks and Resort claimed as intellectual property the names of many Yosemite locations.
Yosemite West is the closest community to Badger Pass. Stretched out in some 90 acres, the skiing area is facilitated with five lifts, ten runs, snowboarding and snow tubing facilities. For those people who are just starting out with skiing or those who need to brush up their skills a little, the ski area also provides instructors. Near the equipment rental area situated on the cross country, there has been an addition a snow tubing area. However, the area has been roped off for safety reasons, in order to prevent skiers from entering the area.
Along with the downhill facilities, the ski area also has extensive snowshoe trails and cross country skiing, and is a popular site, since it is considered one among the many highlights of the skiing area’s winter activities and sports. The trails encompass a total of 84 miles, including various tourist sites of Yosemite. For those who wish to settle into the wilderness for a while, tourists may also rest in the two huts that are available for the nights to facilitate winter trips.
The nearest city to the ski area is Mariposa, California. The vertical measurements of this ski area are 800 feet. Its base elevation is 7,200 feet, while its top elevation is 800 feet. Of the ten runs that the skiing area has, 35% are easy, 50% are intermediate while the rest 15% are the toughest. The longest run is 0.4 miles, with five lifts, of which 3 are double chairs, 1 is triple chair and 1 is a surface lift. With a snowfall of 300 inches in total, the lift capacity is 6,800 skiers per hour with 1 Terrain Park.
7200 feet – 7800 feet
Base Elevation – 7,200 feet
Top elevation – 800 feet
There is no night skiing available. Both snowboarding and downhill activities are available for the general public in the ski area, the Badger Pass day lounge is its main feature, as it is the house to the very popular Snowflake Room. This lodge is only available for day use, and can no longer be used for night stay. Several skiing schools for both advanced and beginners also operate on the slopes of these hills. Cross country skiing is also available for those who are interested in gaining some back-country experience. This makes Badger Pass Ski Area one of the finest in the region.
With cross country terrains that are groomed for 22 miles and marked trails of 90 miles, more than nine lanes are available for skiing. Equipment can be rented from the ski rental department anytime during the day, but not after nightfall.
Every year, Badger Pass hosts the Yosemite Nordic Holiday, where every February, a series of cross-country races are held. Skiing lovers from all parts of the region participate and enjoy these races.
If the conditions permit, the ski area plans to open up on the 16th of December this year. It will be opening up its groomed trails, chairlifts that take you to the top in mere minutes, skiers and snowboarders will be treated with a uniquely challenging terrain park, along with a tubing area that entire families can enjoy together.
An expert ski guide from Yosemite Mountaineering School will take you through the choices of trails in the park, along with a brief description of the wildlife and natural history of Yosemite. These tours can be modified depending on the skill levels of the skiers, and some of these tours also happen to include the overnight stay at the huts.
The Glacial Point Ski Hut arrives before you after you have passed through 10.5 miles of the guided ski trip on one of the most beautiful groomed trails of Yosemite. The building has a rustic charm to it; that intensifies when you enter inside and see the accommodations that carry the same aura, along with the dining room that provides restrooms, a wood stove, comfortable sofas and of course, delicious meals. It also includes an area that has a bunk bed, big enough for 20 skiers to sleep comfortably.
For the kids
A very popular Badger Pups Program is taught by a snowboard or ski instructor for kids from ages 4 to 6 years. This instructor will be someone who can be trusted with children and is sensitive and patient. Another activity that kids can enjoy is snow tubing, an activity that people of all ages enjoy and is a perfect way to bring the family together. You also get to experience the thrill of sliding down a mountain covered in snow. It is also ideal for kids of all ages and is affordable, costing 17 dollars for every 2 hour session.
For the adults
Tempo Dome Backcountry Tour is a guided tour for all, irrespective of whether you are skiing for the first time, or just need to brush up your skills a little. It introduces you to Yosemite’ backcountry skiing, and in five hours, the experts will take you through the trails after having taught you the basics, following it up with 4 miles of skiing. This tour begins from December and lasts up to the end of February, and is offered only on the Sundays.
The distance between Glacier point to Yosemite ski and snowboard is up to 10.5 miles, so even the cross country skiers who have a good amount of experience are bound to take somewhere between 4 to 5 hours approximately for one side of the trip. So when the return trip is included, it becomes a 21 mile trek in a single day, but if that is what excites you, then this trip taking you to Glacier Point may just be the thing for you.
However, this skiing trip to Glacier Point is advised to be undertaken only by those who are considerably experienced. Beginners are warned against taking the trip, and even those who do undertake it are always advised and encouraged to review all possible information available to it.
The ski area operates from the middle of December to early April, although of course, it may be changed if the conditions do not permit it. The safety of all is the prime concern of the ski area. During its operating season, it remains open every day between 9 in the morning to 4 in the evening. The main aim of the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area is to make your winters the favorite time of the year, and the friendly staff and affordable prices are an effort towards making sure that you stay here is fun and free of any kind of stress.
So, with so much on offer, Badger Pass Ski Area is truly one of the best places to spend some quality time with your family and friends, enjoying skiing on this beautiful skiing area. Go ahead and pack your bags this winter, you can’t afford to miss out on the fun!
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