Field Notes: Yosemite Winter 2019

Another year, another spontaneous Yosemite trip.  We've been getting record precipitation in the Bay Area, which mean lots and lots of snow in the Sierras if it's cold enough.  And cold enough it was.

We checked the weather forecast and saw that more snow are coming to Yosemite over the weekend (more have already dropped the week prior), and we found a last minute accommodation in the park. 

We've been coming to the park in the winter months the last few years now that it's almost a yearly tradition.  Most of the hiking trails are closed, along with Tioga and Glacier Point roads, but it also means a lot less visitors than summer months.  

But this time around, there were way more snow than we've ever seen before.  So much that we actually did needed our snow chains for our tires the whole time there.  And also, so much snow that our car actually got stuck on a pile of condensed snow, that we had to be "rescued" by a Park Ranger who towed our car out to get us moving again.

A good reminder that you should always be prepared when traveling in winter months, especially in snow laden regions.  Always have extra food, blanket, water, and carry snow chains along with a shovel if you have one.

The skies were mostly overcast with thick covering of clouds the two days we came into the valley.  Which I was mostly fine with, since I was more interested in trying to capture some compositions around the Merced.  I ended up finding myself taking a lot of photos of trees in the valley, since the immaculate fresh snow was perfect for intimate photos and magical patterns.   

I know it's cliche, but since we drove down Wawona Road into the valley, can't help but stop at Tunnel View to get an overview of the valley with the snow. 

It never tires me to come back to this park over and over again.  But this trip in particular have made more appreciative of all the Park Rangers and staff who work to keep Yosemite wild, beautiful, and safe for all. 

So the next time you go into Yosemite--or any National Park for that matter--pick up your own trash, leave nothing but footprints, and thank a Park Ranger for their services.  And if you also think that this wilderness should be kept wild and protected, consider donating to one of conservancy organizations like the Yosemite Conservancy or the National Park Foundation.

For more photos and stories, check out other my other blogs and travel write-up here.

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