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Trip Report Yosemite trip report - end of December

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It's just about unheard of for both Tioga and Glacier Point roads to be open this time of year - but they are, as are all of the passes across the Sierra. When I heard about Tenaya Lake being both iced over and accessible, I just had to see it. I was off work Wednesday and yesterday so drove down after work on Tuesday and came back home yesterday.

We didn't spend much time in the Valley. Bridalveil Falls was a slim ribbon and Yosemite Falls was barely flowing - although some of the higher elevation falls were humungous icicles. We spent most of our short visit in the higher elevations.

Tenaya Lake was a blast. It's under about six inches of ice which my BF, newly moved here from the Midwest, assured me was thick enough to support a SUV. Having lived in mild winter climates for a long time, it took me a while to really believe this to be possible. But once I really believed it, boy did I have fun.

There were about 50 people on the ice near us - and quite a few more over other sections of the lake. Activities ranged from ice skating to hockey games to attempting to ski on the lake (that didn't look to be too successful) to dog walking to sitting on lounge chairs while enjoying a beer. Everyone seemed to be having a great time - it was like being a kid again, playing on the ice.

Tuolumne Meadows had a light dusting of snow. Some people were hiking there. Also saw people going up Lembert Dome. We didn't make it any further east than this due to time limitations. And I wanted to spend a lot of time playing on the lake.

Although the road is open all the way to Glacier Point, some of the trails are closed due to snow. The trail to Taft Point was closed but we were able to hike out to Sentinel Dome. There's a creek crossing at the beginning of the hike - which is completely frozen. Extremely cool looking. A little bit of snow on parts of the trail but it was still very easy to hike.

The weather was cold first thing in the morning but warmed up quickly. Got up to the 50s both days.

There were quite a few people there and I bet it'll be crowded for the New Year's weekend. But lodging rates will drop by next week. If you can go there before the snow finally hits - go!

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