The annual closing of Hwy 120 through the park is now happening. The snow plows won’t appear until way late spring. Some years into June.
You can still get up to Tuolumne Meadows, only now you’ll have walk…or snowshoe…or ski…..or ________. You’ll need a permit to camp. Yes, rangers do roam around, so don’t push it. How about little snow camping?
In the valley, they close most of the trails. They don’t want to do rescues all winter. Four Mile trail shuts down, the Mist trail to Vernal gets closed at the Register Rock/JMT junction. But you can still take the “winter” route and get up pretty high.
The ice cut is closed. You get the idea. So what’s an adventurer to do? Well, read a John Muir book. Or hit the gym. Me? I’m going to Yellowstone to ride snowmobiles. Cool. You have to go on a a guided trip and keep the Skidoo’s mellow. You can rent extra days and zoom on the trails.
I heard about this for years. For a long time, independents could come in, but a few years ago the park decided to get organized. Too many yahoos were buzzing the animals. Now you have to be on a permitted guide service. Only 4-stroke machines are allowed. 2-strokes just blow too much smoke.
Know what “snow plants” are?
The Old Faithful Lodge is closed but there is a “Snow Hut” with eats and heat! A bonus–> the geysers are left running during the winter :>)
Hang in there – the Half Dome cables will be back up in May.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Hello? Hello? Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home? Come on now I hear you’re feeling down. Well I can ease your pain. Get you on your feet again.” – Pink Floyd
Read “One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome