Inspiration Point and Stanford Point Trail

Yosemite National Park, California

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Some folks must have a special place to themselves, even if it means a lot of climbing and forging their own path. If this sounds like you, sign up here for a challenging but doable snowshoe route up a north-facing flank of Yosemite Valley that leads to jaw-dropping views of major place names normally seen by throngs of tourists below. For those who are a bit less than totally fit, make your goal Inspiration Point, the original view of the valley for travelers along the old Wawona wagon road. For energetic and toned souls who want even more seclusion and better views, press on to Stanford Point. The hope is that someone before you accomplished the routefinding task and laid out snowshoe tracks to follow. Otherwise, you must negotiate the signed Pohono Trail as best as possible in a light to medium forest via switchbacks at first, then more or less straight up the mountainside farther on. The key is to go on a mostly sunny day so you can see far enough ahead to always choose the easiest and safest route, especially if you’ve temporarily lost Pohono Trail—a summer path. The way basically heads up the least steep part of the slope, first westerly for about 1.5 miles, then southeast for a couple miles. If there’s not enough snow at the start, you may have to lug your snowshoes for a distance. Call ahead for snow conditions.
Snowshoe Routes: Northern California

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Snowshoe Routes: Northern California

by Marc J. Soares (The Mountaineers Books)

Some folks must have a special place to themselves, even if it means a lot of climbing and forging their own path. If this sounds like you, sign up here for a challenging but doable snowshoe route up a north-facing flank of Yosemite Valley that leads to jaw-dropping views of major place names normally seen by throngs of tourists below. For those who are a bit less than totally fit, make your goal Inspiration Point, the original view of the valley for travelers along the old Wawona wagon road. For energetic and toned souls who want even more seclusion and better views, press on to Stanford Point. The hope is that someone before you accomplished the routefinding task and laid out snowshoe tracks to follow. Otherwise, you must negotiate the signed Pohono Trail as best as possible in a light to medium forest via switchbacks at first, then more or less straight up the mountainside farther on. The key is to go on a mostly sunny day so you can see far enough ahead to always choose the easiest and safest route, especially if you’ve temporarily lost Pohono Trail—a summer path. The way basically heads up the least steep part of the slope, first westerly for about 1.5 miles, then southeast for a couple miles. If there’s not enough snow at the start, you may have to lug your snowshoes for a distance. Call ahead for snow conditions.

©  Marc J. Soares/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Snowshoeing
Nearby City: Yosemite National Park
Distance: 8
Elevation Gain: 3,300 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 3–9 hours
Season: Winter
Local Contacts: Yosemite National Park
Local Maps: USGS El Capitan
Driving Directions: Directions to Inspiration Point and Stanford Point Trail

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Apr 2018