While hiking and driving are extremely limited in winter, snowshoeing provides the best way to experience Yosemite. When landscapes are covered with snow, the whole area is transformed into a cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trail.
You can explore the quiet trails of Yosemite, or take your chance finding the wild and the most remote places in the park—everything depends on your skills and fitness level.
Some of the best areas for beginners and families, without a doubt, are Mariposa, Merced, and Tuolumne groves, which provide excellent trails surrounded by the beautiful giant sequoias.
For experienced snowshoe hikers, there are longer routes with more dramatic elevation gains. For instance, you can hike to Dewey Point for majestic views of El Capitan and Yosemite Valley, or make a long trek to Taft Point and Sentinel Dome. Another popular winter experience to be mentioned is a full-moon snowshoe walk, guided by a park ranger. The walks are held a few days a month and start at Badger Pass.
Snowshoeing is free inside Yosemite, and snowshoes are available for rent at Badger Pass. Trails are generally available from mid-December through March.