Yosemite’s Snow Creek

(written by bill)

Paul, Christian, and I (Bill), took our annual Yosemite Snow Creek hike this past weekend which we’ve been doing for the past 4 years. We had Christian’s father-in-law (Martin) join us on this hike which worked out well.  Martin and I hiked up during the day on Thursday and set up camp, then Paul and Christian came up after work arriving to a warm fire around midnight. It took Martin and I about 3 1/2 hours to get to the top and about 3 hours for Paul and Christian (they’re younger).

The Snow Creek trail-head is located about a mile past Mirror Lake in Yosemite Valley and goes up ~2,700′ in 1.6 miles with 134 switchbacks along the way.  This trail is classified as strenuous and should not be taken lightly, it’s a tough one.  Once at the top (6,700′), you are rewarded with a magnificent view of Half Dome (8,836′), along with Mt. Watkins (8,500′), Clouds Rest (9,926), Basket Dome (7,612′), and Indian Rock (8,522′).

The weather couldn’t have been better on Friday, with bright sunny skies.  Paul and Christian hiked to the top of Mt. Watkins, about a 2,000′ climb (with the aid of snow shoes) while I took some time to wander around and photograph the Snow Creek area.

When we awoke on Saturday the weather had changed and was more winter like, cloudy and cold.  A perfect opportunity to sit around a warm campfire and talk about our next trip.

After lunch we started down the mountain which is almost as tough as hiking up.  The Snow Creek trail is long, rocky, steep and pounds away mercilessly at a hikers legs during the decent. To add insult to injury once the valley floor is reached there remains 2 1/2 miles to the backpackers parking lot.  The one blessing is that these last couple of miles are relatively flat and much easier to hike.

All in all, another great backpacking trip.

Click here to see more photos of our Snow Creek Hike in Yosemite

Hope you enjoy…


About motioners

We love backpacking and photography!
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39 Responses to Yosemite’s Snow Creek

  1. Clanmother says:

    You are in amazing shape with all of that climbing. I’ll try to keep up with you on my computer –

    • motioners says:

      I’m in good enough shape to hike in some of the most beautiful mountain settings and hope to continue for years to come. I’ll try my best to keep up with you on your computer. You are one busy blogger, and a great one at that! thanks for your feedback, bill

      • Clanmother says:

        “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
        ― Heraclitus

        Have fun!!! I’ll be tagging along…

  2. joeltc1 says:

    That snow is nice to look at, it was 95 here in Panama today! Thanks for cooling me off!

  3. Beautiful shots!!! Sunset picture is awesome!!!

    • motioners says:

      Thanks so much Rexlin Victor. It really was a beautiful sight. Unfortunately, sunsets are but only brief moments in time. Probably why so many people photograph them. Greatly appreciate your feedback. bill

  4. Nice grouping of photographs. It looks like the hike was worth it all. Was there much ice or just snow. How cold was it?

    • motioners says:

      We had a lot of ice while walking past Mirror Lake. It is deep in the valley and has a canopy of trees that shield it from any sunlight. The switchbacks are south facing and mostly treeless so it was free of snow and ice. The top, however, had a lot of snow and required snow shoes to navigate. The temps dropped to around 20 degress F. Yes, the hike was well worth it. Thanks for your comments, and questions. Hope I answered them. bill

  5. Angeline M says:

    Beautiful! I love Snow Creek…and all the photos.

  6. Amazing photography. You make me want to get my knee repaired and get back to hiking! What watermark program do you use? Great stuff guys! Thanks for visiting my blog over at unpackedwriter.com. -Renee

  7. Maria says:

    magical places ,
    beautiful people… feel the miracle of each place 🙂

  8. Pani Peonia says:

    I wish I was there!!!

    • motioners says:

      I understand. You can enjoy a virtual visit via the photos, and you don’t even need a coat (assuming you’re in a warm location when viewing). Thanks for your feedback. bill

  9. adinparadise says:

    Fantastic photos. Love the tree and the fiery sunset. You’re a tough trio. 🙂

    • motioners says:

      I don’t know if we’re tough, but maybe a little crazy. Who in their right mind goes out in the snow to camp? Motioners of course! We all love it! Thanks a bunch for your kind feedback. bill

  10. didvhendrickson@comcast.net says:

    Thx Bill. Such beautiful memories you have made. Each time you look at these pics you will be taken back in time. I love to see the pics and read the blog. Lv u

  11. Gobetween says:

    Mirror lake looks like a beautiful place to visit.

    • motioners says:

      Mirror Lake was a pretty good size lake about 40 years ago but has been filling up with run off (sentiments) and is quickly becoming a meadow. Very interesting to watch the evolution. I agree with your comment though, it is beautiful! bill

  12. linhartb says:

    Looks like a great backpacking trip!

    • motioners says:

      My Son’s and I do this one every year so it is very special. We are about 3 1/2 hours from Yosemite, which is a lot further than you have to go for some great locations. Love where you live, so close to so many hiking trials. Thanks for your feedback. bill

  13. Opalla says:

    Thanks for liking my post on the Lift Bridge, and this has led me to discover your very interesting log. I love travelling and hiking too, and I’llbe back to visit. Do drop by my blog again, and you may be interested in my post on hiking the Niagara Escarpment:

    • motioners says:

      Your Niagara Escarpment hike looked like a blast. Well organized and a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing and you can count on me dropping by your blog (especially now that I’m following you). bill

  14. Janet says:

    I’ve been lax in reading my fellow bloggers posts. Just came across this one and am amazed at the beauty of the Snow Creek Trail in winter. I can’t believe you hiked up that trail with a backpack in the snow/ice. As you know, I did it this past fall but didn’t make it to the top. You’ve inspired me to try again. Beautiful photos!

    • motioners says:

      I thought about your blog on the “Mirror Lake Loop” hike when we passed the Snow Creek junction. Had we gone straight we would have been on the trail you wrote about. I hope you stay inspired, the Snow Creek trail is tough but oh so worth it. I plan on doing a blog on the Lost Cabin of Snow Creek about a cabin on top of the trail that is open to hikers during the winter then locked up in the summer. It’s pretty neat. Good to have you back posting. Really enjoyed your Presidents’ Day Holiday Weekend 2013 blog. bill

      • Janet says:

        I’ve heard about that cabin. I read in the book “Death in Yosemite” that a man, back in the early 20th century, was looking for the cabin in the snow. He never found it but they found him frozen to death. I think I’m remembering that right.

  15. debcorreia says:

    Magnificent photos!

  16. hi thanks for the visit. wonderful blog you have here and i also love backpacking and photography.

  17. What a trip that must have been-great photos too-
    Thank you too for visiting Move the Chair-I appreciate you taking the time to look-

  18. Pingback: Yosemite’s Snow Creek 2014 | MOTION Photography

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