Yosemite National Park

Winter Letters From the Yosemite High Country

Enjoy a "weekly snapshot" from rangers working around the glorious Tuolumne Meadows.

Beihua Steven Guo

IF THE WORDS "HIGH COUNTRY"... send you instantly into a deep and satisfying daydream, a reverie that involves the crunching of snow underfoot and the wind whistling through trees and storm clouds building atop far-off granite peaks, you're in good, nature-loving country in California. But finding your way to such wonderfully remote places in the heart of January isn't quite as instant as sweetly spinning out into a quickly imagined daydream. Helping us bridge that gap, though, between the adventures of our imagination and what's really happening in some of the way-up-there spots of the Sierra Nevada?

THE WINTER RANGERS... of Tuolumne Meadows, one of Yosemite National Park's most beloved, pristine, and picture-perfect destinations. And the winter updates, courtesy of Rangers Rob & Laura Pilewski, have returned, giving fans at home a "weekly snapshot" as to what is frostily afoot in the epic expanse. "They have been enjoying the settled snow from recent weather systems in the area, with two feet of snow in Tuolumne Meadows and another foot at higher elevations (likely more after today)," revealed a Jan. 4, 2021 post on the Yosemite National Park Facebook page. So what exactly is daily life like in a snow-laden location, one that sits high in the sky at over 8,000 feet?

THE SNOW DEPTH... was 24 inches on the final day of 2020, and the landscape had delightfully donned its "winter coat of white." The rangers reported on avalanche and snowpack conditions, as well as wildlife tracks (a bear had called upon the area "just above the Tuolumne Meadows housing area" before the pair arrived for their wintertime duties). For more missives from the marvelous meadow, and to see it wearing all of its snowy finery, be sure to check the Yosemite social pages for more brrr-illiant Tuolumne tales from the rangers.

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Pictured: A previous winter scene in the Yosemite high country.