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5 Must Do Activities in Yosemite This Winter

Two small figures on a white snowy forest landscape

Yosemite’s second December snow storm is rolling in just in time for the peak of the holiday season!

While we’ll never say no to squeezing in a few final 2020 hikes (weather permitting), we want to take a moment to spotlight some of our favorite winter activities that keep Yosemite National Park and the surrounding area extra magical this time of year.

A couple winter hikes we still have on repeat:

Mirror Lake via Valley Loop Trail (Yosemite Valley)
This 4.4-mile moderately trafficked loop trail is located near Yosemite Valley. It’s a gorgeous hike also commonly used for snowshoeing in the winter. In times of lighter snowfall, consider wearing traction cleats or crampons, but in milder winter months hiking boots should do the trick.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Trail (Fish Camp)
This 6.2-mile loop trail is accessible year-round, though roads leading to the trailhead are subject to seasonal closures, so check with NPS before heading out. Snowshoes have been recommended by many hikers in the thick of winter, but for milder cold weather conditions, hiking boots should be good to go. The first two miles of this hike are mostly uphill so be sure to pack plenty of water!

Snowshoeing in Yosemite Valley
While some areas of the park are closed due to inclement weather, Yosemite Valley remains open and full of life. Take advantage of it after a fresh dusting of snow and you’ll find yourself inside an old Microsoft screensaver, but with the kind of fresh air that your lungs have to breathe to believe.

Snowshoeing offers an exhilarating adventure of frolicking off-the-beaten-path and there are trails to suit every level of experience. Just make sure to check the weather and plan ahead of time as cell reception can be hard to come by in the valley.

Curry Village Ice Skating
Since 1928, visitors have taken in mother nature’s beauty with blue skies and snow-dusted mountain tops above, and solid ice beneath them. Curry Village Ice Skating Rink is open December-March, weather permitting.

In addition to ice skating, you can cozy up around fire pits with prime views of Half Dome.
See full details, hours, and pricing here.

Winter Stargazing
Some of the best stargazing in California can be found in and around Yosemite. Immerse yourself in a mesmerizing line-up of winter constellations set against a black backdrop uninterrupted by city lights.

One of our favorite spots to catch the celestial light show is the Rim of the World Vista.

Explore the California Caverns
Located in Vallecito, CA, Moaning Caverns Adventure Park offers year-round tours, adventures and activities for all audiences.

Begin your adventure by descending a metal spiral staircase into the caves that gold minders first explored in the 1850s and 1860s. Whether you’re inspired by the thought of old-fashioned spelunking, panning for gemstones, or axe throwing, the caves promise a unique and exciting adventure.

Mercer Caverns are also open throughout the Winter season, offering tours, gem mining, and a whole lot of history.

These are just a few of the many adventures in and around Yosemite National Park this Winter. You’ll also find apple orchards in Arnold, wineries in Murphys, and historical markers scattered from Jamestown, through Sonora, Groveland, and up to Yosemite’s doorstep!

Whatever you’re looking for, from active adventures to scenic strolls, you’ll find it out here. Keep an eye on the weather, dress accordingly, and gear up for a Winter getaway you won’t forget.

The Groveland 18767 Main Street circle logo

Summer Menu

Small Bites & Shares

Southwest Chicken Spring Rolls with Pico de Gallo $12

Vegetable Samosas with cilantro chutney $12

Heirloom Tomato Flatbreads with grape tomato, mozzarella, pecorino, pesto, balsamic reduction $14

Grilled Chicken Wings with teriyaki, pineapple pepper relish, scallions, peanuts $14

Truffle and Parmesan French Fries with garlic aioli $11

Charcuterie and Cheese Plate with mostarda, crackers, whole grain mustard $16



Fiesta Salad with romaine, Pico de Gallo, black beans, avocado, pepper jack cheese, chipotle ranch $13

House Caesar Salad with parmesan crisps, garlicky croutons, lemon Caesar dressing $12

Artisan Salad with apple, celery, dried apricots, cucumber, pumpkin seed vinaigrette $12

*Add Shrimp +$14, Chicken +$10, Steak +$14, or Salmon +$12



Vegetarian Orecchiette Pasta $24

with Spring vegetables, tomato coulis, pecorino Romano

Fried Chicken Sliders $22

with brioche bun, sweet pickles, coleslaw, chipotle mayo and house fries

Wagyu Burger Sliders $24

with aged cheddar, brioche bun, mustard aioli, romaine lettuce and house fries

Blackened Chicken Tacos $24

with flour tortilla, jack cheese, black bean aioli, mango salsa and tortilla chips

Pan Roasted Salmon $32 

with cous-cous tabouleh, seasonal vegetable, citrus vinaigrette

Jumbo Shrimp and Potato Gnocchi $34 

with English peas, mushrooms, heirloom tomato, lemon butter sauce

Grilled Steak Frittes $42

with Prime NY strip, house fries, chimi churi sauce



Room 110 is situated at the back of the hotel in the Annex building on the lower floor.  This cozy room features a queen bed, with a large private bathroom containing a tub/shower.  This room accommodates two guests. This is a pet-friendly room.

Accessibility Features: Entry door is 32” wide; there is an outlet within 4’ of the telephone jack; the door lock is located 44” from the floor; there is more than 36” of room to the right side of the bed; hangers are located 53” off the ground.  Currently, the door handle is a historic twist knob, but we are working with our locksmith to replace this with a levered handle that can easily be operated with one hand and without tight grasping, pinching or twisting the wrist.

The bathroom has room to do a t-turn; the toilet seat is 18” off the ground and has a grab bar located behind the toilet; the wash basin is 30” off the ground with insulated pipes; the wash basin faucet is easy to operate with one hand without tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist; the towel racks are 46” off the floor; the bathroom floors are slip resistant.  There are no grab bars on an adjacent wall in the bathroom for the toilet as there is not an adjacent wall to place them on. 

The tub has faucet controls positioned at the center of the end wall and open side of the tub; faucet can easily be turned on and off with one hand without tight grasping, pinching or twisting the wrist; there is a grab bar at the foot of the tub and at the head of the tub; and there are two 40” grab bars alongside the tub to serve for low and high needs.  The fixtures in the bathtub are historic and therefore we do not have a 60” hand held shower wand.

Due to the historic nature of our property, our rooms are fairly small, therefore we are unable to provide 36” around both sides and the foot of the bed.  However, we do provide full clearance between the door and the right side of the bed.

You can book this room online or please call us 24 hours/7 days a week at 209-962-4000 or email us at guestservices@groveland.com and we would be happy to find the room that most meets your needs.  

Pet Friendly

Your search for pet-friendly vacation lodging near Yosemite National Park ends here.  Our four-legged guests love the Groveland Hotel as much as our two-legged ones!  We’re happy to offer select pet-friendly rooms, located on the first floor, for your stay in Groveland, California.  The pet fee is $75 per reservation, with a limit of one pet per guest.  We welcome pets 60 lbs or less.

For dog-friendly activities near the Groveland Hotel, we recommend a walk along the Hetch Hetchy Railroad or going for a refreshing dip in the pet-friendly Rainbow Pools swimming hole.  If you are heading into Yosemite National Park, check their website for pet rules and restrictions.

Looking for a local dog sitter/boarder where you can keep your dogs for the day while exploring Yosemite?  There is a great nearby facility called Big Creek Boarding.