Published on November 4, 2020

Where did the year go?

If you’re like us, you flipped the calendar to November and thought two things: “˜I didn’t travel as much as I wanted” and “˜the holidays got here fast’. With shipping delay, holiday shopping is tough this year.  That typical metropolitan traffic, crowds, and long lines are the stuff of nightmares that you just want to run away from. It’s time to escape the hustle and bustle for something slower and quieter.

Here’s some good news! You can skip the pre-holiday madness of highly populated cities for some fun and wrap up the year in a more positive and serene way!

Here are five reasons that you should get to Mariposa County to escape the pre-holiday madness of coastal cities.

1. Yosemite National Park is open, and reservations AREN’T required!

yosemite valley in the winter with snow caps

Limitations on Yosemite National Park have been lifted which means that one of the most magical times of year is open to explore. Yosemite between Thanksgiving and the traditional December holidays is especially quiet and peaceful. The snow begins to fall. The animals are easier to spot. And traditionally, visitation is light. These three things make the winter a favorite time to visit the park for Yosemite Mariposa County’s residents. Plus, the reservation system from the summer is gone which means the Park is wide open to explore.

2. Getting here is probably easier than you think.

We hear two things from people when we talk about visiting in the winter. One, “isn’t Yosemite closed?” and two, “I don’t want to drive in the snow.” Fortunately, we have some good answers to share. Yosemite stays open year-round and you can easily avoid the snow. Highway 140, also known as the “All-Weather Highway”, enters Yosemite Valley at low elevation ““ below 3,000 feet. Even better, Yosemite Valley is at 4,000 feet. In Yosemite Mariposa County you can get the best of both worlds. The towering walls of Yosemite Valley are dusted with snow at the top, while the Valley floor often stays dry. Yosemite Valley’s average high temperatures in November and December are in the mid-40’s to high-50’s and historically December sees an average of seven days of precipitation. At lower elevations in Mariposa, the average temps are even higher in mid-50’s to mid-’60s

Note: conditions in the mountains can change quickly in the winter. So be sure to have tire chains with you. A warm morning can sometimes turn into a snowy evening.

3. Shopping doesn’t have to be done online.

We’ve all heard horror stories about someone who made a purchase online like buying a sweater that showed up two-sizes too small or purchasing something on December 1st only to have it arrive on January 1st. In Mariposa, there are great opportunities to not only find a great, thoughtful gift for someone special but also support local artists. From paintings to photographs of Yosemite to handmade Jewelry; you’re bound to find a Made in Mariposa gift that is great for anyone.

4. There are great special offers on lodging.

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Yosemite, the High Sierra or in Mariposa Gold Country, our special offers page has something that you and your checkbook will love. If you’re looking for a free night at The Ahwahnee or Yosemite Valley Lodge, deals on a private cabin in Yosemite, or even specials at art galleries or on wine, you’ll find them on our page.

5. No vacation time? No problem!

Hiking Yosemite in the snow is fun and relaxing.
Relaxing after hiking to Dewey Point in the snow

If not having time to take off or the kid’s distance learning is keeping you at home, we’ve got good news. In the internet age, working and learning can be done from anywhere. Mariposa County’s hotels, lodges and cabin rentals have high-speed internet that will allow for everyone to get their work done from anywhere. Then once the workday is done, outdoor adventure is waiting just outside the front door. Try a snowshoe hike to Dewey Point in the high country or build a snowman with the kids in Yosemite Valley.

Note: Call ahead to get an idea of what connectivity is like at your choice of lodging before you book.

Categories: Family and Kid Friendly, Holiday, Outdoor Activities, Travel and Transportation, Winter