Dewey Point Via the Ridge Trail

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 3 Intermediate
Length 6.8 miles round trip
7250 feet
+1150, -1150 round trip
Navigation Road (groomed) and marked trail
Time Most of a day
Season December through mid-April
Snowmobiles Use Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, El Capitan
Start Badger Pass Ski Area on Glacier Point Road. The trailhead is located at the north end of the parking lot.

Description   Link to more information about description

The tour to Dewey Point is the classic tour in Yosemite and one of the most popular tours in California. The dramatic view of Yosemite Valley 3300 feet below beckons skiers and snowshoers, and is reason enough to brave the weekend crowds. But visit mid-week and you will be among the few visiting Dewey Point.

This tour, along the Ridge Trail, is the more difficult of the two routes to Dewey Point. The Meadow Trail is slightly less difficult. The two routes can be combined to make a loop.

Mileage Log   Link to more information about mileage log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 0.7
Elevation change: +150, -50 feet

From the trailhead (1) ski northeast on the groomed trail and Glacier Point Road for 0.7 mile until you reach a high point (2). The first 50 yards is not actually on the road, but you will probably not notice the transition from the connecting trail to the road.

Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 0.7 - 0.8
Elevation change: Nil

Continue skiing on Glacier Point Road for 0.1 mile until you reach the turnoff for the Ridge Trail (3). The turnoff is marked with a sign and the trail is designated number 14.

Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 0.8 - 1.4
Elevation change: +200, -100 feet

Ski north on the Ridge Trail and traverse around a highpoint for a total of 0.6 mile until you reach the broad top of a ridge (4).

Waypoint 4 to 9
Miles: 1.4 - 2.6
Elevation change: +100, -200 feet

Continue north along the Ridge Trail and finally descend for a total of 1.2 miles until you reach the intersection with the Meadow Trail (9). It is easy not to notice the intersection and it's not a problem when you are skiing out to Dewey Point. However, on your return you need to recognize the intersection and make a conscious choice between the two routes because both may be tracked.

Waypoint 9 to 10
Miles: 2.6 - 3.4
Elevation change: +150, -200 feet

Continue north on the combined Ridge and Meadow trails for 0.8 mile until you reach Dewey Point (10). Once there you can ski in either direction along the valley rim to get away from the crowds.

Return to trailhead
Miles: 3.4 - 6.8
Elevation change: +550, -600 feet

Retrace the route for 3.4 miles back to the trailhead (1) or as an alternative return via the Meadow Trail.

Print version of map for tour