A Frugal Traveler

Yosemite Snowfall Trip – March 2021

Had a great Yosemite trip with the three boys during a light snow.  I was really stressing about whether the snow would be a problem for my minivan with cheap tires, but it turned out to be great!  The dilemma was that we had campsite reservations on Thursday, but Wednesday there was a big winter storm and Thursday mid-day the snow was set to come back.  So I would either try to beat the next snow and hope not to get stuck in the campsite, or wait until after the second snow flurry was done, but that would have been later in the evening and driving into Yosemite at night in fresh snow didn’t sound like a reasonable alternative.  I was checking the snow condition report on the Yosemite call in number, and they said snow chains required in the valley.  I was hoping after the 11PM snow on Wednesday was done the valley would be clear and I wouldn’t need chains, but when I woke up at 5AM to get ready to go it still said chains were required in the valley!  I decided to just go and risk it, since the road into Yosemite didn’t require chains, so I’d at least go into the gate and see if it was as bad as the conditions seemed to imply.  Worse case, we have to turn around after playing a bit in the snow, but probably we would just have to put on chains, which isn’t my favorite thing to do in cold weather. 

Many years ago with A Frugal Mother we tried to put on cables on my Nissan Maxima and the cable wouldn’t stay on one site and tore up my inner fender, it was quite stressful of a drive from Mt Rose near Reno.  Ever since, I’ve been a bit wary of snow.  On the most recent Yellowstone trip as well there was quite a bit of snow and it caused a bit of stress.  

Fresh snow and granite rock

    This snow Yosemite trip itself was great, it was cold, but despite being soaking wet the boys didn’t seem to mind the cold at all.  The kids even took off their jackets and didn’t bother changing out of their crocs during part of the trip.  The strength of youth!  

The Falls


   The campsites on both sides of us was empty, and in fact Yosemite was more empty than I’ve ever seen before.  There were many times where we were the only ones around.  I think most people were scared away by the weather, plus it was not the weekend yet.  It was so empty there, unfortunately the next day was a lot more busy (Friday) and cars were all over the place and it was actually kind of hard to park.  So it was great that we got there when we did.  Next time we go we will bring our larger sled so we can slide two kids together (maybe).  


Thought about bringing bikes, but parts of the bike trail were a bit icy
So much snow covering the walkways

We had a lot of fun taking a break from roughing it at Degnans Deli, there was a fireplace and again there were hardly any people around so we felt fairly safe (knock on wood) hanging out inside next to the fireplace while we ate pizza. Degnans is great for our son because they have gluten free pizza! Its even the same price as the regular one. So for $11 you get a gluten free pizza which is actually cheaper than mod when you add the gluten free option, though mod is bigger. But still. Not too bad considering the usual premium cost in the park. A bit of a splurge if doing it every day, but on occasion it can be ok to splurge.

Had some interesting sunset colors on our first night

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *