A Winter Walk

February 9, 2016
Rockefeller Grove Trail
Total distance: 1.25 miles

The day dawned cloudless and bright.  Chris and I arrived at the trailhead ready for a leisurely jaunt up to Rockefeller Grove, the only sugar pine grove in Yosemite National Park.

Rockefeller Grove was named for John D. Rockefeller, Jr. It might have been because he made significant financial contributions to several national parks.

We attempted this hike in February 2014, but there was no snow on the trail.  This time it looked promising.

Old ski tracks imprinted in the snow.

With snowshoes strapped to our feet, we began walking uphill through the sun-dappled forest.

There are three groves of giant sequoias in Yosemite: Mariposa, Tuolumne and Merced Groves; but only one sugar pine grove.

The air was fresh with a scent of pine.  Large cones buried in the snow were evidence that sugar pines grew nearby.

The cone of a sugar pine tree.

We progressed along the quiet path where the winter sun turned the snow soft.  It shone through the bare branches of blackened trees, burned during the Rim Fire of 2013.

There is beauty in a burn.

The snow-filled path tapered off.  We removed our snowshoes, leaned them against a tree and continued walking on the hard-packed dirt trail.

Pine cones dotted the trail until we reached snow again.

Eventually, the snowy trail returned, piled a foot deep.  We trudged through without snowshoes postholing a couple of times.

Smiling after a knee-deep posthole fall.

At the top of the road we looked down on the north end of Yosemite, the area ravaged by fire two and a half years ago.

A view through the trees.

The trail to Rockefeller Grove continued up a snowy switchback, but we hiked back down to the snowshoes, refreshed by the quick winter walk in the snow.

8 thoughts on “A Winter Walk

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