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.
We attempted this hike in February 2014, but there was no snow on the trail. This time it looked promising.
With snowshoes strapped to our feet, we began walking uphill through the sun-dappled forest.
The air was fresh with a scent of pine. Large cones buried in the snow were evidence that sugar pines grew nearby.
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.
The snow-filled path tapered off. We removed our snowshoes, leaned them against a tree and continued walking on the hard-packed dirt trail.
Eventually, the snowy trail returned, piled a foot deep. We trudged through without snowshoes postholing a couple of times.
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.
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.