SA­VOR SIERRA SOLI­TUDE IN WIN­TER

OS­TRAN­DER SKI HUT YOSEMITE NA­TIONAL PARK, CAL­I­FOR­NIA

Backpacker - - VIEW WITH A ROOM -

The num­bers don’t lie. Of Yosemite’s more than 5 mil­lion vis­i­tors in 2016, only 1,500—.03 per­cent—vis­ited Os­tran­der. Join the ex­clu­sive club by spend­ing a night in this re­mote 1940s stone hut, which sits in a back­coun­try cirque be­side its name­sake lake. It’s only open to the pub­lic in win­ter, but in­trepid skiers and snow­shoers who tackle the ap­proach can ex­pect empty glades, big views, and full im­mer­sion in High Sierra soli­tude.

Get there on the Bri­dalveil Creek, Merced Crest, or Hori­zon Ridge Trails, all of which wend some 9 or 10 miles from Badger Pass to the two-story hut. (We rec­om­mend the lat­ter for its views of Half Dome and the Clark Range.) At Os­tran­der, claim one of 25 bunks on the bot­tom floor (a hut­mas­ter lives up­stairs) and whip up a meal in the open kitchen be­fore ex­plor­ing the front yard. Tour up to 9,496-foot Horse Ridge to pick an un­touched line down the bowl back to the hut. Ski hounds can pack in half a dozen laps in a day. Trail­head Badger Pass Sea­son Mid-De­cem­ber through March Ameni­ties Bunks with mat­tresses; wood-burn­ing stove Reser­va­tion Start­ing at $50/night; en­ter the lot­tery in mid-Novem­ber Con­tact yosemite­con­ser­vancy.org

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