The Snow Dance is a most sacred, time-honored ritual that comes in many forms... Upon making a rare mid-January, automobile powered incursion into Yosemite National Park, I was most pleased to discover many snow-dance revelers at play. Snow Dancers Sighted in Yosemite | Skating, Hockey at Tenaya Lake | Unofficial Networks

Snow Dancers Sighted in Yosemite | Skating, Hockey at Tenaya Lake

ice skating in yosemite

Snow Dancers Sighted in Yosemite | Skating, Hockey at Tenaya Lake

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Snow Dancers Sighted in Yosemite | Skating, Hockey at Tenaya Lake

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great skiing conditions

Let this be motivation for performing snow dances. credit: offpistemag.com

The Snow Dance is a most sacred, time-honored ritual that comes in many forms… Upon making a rare mid-January, automobile powered incursion into Yosemite National Park, I was most pleased to discover many snow-dance revelers at play.

Our quest on this mid-winter day was to answer the call of Tenaya Lake, beckoning from the heart of YNP for us to come and play (and dance). We packed up our skates, hockey sticks and some warm beverages, really not all too certain what to expect. At first, as we pushed up, into the mountains via Tioga Pass we were both struck by the quiet and the beauty that enraptured the Park; the quiet being a bit of a contrast to the YNP summertime hum of tourist travel.

Yosemite National Park winter

Tuolumne Meadows in the dead of winter, without snow. FYI, YNP access is currently free.

Upon arrival at Tenaya we were greeted by more of the same: exceptional beauty and quiet – there were very few signs of other people. For those that have never traveled on Route 120 through YNP (summer or winter), Tenaya is a sizeable body of water, perched amidst the Yosemite High Country at the end of a canyon surrounded by peaks and domes that personify this special National Park. To be able to glide around on ice skates, from end to end on a lake in such an extraordinary place was an exulted snow-dance in deed.

ice skating in yosemite

Ice skating with the Wow of Yosemite.

It was not very long before car upon car (and eventually dozens of RVs) pulled off to the side of Route 120 to unload many (perhaps into the 100s) winter recreationists/snow dancers onto Tenaya’s thick ice sheath. Figure skaters, hockey players, trekkers, kite fliers and many with nothing more than a pair of sneakers. To say the least, the scene at Tenaya Lake was about as festive as you could imagine. People came from the East Side, the Western slopes and many made the trip down from Tahoe. And, the common sentiment from all? Even when the snow is late to the party, there’s still a party somewhere, so find it and party it up.

Tenaya Lake frozen in YNP

Pond hockey in the North East was never quite like this. photo: Linsey Dudridge

Tenaya Lake at winter in YNP

Pond-Hockey Pros down from Truckee... I am so much better than you!

Tenaya Lake at winter in YNP

If this isn't snow dancing then I don't know what is. photo: Linsey Duddridge

It would seem that high alpine ice skating has become the En Vogue thing to do these days – many even expressing appreciation for the late start to the season, realizing that if not for the late start they would have never been exposed to such a unique winter past-time. Well, as the saying goes, “when given lemons…” I am very much looking forward to seeing the snow fly (oh, and it will) but I agree, ice-skating and hockey on these high alpine lakes has a been a one-of-kind experience. If you have yet to experience it yourself, go! You’ll be glad you did.

ice skating on Lake Tenaya in YNP

Ice... far better for skating than skiing.

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