Hometown ski resort: Badger Pass Ski Area

Ever wanted to downhill or nordic ski in Yosemite National Park? How about a morning of skiing followed by an afternoon of hiking on the valley floor? I spent a day at Badger Pass Ski Area, located in the center of Yosemite National Park, to see what it was like. What I found: wonderful ski culture, local enthusiasm, and lots of love for the outdoors. I guess that should come as no surprise!


Badger Pass boasts just 10 runs and four lifts (plus one rope tow). It features one lodge (two stories), a rental shop, and a nordic center. All the downhill runs funnel down to the same general base area by the lodge, and the entire feel is friendly, welcoming, and relaxed. This is hometown skiing at its best: just like at the tiny ski resort I grew up skiing in the Sierras, Badger Pass is all about the outdoor experience. Kids were skiing solo the day I visited, their parents content with the knowledge they really couldn’t get lost. Newbies were trying out the sport in first-timer lessons, and telemark skiers were almost as ample as downhill skiers.


The nordic center was bustling: with over 350 miles of cross-country trail in the park, most of which starts at Badger Pass, this is a hot sport! The nordic center staff will get you completely outfitted (downhill and snowboard rentals are available as well, in the adjacent downhill rental shop). Grab a trail map, and decide how far and fast you want to go.

Badger Pass offers one small terrain park, and the majority of the runs are intermediate, with a few black diamond runs. I was told tree skiing and backcountry skiing was abundant, given the correct snow conditions. In the lodge, visitors will find lots of lounge space, a nice big sun deck on both levels, and friendly food service where you can order standard ski fare: burgers, wraps, and a burrito bar. I recommend the homemade veggie burger and fries.


Lift ticket costs:

Downhill lift tickets are currently $48 for adults, $43 for youth, and $25 for kids (all day). XC ski rentals are available, as stated, as are Pulk sleds if you want to bring the younger kids along for the ride.  Ski rental pricing. 



Badger Pass is easy to find from Highway 41 by the South Entrance to the park, or from the Valley Floor. From Wawona Road, take Glacier Point Road.

As I disclose whenever applicable, I experienced Badger Pass Ski Area as a guest of the resort, for the purpose of review. I hope my firsthand knowledge helps you plan a better trip!