Once in a lifetime! The remarkably dry winter of 2012 in the Sierra Nevada has created unheard-of experiences for Yosemite visitors. The high-country corridor of Tioga Road is open to vehicles later in the season than it’s ever been in history, and people can access the summertime playground of Tuolumne Meadows. Along Tioga Road, the mile-long expanse of Tenaya Lake is frozen solid and dozens of people can be found ice skating or just walking around in the middle of the lake.
Tenaya Lake is about a 90-minute drive from Yosemite Valley. It is situated at 8500′ and is surrounded by the towering Tenaya Peak and granite domes named Pywiack, Polly and Stately Pleasure. The road there and the lake itself are usually deep under snow by now.
For the moment you can do the inconceivable: drive up and ice skate on this glassy bowl.
Be careful: ice is slippery. Keep dogs off the lake. Do your best to ‘Leave No Trace’ with this rare treat.
UPDATE: Tioga Road is now closed in advance of a significant winter storm arriving this evening (Thu 19 January). Glacier Point Road will likely close soon.