Imagine driving into the iconic Yosemite Valley on a weekend afternoon with lodging available and less than one-fifth of the people and cars that are usually there on a busy day.
Sound impossible? Not if you're willing to bring a coat and some tire chains.
Yosemite National Park is no secret to travelers, and yet it may be one of the best-kept winter secrets in the Central Sierra Nevada mountains.
Open year-round, the park does limit access to some areas after December but still serves as an opportunity for fun in and out of the snow while boasting a scenic winter wonderland.
"In the spring and summer, visitation feels different," said Yosemite National Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb. "It's slower paced in the winter. It's quieter in the winter."
The months of December, January and February are the least-visited of the year. From 2002 through 2012, approximately 113,817 people visited the park over an average December, with 118,424 visiting in January and 117,542 visiting in February, according to park statistics. Contrast that with 665,481 in August, 649,435 in July and 528,131 in June.
For the full story see today's Union Democrat.