Facilities & Reservation

An advanced skier makes his way to Yosemite's Ostrander Ski Hut

 

For more than 70 years, the rustic stone cabin has been a paradise for Yosemite ski enthusiasts, delighting them with its simplicity. Visitors are greeted by a warm fire, a single bunkroom to be shared with friends, and an affable hut-keeper.

Ostrander Ski Hut offers a secluded, unplugged experience in a uniquely isolated location. While the hut has no electricity, solar-powered lights are provided for evening use, and wood is stocked for heating. Water is collected from a snow-fed alpine lake, and guests filter it for drinking. The rustic accommodation includes single bunks with mattresses, community cookware stocked in a common kitchen, and two outdoor toilet facilities. Visitors provide their own food, water filter, sleeping bag, and personal gear.

Please view the suggested equipment list. Note: Climbing skins are highly recommended to make your journey a success. Skins are not available to rent at the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area Nordic Center. People who try the journey without skins often end up post holing and usually do not make it within a day, or at all, even if they have waxless 'scaled' skis.

Warning:  The trail to Ostrander ski Hut is longer and more difficult than most backcountry ski huts in California. The trip can take anywhere from 7 hours to 2 days depending on snow and weather conditions and experience levels. It frequently takes experienced parties 8+ hours so a late start means an arrival after dark. You must be self-reliant and be prepared to spend a night outside of the hut in winter conditions. Cell coverage is rarely found and Search and Rescue functions take many hours to mobilize. Do not rely on the hut keeper, or the National Park Service, to track your arrival and departure. Be entirely self-reliant. While the trails do have blaze marks, stormy weather can easily obstruct the trail markers. Navigation tools such as a GPS or map and compass are highly recommended. Only experienced skiers should attempt this trip.

Annual Information

Ostrander Ski Hut’s operational dates, nightly rates, and reservation lottery date change annually. This site is updated in mid-October to announce information for the upcoming season. If you would like to receive an email notification when the information is published to this site, please send your name, address, phone number and current email address to ostrander@yosemiteconservancy.org

Reservation Process

Due to Ostrander’s popularity, early reservations are awarded by random lottery. Once the lottery is complete, remaining dates are available by phone or online. Overnight fees are non-refundable. No refunds are given for lack of snow or inclement weather. This trip should not be made by novice skiers. Before applying for a reservation please check the calendar of available date. Updates to the calendar are in ‘real-time.’

Lottery Information

Due to Ostrander’s popularity, early reservations are awarded by random lottery. The Ostrander Ski Hut lottery is held in mid-November. An online reservation form will be available on this site mid-October.

Online Reservation Requests

An online reservation form will be available on this site mid-October.

Reservations by Phone: 209-379-5161

Once the lottery is processed, reservations are available online and by phone. Reservation assistants are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (closed federal holidays).

Fees

Nightly rates for the 2017-18 season will be announced on this site in mid-October.

Overnight fees are non-refundable, unless a cancellation is due to road closures and/or park closures. No refunds are given for lack of snow or inclement weather. If there are available dates during the current season, changes can be made to existing reservations by calling the reservation office at 209-379-5161. The overnight rates cover the total costs for Yosemite Conservancy to manage and operate the hut.

Discounts

If you are currently a Yosemite Conservancy donor you will receive a $10 per night discount. Discounts are given to the donor only, not the entire party. Donors at the $25 gift level and greater are eligible. Join as a Yosemite Conservancy donor. Benefits expire Dec. 31.

Group Sizes

The Ostrander Ski Hut houses a maximum number of 25 people. Large groups are welcome but the limit for a single party is 15 people. Yosemite Conservancy employs a hut keeper to live at Ostrander during the winter ski season to maintain the hut and for emergencies. The hut keeper is not responsible for cleaning up after guests; visitors must pack out all trash.

Permits

All visitors must pick up a free wilderness permit at the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area Ranger Station. Designated overnight parking is available at the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area. Vehicle license plate numbers must be printed on the permit.

Skiing

The excellent skiing at Ostrander Ski Hut attracts backcountry skiers and snowboarders who are looking to ski the steep slopes in the cirque above Ostrander Lake. Along the way, you may enjoy stunning views of Half Dome, the Clark Range and the northern part of the park, including Hoffmann, Dana and Conness peaks. The ski hut is approximately 10 miles from the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area, and all routes require considerable stamina and cross-country skiing experience. Novice skiers should not attempt this trip and traveling to the hut by snowshoe is not recommended. Departures for the ski hut should take place by 9 am to arrive at the hut during daylight hours. Climbing skins are strongly recommended (see equipment checklist). Hauling gear or children on sleds to the hut is strongly discouraged.

There are three different routes to the hut: Bridalveil Creek, Horizon Ridge Trail and the Merced Crest Trail.

There is also a free brochure (including map) of winter trails in the Glacier Point Road area. See brochure.

Warning

Visitors to backcountry cabins have an increased risk of exposure to potential disease-causing vectors. To help reduce exposure to such risks, all food must be stored in the rodent-proof bins provided in the kitchen area. Please thoroughly clean food-preparation areas after each meal. For more information, please visit the website of the Yosemite Public Health Department.

Equipment Rentals

Ski and snowshoe rentals are available through the Yosemite Nordic Ski School at the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area (209-372-8444). Climbing skins are highly recommended but are not available for rent in Yosemite National Park. Traveling to Ostrander by snowshoe is not recommended.

Road Conditions

From mid-December though early April, the Glacier Point/Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area Road is plowed to the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area Pass ski area where trails begin. However, the road may close at any time due to storms or road damage. Always check road conditions before traveling to Yosemite by calling 209.372.0200 or visiting the link below. During the winter months, visitors are required to carry chains for all vehicle types. Chains may become mandatory on park roads at any time. Click the link below for information on road conditions from the National Park Service.

Road Conditions

Helpful Links

Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area

California Department of Water Resources Snow Page