The Glacier Point Road, which takes people to the famed point in summer, becomes a 10 1/2 -mile ski or snowshoe trek -- a 21-mile round trip. And it is awesome. On skis, the trip takes four to five hours one way, with pauses to catch your breath.
Getting to Glacier Point on skis is only part of the story. There also is a place to bunk for a night or two. A fairly new and impressive stone and wood building that serves as a tourist center in the summer becomes an overnight lodge in the winter. It can accommodate up to 20 people in bunk beds, and a roaring stone fireplace keeps everyone cozy. The package prices include a hearty dinner and breakfast. If you are an experienced cross-country skier, you can make the trip on your own. Guided one- and two-night tours also are available.
When you ski around a curve in the road and break out from the trees, Half Dome erupts in all its majesty before you, a genuine "oh, my gosh" moment.
"I think most people are always surprised by what they see," said guide Rick Stockwell. "There is no amount of pictures that can prepare you for actually seeing it yourself. I can go out each time and never get tired of the view."