I found out that I could get a heated tent in Curry Village (now Half Dome Village) Yosemite around New Years for not to much money so I decided to head up and take some photos.
I drove from LA and I parked at the Fresno Airport and took the shuttle into Yosemite so I would not have to deal with tire chains and idiot drivers. It was much more relaxing that driving myself and for 30 bucks I saved about 150 bucks on gas and chains. Win Win…
After a nap and an uneventful ride in I checked in and got the key to my tent.
Heated tent is a bit misleading. Yes it heated but every time a breeze blows cold air comes in the seams and the window at the door that only covered by a piece of canvas. That may not sound bad but when its 15 degrees it can get chilly. I was never freezing in the tent but was also never totally warm. Pajama pants and a sweatshirt kept me comfortable.
With the temp that low I found another problem. My camelbak hose froze solid my first morning out. I had to tuck it into my jacket to thaw and then anytime I needed water I drank then lifted the hose up and pinched the bite valve and let the hose drain back into the insulated bladder holder.
Even then the drops of water would freeze and I would end up with a pile of small ice cubes in the hose as they fell off and tumbled down to the valve and got caught. So the first sip was ice water.
The trails were almost empty, I walked behind a decent size buck for about 3/4 of a mile and he didn’t seem to care I was there.
The few people I saw were laid back and no one was loud. I spent a few hours each day on trails that are normally teeming with people and never saw anyone else.
Although not everything is open most is. I could get dinner at the pizza deck in Curry VIllage and lunch at Degnans Deli in between hikes. Also some of the normal stores are open so you can get a bunch of snacks and other food.
All in all if you have the cold weather gear its an amazing experience. I will be trying to do it again this year.