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Fresno Winter Hiking

Living in Fresno you are blessed with living in the center of beautiful California and being a short drive from almost anywhere you want to hike.

Hike at low elevations to avoid snow
Hike at low elevations to avoid snow
Lucinda Roth
Get out and hike despite weather
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The winter is one of the best times, especially in central California, to go hiking. Yosemite and Sequoia are much much much less crowded. There is less risk of heat stroke which is tougher to protect yourself from in many cases than cold.

Additionally common trails you see in the spring can be frost covered and look almost magical in the winter.

If you want to avoid snow then check out the Cascade Sierra Nevada crest around the Klamath Mountains. The upper end trails do get snowy, but if you stick to the lower trails the worst you will likely see if frost. These are only a few hours from Fresno.

During the winter the National Park systems of Sequoia-Kings Canyon and Yosemite are usually well maintained. You can after go on snow free paths in these parks due to the ranger's diligent plowing. You also get to see amazing conifers without the huge crowds. If you enjoy jogging this is the best time because to do so in Yosemite because many days, especially weekdays, in the winter you can find yourself on trail with no people without ear or eye shot.

Hiking in these amazing parks that are only 1-3 hours from Fresno requires minimal gear. In the winter bring a poncho, even if there is no weather forecast suggesting impending rain. In the redwoods rain can come at unexpected times. Additionally you can easily slip and fall on wet sword ferns and salal. The poncho will help keep your clothes dry. Additionally if you are planning on an especially long hike you might consider wearing rain pants for added protection. If you plan to go into the higher elevations you may also choose to bring a couple of trekking poles. These can help you traverse muddy areas which are quite common.

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