Snowshoe Adventuring in the Sierra

A Tenaya Lodge package sends guests out for a chilly, thrilly walk.

Tenaya Lodge

IT'S A PLAN... often dreamed about and discussed over drinks, sometimes for years and years. A pair of friends'll plop down and ponder walking the Appalachian Trail or Australia's Great Ocean Road. Maybe they'll take a few months off to do, so, in their fantasies. And then another round is ordered and the subject is changed. Our recommendation? One has to work up to the big dreams, because big dreams have a way of disappearing if they aren't approached in a can-do way. Taking on smaller hikes, in terrain that is still interesting, wild, and gorgeous, is key, and we, as Californians, happen to have a hike-packed place in our own proverbial backyard: The Sierra. Better yet, you can snowshoe in the famous mountain range come winter, adding a new, tougher, more terrific dimension to your hiking outing. Nope, you probably can't snowshoe all of the Sierra -- you might need to take off the next half century to even approach that goal -- but you can trod through smaller bites. Tenaya Lodge, which sits just outside the gates to Yosemite National Park, has a snowshoe package on for winter, and that seems to us an excellent starter point, a way to work up to bigger dreams and resolutions.

PACKAGE DETAILS: It's a midweek deal, which is nice, meaning things'll be a bit more chill -- pun intended, we suppose, given that it is winter? -- and you'll have a lot of the landscape to yourself, or yourself-ish, at least. Cost starts at $205 a night, and you'll nab a room and snowshoe rental for two, for a half day. Plus? Breakfast. Yep, you have to power up, protein-style, before even saying the word "snowshoe." And, no, we can't promise you'll work your way up to the Big Trails, capital B, capital T, of the world, but you have to start somewhere. Starting small, snowy, and wild seems like a fine and daydream-worthy plan to us.

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