SNOW CREEK CABIN: A Complete Video of the Hike, the Cabin, and Mt. Watkins

The Snow Creek Cabin has been a treasure for the likes of Ansel Adams and many a winter adventurer. The cabin welcomes all with plenty of wood for the furnace and warm memories dating back to 1929. All are welcome during the winter months and you do not need a permit, a reservation, or a key.  The video below offers a clear idea of what the hike and the cabin are like and how to prepare for the trip. I also provide planning recommendations, helpful links, and a gear list below. I respond to all posts in the comment section.

YOSEMITE'S SECRET - The Snow Creek Cabin from Ryan Commons on Vimeo.


  1. Hey just wanted to say thanks from Florida. I spent 30 years in San Francisco and have been to many of the same places. Beautiful, I love your work truly inspiring.

  2. Thanks for the nice comment. I'll keep making more videos and I hope you make it back out here again.

  3. this inspires me more and more to just get out there and stop hesitating due to work and school

  4. Seth, that is great to hear. Let me know if I can ever help you with trip planning or recommendations in any area. I've found that setting a goal like: 7, 14, or 30 nights in the outdoors each year helps make it happen. I know how it goes and it is easy to let busy get in the way. Contact me anytime in the comments section or at and I'll get back to you. Best, Ryan Commons

  5. Great video. Is the Snow Creek Cabin open to anyone and do you need permits to visit it. I'd like to do a backcounty snowboard trip this year. Any information would be helpful.

    Thanks, Mike

    1. Then take a look at this

  6. Ryan,
    Too many places in Yosemite wilderness (and elsewhere) are receiving excessive damage because of guide books and and blogs that give step by step directions into wild areas. The park service maintains 800 miles of trail to protect 1,100 square miles of wilderness. The whole idea is to provide a place where people can walk without impacting what they are out there to see. Don't get me wrong. It's perfectly legal to travel through trailless areas. I do it all the time. And we live in a country where speech is protected. The problem is most people don't hike off trail without the confidence derived from directions written by "authorities."
    So consider what wilderness means to you personally. If you love it, think about a way to report on these very special places without describing routes. Be a champion, a steadfast steward of wilderness. Turn people on to the spirit, the mystery, and wonder of the places you love!

  7. Ryan: The National Park Service is currently considering closing the Snow Creek Cabin on account of overuse and concomitant vandalism. If you would like to be able to continue to use the cabin and to allow others to use it as well, I advise that you take the directions and videos down. Thanks!