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Half Dome sporting a snowy cap, ice-skating at Curry Village—these are just some of the pleasures of a winter visit to Yosemite National Park. One more: relative solitude. The park gets only one-fifth as many visitors in January as in July. Dan Koeppel shares the best ways to experience the park in all its winter glory.

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1. Badger Pass ski area

This venerable resort offers snowshoeing (half-day rental $21) and cross-country and downhill skiing. Lift ticket $49.

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2. Curry Village Ice Rink

Not the biggest ice rink in the world, but with its views of Half Dome, possibly the most beautiful. Open daily in winter. $10, skate rental $4.

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3. Snowshoe walks

Offered by the national park and Badger Pass Nordic Center, guided trips range from easy ambles to more ambitious treks to Dewey Point for views of Yosemite Valley. From $19.

The Ahwahnee in winter (Michael Marfell / Getty Images)

Plus: Where to stay

The Ahwahnee. Grande dame of park hotels. From $349.

Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. Motel-like but comfortable. From $129.

For more activity and lodging info, visit yosemitepark.com.

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