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Yumiharidaira Snowshoe Trekking

Experience the slopes of Mount Gassan in snowshoes

If you like the Dewa Sanzan area during warm weather, then consider a trip there during winter too. Haguro-san can be accessed in winter when you can walk to the famous 5-storey pagoda just off the path that leads to the top of Haguro Mountain. A Haguro-san walk in wara straw booths was a great highlight on my winter trip there!

On Mount Gassan you put on some different kind of shoes, namely snowshoes! In the foothills of Mount Gassan snowshoe trekking with an experienced guide is available from January to May. You follow your guide through the winter landscape of Gassan and depending on how much it is snowing while you are walking, your experience is more or less intensive. In any case, it is a great exercise that makes you feel ready for onsen soon!

The nearest hot spring is Yanagawa Hot Spring but in winter it might be difficult to get there. You definitely need to put chains on your winter tires and feel confident driving in snow. It is easier to get back on the highway and drive to an onsen town like Kaminoyama where Koyo Ryokan is an excellent onsen accommodation option.

Yumiharidaira is a plateau in the Nishikawa area at the foot of Gassan mountain where you can find an auto camp and some cabins that are popular during the warm seasons. There is a sports park that offers a range of recreational opportunities, including tennis, baseball and putter golf. There is also a Botanical Garden and a Nature Experience Zone.

Mount Gassan is a curious place because there is snow on the top of the mountain even in mid summer! Locals say that it is possible to experience different seasons at the same time on Gassan. How about enjoying winter higher up the slopes and springtime cherry blossoms in the valley, all in one day?

Getting there

There is no public transport but you need to drive. Take the highway (E48) that connects Tsuruoka City with Yamagata City and leave at Gassan IC. Follow the signs to Yumiharidaira Park.

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