I just moved to the Central Valley and have no idea of good local winter hikes and climbs. Anyone have recommendations out of the Sonora Pass area or winter snowshoeing/climbing in Yosemite? It looks like Sonora pass is closed so can you even get up past the city very far?
Check out hikes and climbs from the Sno-Parks at Lake Alpine and Carson Pass . Sonora Pass is a popular Spring skiing destination from Hwy. 395 because the locked gates are moved up as Caltrans plows Hwy.180 and the Pickle Meadows military troops often break trails up to and above Leavitt Lake.
Some good options above. I'll throw in a few more -
Pinecrest, off 108 -- there are some x/c ski trails near Dodge Ridge ski resort which are also decent snowshoe routes. These are forest roads in the summer, but in the winter they are snow-covered and marked. The Summit ranger station in Pinecrest (Stanislaus National Forest) should be able to give you a map.
Fresno area -- sno-parks off 168, east of Shaver Lake.
Lodgepole & Wolverton, Sequoia National Park -- check out the mountain pages for Alta Peak and Mt. Silliman. The Tokopah Valley can be a nice short diversion too.
Rock climbing :
Fresno area -- Tollhouse Rock / Squarenail. Check out Tom Slater's California Road Trip book (and the Seki guide, if you can find / borrow one). Best in the cooler months because of the low elevation.
Pinnacles National Monument -- might be a bit of a haul for you, but possibly worth a look. The rock is an acquired taste. Scorching in the summer.
Henry Coe State Park -- steep canyons and ridges, lots of elevation gain possible. Huge park. Again, could be a bit of haul for you. Gets really hot towards late spring.
Pinnacles National Monument -- some nice loops possible in the high peaks area.
You might also check out the Carrizo Plain. Kind of a neat place to visit.