Best time to visit Yosemite

11 days
  • Oct
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Best time of year to visit Yosemite

Comfortable weather and generally accessible trails make May and September the best time to visit Yosemite. Springtime (April–May) will show you the incredible beauty of moonbows, frazil ice phenomenon, and roaring waterfalls. The period from mid-June through August sees the largest influx of tourists, thence skyrocketing hotel rates. If you opt for visiting Yosemite in summer, take a scenic road trip or cycle to more remote areas, as it's the only time when most of the roads and trails are accessible. Early autumn is perfect for hiking, but you might want to avoid crowded Labour Day Weekend. From October on, the temps start dropping, and some facilities and roads close down for the low season. If you are looking for a bargain, choose winter. During this time you can enjoy skiing, witness Firefall, and observe bighorn sheep of Sierra Nevada.



June–August • nature

Experience the magnificence of the night sky over Yosemite

Giant Sequoias of Yosemite National Park

May–October • nature

Feel the scale of the largest living trees on the planet


all year round • nature

Yosemite Glaciers, symbols of the changing world, may disappear completely within just a few decades


April–June • nature

Waterfall droplets and the full moon create gorgeous lunar rainbow displays

Yosemite Falls

May–June • nature

The tallest waterfall in the park, Yosemite Falls is one of its iconic landmarks

Roaring Spring Waterfalls

May–June • nature

Visit iconic falls when they show their full power, fed by melting snow and ice

Glacier Point Overlook

late May–October • nature

Check out the grandest view in all the West

Cycling in Yosemite Valley

March–November • activity

The absolutely best way to get around Yosemite Valley is by bike

Mist Trail

late May–mid-October • nature

One of the most spectacular, adventurous, and popular hiking trails in Yosemite draws crowds of visitors every day during the high season

Rock Climbing

April–October • activity

The unique granite rock formations of Yosemite are wonderland for adventurous souls to climb


March–August • nature

Yosemite is a paradise for wildflower enthusiasts

Rafting Along the Merced River

late May–July • activity

The stunning landscape of Yosemite makes the perfect setting for the joys of river rafting

Milkweed and Monarch Butterflies

May–September • nature

This eye-catching pale pink flower is important to the survival of Monarch butterflies

Scenic Road Trips

all year round • activity

Driving along a large number of picturesque roads with stops near the highlights and most unique spots can be a perfect vacation plan

Snow Plant

April–July • nature

Is this a flower, a mushroom, or maybe a guest from another planet?

Kayaking and Canoeing the Merced River

May–September • activity

Paddling in Yosemite can be easily characterized with just one word—spectacular!


March–October • nature

Let nature refresh your soul with the delighful birdsongs of Yosemite

Hetch Hetchy Valley

March–November • nature

One of the least visited parts of the Yosemite Valley has a range of scenic hiking trails and an enormous dam

Dogwoods in Bloom

April–June • nature

When in blossom, Yosemite's Mountain Dogwood trees seem to be covered with large snow flakes, adding an amazing bright splash of white to the forests


Horsetail Fall or Firefall

mid-February • nature

For just a few days each year, this waterfall is illuminated by the sun and becomes one of Yosemite’s most amazing spectacles

Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep

December–February • nature

A true symbol of wilderness, these endangered animals once disappeared from the park completely, but have been recently reintroduced

The Frazil Ice Phenomenon in Yosemite Falls

April • nature

Watch the ice lava flowing down the park streams


mid-December–March • activity

In winter, Yosemite is a wonderland. One of the easiest ways to explore its wilderness is to step into a pair of snowshoes

Cross-Country Skiing

mid-December–mid-March • activity

One of the best ways to experience Yosemite’s winter beauty and enjoy miles of outstanding views