Best time to travel to Yosemite

Yosemite Fall Colors

Autumn is the most colorful time of the year in Yosemite

Yosemite Fall Colors
Yosemite Fall Colors
Yosemite Fall Colors
Sunset at Conway Summit

Fall is a quieter, less crowded, and a beautiful time at Yosemite National Park. Even though Yosemite is famous for its giant sequoias and other evergreens, many trees do change, adding beautiful splashes of color. Bigleaf maples and California black oaks pop up with yellow and bronze. Quaking aspens are especially showy when they turn bright yellow. Pacific dogwoods, poison oaks, and sugar maples add some red and scarlet notes.

Yosemite fall colors best time

The best time to take a scenic drive or stroll through the park is mid-to-late October. The fall spectacle usually starts in early October and lasts through November until the first winter snowstorms. Pay attention to road closures that are usually announced on the park's website in case of bad weather. Tioga Road is usually closed from late October to May.

Where to see fall colors in Yosemite

Fall foliage scenic drives in Yosemite National Park include the Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road that is famous for its yellow aspens. Stop by the Tuolumne Grove Trailhead or the Yosemite Creek Picnic Area for some fall-time photography. The Yosemite Chapel area (can be reached by Southside Drive) is also popular with photographers due to lots of red color from the maples.

Leaf peepers will be rewarded on a trail that goes from the Badger Pass ski area to Bridalveil Creek Campground. The southern part of Yosemite Valley is colored in yellow, red, orange, and bronze thanks to a great variety of trees. The small village of Wawona looks very picturesque covered in yellow, orange, and brown tones from oaks and cottonwood. It's a great place to spend the night, enjoy dinner, and ride in an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage.

Yosemite fall colors map

Do you already know you'll be in Yosemite this fall? Book a hotel nearby to ensure a comfortable getaway. Leaf-peeping is way more pleasant when you know there's a warm room for a good rest at the end of your adventure.

Practical info

When is the ideal time to witness autumnal leaves in Yosemite?

The perfect time to witness fall foliage in Yosemite is between mid-to-late October and November before the snowstorms begin. To avoid any inconvenience due to weather, visitors should check the road closures announced on the park's website. Tioga Road may be shut from late October until May. Show more

What are the recommended hotspots to watch fall colors in Yosemite?

To take delight in fall foliage scenic drives in Yosemite, wander along Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road, as aspens are well-known for their yellow color. Maple trees add plenty of red to the Yosemite Chapel area and Tuolumne Grove Trailhead. Hikers are encouraged to follow the trail from Badger Pass ski area to Bridalveil Creek Campground. Wawona village is painted yellow, orange and brown thanks to the oaks and cottonwood. Show more

How can visitors stay up to date on road openings during the fall season in Yosemite?

If visitors keep an eye on the road closures listed on the park's website, they can be updated on the road openings during bad weather. Additionally, Tioga Road is shut from late October to May. Guests can call the road conditions hotline at 209-372-0200 (press 1 then 1) for updated information. Show more

Which trees are responsible for fall colors in Yosemite?

Bigleaf maples and California black oaks contribute yellow and bronze hues to Yosemite's fall color palette. The quaking aspens are especially flashy when they turn bright yellow. The fall foliage spectrum is garnished with a touch of red and scarlet from the Pacific dogwoods, poison oaks, and sugar maples. The southern part of the valley boasts a diversity of trees that paint the landscape yellow, red, orange, and bronze. Show more

Can guests find comfortable accommodation for a fall foliage trip near Yosemite?

Yosemite offers several lodging options to their guests to ensure a comfortable trip. Visitors can find hotels near the national park to stop and unwind. Lodging close to the park ensures easy access to fall foliage with fewer crowds. Wawona is an excellent place to spend the night, savor supper, and relish old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage rides. Show more

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen