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Half Dome Fall
Blog Top 5 Yosemite Fall Favorites
07/01/2022Biking, Hiking, Nature, Photography, Rock Climbing, Seasons, Social Distancing, Stay with Us, Wildlife |   

Top 5 Yosemite Fall Favorites

1.            Hiking or biking around Yosemite Valley. 

Autumn days are warm but short, in Yosemite Valley, and evenings often call for sweater weather. Conditions are perfect for waking up early, coffee-to-go, and adventure.  Spend the entire day exploring the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail. The afternoon light and bright yellow leaves from the Black Oak and Big Leaf Maple trees fill the valley with a golden hue. Stop to admire the explosive fall colors of the non-native, Sugar Maple tree near the Yosemite Chapel.

2.            Explore more of Yosemite National Park. 

Yosemite is 1,200 square miles of land, but look up, there is plenty of vertical space to explore, too. The cooler weather is ideal for the climbing season. Watch climbers take on El Capitan from the safety of a picnic blanket – or take on a personal big rock challenge on a guided climbing, hiking, or backpacking trip from Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides.

Climber on El Capitan
Climber on El Capitan

3.            Visit the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia

Take special notice of the dogwood leaves as their leaves turn a striking crimson red against the sage green leaves of the Giant Sequoia Grove. The late afternoon glow enchants at this magical fall hideout. Back to school means fewer travelers which means you will mostly have the Mariposa Grove to yourself this autumn. You can get to the grove from the Welcome Plaza via the free shuttle or by taking a nice hike along the Washburn Trail.

Hiking the boardwalk in the lower grove


4.            Hurry, winter is coming to Tuolumne Meadows. 

Make sure to get there NOW before snow flurries close this region for the winter. Watch for increased signs of wildlife, as bears busily prepare for winter hibernation. Then go further, Tioga Pass is a portal to the jaw-dropping views of mountains, lakes, and the Quaking Aspen trees of the eastern Sierra. Bring your camera, it's spectacular! Get prepped for the journey with trekking poles, maps, camp stoves, and more at Alpenglow Gear Company in Oakhurst.

Tuolumne Meadows
Tuolumne Meadows

5.            Get to Glacier Point, right now

The birds-eye views at this iconic Yosemite highlight are breathtaking. From any of the many viewing areas (which are a staggering 3000 feet above the valley below) the traveler takes in scenes that include landmarks like; Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Yosemite, Nevada, Vernal, Illilouette Falls, and Mount Starr King. Check conditions, and hurry, this fall is the last could be the chance to access Glacier Point Road by vehicle for a while. Winter snow can close the road late in the year and a major road restoration project has it closed all of 2022. Note - you can still get to Glacier Point, but be prepared for quite a hike to do so. 4 Mile Trail is likely the main option. this entails 4.8 miles up with almost 300o feet of elevation gain, and then a return trip to the valley of another 4.8 miles.

Looking for the best jumping-off point? Stay just outside the park! Bass Lake has gorgeous fall color, lodging, and that special getaway-from-it-all feeling.

Fall at Glacier Point
Friends at Glacier Point

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Like what you see? Save any of these pins (or possibly all of them) to your travel planning board(s) to give you an easy way to find your way back here!  Also check out our other blog posts/travel stories as well as itineraries for more ideas and pins!

Our annual Visit Yosemite | Madera County Visitors Guide can answer all your questions about visiting California's Gateway to Yosemite. From the park itself to the museums, wineries, art galleries and more throughout Madera County, our guide can help you plan the perfect vacation. Please note that we mail to the USA only, but anyone can download the guide.
Visit Yosemite - Madera County
Oakhurst Visitor Center, 40343 Highway 41, Oakhurst, CA 93644
(559) 683-4636
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