Map &
Directions

Hours
mode_edit
Been here?
Rate it
chevron_left
 
chevron_right

Top Tours

 
2-Day Yosemite National Park Winter Tour from San Francisco
"Immerse yourself in the beauty and solitude of Yosemite National Park in the winter with this 2-day tour from San Francisco. Throughout your trip your guide will teach you about the history of Yosemite and give you great advice on how to get the most out of your time in the park.""""Escape to the snow-capped mountains of Yosemite National Park from San Francisco for two full days. Take a coach tour of Yosemite Valley with your guide and enjoy various activities during your free time such as hiking and snowshoeing. Soak in views o Yosemite is said to be best in the winter months!Likely to Sell Out: Rooms at the Yosemite Lodge often sell out months in advance. Reserve early to avoid disappointment"title=Highlights&1=2-day+winter+tour+of+Yosemite+National+Park+from+San+Francisco&2=Take+a+coach+tour+of+spectacular+Yosemite+Valley+and+enjoy+views+of+famous+sites+such+as+Half+Dome&3=Stay+overnight+at+the+cozy+Yosemite+Lodge+at+the+Falls&4=Choose+from+a2 days / 1 night
From $473.00
 
Yosemite In A Day Tour from San Francisco
"The tour begins with a pick-up at your hotel or in front of The Parc 55 Hotel in one of our comfortable vans. We will then drive east across the San Francisco Bay Bridge with views of San Francisco Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. We will continue on through the Central Valley (San Joaquin Valley) of California. The Central Valley is the largest food growing region in the United States. We will drive past almond walnut cherry and other fruit and nut orchards. After making a quick stop for snacks we will continue on into the Sierra Nevada foothills and California’s gold country where we will drive through the historic gold country town of Groveland California and finally into the mountains and Yosemite National Park.Once in the park
From $140.00
 
Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias Trip
"Your journey begins with a convenient pickup at your hotel. You'll cross the San Francisco Bay Bridge en route to the Sierra Nevada mountain range driving through gold rush towns as your guide carries you back to the era of the old West.In the late morning enter Yosemite National Park where you'll take a guided walk. Visit the Tuolumne Grove (weather permitting) and be amazed by the size of the redwood trees in Yosemite's largest grove. Let the serene surroundings of the forest recharge your energy. Stop a watch for rock climbers as they daringly make their way to the summit. In the springtime marvel at the tallest waterfall in the park Yosemite Falls.After you may explore Yosemite Valley on your own. For lunch
From $159.00

Weather Wise Tips (14)

When to come?

Favorite thing May and June are the best months to visit Yosemite. The weather is consistently pleasant and the waterfalls are full and photogenic due to spring meltage. However, keep in mind that Yosemite is always open and depending on your interests, another season may be a better option. The website below is great because it gives you a summary of what you can expect in every month of the year.

Timing a visit to Yosemite

acemj's Profile Photo
acemj
Jun 18, 2004

When To Go

Favorite thing Yosemite is a beautiful, breathtaking park any time of the year, but each season has it's pros and cons. When you decide when you want to go, you must decide what is more important to you: waterfalls, fewer crowds, alpine meadows, Glacier Point views of the valley, weather. To get a more indepth idea of what each season is like, I have posted four General Tips devoted to each of the four seasons of the year. But each season at a glance:
Winter
PROS:
-Least crowded (except around Christmas holiday)
-Outdoor ice skating rink and Badger pass ski area are open.
-Fresh snowfall makes the valley even more gorgeous.
-Lodging prices almost slashed in half from the high season.
CONS:
-Many hiking trails closed
-Snowstorms can close roads
-Tioga Road and Glacier Point closed.
-Waterfalls not running at full strength.

Spring
PROS:
-Waterfalls at full strength
-Warm weather
-Some trails open
CONS:
-Crowds begin to pick up
-Tioga Road and Glacier Point still closed
-Lodging rates increase

Summer
PROS:
-All trails open
-Cables up on Half Dome
-All tours operating
-Tioga Road and Glacier Point open
CONS:
-Very crowded
-Lodging rates are highest
-Waterfalls diminish to almost nothing by August
-Hot days
-Occasional afternoon thunderstorms

Autumn
PROS:
-Warm days, cool nights
-Crowds diminish significantly
-Trails still open until November
-Tioga Road and Glacier Point usually still open til November.
CONS:
-Watefalls almost non-exsistant
-Days get cooler and wetter into November and December
Tioga Road and Glacier Point eventually close

As I said, for more indepth information on each season visit my other four general tips on those seasons.

Ischyros's Profile Photo
Ischyros
Aug 13, 2003

How's the Weather up there?

Favorite thing Summers in Yosemite are usually warm and dry.
Spring/ Fall is mild and pleasant (there will be flooding)

Higher elevations receive a great deal of snow in Winter, however the Valley gets far less.

Dress in layers and plan for weather changes throughout the day.

Shihar's Profile Photo
Shihar
Jul 04, 2006

Winter in Yosemite

Favorite thing Winter in Yosemite brings rain at the lower elevations and snow at the higher ones. And while this snow tends to clear out the crowds, it provides some of the most dazzling photographs! Nothing beats a picture of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View under a fresh blanket of snow. Wake up early and walk the valley as the sun is rising. Listen to ice chunks break off from along Yosemite Falls. The rumbling echos across the entire valley. Sit on a bench and just watch as ice chunks over 100 feet tall break off the cliff wall and fall to the base of the waterfall. Watch coyotes prancing and playing in snow-covered meadows. Ice skate in an outdoor ice rink under the shadow of Half Dome. Downhill ski at Badger Pass, California's oldest ski area.
Remember to always carry chains when you drive into Yosemite in the winter. It's required by law to have them even if you don't need to use them. Sudden snowstorms are not rare and as soon as the snow starts to stick to the roads, chains or snowtires are required. Even if it's raining in the valley, the Wawona highway (highway 49) rises to 6,000 feet and it could easily be snowing there. For road and chain information, check at Yosemite Lodge and the Valley Visitor Center. Both locations post chain requirments for every road in the park.

Ischyros's Profile Photo
Ischyros
Aug 13, 2003
 
 
Sponsored Listings

Hotels Near Yosemite National Park

Hotels
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, California, 95389, United States
Show Prices
Hotels
Yosemite Valley, 9005 Southside Dr., , California, 95389, United States
Show Prices
Hotels
9010 Curry Village Drive, , California, 95389, United States
Show Prices
Hotels
P.O. Box 578, Yosemite National Park, , California, 95389, United States
Show Prices
Hotels
33160 Evergreen Rd., , Groveland, California 95321
Show Prices
Hotels
11136 Highway 140, PO Box D, El Portal, California, 95318, United States
Show Prices

Rain turned into snow

Favorite thing In winter, it could be raining in the valley. And that can be disappointing.

But what we did was that we kept driving up and up to higher elevations.

Wow... eventually sure enough the rain turned into fluffy snow.

So a wet day turned into a Christmas wonderland.

SLLiew's Profile Photo
SLLiew
Jun 18, 2007

Springtime

Favorite thing Snowmelt provides the fuel for the waterfalls. This is the time of year that they begin to churn full force. If waterfalls are your thing, this is your time to visit! The Mist Trail shows off why it's name is appropriate. Snowstorms are still possible, especially at higher elevations through May although most of the snow is usually gone from the Valley by late April. Some trails are still closed due to ice or snow, even rockfall danger, but many are open. Mariposa Grove usually opens in late March or early April barring no late season snowstorms. Crowds also begin to pick up during this season, exploding around the last weekend in May.

Ischyros's Profile Photo
Ischyros
Aug 13, 2003

Summer

Favorite thing Summer in Yosemite brings hoardes of people. Many reports and books tend to exaggerate the traffic problem saying things like "bumper to bumper traffic jams." Yes, it does get slow going at times, but you can usually keep moving. The waterfalls either slow to just a trickle or disappear altogether by late summer. Bridalviel, Vernal, and Nevada Falls are the only yea-round waterfalls in the valley. Room rates are at their peak. And daytime temperatures in Yosemite Valley can often make it into the 90s (Farenheit). The only reason I could think of that you should visit Yosemite in the summer is if it's the only time you can go because of kids being in school. Otherwise go in spring if you want waterfalls or late September into October if you want pleasant weather and still have access to the high country.

Ischyros's Profile Photo
Ischyros
Aug 16, 2003

Autumn

Favorite thing Autumn is a beautiful time in Yosemite. The crowds of summer are gone, the weather is still pleasant and warm, the winter rains and snows haven't arrived, and lodging rates are low. The only bad thing about Autumn is, until the first rains of the season come, the waterfalls are minimal if there at all. Autumn storms leave behind low hanging clouds hugging the cliff walls of the valley making for unforgettable picture oppritunities. October is a beautiful time as the weather is still warm and the high country and Glacier Point are still open.

Ischyros's Profile Photo
Ischyros
Aug 16, 2003

Top 5 Yosemite National Park Writers

chewy3326's Profile Photo

chewy3326

"The Incomparable Valley (and Park)"
View Member
goingsolo's Profile Photo

goingsolo

"Yosemite in a day"
View Member
richiecdisc's Profile Photo

richiecdisc

"On Becoming Part of the Food Chain: Yosemite"
View Member
acemj's Profile Photo

acemj

"Yosemite National Park"
View Member
atufft's Profile Photo

atufft

"Yosemite is Perhaps the Prettiest Park in the USA"
View Member
 
 

El Captain

Favorite thing
My trip to Yosemite wasn't as sunny as the first picture makes you think. I was out of luck with the weather when I arrived in Yosemite National Park. It was raining and very clouded as you can see in this picture. This magnificent rock is called 'El Captain'

sim1's Profile Photo
sim1
Mar 10, 2005

On the bridge on the Vernal Trail

Favorite thing Visiting Yosemite my second time was in the
Spring of 2002. What a difference a season makes! The Vernal Trail, which had been hot and following a trickle of a Vernal Falls was now cool and rumbling with the roar of the winter snow-melt.

jessicadf's Profile Photo
jessicadf
Jun 09, 2003

What's Yosemite like in April?

Favorite thing Temperatures in April can range between 32 (freezing) and 66 (relatively pleasant), but the weather can go from gorgeous to dangerous in a matter of an hour - very unpredictable, still, in April.

That being said, I don't want to discourage you from going because it's a beautiful time of the year, waterfalls are flowing strongly as the snow is well into melting (although High Country areas such as Glacier Point and Tuolumne will likely not open until the end of May), and it's a more quiet time than later in the summer when the majority of tourists are in the valley ("a little more civilized by then").

Just come prepared for the vagaries of early Spring in the High Sierras!

All of the hotels and lodges in the valley, as well as Wawona, are open - for high-end luxury you've got the Ahwahnee & the Wawona Hotel; for mid-price there's Yosemite Lodge at the Falls; and for less expensive take a look at Curry Village. You can get unheated tents at Curry Village for around $60, or heated tents for around $120 - both include breakfast. See: http://www.yosemitepark.com/default.aspx for more information.

Hope this helps - I love Yosemite at any time of the year, as long as I've brought along the right clothes! :-)

Fondest memory Camping in November with our two boys (13 & 8 at the time), sitting by the campfire of an evening, listening to the haunting strains of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" played by our older son on his flute; then hearing the other campers spontaneously applaud as the last note floated away.

CelticSu's Profile Photo
CelticSu
Jan 27, 2009

Take Note of High Elevations

Fondest memory The elevations/altitudes within the park can get pretty high. While the weather may be nice at the lower elevations, you may encounter changing conditions while driving up to the higher elevations. Fog and snow can appear suddenly out of nowhere. Also, be aware of the decreased oxygen at higher elevations, which some people may find sensitive to. The temperature will drop significantly as you climb higher, so definitely have jackets or coats in your car.

meteorologist1's Profile Photo
meteorologist1
Jan 03, 2015

Things to Do Near Yosemite National Park

Things to Do

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake was empty when we visited this place on 12 September 2009. Even though the lack of water was unexpected, it was quite an interesting sight and we also had the rare opportunity to stand on...
View More
Things to Do

Ahwahnee Hotel

We didn't stay at the Ahwahnee Hotel, so I can't comment on its lodging attributes, but we did have a few rounds at the bar after a long day of hiking, and we spent about 30-40 minutes walking around...
View More
Things to Do

Half Dome

The half dome is one of the most popular hikes in Yosemite. At over 400 feet incline, it is a difficult hike. The trail runs 12 miles; 6 miles each way. It is a seven hour hike in all. Since I was...
View More
Things to Do

Valley

This is a must do, even if there is traffic. The views are amazing and there are plenty of parking along side the road if there is a view you would like to see a little longer.Coming into the valley,...
View More
Things to Do

Glacier Point

Okay, they say a photo is worth a thousand words, so I have, by way of the photos here ALREADY written 5,000 words ^O^. But if you have the time, take the road up to Glacier Point, it is one of those...
View More
Things to Do

Falls

We went to Yosemite in July, it was perfect, the weather is not too hot then. We went on a hike, an easy one, passing by the Yosemite Falls, it's really beautiful. It's at 2,425 ft. There are several...
View More

Getting to Yosemite National Park

Address

We don't yet have an address for this General. Help us improve our info!

Hours

We don't yet have hours for this General. Help us improve our info!

Map