Travel Rankings & Advice

Best Times to Visit Yosemite

The best time to visit Yosemite is between March and May, when spring is in full bloom. With dogwoods blossoming, leaves greening and animals coming out of hibernation, springtime in the park is a great time to experience its beauty. Also, the melted snow boosts the waterfalls – they're the most picturesque this time of year. At this time you'll also avoid the rush of families that arrive in summer. If you don't mind chilly temperatures, you should travel between December and March, when the park is mostly empty.

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June-August The magic of Yosemite can be slightly disrupted by the crowded summer campgrounds. Daytime temps reach into the high 70s with evening chills dropping into the 50s. Depending on the area, the sun can be quite intense – be sure to bring powerful sunscreen.

The diminished crowds in the fall allow you to enjoy the scenery in peaceful quiet. Note: most of the trees are evergreens and will not be changing colors. Also in fall, Yosemite sees temperatures that range anywhere from the 30s to the mid-70s.

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Winter sports enthusiasts love the snow-blanketed park, especially around Badger Pass Ski Area – California's oldest ski spot. Although temperatures in Yosemite Valley stay between the upper 20s and mid-40s, some areas of the park can be even colder. Pack appropriately.

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With the thunder of the waterfalls in the background to drown out the few voices around you, you'll have some time to appreciate the wilderness in a brisk, but comfortable climate – average highs range in the 60s and 70s. Keep in mind that snow can linger into March (which means some roads may still be closed). Check the National Park Service website for any closures that may affect your trip.

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