When to Go to Yosemite
Yosemite National Park by season
Yosemite National Park experiences changeable weather, so it’s best to come prepared for rain or shine, whichever time of year you go. The park is open all year, so when to visit depends on whether you’re looking for summer hikes or winter sports. To help you choose the best time to travel to Yosemite National Park, we’ve split the year into its four seasons:
March to May
Spring is a lovely time to visit Yosemite. The sun is shining, days are warming up after the winter, the flowers are blooming and the landscape turns green. Days are mostly dry, with average temperatures anywhere from -1°C to 27°C, depending on how far into spring you travel. There might still be some snow towards the beginning of the season, so come prepared.
June to August
Yosemite’s summers are hot and dry, with temperatures often surpassing 30°C. Thunderstorms can occur on the more humid days, but overall this is a great time to get outside and hike or bike the trails, try some canoeing or kayaking, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. Yosemite is very popular in summer, so come early or late to avoid the crowds and traffic.
September to November
Autumn is another lovely time to visit, as it is not quite as hot as summer, but still experiences warm, sunny days and bright skies. There’s little water in the waterfalls after the summer heat, and as November approaches, some areas of the park may close, but the maple trees turn golden and the crowds disperse, making this a good time to explore by car or on foot.
December to February
Winter sees the snows arrive and temperatures plummet to around -2°C. Yosemite Valley remains open, but many areas close in winter. One place that does open is the Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area, where you can try downhill and cross country skiing, as well as snowshoeing. If you’re driving, bring snow chains and be prepared to use them.