When is The Best Time To Visit Yosemite National Park?

If you’re thinking of visiting Yosemite National Park, then the best time to visit is one of the first things to think about when planning your trip. When you have questions such as which is the best month to visit Yosemite National Park or does the Yosemite weather year round make the park accessible, then this guide is for you. 

We begin with a brief overview of the best time of the year to visit Yosemite National Park, before moving onto a month-by-month breakdown of what the park has to offer during each season. In closing, we also take a look at when to visit Yosemite National Park according to what you want to see and do there. 

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Best Time To Visit Yosemite National Park

The Best Time To Visit Yosemite National Park In a Nutshell

So you’re hoping to take a trip to Yosemite National Park but aren’t sure when to visit for the best experience. Overall, the best times to visit Yosemite are outside of July and August, which is the peak tourist season. 

The best season to visit Yosemite National Park is either spring or fall. Waterfalls are at their finest in April and May. October and November mean autumn in Yosemite National Park and the fall colors.

Yosemite peak season is during the months of July and August, so these aren’t the best months to visit Yosemite National Park when you’re in search of peace and quiet. By contrast, Yosemite during winter is very tranquil and can be perfect if you don’t mind the cold and the snow. This is also a cheap time to travel.

Yosemite National Park in Spring (April – May)

So what can you expect at Yosemite Park in the season of spring? If you want to see Yosemite in spring, then April or May are the months to visit this national park. Spring in Yosemite brings some wet days and some warmer temperatures, and is the best time to see the park’s waterfalls. 

Visiting Yosemite in April

So, what’s the Yosemite in April weather like, and what else can you expect when visiting during early spring? The Yosemite National Park weather in April is still a little wetter than average, with around six rainy days on average across the month. 

The temperature in Yosemite National Park in April ranges between highs of about 64°F (18°C) and lows of around 37°F (3°C). So during the average April in Yosemite, you can expect even overnight temperatures to be milder than at any time since October. 

Is April a good time to visit Yosemite National Park? Sometimes there may be some rain or even – rarely – snow at Yosemite in early April, but in general, things are warming up and the waterfalls are in full flow, following the rainfall and the melting of any winter snow. 

When Easter falls in April, you can expect crowds around that time. 


  • Mild temperatures
  • Drier than during winter
  • Waterfalls may be in full flow


  • Around 6 rainy days in April
  • Snow is still possible, though not that likely

Visiting Yosemite in May

Visit Yosemite in May and you’ll benefit from the fact that the rain has mostly dried up and temperatures are climbing. The Yosemite temperature in May means that you can expect lows of around 43°F (6°C), with highs of about 73°F (23°C). 

In terms of rainfall, the Yosemite weather in May sees around three wet days during the month. By this time you’ve reached the drier half of the year, so wet weather is less likely to impact on your visit. This is one of the best times to visit the park, with fewer crowds than in summer.

With cooler temperatures overnight and warm but not yet hot weather, the hiking conditions at  Yosemite National Park in May are pretty much perfect. There may still be some mud on the trails, although the warm Yosemite National Park weather in May onwards should mean the ground soon starts drying out. Occasionally, though, some trails may still be shut at times during May.


  • Drier half of the year
  • Hiking conditions are ideal
  • The weather is warm but not too hot


  • The trails may still be muddy – or even closed
  • It can still get cold overnight 

Yosemite National Park in Summer (June – September)

The Yosemite summer brings hot, dry weather, particularly in July and August. Summer in Yosemite is a busy time, with crowds peaking during the school and college holidays. Of the summer period, the Yosemite weather in June and September is milder than during the hottest two months. 

Visiting Yosemite in June

If you want to avoid the crowds, head to Yosemite in early June before the college students and school kids descend later in the summer. By the end of the month, the weather in Yosemite in June has heated up, and the park will also be much busier.

The Yosemite National Park weather in June brings low temperatures of about 50°F (10°C) and highs of around 82°F (28°C). This means it can get hot, but isn’t usually unpleasantly so. Hiking is generally comfortable, especially during the first part of the month. 

The weather at Yosemite National Park in June is dry, with only a day of rain being average. As the weather has now been warmer for a while, the trails tend to be drier than in spring too. 


  • Warm but not yet too hot
  • Only 1 day of rain on average
  • It’s quieter during the first part of the month


  • By late June it can get very busy
  • Some days can be a little hot for hiking

Visiting Yosemite in July 

As you might expect Yosemite around the 4th of July can be very crowded indeed. So what about the rest of the month, and how hot is the Yosemite National Park weather in July?

If you’re visiting Yosemite National Park in July, you can expect temperatures to range from 55°F (13°C) to 90°F (32°C). So it can get very hot in this part of California during July. If you want to hike, it might be best to set off during the early morning or later afternoon, rather than being out there when the sun is at its hottest. 

Should you wish to visit Yosemite National Park in July, then booking travel and accommodations in advance is essential. This is peak season, with dry, sunny weather and lots of families and college students visiting. 

In July, just one day of rainfall during the month is average. 


  • Lots of sunshine
  • Only one day of rain on average


  • It can get too hot for hiking
  • The park can be very crowded
  • You’ll need to book accommodations well in advance

Visiting Yosemite in August

If you are keen to head there during the peak summer season, then you’re going to want to know how the Yosemite National Park weather in August might affect your visit. 

On average, the Yosemite temperature in August is comparable to July. You can expect highs of about 90°F (32°C), with lows of around 55°F (13°C). So the Yosemite weather in August means it’s pretty hot out there, especially during the late morning and early afternoon. Hikers are thus advised to set out as early as possible to avoid the midday heat – and associated conditions such as dehydration, sunstroke and sunburn. 

Yosemite in August can get very busy indeed, before schools and colleges start up again for the new academic year. So again you’ll need to plan ahead when it comes to accommodation and travel when heading to Yosemite National Park in August.

The weather in Yosemite in August is at its driest, with no days of rain expected at all during the average August.


  • Sunny weather
  • Little to no rain throughout the month


  • A very busy month for the park
  • Midday temperatures can be uncomfortable
  • Accommodations will need to be reserved well ahead of time

Visiting Yosemite in September

The Yosemite weather in September is a little cooler than during the two previous months. With the colleges and schools having started their new semesters, too, is September a good time to visit Yosemite?

Yosemite in September is certainly quieter than it is in July and August. As for the Yosemite National Park weather in September, you can expect average lows of 50°F (10°C), with highs hovering around 84°F (29°C). As you can see, the weather in Yosemite in September is very similar to that in June.

Yosemite National Park in September tends to be a lot more peaceful than during the preceding two months. With good weather and two days of rainfall, this is a great time to see the local wildlife, before some of the resident creatures enter winter hibernation. 

Hiking conditions are also more comfortable than in July or August, though it can still get hot during the middle of the day. If you want to go to Yosemite and the best time to visit for you is in summer, then September can be a good choice. 


  • Milder weather than July and August
  • Good time to see animals
  • Fewer crowds


  • Not ideal for families or college students
  • The weather is starting to get wetter 

Yosemite National Park in Fall (October – November)

If you want to avoid the summer peak and cannot visit in September, then heading to Yosemite in fall might be an option. Fall in Yosemite occurs during October and November, and of course for Yosemite fall colors this is the best time to go.

Visiting Yosemite in October

The weather in Yosemite in October brings temperatures that begin to drop fairly sharply in comparison to summer highs. Visit Yosemite National Park in October rather than September, and you’re likely to know that it’s fall rather than late summer. 

During October in Yosemite, the average Yosemite temperature in October ranges from lows of about 41°F (5°C) to highs of around 72°F (22°C). The Yosemite National Park October weather is very slightly wetter than in previous months, with three rainy days expected during the first month of fall. 

One advantage of visiting at this time is that you can see the fall colors in all their glory. The Yosemite National Park weather in October is normally good for hikers, as it’s cooler than in summer but not yet too hot or wet. 

Depending on when the Yosemite National Park temperature in October really begins to drop, you might get lucky with wildlife sightings at this time of year too.  


  • Cooler than in summer
  • Good hiking conditions 
  • A peaceful time of year to visit


  • Temperatures do drop at Yosemite in late October 
  • Some creatures may enter winter hibernation
  • There may be several days of wet weather

Visiting Yosemite in November

If you’re wondering what the Yosemite National Park weather in November is like, then you should know that this is the first month after summer when temperatures can hit freezing. At Yosemite National Park in November, the weather also gets wetter, with about five days of rain expected during the month. 

You can of course expect Yosemite National Park in late November to be colder and wetter, on average, than Yosemite in early November. So, if you want to hit the trails, earlier in the second month of fall is best. Around Thanksgiving can be busy, so do keep that in mind. 

The Yosemite National Park temperature in November varies between highs of around 57°F (14°C) and lows of about 32°F (0°C). So, you’ll need extra layers, and to be prepared for cold overnight temperatures too. 

Is November a good time to visit Yosemite National Park? The Yosemite weather in November generally involves crisp mornings, bright afternoons and cool evenings. You may even experience some snow during the month. So do be prepared for extreme Yosemite in November weather if you’ll be driving.


  • Not as cold as in winter
  • Crisp mornings and bright afternoons


  • Chilly evenings
  • Some chance of snow
  • Five days of rain on average

Yosemite National Park in Winter (December – March)

If you’re planning on visiting Yosemite in winter, then it’s best to be prepared for rain or snow. Winter here runs from December to March, and is the coldest Yosemite season of all. This is a great time to travel on a budget, though, as lower demand sees prices dropping.

Visiting Yosemite in December

Yosemite National Park in December sees the coldest temperatures of the year, very closely followed by January. The temperatures at Yosemite during December range between 27°F (-3°C) and 48°F (°C). 

So, is the Yosemite National Park December weather usually snowy? At Yosemite Park in December, low temperatures mean that you may get some snow – or the precipitation may fall as rain. It all depends on how cold it gets, as well as other weather conditions. 

Along with January and February, the Yosemite National Park weather in December is about as wet as it gets. You can expect one week – or seven days – of rainfall per month. Be prepared for snowy roads and trails.

The plus side of visiting Yosemite in December is the peace and solitude. The snow-clad landscapes can also be incredibly beautiful. It can still sometimes get busy during the Christmas period, though. 


  • The snowy landscapes are very photogenic
  • It’s very peaceful in the park


  • Snow can cause issues on roads and trails
  • This is the coldest month of the year
  • Expect seven days of rain

Visiting Yosemite in January

The Yosemite National Park weather in January is very similar to that in December, on average. Once Christmas and New Year are over, though, Yosemite National Park in January can be even more peaceful than the preceding month. 

January temperatures involve highs of about 48°F (9°C) and lows of around 28°F (-2°C). So do come prepared for cold weather, in terms of clothing, footwear and driving. You’re likely to need snow tires and chains at Yosemite in January.

If you don’t mind the cold, this can be a beautiful time to explore the park. Pack some warm and waterproof clothing and hiking boots, and of course, don’t forget your camera. 


  • The park is very peaceful
  • The snow-clad landscapes are very pretty


  • It can get very chilly in January
  • Snow can cause trail and road closures
  • Expect a week of rain spread over the month 

Visiting Yosemite in February

At Yosemite National Park in February, the weather starts to warm up slightly in comparison to the earlier winter months. You can still expect sub-zero temperatures when measured in Celsius, however. 

The Yosemite National Park weather in February involves highs of around 54°F (12°C) and lows of about 30°F (-1°C). As in December and January, you can still expect seven days of rain, so it’s quite likely to be cold and wet – or even snowy – during your visit. 

If you crave peace, quiet and wintry landscapes, February can be a great time to go to Yosemite. Again, be prepared for wet, snowy and cold weather though. 


  •  Lots of peace and quiet
  • Attractive wintry landscapes


  • The weather is still cold
  • Seven days of rain can still be expected
  • Snow can cause the closure of trails and roads

Visiting Yosemite in March

Yosemite National Park in March is really when the tide begins to turn. Sub-zero temperatures (in Celsius) are by now more rare, even overnight. The weather in Yosemite in March is still far from spring-like, however, which is why the month is considered part of winter. 

On average, Yosemite in early March can be quite a lot colder than Yosemite at the end of March, when spring is about to start. If you visit Yosemite in March, expect highs of about 57°F (14°C) and lows of around 32°F (0°C). 

Even if you visit Yosemite in late March, you can expect some roads – such as Tioga – to be closed. Wawona and the Yosemite Valley are accessible throughout the year, however. 

The Yosemite National Park temperature in March aside, you should know that March is the wettest month of the year, with an average of nine days of rainfall. So is March a good time to visit Yosemite National Park? Like all months it has its pros and cons. In reality you can expect anything from snowy landscapes to sandals weather when exploring the park in March. So do pack plenty of layers that are suitable for changeable weather conditions.  


  • There may be some spring-like days
  • You may also see snow-clad landscapes
  • March is the warmest month of the winter


  • It can be very chilly
  • Snow might still cause disruption
  • March is the wettest month of the year

When is the best time of year to go to Yosemite National Park?

The best temperatures: The warmest and most pleasant months in Yosemite National Park are May, June, September and October, which are warm but not as hot as July and August.

The best time to see wildlife: While there is no Yosemite best season for wildlife as such, spring and fall offer good opportunities. Early morning, followed by dusk, are the best times of the day.

The best time to see waterfalls: Following the winter snow and rain, the spring months of April and May are the best time to see the Yosemite waterfalls in full flow.

The best time for hiking: If you cannot cope with crowds or heat, then it’s wise to avoid hiking in July and August. Spring and fall are cooler and fairly dry, but not too cold. For peace and quiet, you might like to tackle the trails in winter, as long as you have the right clothing and footwear with you.

The best time to visit Yosemite to avoid crowds: The period between November and April tends to be quietest at Yosemite. Avoid July and August at all costs if you crave solitude and silence.

The best time to travel to Yosemite National Park in summer: September is the most peaceful month of the summer for spending time in Yosemite, and is cooler than July and August. June is the next best choice to avoid extremes – and crowding.   

The best time to see fall colors in Yosemite National Park: The Yosemite fall colors are at their best between the middle of October and early December. 

The best time to travel on a budget: Travel between November and April for the best deals on accommodation at Yosemite National Park.

The best time to adventure the winter in Yosemite National Park: Between mid-December and early March is the best time to spend winter in Yosemite National Park. The higher areas are ideal for skiing and other winter sports when visiting Yosemite in the winter. The worst time to visit Yosemite National Park: Due to both high demand, high prices and high temperatures, July and August can be the worst months for visiting Yosemite.

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Best Time To Visit Yosemite National Park

Travel Insurance for Yosemite National Park

No matter when is the best time to go to Yosemite, you should definitely get travel insurance.  This can protect you not only against medical and emergency repatriation, but can also cover things like trip cancellation, loss and/ or theft of property, etc.

A great insurance option is Travelex.  It has coverage for all you’ll need. You can compare Travel Insurance plans here or get a quote right now:

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About the Author

James Ian Yosemite

James Ian is a national park, camping and hiking expert.

He has dedicated his life to travel, visiting more than 80 countries, all 7 continents and all of the main national parks in the United States. With over 35 years experience in the travel industry, James has worked on cruise ships, at resorts and hotels, and as a travel planner who’s helped hundreds of people plan successful trips to US national parks. 

Based on his experience visiting our national parks multiple times, in-depth research and expertise as a travel planner, James has published detailed itineraries for most of the major national parks in the US. These itineraries, as well as in-depth park guides, comprehensive camping and hiking gear reviews and buying guides, and helpful packing lists and gift guides will help you have your own incredible trip to US national parks without stress and hassle.

As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including Time Business News, Savoteur, Best Trip, and Wired.

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