Yosemite National Park: When To Plan Your Visit
With granite peaks, lush sequoia forests, and 25 spectacular waterfalls, Yosemite National Park in California is truly one of the world’s most beautiful places. And it seems that absolutely no one wants to miss out on seeing this beautiful park.
Indeed, this place attracts millions of visitors from around the world. People flock there to see multiple waterfalls that are over 200 feet high. Yosemite National Park’s breathtaking natural beauty makes it particularly popular in the summer months. From May to October, crowds of sightseers wander well-trodden paths to gaze in awe at its natural splendor.
If you prefer to take in nature with less company, it’s not hard to escape the crowds by getting off. As a matter of fact, Yosemite National Park has 750 miles of trails that will take you exploring a huge range of elevations and ecological zones in relative solitude. You can also visit Yosemite in the spring, fall, and winter months.
That being said, it should be noted that these days the ever-popular Yosemite Valley closes during the months of April and May regularly because of flooding.
The best season to visit Yosemite
You can also visit Yosemite National Park in the spring, fall, and winter months. If you want to avoid the crowds, stay away when there is a special event scheduled at the park. That being said, it should be noted that these days parts of the ever-popular Yosemite Valley close during the months between April and July regularly because of flooding. However, some areas are still accessible.
This year’s snowpack in the mountains was exceptionally deep, and with the seasonally warm temperatures, the melting snow is expected to bring flooding to the valley. Because of this, Yosemite Valley is currently closed. If you plan to visit between November and April, be aware that Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road close for the winter months. However, you’ll still be able to access the park via its access points from the South.
What’s the best time of day to arrive at the park?
Traffic at Yosemite National Park can get really congested, and parking can become scarce as the day progresses. For this reason, park rangers recommend that you beat the maddening crowds by arriving before mid-morning.
Do you need reservations to visit Yosemite National Park?
If you wanted to visit this national park in 2020 or 2021, you would have needed a reservation. Of course, this was because of the pandemic, which had national parks scrambling to take measures to avoid having crowds in the park. However, as of 2022, you don’t need a reservation to visit the park in question.
With that being said, most of the year, you’ll need a reservation to stay in Yosemite National Park. The exception to this is between October and May. However, Camp 4 fills up in Spring, so be prepared to camp elsewhere.
All passenger vehicles, including RVs, have to pay a fee of $35 to enter the park. However, if you happen to come in on a motorcycle, the fee is $30. However, this fee is waived if you have an America The Beautiful Pass.
Camping in Yosemite
There are several campgrounds in Yosemite, including Upper Pines Campground, Lower Pines Campground, North Pines Campground, Camp 4, Tuolumne Meadows Campground, Wawona Campground, and Hodgdon Meadow Campground. Most require reservations ahead of time and fill up very quickly, particularly during peak season. Make reservations as soon as possible, up to six months in advance, if you plan on visiting in your RV.
In addition, there are several options for camping nearby. Visit RV LIFE Campgrounds to learn more about other RV parks in the area.
Get RV-safe directions
Yosemite National Park is huge. By that, I mean that it covers 1200 square miles. That’s a lot of territory! Being so big, the park has five entrances. Each one offers unique views and a spectacular experience.
For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than RV LIFE Campgrounds and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.
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Lynne Fedorick is a freelance writer with 35 years of RVing experience. She specializes in topics such as fulltime RV life, great destinations for RVers, RV organization, RV News, RV tech, and dog behavior/training.
1 thought on “When Is The Best Time To Visit Yosemite National Park?”
We lived about 2 hours drive from Yosemite for about 10 years. One of the best, and less known, times to visit Yosemite is around the 3rd or 4th week in March. There is a magical week then (around March 22 – 27) after the winter activities have ended and before the spring activities start when the park is almost empty. Even the staffing is reduced.
Not being a fan of crowds, we had the best time in Yosemite during this week. And, usually these early waterfalls are particularly magnificent. Suggest checking the dates against Yosemite activity calendar looking for the gap between activities. Be patient with the reduced staff and enjoy!