Yosemite National Park, established in 1890, boasts over 1,200 square feet of protected natural beauty in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Each year over four million people travel to view the legendary granite cliffs, sequoia groves, glaciers, waterfalls, and more. With so much to see, knowing the best times to visit can be tough, but choosing to visit in spring has many advantages.
Perfect Cascading Waterfalls
From April to late May Yosemite waterfalls experience peak flow. Refreshed from melted snow, the waterfalls are at their most gorgeous, creating the breathtaking sights of roaring water and misting clouds that visitors expect. Five of the falls, including the three-tiered Yosemite Falls cascade from well over a thousand feet. The abundance of water also creates new, unmarked streams and falls for visitors to explore and discover.
Ideal Hiking Weather
With snow in the winter and high temperatures in the summer, spring is the best time for visiting Yosemite. While some trails don’t open until mid to late May, most of the 800 trails are open by April. Storms are occasional in spring, with mild weather that reaches an average of 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the valley. The sunny, warm weather and freshly opened trails make for ideal hiking conditions for any but the most extreme hikers.
New life begins its return to the Yosemite Valley in April. Over 1,450 types of flowers bloom in the area with monkey flowers, beardtongues, buttercups, poppies, and lupines as the first arriving each year. Dogwood trees are also among the first to bloom, creating skylines of white flowers. Even later blooming plants begin to sprout green leaves and turn barren valleys back to fields of color. Animals are also at their most active, making coyote, bighorn sheep, or fox sightings a greater possibility.
Peak season at Yosemite National Park is from June through October, so visiting in spring is the best way to beat the crowds. If you’d really like to experience the beauty in solidarity, the Yosemite National Park website recommends visiting in the morning, mid-week in April. In addition to more spaces available for organized activities like guided tours, archery lessons, and astronomy walks, there will also be more open views and better photo opportunities. Visiting before the peak season can help you save money too! Every year visitors can enter for free during National Park week.
Check out our Yosemite Valley panoramic map to learn more!
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