According to U.S. Travel News, the best months to visit Yosemite National Park are May and September, when the park is accessible but not overly crowded with people. While we agree that May and September are perfect months to visit, we think Yosemite has something to offer in every season! Keep reading for more information on the best time of year to plan a Yosemite camping vacation!
Yosemite Camping – December Through April
Yosemite National Park is magical during the months of December through April. January is the wettest and coldest month of the year and February brings slightly more sunshine. Even though the majority of Yosemite National Park, except for Yosemite Valley and Wawona, are closed to cars, the mountains are blanketed with snow and the views are absolutely breathtaking. Tourists and locals alike visit Yosemite to enjoy winter sports such as downhill and cross-country skiing in the Badger Pass Ski Area. The first glimpse of warmer months to come begins in April as significantly less rainfall brings a gradual rise in temperatures. Due to heavy snowfall, plan to put chains on your tires when visiting Yosemite during the winter. Hate the cold? Consider renting a cabin near Yosemite for a cozy retreat.
December – Highs in the 50s and lows in the 20s.
February – Highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s.
March – Highs in the upper 40s and lows in the upper 20s.
April – Highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s.
Camping in Yosemite – May Through September
May is a wonderful time of year to experience camping near Yosemite National Park! With fewer crowds on hiking trails, you’ll be able to enjoy quiet moments in the mountains. May is also the best month to view Yosemite’s spectacular waterfalls as melting snow brings new activity to the mountains. (View a webcam showing Yosemite Falls to see current flow.) June, July, and August are equally beautiful as the weather in Yosemite is absolute perfection this time of year. Sunny afternoons are ideal for snow-free hikes from Yosemite Valley, Wawona, and Hetch Hetchy. Other summer activities include backpacking, fishing, watersports, birdwatching, and more.
The summer months are considered peak tourist season in Yosemite National Park. As summer crowds dissipate, September promises comfortable weather with increased privacy on the trail. Although the afternoons are warm, the sun’s rays are less intense during September.
May – Highs in the 60s and lows in the upper 30s.
June – Highs in the 80s and lows in the 40s.
July – Highs in the 90s and lows in the 50s.
August – Highs in the 90s and lows in the 50s.
September – Highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s.
Yosemite Campgrounds – October and November
There are many sunny days to enjoy during October as autumn brings colder temperatures. Yosemite is stunning during the late fall and many of the roads within the park remain open this time of year. During the fall months, waterfalls (including Yosemite Falls) contain little or no water. Even Vernal, Nevada, and Bridalveil waterfalls, which run all year, slow down to a trickle. November is when we typically see the first snowfall in Yosemite National Park. Overall, only winter-sports enthusiasts remain in the park until the arrival of the next warm season. October and November are great months to enjoy snow activities without the crowds!
October – Highs in the 60s and lows in the 30s.
November – Highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s.
Yosemite National Park is open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. However, in 2020 reservations are required to visit.
Need a place to hang your hat while visiting Yosemite National Park?
Located only 18 miles from the South entrance to Yosemite National Park, Bass Lake offers RV camping, tent camping sites, and 1-3 bedroom log cabin rentals. On-site amenities include cable, WiFi, swimming pool, shuffleboard, kid’s game room, adult lodge with relaxing fireplace and games, group fire-pit, cafe, and more!