One of the big questions for any travel destination is when one should visit. The best time to visit Yosemite Valley in California depends on your reason for visiting. If you are someone who likes running into people and enduring the hot weather, then you will definitely want to visit during the summer when the park is packed, and the roads are jammed with vehicles. This time of year is one of the better times for rock climbing and High Sierra hiking. Those who like the opposite atmosphere and desire a pristine frosty playground will always want to visit during the winter as the valley is still accessible and most services are still available. If you are a hiker, then September or October is a great time to visit and get the most out of the lower attendances and cooler temperatures. Spring is the season with a reason for those who like all of the notable aspects of Yosemite Valley. Hence, March through May is a great time to tour the magnificent glacier-carved park. With the waterfalls at full capacity and nature reawakening with flourishing wildflowers, squirrels, deer, coyote, and bobcats, it is a dramatic spectacle for the eyes. At night in the spring there are lower temperatures, but during the day the climate is perfect for hiking.
In the summer, the sites you can explore, however, are far more abundant due to the lack of snow and ice in the high altitudes. For instance, you can visit the spectacular Glacier Point by car during the warm months but not all year round. The hike to the top of Yosemite Falls is another wonderful summer activity that one can partake in, but it is not accessible during the winter. Likewise, the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls is a beautiful place to relax with the family or friends. But be prepared to get wet as you trek the Mist Trail, which may be more aptly named “Shower Trail,” and it is open in every season. Another place to visit for year round hiking is Hetch Hetchy which is a twin valley to Yosemite that was flooded to be used as a reservoir for San Francisco. Due to its lower elevation, it is a beautiful place to visit any time of year. No matter what season you visit Yosemite in you will always have plenty to do and see. Nevertheless, if you are looking for something unique to experience in the great outdoors, then make sure that you plan your trip for the right time of year that will cater to your particular aspirations.