Written By Christina Kantzavelos
There is still time! November is a grand time to visit Yosemite National Park. Crisp mornings and cool evenings, sunny days, chromatic views, and the chance of first snow all paint your next perfect travel picture. It is the least crowded time to visit the park, which means quieter and more intimate outdoor adventures. Plus, you can catch a last glimpse of Glacier Point, Tuolumne Meadows and Mariposa Grove before they close for the season. We’ve come up with eight reasons your visit to Yosemite should be in the few remaining weeks of November. And remember to pack layers and tire chains, just in case!
1. Explore Tuolumne Meadows (before they close for the snow season!)
Take advantage of having access to Tuolumne Meadows/Tioga Roads before they close for the snow season. The fall really transforms each of these majestic locations into chromatic wonderlands. Plus, you get to enjoy their beautiful hikes and views in serene solitude, as neither will be as busy as in the summer.
2. Celebrate Thanksgiving in the Park
Enjoy creating a wonderful memory by hosting a Thanksgiving feast in the comfort of your cabin, surrounded by your family, and friends. Not in the mood to cook? Here are three wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner options in the park. Be sure to make a reservation!
3. Visit the Grizzly Giant in Mariposa Grove
If you haven’t visited the newly restored Mariposa Grove, then you’re in for a treat. Hike its beautiful (and partially ADA compatible) trails before it closes for the snow season. Grizzly Giant has never looked more majestic with its colorful leaves!
4. Bike in the Valley
Explore the valley via bicycle, and enjoy the crisp air, colorful leaves, and beautiful views as you bike by or stop to visit the less-crowded Yosemite valley staples.
5. Explore the Museums in the Park
Don’t let November rains scare you! Is it too rainy or snowy to go exploring? Or, are you looking for a relaxing stroll? Then visit the Yosemite Museum in the valley, or walk through the Ansel Adams Gallery, which displays his work as well as other contemporary photographers and artists. If you’re in Wawona, be sure to visit the Pioneer or History Center, which explains the history of Yosemite National Park and how it inspired the growth of national parks across the county and the world.
6. S’mores and BBQs!
Is there a more delicious food group? Gather around the fire, and enjoy roasting juicy fillets and gooey s’mores with your friends and loved ones.
7. Pet Friendly Yosemite Trails to Hike and Enjoy
Take your pup on the Chowchilla Mountain road (the original road to Yosemite), or Wawona Meadow Loop Trail in Wawona. Or, you and your canine can explore Bridalveil Fall trail, Hodgdon Meadow, Glacier Point, Cook’s Meadow Loop, or even Lower Yosemite Falls. You can also bring along your fur-baby on the Mirror Lake Trail, or take the perfect holiday card photo with them in front of Tunnel View. For both you and your pet’s safety, they are not allowed in the meadows, back country, in public buildings, or on shuttle buses. Looking for a pet friendly cabin? We have you covered!
8. Cozy Fireplaces and Hot Tubs
Snuggle up with a mug of delicious steaming cocoa next to the fireplace in your cabin. Or relax with a soothing cup of hot tea next in your hot tub. Not much compares to spending quality time in your cozy cabin, or hot tub, especially when it’s snowing or raining outside.
Looking for a cabin to get cozy in for November?
Our 120 Redwoods In Yosemite cabins are located in Wawona, at the Southern entrance of Yosemite, just a few miles from the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Relaxing and private, these fully equipped vacation cabins border the wild and scenic South Fork of The Merced River, the Wawona swinging bridge and Chilnualna Falls (the second highest vertical drop waterfalls in Yosemite)! Our Event Center includes full use of the Fireside Room and adjacent deck, with audio and visual equipment and a catering kitchen. Many of our cabins are pet friendly, some feature spa tubs, and all have private decks with BBQ’s and upgraded linens for that, “Home Away from Home” experience. Relax, explore, escape!
Written by Christina Kantzavelos, BuenQamino
When you visit Yosemite, every view in the park feels like a wonder. Every minute you are surrounded by the sheer beauty and natural amazement everywhere you look; a rushing river, a waterfall, a glistening lake. You are confronted with breathtaking vistas, a seemingly never-ending redwood trees, giant granite cliffs that have seen the beginning of time, and more. We’ve come up with a list of the most spectacular places in the park.
1. El Capitan
Standing at 7,500 ft above sea level, El Capitan is arguably the most prominent geographic feature in the park, and the largest exposed piece of granite rock in the world. Plus it is also known as one of the iconic Apple desktop backdrops. Don’t forget your binoculars if you’d like to catch a glimpse of rock climbers scaling it. Aside from El Capitan being wonderous all on its own at any time of day, it’s also home to the once-a-year phenomenon of Horsetail Falls. The magic happens when the “stars align” and the mix of a seasonal waterfall, granite rock, cloudless day, and a sunset meet for a 10-minute jaw-dropping vision of…well, Google it.
Mariposa Grove is home of some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world, including the 1,800-year-old Grizzly Giant. Redwood trees are globally known for their soaring heights and wide girth and the cones are a symbol of the National Park Service. There are amazing hikes in the grove for all skill levels, including the Big Trees Loop, Grizzly Giant Loop, Guardians Loop Trail and Mariposa Grove Trail to Wawona Point.
3.The Mist Trail (Vernal Falls)
Vernal Falls is a 317 foot high waterfall that is one of the most popular hikes in the park, and for good reason. It almost always has water flowing, and there are two trail options to reach the top, including the John Muir Trail. There is often a rainbow to be seen next to Vernal Falls. Keep in mind, it’s not called the ‘mist trail’ for no reason. It gets misty, and slippery, so make sure to bring proper hiking shoes especially if you plan to continue on the trail to reach Nevada Falls, and eventually, Half Dome.
The Wawona tunnel is the longest tunnel in California, and it leads you to Tunnel View, which looks eastwards into Yosemite Valley giving you the perfect family snapshot of Half Dome, El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall (perhaps that should’ve been listed as #8?). Wawona is also home to Mariposa Grove, and is the birthplace of the idea for a national parks establishment.
5. Glacier Point
Sixteen miles of winding roads lead you to one of the of the prettiest viewpoints of the valley. Standing 3,000 ft above the valley floor, it’s a great place to watch the sunset fall over Yosemite valley or get a clear view of the milky way at night. Another reason why Glacier Point is amazing? It transforms into Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area in the winter with 10 ski runs, and tons of other winter activities! Keep in mind that Glacier Point is closed part of the year due to weather conditions, so check the Yosemite website before traveling.
6. Half Dome
Another prominent geographic feature in the valley and famous photo op. Many people hike this when seasonally appropriate though you can see it from other areas in Yosemite valley, including Glacier Point. To view it up close and personal, you must hike a strenuous 17-mile round trip trail can be done in one or two-days with a permit, offering you stunning panoramic views of the park at the top and proper bragging rights.
7. Tuolumne Meadows
Just when you thought Yosemite couldn’t get more picturesque, you come across Tuolumne Meadows, which is home to its own unique wonders. Weather permitting, you are able to see Cathedral Peak, Lembert Dome, Pothole Dome, Fairview Dome, Tuolumne River Bridge, Budd Creek and Tuolumne pools. Enjoy the blooming fields of wildflowers, gorgeous peaks, and peaceful Alpine landscape.
Looking for a cabin near these Scenic Wonders?
All of our 120 Redwoods In Yosemite cabins & vacation homes are located in historic Wawona, near the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park, just a few miles from the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (free direct shuttle access to the grove when you stay with us!). Relaxing and private, our fully equipped vacation homes border the wild and scenic South Fork of The Merced River, the Wawona swinging bridge and Chilnualna Falls (the second highest vertical drop waterfalls in Yosemite) and the pet friendly Wawona Meadow Loop trail! Our Event Center includes full use of the Fireside Room and adjacent deck, with audio & visual equipment and a catering kitchen. Many of our cabins are pet friendly, some feature spa tubs, and all have private decks with BBQ’s and upgraded linens for that, “Home Away from Home” experience. Come on up! Relax. Explore. Escape!