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Are you getting ready for an epic adventure in one of America’s most iconic national parks? Yosemite is the land of soaring waterfalls and towering granite cliffs, and Yosemite puts on a real show for April visitors.

Spring has sprung, and this season of rebirth is the perfect time to explore the breathtaking scenery of Yosemite National Park. Grab your hiking boots, pack your camera, and prepare to be amazed by the beauty of this natural wonderland.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through all the must-see sights, best hiking trails, and hidden gems that Yosemite has to offer during the month of April. Plus, we’ll share some insider tips on how to make the most of your trip, including where to stay, what to pack, and what to expect.

Important Note for 2024:  Yosemite National Park will require reservations to enter the park between on select dates, including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays during the month of April in 2024. Fortunately, guests staying at The Redwoods In Yosemite Vacation Home Rentals, are not subject to the reservation system because all cabins are in Wawona, inside the park. If you have a valid Redwoods In Yosemite cabin reservation, simply show a copy of your booking confirmation (a screen capture is OK too), and a photo ID matching the reservation. You’ll be able to pay the entrance fee at the gate with a credit or debit card.

So, whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a nature lover, or simply seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, Yosemite in April is the perfect destination for you. Let’s dive in and discover all the magic this incredible park has to offer!

The biggest reasons to visit Yosemite in April

Yosemite Valley

This incredible view of Yosemite Valley is one of your first glimpses of Yosemite Valley when you enter via Highway 41 from Wawona.

April Waterfalls

As the days get warmer and longer, the snow in the high country starts to melt. It flows down through small gullies and large granite basins, and then tumbles over Yosemite’s great cliffs in exuberant, rushing waterfalls. April is a remarkable time for waterfall watchers in Yosemite.

Pre-peak season

April is still a relatively quiet month in Yosemite National Park, especially if you can manage to visit during the week days. This means more of Yosemite just for you! With fewer visitors to the park, you’ll also still be able to find some excellent deals on lodging.

Low-elevation wildflowers

Purple lupines covering Wawona's meadows

Fields of gorgeous purple lupines blossom in the meadows surrounding Wawona.

Starting in April, the wildflowers in Yosemite Valley and Wawona begin to appear. The Wawona Meadow Loop is an excellent place to go looking for a wide variety of these blossoms, and if you’re lucky you’ll get to see the expansive blooms of lupine covering the meadows and roadsides with purple.

April weather in Yosemite

Orange poppies blooming in Wawona

April’s wildflower displays start a lower elevations and spread upward.

April likes to do its own thing when it comes to weather. And every April is a little different.

In an average April, the weather is shifting from the cool crisp days of winter into a more summer-like weather pattern. The average high temperatures in Yosemite Valley are a comfortable 63°F/17°C, while the average low temperature drops to 38°F/3°C. That means most people will want long pants and warmer layers for the morning and evening that you can shed when you’re in the sun mid-day.

The average precipitation in Yosemite Valley in April is 3.2 inches/81 mm. That puts us nicely halfway between the 7.0 inches/177 mm of precipitation in an average January and the negligible 0.2 in/4mm that you can expect in an average August. In real terms this means that there are a lot of beautiful sunny days in April, but it might still rain or snow occasionally. It just depends.

Of course, when you ascend or descend in the mountains, especially during these transitional spring months, you can choose your own season. Temperatures for El Portal, a small town just downhill of Yosemite Valley along Highway 140 has an average high of 72°F/22°C for the month, while in the high country of Tuolumne Meadows, it’s still a chilly average high of 45°F/7°C.

The bottom line on April weather in Yosemite is to come prepared for all kinds of weather. Dress in layers so that you can put on an extra sweater or jacket for mornings or cooler days, and then shed those layers for mid-day or warmer days.

A rain coat is a good idea. Even on sunny days, the misty blast from Yosemite’s waterfalls can be more comfortable with a good rain jacket.

Waterproof shoes or hiking boots can also be a nice-to-have if you’re planning on hiking. As the snow melts you’ll find water everywhere – running in rivulets down the trail or standing in wide puddles. If you don’t have waterproof footwear, extra socks can help keep your feet warm and dry. Or you can try adding plastic bags over your socks but inside your shoes. Your feet will sweat a lot, but they will stay warmer overall.

Finally, just before your visit, make sure you take a peek at the interactive Current Conditions map on the NPS page. It is a terrific resource for information on weather, forecasts, webcams, and water flow in different parts of the park so you’ll know what to expect.

Road Conditions and Chain Controls

A quick side note before we get to the fun stuff:

While storms grow increasingly rare in April in Yosemite, there is still a chance of snow during this month, and if that happens to overlap with your planned trip, you’ll be happy to have tire chains in your vehicle to help with traction on Yosemite’s mountain roads. Higher-elevation roads are more likely to have chain requirements, but they can be in place on any park road.

Keep your eye on the weather forecast for Yosemite in the days/week before your trip. You might want to adjust your layering systems, and see if you’re likely to need chains for your car. If there is a storm in the forecast, be sure to read up on our guide to chain requirements in Yosemite.

The Tioga Road that crosses the Sierra Nevada through Tuolumne Meadows, and the Glacier Point Road which connects Highway 41 to Glacier Point, are usually still closed due to snow in April. This is the tradeoff you make for rushing waterfalls. That high-elevation snowpack is what is turning into roaring waterfalls down low. It’s also another good reason to plan multiple trips to Yosemite during different times of the year.

Right before your trip, the best way to learn about road conditions inside Yosemite National Park is to call the road conditions hotline at 209-372-0200 (press 1 and 1 again to listen to the recording).

What to do in Yosemite in April

wildflowers blooming on the trail with a view of nevada fall

Discover gorgeous wildflower displays throughout Yosemite National Park in April, including on the trail to Nevada Fall. (Photo Nancy Robbins)

Lower elevation areas like Yosemite Valley, Hetch Hetchy or Wawona and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias are all excellent places to visit during the month of April with relatively easy accessibility. These locations provide the best of the aforementioned waterfall wandering, mountain meandering, and fun flower viewing opportunities.

Waterfall Wandering

Yosemite Valley holds many of the park’s most notorious waterfalls, and after a warm day in April, you’ll find them all flowing fast and free. You don’t even have to leave your car (though we recommend that you do) to see Bridalveil Fall or Yosemite Falls.

In April, you will probably also be treated to the elegant cascades of Sentinel Fall or the tallest single drop waterfall in the park, Ribbon Fall. Parts of the Mist Trail and the John Muir are often closed in winter, but you can hike the Winter Route to see both Vernal and Nevada Fall using the parts of both trails that remain open.

Don’t forget to visit Wawona’s waterfall while you’re here as well. The Chilnualna Fall trail starts just a few minutes from the Redwoods In Yosemite cabins, and leads up past a series of gorgeous waterfalls and cascades.

Tips for exploring snow-covered trails: Traction devices like Stabilicers or Yak-Tracks can help with footing on packed out snow on popular trails, and don’t underestimate the utility of a pair of hiking poles. The snow will be more firm (and slippery) early in the morning and late in the evening when the temperatures are cooler, and will soften during the day. That means that you may be able to walk on top of the snow in the morning, but will sink through as the day goes on, making travel more difficult.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequioas

Grandpa and grandson admiring the sequoias in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias together

Just a short distance from Wawona, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is Yosemite’s largest and most impressive grove of sequoia trees.

There are over 500 giant sequoia trees in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Estimated to be thousands of years old, each is a testament to longevity and endurance. An ancient wisdom permeates the entire grove.

To get there, park at the large parking area near the south entrance gate to Yosemite National Park. If the winter has been relatively warm and dry, there could be a free shuttle service to the Arrival Area at the lower grove. If not, you can walk the Washburn Trail that starts at the far end of the parking area, or stroll up the road to get to the lower Mariposa Grove. It’s about 2 miles each way. This is more effort, but also means that you’ll have the grove more to yourself when you get there.

Beyond that you have a selection of trails to explore. Most people try to take in the Grizzly Giant Loop (2.0 miles/3.2 km) which includes named trees like the Fallen Monarch, the Bachelor and Three Graces, the Grizzly Giant and the California Tunnel Tree, but there are shorter and longer options available.

Stopping to Smell the Flowers

Each spring a wave of wildflower blossoms start in the central valley and slowly makes its way up into the mountains. By April, the fields of orange poppies have often passed their peak, and are now giving way to great swaths of purple lupines that line the roads through Wawona. The keen-eyed will also marvel at the variety of wildflowers to be found along the Wawona Meadow Loop, and scattered throughout the forest at that elevation.

Our Furred and feathered friends

As spring’s warmth spreads, you’ll also find more birds and other wildlife filling Yosemite’s landscape too. Bears awaken from a winter’s rest and begin to frequent Yosemite’s meadows looking for food. Peregrine Falcons, still listed on California’s endangered species list return to their nests and begin preparing for the next generation.

Rock Climbing

As soon as the weather warms, rock climbers return to Yosemite’s clean granite cliffs. In addition to spotting them on bold ascents of El Capitan, keep your eyes open at smaller crags as well, like the rock wall at the back of the Churchbowl Picnic area.

If you, or someone in your group, would like to try climbing Yosemite’s famous rock walls, the Yosemite Mountaineering School has a variety of classes and guided climbs to introduce climbers and would-be climbers to the area.

Don’t forget the simple pleasures too

There are also plenty of small pleasures that you can expect when taking a relaxing vacation in the mountains. Curl up in front of a roaring fire with a good book and good company. Slip out to the hot tub, or relax in the Jacuzzi. Get entirely too caught up in a board game with friends. Or hold a debate about what kind of animal might have left that strange track you found in the snow. Ultimately, these quiet activities and small moments of discovery can be among the most rejuvenating and precious.

Where to Stay

Sign to the Redwoods In Yosemite with wildflowers

Choose a vacation rental cabin from the Redwoods In Yosemite located inside Yosemite National Park in the community of Wawona.

There are many accommodation options inside Yosemite National Park, from camping to the historic luxury. However, the best option for a place to stay in April has to be a rental cabin in Wawona. Yes, of course we’re biased, but hear us out.

Naturally, it’s nice to stay inside Yosemite National Park. You’re closer to all that the park has to offer, and you can spend more of your vacation being here instead of getting here.

Unlike a hotel room, a vacation rental cabin has more of the conveniences of home. You can save money by bringing groceries with you and preparing the food you enjoy. There’s room to spread out and relax. Private homes are… well, more private. No need to worry about the noise coming from the room next door. And if the stray April storm does blow through during your visit, some homes even give you access to laundry facilities. A dryer can come in handy to dry everyone out at the end of a day of exploration. Plus, if you have fur family you can rent a vacation cabin that is pet-friendly, and bring your pup with you.

With some services, it can be hard to tell if the rental cabin that you’re looking at is inside the park or not. With The Redwoods In Yosemite, you know that you’ll be located in Wawona, close to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, and inside the park gate. Plus, The Redwoods In Yosemite makes it easy to find a place that is the perfect fit for you, with convenient filters for amenities like EV chargers, or a fireplace.

Yosemite National Park abounds in natural beauty and opportunities for adventure and discovery in a relatively safe, welcoming environment. This makes it an ideal destination for solo female travel.

Yosemite National Park has World-Famous Scenery

wildflowers blooming on the trail with a view of nevada fall

Yosemite’s most exquisite landscapes are appreciated just as well, or better, on a solo trip.
Photo: Nancy Robbins

Yosemite’s iconic landscapes are famous the world over – from the dizzying heights of cliffs like El Capitan to the roar of spring waterfalls or the unique façade of Half Dome rising up over Yosemite Valley. Soaking in the sweetness of that natural beauty is just as easy on your own as with a group, except that on a solo trip you don’t need to make any compromises. See the things you want to see and do the things that you want to do the most.

Yosemite Brims with Activities for the Solo Traveler

Carol Coyle loves solo-hiking in Yosemite National Park.

Carol Coyle has been enjoying solo hiking in Yosemite for decades. Be sure to get her best tips for making the trip special.

With more than 750 miles of trails, studded with scenic overlooks and natural wonders around every bend there is enough for a lifetime of exploration. Choose from popular trails with plenty of company or opt for the path less traveled for more alone time. The solo traveler will find herself with a wealth of choices to design the trip of her dreams.

At 83 years old, Carol Coyle has visited many different destinations, and often travels alone, especially now that her husband has passed. However, Yosemite is the spot that has captured her heart.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a Yosemite hike that Carol hasn’t enjoyed over the years. Although she visited Yosemite often with her young family back in the 70s, hiking was often her own special activity. For her, Yosemite’s trails have provided treasured alone time, a healthy distance from her to-do list, and a way to find spiritual comfort and healing. Although it’s hard to pick a favorite, some of the trails she recommends include the Four-Mile Trail and Panorama Trail. When it’s running, you can take a bus from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point and walk back downhill to your car!

Purple flowers blooming in Wawona

Spring means gorgeous carpets of wildflowers like these lupines. Enjoy the open meadows near Wawona during your visit.

Carol also recommends the Wawona Meadow Loop as a peaceful easy trail that is located close to the vacation rental cabin that she now owns inside Yosemite in the community of Wawona.

For those looking for a little more interaction, there are plenty of opportunities for that in Yosemite too. Join a group on a free ranger-led walk to dive deep into a topic of interest. Sign up for a rock climbing lesson, guided hike, or a horseback riding tour at the Wawona Stables or Yosemite Trails in nearby Fish Camp. There are art classes for all abilities, photography walks, and so much more.

Yosemite also brims with opportunities to learn more about the park and its natural ecosystems. In addition to group activities, there are many trails like the one through the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias not far from Wawona that include interpretive signs that share the stories of these ancient and magnificent trees. Historic exhibits like the Yosemite Museum in Yosemite Valley or the Yosemite History Center in Wawona help put the park into perspective.

Where to Stay

Coyles Cabin, managed by The Redwoods In Yosemite

Carol’s home, Coyles Cabin, with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths might be a bit big for most solo travelers, but it is one of many managed by The Redwoods In Yosemite. Be sure to check out their selection of rental cabins in Yosemite for something that is the perfect fit for you.

When Carol is away, her home, Coyle’s Cabin, is managed as a vacation rental by the Redwoods In Yosemite. When Carol travels she always prefers a vacation rental. She loves having all the comforts of home, including a kitchen of her own so she can save money and prepare the foods that she enjoys most. Plus, cabins tend to be situated “closer to nature”, and she’d gladly trade a bustling lobby area for a private deck where she can easily wander outside to enjoy the sounds of nature or look up at the stars.

Carol also appreciates the fact that the Redwoods In Yosemite is based in Wawona. For a solo traveler, it’s comforting to know that the staff is just up the street if she needs anything. Because they live and work in the area, the Redwoods In Yosemite staff are also a helpful resource for current conditions and can provide an insider’s perspective on what to expect. Many repeat visitors at the Redwoods In Yosemite stop in at the front desk just to say hello and catch up on what’s new.

Safety Considerations on a Solo Trip

In addition to the reassuring presence of a local vacation rental property management staff, Carol prefers National Park destinations in general when she is traveling alone. As she puts it, there are no “bad neighborhoods” to watch out for when exploring inside a national park. So, you can feel assured that you’ll be in a neighborhood where you can feel safe.

Naturally, when traveling alone, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and be responsible for yourself. Because it’s possible to choose more traveled or less traveled destinations to explore, in Yosemite it’s easy to find just the right level of adventure for you. Still, remember to let someone know what you’re plans are, so they know when to expect you back, and can let someone know if you haven’t returned as planned.

In her many years of exploring Yosemite, Carol has never had to call on Yosemite Search and Rescue. However, just knowing that the Yosemite Search and Rescue staff and medically trained park rangers are some of the best search and rescue outfits in the nation also provides some reassurance.

With the many things for a solo/female traveler to do and discover it’s easy to see that Yosemite National Park is one of the best destinations for getting out and discovering nature safely and on your own terms.

There’s an incredible adventure waiting for you in Yosemite during the month of June. With a fantastic Mediterranean climate, you can expect brilliant sun-filled days surrounded by sparkling waterfalls, gleaming white granite cliffs, and jaw-dropping scenery to delight the whole family.

Is June a good time to visit Yosemite?

wildflowers blooming on the trail with a view of nevada fall

Yosemite’s most exquisite landscapes include this view of Nevada Fall
Photo: Nancy Robbins

As the weather warms, the park slowly unfurls like a flower in the spring, presenting more places to go and things to see. Spring wildflower blooms have moved up from the lower foothills into Yosemite Valley and higher. The waterfalls are thundering and the birds are singing. In fact, the biggest downside to visiting Yosemite in June is all the other people who have also realized how delightful it is during this season.

Important Note for 2024:  Yosemite National Park will require reservations to enter the park between on select dates, including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays (June 19) during the month of June in 2024. Fortunately, guests staying at The Redwoods In Yosemite Vacation Home Rentals, are not subject to the reservation system because all cabins are in Wawona, inside the park.If you have a valid Redwoods In Yosemite cabin reservation, simply show a copy of your booking confirmation (a screen capture is OK too), and a photo ID matching the reservation. You’ll be able to pay the entrance fee at the gate with a credit or debit card.

Let’s get into specifics.

What is the weather like in June in Yosemite?

The days in Yosemite Valley have really started to warm up by June. The average temperature there is 81°F (27°C) with still cool low temps averaging 51°F (11°C). For most people that’s short-sleeve shirt weather during the day, but in the evenings you’ll still be glad for an extra warm layer.

However, this is the mountains, so if you prefer cooler temperatures, seek out higher-elevation destinations. 4,600 feet (1,402 m) above Yosemite Valley, in Tuolumne Meadows, the average high temperature is still only 65°F (18°C), and with night-time lows averaging just 39°F (4°C), you’ll find yourself suddenly in puffy jacket weather. Temperatures in the Crane Flat and Glacier Point areas will fall somewhere in between.

Thanks to the Mediterranean climate in Yosemite, you’ll also be glad to discover that June has settled comfortably into the warm dry season. You’ll be lucky to see a cloud grace the bright sun-filled skies.

Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View

Just before your visit, visit the interactive Current Conditions map on the NPS page. It is a terrific resource for information on weather, forecasts, webcams, and water flow in different parts of the park so you’ll know what to expect.

What does that mean for packing?

Lightweight – Mediumweight Layers: Summer has arrived in Yosemite, so be sure to pack plenty of light layers, but morning and evening temperatures can still be in the low 50s (11-ish °C) or cooler depending on the elevation, so some long pants and sweaters or light jackets can help make an early start or a late evening on the trail much more comfortable.

Hiking shoes (or boots): If you plan to do a lot of hiking during your visit, something with a little extra traction can make a big difference when hiking across rocky, wet, or slippery trails.

Extra socks: If you aren’t renting a cabin with a handy washer and dryer consider bringing extra socks. When it’s dry, the amount of trail dust that can work its way into your socks while you’re exploring is astonishing. Plus, if there is a lot of water on the trails, an extra pair of lightweight wool hiking socks helps keep your feet happy over the long run.

Sun protection: There are so many amazing things to do out here in the sunshine, that it can be easy to over-do it on the sun exposure. A wide-brimmed sun hat can do wonders to keep you cool and reduce the amount of sunscreen you’ll need to put on your face. Outdoor athletes who spend a lot of time outside often choose loose light-weight sun shirts or sun hoodies to protect their arms and shoulders too.

Extras

If you have room in your pack, here are a few other ideas for things you might want to bring to Yosemite.

Yosemite Activities Close to Wawona

With the full array of park activities open or opening in June at your disposal, let’s focus for a moment on a few that are close to vacation rental cabins in Wawona.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

Enjoy a moment at the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia spans all ages.

Along Yosemite’s southern border, and about 15 minutes from The Redwoods In Yosemite, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is the largest and most spectacular of Yosemite’s three sequoia groves. The grove is open year-round for hikers, skiers, and snowshoers. However, in the summer, a convenient shuttle bus service can whisk you past the first 2 miles (3.2 km) of the walk, and drop you off at the lower grove. The shuttle service usually starts mid-June sometime depending on the conditions.

Once in the lower grove, wheelchair (and stroller)-friendly boardwalks make it easy to explore the most massive trees in the world. For the more adventurous, trails reveal more trees, connect the lower and upper groves, and extend out to Wawona  Point for an airy mountain view that overlooks the town of Wawona.

Chilnualna Falls Trail

Yosemite Chilnualna Falls

The Chilnualna Falls Trail starts in Wawona and wanders up past several waterfalls and cascades for a convenient and less-crowded waterfall hike close to home. Make the lower section part of an after-dinner stroll or challenge yourself to hike the full 8.4 miles (13.5 km) while climbing more than 2000 feet in elevation over the course of a longer day.

Swinging Bridge in Wawona

Bounce your way across Yosemite’s swinging bridge that actually still swings. Unlike its Yosemite Valley counterpart, Wawona’s Swinging Bridge still bobs gently with each step as you cross the South Fork of the Merced River. At less than a mile round-trip, and relatively flat, this is a great way to stretch your legs after you arrive in Wawona. It’s also a quiet scenic spot to enjoy a casual picnic lunch by the water.

Wawona Meadow Loop

early morning mist on the meadow in Wawona

Find peace, solitude, and wide variety of wildflowers (in season) along the Wawona Meadow Loop. Located just across Highway 41 from The Redwoods In Yosemite, this unassuming trail is perfect for a quick morning run. It’s also one of Yosemite’s dog-friendly and bike-friendly trails.

Step into the past at the Yosemite History Center

Yosemite Wawona Pioneer History Center

The Yosemite Pioneer History Center

The cluster of historic buildings at the Yosemite History Center is worth a visit. These picturesque buildings tell stories of how people have lived in the park in the past. Wander through and imagine yourself visiting Yosemite in the mid-1900s. You can read about the significance of each building in the interpretive plaque outside, or if you’re lucky you might find a friendly living history demonstrator who can share those stories with you in person.

Horseback Riding

Get the family out for some western-style fun while going horseback riding during your Yosemite visit.

The team at Yosemite Trails is the real deal when it comes to the western cowhand experience. This local family-owned and operated business raises their own quarter horses, and has a working cattle ranch. They are located roughly 25 minutes from Wawona in Fish Camp.

You can’t beat the Wawaona Stables for convenience. They are located right in the town of Wawona and are open for 2-hour and half-day rides.

Climb aboard a Steam Train

The steam train at Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad

Step back into history with a ride on a narrow gauge steam train at Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.

Take a scenic train ride aboard a historic steam train at The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. Just 23 minutes from Wawona you can climb aboard a steam train. Take a 1-hour ride and enjoy the museum while panning for gold, or enjoy a 3-hour evening tour that includes dinner and live music around the campfire too.

What Can I See/Do in June in Yosemite in General?

Hiking

By June most hiking trails in Yosemite will be open for exploration – though you may still find snow-covered trails in the highest elevation areas of the park. People of all ages will enjoy walks in Cooks Meadow, Chapel Meadow, or out to the bridge at the base of Lower Yosemite Falls. The trail to Mirror Lake/Meadow is likely to still have water and can be a good place to wade into the water and stay cool depending on the conditions.

The famous Mist Trail is a favorite for a wide array of hikers. Boasting magnificent viewpoints all along the trail, it’s easy to customize a day on the Mist Trail to whatever the group feels up to on any given day. (Note: the steep steps leading to the tops of Vernal or Nevada can be especially challenging for younger/smaller hikers.)

Of the Yosemite Valley Trails, the Four-Mile Trail can be one of the last to open due to a shady stretch that avalanches and creates a hazardous section on the trail that can take a long time to melt out. Although it can open as early as April, in some years it has remained closed until mid-June.

In a typical year, Glacier Point Road will also be open by June, meaning that in addition to visiting the famous overlook of the same name, hiking trails like Sentinel Dome or Taft Point beckon to hikers looking for a more rolling hike to a spectacular spot.

The Half Dome cables also typically get installed sometime in June depending on the conditions. That bucket-list hike requires a permit, but you can enjoy views of Half Dome from dozens of locations in the park.

Will Tioga Road be Open in June?

 

The opening of Tioga Road dramatically expands the number of activities in Yosemite – from new places to hike, fish, or rock climb – as well as allowing easy access from Yosemite Valley to Lee Vining and all points east. So, each year in spring, guessing when Tioga Road will open becomes the question of the hour.

The answer: The road has opened as early as early May, and as late as early July depending on the snow conditions from the previous winter. Nobody knows what the date will be for sure, but there are great resources to help you guess.

The National Park Service shares plowing updates and a list of historical opening (and closing) dates. The roads open earlier during dry winters, and later when we’ve had a lot of snowfall during the winter months. Scroll through the list and look for years with an April 1 snowpack that is similar to the current year, to give you a rough idea of what to expect.

Rock climbing

young girl learning to climb in yosemite

Join the Yosemite Mountaineering School for a fun day on the rocks. Photo: Pacific SW Region USFWS

Rock climbing combines incredible perspectives from high up Yosemite’s cliffs with a thrilling and challenging activity in a destination that is widely considered to be one of the great centers of climbing worldwide. Take a lesson, or hire a private guide to quest up Yosemite’s granite cliffs on a custom excursion.

Biking

rent bikes at pedal forward

Pedal Forward in Oakhurst is The authority on mountain biking trails. Rent a bike here to explore Yosemite or take on the trails in the Sierra National Forest.

In June, biking is often one of the best ways to see Yosemite Valley. Arrive in Yosemite Valley early, park the car and then use your bike to explore at your own pace, without having to worry about finding parking for the rest of the day.

From Wawona, you’ll also find excellent mountain biking nearby in the Sierra National Forest. Stop by Pedal Forward in Oakhurst for the inside scoop on local trails.

Art Programs

Sitting down and taking the time to draw or paint a landscape immerses you in the place like no other activity. Bring your own supplies for spontaneous art making, or join an artist for demonstrations and guidance at a Yosemite Conservancy Art Program.

Ranger Programs

Allow a Yosemite National Park Ranger to open your eyes to the stories and connections that will surround you while in Yosemite. Young people (and the young at heart) love Junior Ranger activities. Pick up a Junior Ranger Guide at the Visitor Center, or download a copy here (4.8 MB) and check the Yosemite Guide for ranger programs in various parts of the park.

And More

The list of interesting, fun, and eye-opening activities that you might try in Yosemite in June goes on and on – from fishing, to rafting, to or simply reading a book on the deck of your Wawona vacation rental and listening to the birds singing in the trees.

Where to Stay in Yosemite in June. 

Father and daughter reading a book together in a Redwoods In Yosemite cabin

Wind down the day with story time in the living room before putting the kids to bed in a Redwoods In Yosemite cabin.

Naturally, we are biased, but we are hard-pressed to come up with a better option for Yosemite lodging than a Yosemite vacation cabin rental with the Redwoods In Yosemite.

With cabins exclusively located inside the park, you’ll be close to so much of what makes Yosemite special. Spend less time commuting and more time enjoying nature.

Plus, vacation rentals have all the comforts of home, including space to spread out, relax and talk after putting the kids to bed, and save money by packing your own lunches or eating in when you want to.

Tips to Avoid June Busy-ness in Yosemite

Starting in June, you’re definitely hit Yosemite’s peak visitation season – and with good reason. There’s so much to do, with what seems like more opening almost daily. The weather settles into a pattern of nearly perfect, and as schools begin to let out, the park fills with excited nature-loving souls who are answering the call of the mountains.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid the crowds:

  1. Get started early. Yes, it’s vacation, but if you’d like to have a popular trail mostly to yourself, all you need to do is wake up a little bit earlier than the next group.
  2. Spend a day close to Wawona, or explore a lesser-known area on the days you’d like to sleep in or enjoy a relaxing morning. There’s so much to do in the area, that you don’t have to rush off every day to have a rewarding and restful vacation.
  3. Starting your day inside the park puts you in the pole position for the best start to a visit to Yosemite.

Story by Virginia Wyatt of Cabins 43R & 44R

From the Recollections of Life and Events in Wawona series

I am reminiscing today and invite you to take a trip down memory lane with me as I am in the winter of my life, spring: being to my children and youth, summer: adults, working hard to provide for your family, plan for future, fall: ah sweet retirement, grandchildren, hobbies, trips, finding time for things you could not do before and winter: keeping busy mentally and physically as much as you can, memories, reflections and counting all of my blessings. This is for you old timers and for you newcomers a wee bit of history.

Do you remember being able to go to breakfast at the Redwoods? It was served in a bright, cheery area just off of the dining room. The dining room was what is now the conference room. It had many small tables with white tablecloths and pretty red glass oil lamps in the middle of each table and every evening it filled with guests and owners. The menu was ample and the food was good.

Sometimes a group of old friends would reserve a big table and their congeniality and laughter would spread throughout the dining room. Then there was the frosty where if you got a hankering for a good hamburger you could order one with all of the fixins. Many guests and owners would walk down to the frosty after dinner for a special ice cream treat. There was a deck with seating where you could enjoy your food. On more than one occasion in the evening a bear would wonder into the area and create quite a stir.

Let’s not forget Mike Corday. Do any of you remember Mike? He was the Jack of all trades for the Redwoods. He collected garbage, was the security and as I remember drove a blue jeep with the word SECURITY emblazoned on the side door and he drove around and checked all of the cabins at night. In the early morning he made the best darned doughnuts in the country. Mike still calls me about once a year and we talk about the good old days and laugh about the garbage man making the doughnuts.

Several people have wondered why there can’t be a restaurant and frosty anymore. Is it the WPMI, the park rangers or Mariposa County? Do you remember Jean Ketchum (sp.)? She was I believe head of housekeeping and a really hard worker. I can’t remember her husband’s name but I believe he was head of maintenance.

Many of us had young children at this time and we would make a big picnic lunch and take them to the river down by the school house for an all-day adventure. I wonder if people still do that. In the evening I would sit out by the picnic table, drink hot chocolate and teach the children about the constellations not knowing that our cabin was right on the trail the bears used to go down to the river. I could tell a lot of bear stories but that can be for another day. Hope you all enjoyed reminiscing with me. We truly are blessed to have a cabin in Wawona.

*The picture above shows my mom dressed in her uniform and getting ready to work as the first waitress that the Moores hired. It is hard to see but there is a sign that says fresh donuts today and another signs says Coffee Shop and a third sign that I could not read. When we arrived in Wawona in 1965 the Moores had just built the restaurant and were looking for a waitress. When I told them that my mother was a Harvey Girl and had worked at the El Tovar Lodge at the Grand Canyon years ago they immediately wanted her to come to work for them to train their new waitresses. Mom loved that job. Mike Corday told me that mom would even help feed the little children if she was not too busy. She would tell them that there was a little bear in the bottom of the bowl and if they ate all their food they would find it.

 

Author: Virginia Wyatt – owner of Cabins 43R & 42R

Editor: Debbi Shelander