Pictures of Yosemite in Fall

These shots are from a trip to Yosemite National Park in November 2002. These are all scans from prints.

Usually we go to Yosemite in the spring. In a lot of ways, this is the nicest time of year. The falls are in full force, the crowds are just starting to show up even as late as May, and the valley is green. We've also been there in the winter and have reservations to go back this winter. There's almost nobody there in winter, and it's lovely in the snow. Summer, well, I've been in the park in August fairly recently, but not to the valley if you see the distinction (most people go to the valley). I don't intend to return unless there's a really good reason. But I'd never been there to see the fall color, which is around mid October to mid November. So this year we headed up the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of November.

It's as pretty as I hoped, and while it was somewhat cold it wasn't too bad. One little logistical problem is that a lot of the places to eat are closed, so although the crowds in general aren't bad the places to eat at the lodge are packed. Yosemite Falls had no water in it. Zero. Bridalveil had enough to be attractive, but the last time I was there you couldn't even see the falls from the viewing area because the whole region had so much airborne water that visibility was basically zero. It was a very different experience!

El Capitan. The trees below are largely black oaks which turn a lovely golden shade. Dogwoods turn red. And of course there are a lot of evergreens, so as you drive around the valley some places have more color than others.

There were still climbers. I'm not sure of the exact climbing season, but they don't seem to want to climb if there's ice, which seems sensible.

This time with the Merced in the foreground. It was bizarre to see so little water and so many rocks in the Merced.

Jeffrey Pine at Sentinel Dome. It's something of a famous tree because so many people have photographed it. There's a classic Ansel Adams shot, as an example. It's dead now but still photographed like mad. It's a nice hike off of the road to Glacier Point. This was the first time up to Glacier Point, because it's closed much of the year. When I went all of the services (the gift shop, anything involving running water) were closed down but the road was open basically until the next snowfall.

Also on the road to Glacier Point. Out of the valley it's mostly pines, but in this area there had been a fire and the underbrush was quite lovely.

Useful books:
The Yosemite Handbook : An Insider's Guide to the Park - this is our old standby by Phil Frank. It's basically a big FAQ covering a variety of topics.
Hiking Yosemite National Park - A Falcon Guide. Really nice, includes detailed maps including what happens with the elevation. My one problem with this book is that the author is very tough or thinks she has something to prove or something because she rates hikes as easy that other writers rate much higher. Ignore the ratings and look at the distance/elevation and make your own judgement.

Frankly the way I do it is to look at the short descriptions in the first book, use his ratings and recommendations, but then turn to the second book for maps and details.

See the rest of - Travel Photos and Trip Reports - including Yosemite in other seasons!
Copyright © 2001 - 2005 Doug Wade including all photographs except where otherwise noted.