Yosemite in the Fall at Curry Village

The “Off-season” is the Best Season

Yosemite’s views are spectacular at every time of year, but autumn in the park is truly a must-see.

Yosemite National Park is one of the gems of the outdoors during the fall. Visiting September through mid-December is a great time to see a lot of the park without navigating through massive crowds. The busyness of summer is left behind and you can kick back and enjoy a more tranquil outdoor experience.

Aside from the smaller crowds, fall boasts milder weather, and better lodging availability, making autumn one of the most temperate times for hiking and rock climbing. Bikers will not only find it cooler, but enjoy roads that are less busy. Bike rentals are available until mid-late October.

Yosemite National Park is open year-round, and all areas of the park typically remain open through October, with some areas of the park closing in November. Curry Village is Yosemite’s year-round camp, hosting campers rain or shine.

Curry Village Cabins, with the granite walls of Yosemite poised directly behind.

Curry Village Reservations  

Curry Village is one of the most popular destinations for Yosemite National Park lodging. While there are plenty of options for Yosemite lodging in the fall, none are more central than the Curry Village cabins (formerly known as Half Dome Village).

Curry Village offers a range of lodging options, from canvas tent cabins, motel rooms, or cabins with shared and private bathrooms perfect for young families, or those who simply like more creature comforts than tent camping.

 Many of the rooms come equipped with a double bed, and the double cabins can offer additional bed options. If you’re visiting in the fall, plan to book a heated tent or cabin and, bring a sleeping bag for extra warmth. Nights become chilly in the fall, and you’ll want the heat! In addition to heaters, Curry Village cabins provide a more comfortable camping experience:

  •     Daily housekeeping
  •     Fresh towels as needed
  •     Extra blankets available at the front desk, first come first serve
  •     Heated outdoor pool, available in the warmer months
  •     Grocery store located close by
  •      Wi-fi access available
  •     The ice skating rink, available during the winter months

There are three food and drink options close to Curry Village: Curry Village’s Meadow Grill, The Pizza Patio, and the Curry Village Bar. Curry Village’s Meadow Grill offers a variety of grilled food, like burgers and hot dogs. The Pizza Patio specializes in hand-tossed pizza, and the Curry Village Bar can provide the perfect punctuation to the end of your hike.

In addition to the great amenities, Curry Village is centrally located in Yosemite Valley. It’s one of the only camps that offers stunning views from Glacier Point to Half Dome — an iconic view you won’t soon forget!

Backpackers hiking through the trails of Yosemite, with Bridal Veil Falls in the background.

Some Fine Print When Staying in Yosemite:

  • For avid pet owners, please note that Curry Village is not a pet-friendly campground. Fido will have to skip this one.
  • Note than cooking and campfires are not allowed at Curry Village, so make sure you prepare accordingly.
  • While making reservations in advance is advised, oftentimes fall campers may be able to book their Curry Village Yosemite stay only weeks or days in advance.
  • When traveling in the fall and winter, make sure the roads are clear and review pass closures prior to your trip. The Tioga Pass closes mid-October through mid-November.
  • Glacier Point also closes after the first snowfall, so if you’re planning a trip to hike this beautiful monument, plan early in the fall.
  • Wildfires have been known to occur in the spring or fall. Before leaving, please check for the latest fire information and updates.

 

Fall foliage in Yosemite at its finest.

Fall Foliage & Temperatures

Especially at upper elevations, much of Yosemite’s trees are evergreen, so they won’t shift into shades of red or orange in the fall. Big-leaf maples, black oaks, Pacific dogwoods, and other deciduous trees offer a color extravaganza around mid-October, however.

Fall and early winter weather in Yosemite are marked by their variability. So, plan for it to be hot or cold, with average highs and lows changing dramatically by month:

  • September: 84 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) / 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius)
  • October: 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) / 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius)
  • November: 57 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) / 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius)

Touring the historical landmarks of Yosemite National Park.

Popular Fall Activities in Yosemite National Park

Staying in Curry Village in the fall puts you front and center to some of the park’s greatest activities. Some of these activities exclusively happen in the fall, making it a great time to book your trip:

  •     Fall Fishing: September through December is peak season for trout fishing, especially for brown trout that thrive in the lower Merced River.
  •     Fall and Winter Meteor Showers: October through December historically boasts some spectacular meteor showers. With Yosemite’s low light pollution, it’s extra dark, meaning that these showers are sure to look fantastic:
    • Orionids Meteor Shower: Night of October 21, 2019
    • Leonids Meteor Shower: Night of November 17, 2019
    • Geminids Meteor Shower: Night of December 13, 2019
  • Explore Yosemite Historical Sites: Yosemite boasts 90 years as a National Park, and its museum is small but artifact-rich. Among the permanent exhibits are items created by tribes indigenous to the park and surrounding areas prior to the arrival of prospectors in the 1850s. Additionally, Yosemite Chapel, Yosemite Cemetery and the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center offer examples of early development in this historic national park.

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