Yosemite in the fall is a wonderful place to watch the leaves change color. The deep greens of the park’s countless evergreens remain beautiful and true throughout the year. But in addition to the park’s astounding evergreens, Yosemite National Park also boasts a plethora of deciduous trees, shrubs, and vines throughout the park that become nature’s fireworks during the Autumn. Nature lovers from all over come to see this spectacular transformation and enjoy the park during one of its least crowded seasons. Temperatures at Yosemite in the fall are usually crisp and cool, making fall the perfect time to bike, hike, rock climb, or simply watch the changing leaves in the park.

Fall Weather in Yosemite National Park

Surprisingly, the color of a tree’s leaves is not dependent upon the temperature outside—the color of the leaves is dependent upon light. The greens of summer begin to fade away when days become shorter and less bright, making it harder for trees to produce chlorophyll. As leaves lose their chlorophyll, the green hues fade, and the other pigments contained within the leaves begin to shine through. Different types of leaves hold different pigments within them, creating a spectrum of new colors at Yosemite in the fall. Below are some of the colors you can expect to see in different sections of Yosemite during Autumn.

The Valley – The diverse plant life found in Yosemite Valley offers the widest array of colors. Here you’ll come across yellow leaves on the bigleaf maples; brown and gold on the black oaks; red, pink, and yellow leaves on the dogwoods; brilliant yellow on the black cottonwoods; and reds, golds, and yellows on shrubs and smaller plants. If you head toward the Yosemite chapel, you’ll also see the brilliant red hues of sugar maple trees.

Glacier Point – This area of Yosemite boasts a variety of yellows and some orange hues emanating from deer brush, shrubs, and quaking aspens. It’s also the perfect place to get a view of the entire Yosemite Valley.

Wawona – Here you’ll come across a great deal of yellows and orange-browns on the black oaks; bright yellow bigleaf maples and black cottonwoods; pink, red, and yellow dogwoods; and reds, oranges, and yellows on the shrubs.

El Portal – This area of Yosemite National Park has willows, black cottonwoods, and Fremonts, all of which turn yellow in the fall. The oaks in this area turn yellow or an orange-brown. This section of the park also boasts wild grape vines that turn bright yellow and poison oaks that turn a brilliant red color. Just be careful not to touch!

If you’re ready to plan your Autumn escape to Yosemite National Park, call Yosemite’s Scenic Wonders at 1-888-YOSEMITE (1-888-967-3648) to reserve your Yosemite lodging and begin planning your memorable vacation. We offer quality home, condominium and cabin rentals inside the gates of Yosemite National Park at reasonable prices!

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