Visiting in Fall
Areas to visit: All areas of the park usually remain open through October, and sometimes into November; however, short-term closures may occur due to snow. Along the Tioga Road, services are not available after September and overnight parking is not permitted after October 14th. Yosemite Valley and Wawona remain accessible by car all year, however tire chains may be required, depending on conditions.
Weather: Quite variable, with weather ranging from hot to cold, dry to rainy or snowy.
Fire & Smoke: Hazy or smoky conditions may occur during fall. This may be due to fires in the region or in the park. Lightning-caused fire occurs naturally in the Sierra Nevada. In some areas, the park may have prescribed fires to mimic natural fires to promote forest health and reduce the risk of larger fires. Additionally, accidental and arson fires can also occur, but firefighters typically attempt to suppress these fires immediately.
Rivers & Waterfalls: Water levels tend to be very low, with waterfalls (including Yosemite Falls) containing little or no water. Some waterfalls, including Vernal, Nevada, and Bridalveil, run all year; however, their flow slows to a trickle by fall.
Fall colors: Yosemite is not known for having spectacular fall colors because most of the trees are evergreen. Still, big-leaf maples, black oaks, Pacific dogwoods, and other deciduous trees tend to be showy around mid-October.