Visiting Yosemite National Park, Bass Lake and Madera County in fall is a fantastic time to visit for many reasons but mostly because you avoid the summer crowds, the kids are back to school and it is less expensive than summer with lodging rates reduced after Labor day. Fall weather is the perfect time to indulge in all your outdoor activities such as seeing the leaves on the trees change color, hiking, mountain biking and indulging in local fall events while enjoying cool mornings, sunny days and star-studded nights.
The average temperature for Yosemite National Park should range from around 40°F at night to 72°F in the daytime in mid-autumn. The higher you go, the colder and more temperamental the climate gets so be sure to wear layers. The South Gate entrance neighborhoods of Madera County expect the highs to be in the mid to upper 70s with nightly lows in the 50s. Rain may visit in October, however, the rain makes for perfect hiking and mountain bike riding conditions because the weather will take those dusty trails and pack them down perfectly.
Yosemite is best explored by foot, park the car and hit the many trails that are designed for all abilities from easy to difficult. In the valley hop on a bike to explore miles of paved bike trails.
You can also experience Yosemite by taking a bus or guided tour and for something breathtaking and memorable take a scenic flight and you can see all over Yosemite.
Biking outside Yosemite in Bass Lake is the true mecca of all things mountain biking. Biking allows you to experience the landscapes from an intimate perspective and makes you feel free.
Goat Mountain | Forks Trail - 8 miles round trip. Note: Bike to top of Goat Mountain to the Fire Lookout tower. Watch for poison oak.
Goat Mountain | Spring Cove - 8 miles round trip. Note: Bike from Spring Cove campground to Fire Lookout tower. Watch for poison oak.
Bass Lake - Central Camp Road |Trail 007 - from 3 miles to as long as 20 miles. Note: Best done on a long travel full-suspension bike.
Willow Creek Trail - from 3 miles to as long as 20 miles. Note: This is a double-black-diamond ride best done on a full-suspension bike with at least 5 inches of travel. Biking Trails Inside Yosemite
Wawona | Swinging Bridge - 4 miles round trip. Note: From the Wawona store, ride out 2 miles on paved Forest Drive to the entrance to the Swinging Bridge area. Park your bike at the entrance and walk the .75 mile round trip to the bridge (and swimming hole).
Wawona | Meadow Loop - 3.5 mile loop. Note: Ride a lovely, forested flat meadow.
Yosemite Valley | See current Yosemite Guide newspaper for areas where bikes are permitted. Note: Bikes are not permitted on dirt or trails leading out of the valley floor.
Madera is one of the richest agriculture centers in the world, fall brings pomegranates and Madera County puts on the Madera Pomegranate Festival
This fall, join California’s most renowned vintners as they come together in Yosemite to share some of their most acclaimed wines. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to chat with the vintners as you sample their latest vintages and perfectly-aged selections. The elegant event culminates with a five-course dinner featuring dishes perfectly paired to the featured wines. With seven sessions through November and December, the Grand Grape Celebration will make your Yosemite vacation one you’ll never forget.
Of course, autumn is The Bracebridge Dinner, Heraldic horns sound throughout Yosemite National Park's elegant Majestic Yosemite Hotel, calling guests to enter Bracebridge Hall. Come travel back through time to a Christmas of centuries past, where glorious music and sumptuous food are but part of America's best-loved holiday tradition.
Visit our events page for a full listen of fall happenings.