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5 Top Reasons to Visit Yosemite in the Fall

A forest landscape at golden hour

Of course Yosemite is amazing all year round, but there are a number of reasons why you may want to choose the fall for your visit. As with any national park, make sure you check (and recheck) to be sure any hiking trails or other areas you really want to visit are both open and accessible. Here are the 5 top reasons to visit Yosemite in the fall.

#1 Less Crowded

If you have been planning to visit, then you may have seen articles and posts describing how crowded the Park is in the summer months. However, after Labor Day and through the beginning of November, the crowds start to thin out. That means the hiking trails will be less crowded. In fact, if you visit during the week, you may find yourself the only person on some of the trails at times.

#2 Perfect Weather

Did you know that there is less chance of rain during September and October than during the summer months? What’s more, the temperature is perfect for hiking and other outdoor activities. You’ll enjoy warm days and cool nights. Here are the ranges:

  • September: days average in low 80’s, nights in mid 50’s
  • October: days average in low 70’s, nights in mid 30’s
  • November: days average in low 50’s and nights in low 30’s

Mother Nature isn’t always totally predictable, so make sure that you check the weather just before leaving for your activities. There can be snow in October or November, which causes closure of some roads or slippery conditions. And no matter what the weatherman says, ALWAYS bring sunscreen, sunglasses, bug spray, water and a jacket.

#3 Easier Parking

Along with the lessening crowds comes more parking availability. This means that you may be able to park closer to where you want to start your hike. The result is time saved because you are both avoiding the wait for the shuttle and the circuitous shuttle route. So you have more time to do what you came to Yosemite to do! When planning, check to make sure the shuttles are still operating (should you choose to use them).

#4 Available Accommodations

Unlike the summer months when reservations must be made months in advance, the fall may offer more availability because there are fewer visitors. This typically applies more to weekdays than weekends. Be especially aware of several dates when entrance to the Park is free: September 25, 2021 (National Public Lands Day) and November 11, 2021 (Veterans Day).

#5 Fall Color

Yosemite is not necessarily known for spectacular fall color, mostly because many of the trees are evergreens. However, the Yosemite Valley, and Wawona Meadows in particular, have black oaks, bigleaf maples and dogwoods with beautiful fall color. There will be plenty of instagram-worthy shots!

After September 30, 2021, reservations for driving into Yosemite are no longer required. (Note: reservations were never required for entrance through Hetch Hetchy). If you need help planning your trip, please call us! We also have packages with our affiliate, Balanced Rock, that offer guided tours into the park. We want to make sure you experience and love all of these 5 top reasons to visit Yosemite in the fall.

The Groveland 18767 Main Street circle logo

Summer Menu

Small Bites & Shares

Southwest Chicken Spring Rolls with Pico de Gallo $12

Vegetable Samosas with cilantro chutney $12

Heirloom Tomato Flatbreads with grape tomato, mozzarella, pecorino, pesto, balsamic reduction $14

Grilled Chicken Wings with teriyaki, pineapple pepper relish, scallions, peanuts $14

Truffle and Parmesan French Fries with garlic aioli $11

Charcuterie and Cheese Plate with mostarda, crackers, whole grain mustard $16



Fiesta Salad with romaine, Pico de Gallo, black beans, avocado, pepper jack cheese, chipotle ranch $13

House Caesar Salad with parmesan crisps, garlicky croutons, lemon Caesar dressing $12

Artisan Salad with apple, celery, dried apricots, cucumber, pumpkin seed vinaigrette $12

*Add Shrimp +$14, Chicken +$10, Steak +$14, or Salmon +$12



Vegetarian Orecchiette Pasta $24

with Spring vegetables, tomato coulis, pecorino Romano

Fried Chicken Sliders $22

with brioche bun, sweet pickles, coleslaw, chipotle mayo and house fries

Wagyu Burger Sliders $24

with aged cheddar, brioche bun, mustard aioli, romaine lettuce and house fries

Blackened Chicken Tacos $24

with flour tortilla, jack cheese, black bean aioli, mango salsa and tortilla chips

Pan Roasted Salmon $32 

with cous-cous tabouleh, seasonal vegetable, citrus vinaigrette

Jumbo Shrimp and Potato Gnocchi $34 

with English peas, mushrooms, heirloom tomato, lemon butter sauce

Grilled Steak Frittes $42

with Prime NY strip, house fries, chimi churi sauce



Room 110 is situated at the back of the hotel in the Annex building on the lower floor.  This cozy room features a queen bed, with a large private bathroom containing a tub/shower.  This room accommodates two guests. This is a pet-friendly room.

Accessibility Features: Entry door is 32” wide; there is an outlet within 4’ of the telephone jack; the door lock is located 44” from the floor; there is more than 36” of room to the right side of the bed; hangers are located 53” off the ground.  Currently, the door handle is a historic twist knob, but we are working with our locksmith to replace this with a levered handle that can easily be operated with one hand and without tight grasping, pinching or twisting the wrist.

The bathroom has room to do a t-turn; the toilet seat is 18” off the ground and has a grab bar located behind the toilet; the wash basin is 30” off the ground with insulated pipes; the wash basin faucet is easy to operate with one hand without tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist; the towel racks are 46” off the floor; the bathroom floors are slip resistant.  There are no grab bars on an adjacent wall in the bathroom for the toilet as there is not an adjacent wall to place them on. 

The tub has faucet controls positioned at the center of the end wall and open side of the tub; faucet can easily be turned on and off with one hand without tight grasping, pinching or twisting the wrist; there is a grab bar at the foot of the tub and at the head of the tub; and there are two 40” grab bars alongside the tub to serve for low and high needs.  The fixtures in the bathtub are historic and therefore we do not have a 60” hand held shower wand.

Due to the historic nature of our property, our rooms are fairly small, therefore we are unable to provide 36” around both sides and the foot of the bed.  However, we do provide full clearance between the door and the right side of the bed.

You can book this room online or please call us 24 hours/7 days a week at 209-962-4000 or email us at guestservices@groveland.com and we would be happy to find the room that most meets your needs.  

Pet Friendly

Your search for pet-friendly vacation lodging near Yosemite National Park ends here.  Our four-legged guests love the Groveland Hotel as much as our two-legged ones!  We’re happy to offer select pet-friendly rooms, located on the first floor, for your stay in Groveland, California.  The pet fee is $75 per reservation, with a limit of one pet per guest.  We welcome pets 60 lbs or less.

For dog-friendly activities near the Groveland Hotel, we recommend a walk along the Hetch Hetchy Railroad or going for a refreshing dip in the pet-friendly Rainbow Pools swimming hole.  If you are heading into Yosemite National Park, check their website for pet rules and restrictions.

Looking for a local dog sitter/boarder where you can keep your dogs for the day while exploring Yosemite?  There is a great nearby facility called Big Creek Boarding.