Tioga Pass is usually accessible in late May or early June. Although summer in Yosemite National Park is beautiful, it is very crowded. The weather is mostly warm to hot, with occasional thunderstorms in the afternoons. Most of the water flowing in Yosemite comes from snowmelt in the high country, so runoff decreases during the dry summer. Peak runoff typically occurs in May or June. Wildflowers are beautiful in the summer months on the Valley floor; most blooming occurs in June, with redbud, Sierra onion, lupine, Mariposa lily, pentstemon, and flowering dogwood. In the higher country near our Lodge and Tioga Pass, the wildflower season begins in late summer for subalpine flowers.
During the fall, the number of people visiting the Park decreases, and the aspens along Tioga Pass and the Tuolumne area turn vivid colors. The Yosemite Valley offers big-leaf maples, black oaks, and other deciduous trees tend to begin to change colors around mid-October. All areas of the Park usually remain open through October, and sometimes into November. However, short-term closures may occur due to snow, and services often are not available along the Tioga Road after the first snow storm in November. The weather is usually comfortable but quite variable, with weather ranging from hot to cold, dry to rainy or snowy. Water levels tend to be very low, with waterfalls (including Yosemite Falls) containing little or no water. Some waterfalls, including Vernal, Nevada, and Bridal Veil, run all year; however their flow slows to a trickle by fall.
Yosemite is usually not accessible over Tioga Pass during this time of the year, but check out some of our winter activities, for things to do in the Mono Basin area during the winter months.
Yosemite is usually not accessible over Tioga Pass during this time of the year, but photography, bird watching and spring skiing are great ways to spend a spring weekend in the Eastern Sierras.