The summer season may be winding down, but we're still yearning for more sun-kissed mountain time. We figured we're not alone. Fortunately one of the best times to visit Yosemite National Park, specifically the higher elevations of the Tuolumne Meadows area, is post-Labor Day, when daytime weather remains warm and pleasant yet the summertime crowds have thinned.
While the lower elevations of Yosemite Valley remain open year round, Tioga Pass Road/Highway 120 (the highest mountain pass road on the west coast) provides access to the park's high country and stays open only until the first big snow of the season, which typically occurs by early November. Until that time, Tioga Pass Road affords access to some of the most accessible and stunning scenery in the Sierra, providing countless opportunities for mountain adventuring of all shapes and sizes.
Whether you enjoy scenic lakeside lounging, meditative meadow walks, climbing heavily-featured granite or descending glacier carved canyons, late summer and early fall in Tuolumne provides the perfect mountain playground. And did we mention that booking a campsite at the Tuolumne Meadows Campground becomes exponentially easier post Labor Day? Just make sure to get on it soon, as there's no telling when the next early season storm will drop a blanket of the white stuff, limiting access until next year.
While we're confident you'll have no problem finding things to do in the Tuolumne high country area, here are a few ideas to get you pointed on the right track:
Please be responsible and practice Leave no Trace principles when out and about so everyone can enjoy these beautiful natural places the way they're intended to be.