When it comes to grand views of nature, Yosemite is rich with options. From waterfalls to meadows to the iconic El Capitan, there are so many reasons that everyone from photographers to hardcore adventurers gravitate to Yosemite.
Yosemite is California’s most visited national park, and CA is a state with a lot of competition! (We’re already eyeing campsites in Joshua Tree for this winter.)
If you’re a nature lover who has been skipping Yosemite, it might be that very “most visited” title keeping you away. Don’t let the fear of crowds keep you from the park! If Yosemite is on your mind, September 2021 is the time to visit.
Here are 3 reasons to visit Yosemite this September!
1. The Upside to “Limited Capacity”
Due to COVID-19, Yosemite has limited its capacity by requiring entrance reservations. At first, planning ahead feels like a negative, but when you experience the park with its limited capacity, it suddenly starts to feel worth it.
As of today (August 9th, 2021), reservations are only required through the end of September. Most tickets are available now on recreation.gov, and a limited number will be released 7 days before the desired entry date. If you’re planning to start your adventure on a weekday, most of September is still available! For a weekend visit, you’ll want to be ready to reserve at 8am Pacific time a week before your trip. On top of the usual $35 car entrance fee, there is a $2 processing fee for making the reservation. (If you have an annual park pass, you’ll only be paying the $2 fee.)
Although a temporary measure, ticketed entry is starting to look like a good solution to overcrowding. Maybe it’s here to stay?
2. Say Goodbye to Summer Crowds
July and August are the peak months for Yosemite, partially because it’s such a popular spot for family road trips. When kids go back to school in September, the park gets a whole lot quieter. On average, Yosemite will see about 100,000 less visitors in September than August.
3. Ideal Weather, Without Closures
In September, the average high drops from 90° to 84°. With a low of 50°, it’s pretty ideal hiking weather all day long. Visitation continues to drop as the temperature drops, but winter road closures can begin as early as October. Late September is the sweet spot for fewer people and full park access.
Have we convinced you to start planning your September road trip? If you’re traveling with Cabana, our Concierge team can help you plan out where to stay and what to do. A concierge-created itinerary is unique to you and your travel preferences, but our team’s dream LA to Yosemite road trip is highlighted on our Instagram! (Click the “Itineraries” story highlight.)