Yosemite in the fall and winter is a magical time. The sharp call of the cobalt blue Stellars Jay is heard throughout the valley and the famous granite monoliths awe onlookers with their austere beauty. You might think visiting Yosemite in fall and winter is just about watching fall colors or crushing down powder slopes at the Badger Pass Ski Area, ice skating, or enjoying a hot drink at The Ahwahnee hotel while watching the snowfall, but don’t forget some of the best of Yosemite scenery is available only at night.
Stargazing at Tenaya Lodge
On a clear cool night you can bundle up tightly, take a thermos and an astronomy app and wander the many paths of the Valley Floor marveling at the Milky Way and constellations. On a night with a full moon, the granite domes surrounding the valley floor gleam with a silvery light. In fact, Yosemite’s vast acreage and remote location protect some of the darkest night skies in the country, making it THE place to get starry-eyed. In November, catch the Leonid meteor shower for an extra beautiful show.
You can take yourself on a self-guided tour or enjoy a flashlight tour from the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. If Glacier Point road is open then this is a sublime location for watching the moon rise and stargazing from the amphitheater. Otherwise, you can find a fire pit to cozy around and watch the stars from a warmer location.
Make sure you are booked into a cabin where you can enjoy the stars from your private balcony and after retire in front of the warmth of your own fireplace.
There are endless things to do in California. Take a look at some of our favorites – and they can all be done in or close to Yosemite National Park.
One of California’s secret fishing destinations, sun-soaked Lake McClure and its little brother Lake McSwain are nestled in the oak-studded Sierra foothills on the western edge of Mariposa County.
Whether it’s a smooth granite chute sliding into a deep swimming hole or even a four-star hotel pool, visitors can seek out a plunge that’s perfectly suited.