Yosemite National Park most definitely is a showcase of Sierra Nevada Mountain Range scenic splendor that simply must be experienced at least once in a lifetime. This park can be busy during the summer season, yet once the first autumn cold spell arrives it becomes easier to find some extra breathing room. Empty parking spaces are easier to find and the hiking trails to the most popular attractions no longer resemble a mass migration. When planning an autumn season Yosemite tour it is best to keep in mind that the window of opportunity can be narrow, especially if an early winter is expected. Full blown winter conditions can appear at just about anytime from mid to late fall in the high elevations of the Sierra Nevadas. For this reason, it is best to not let a pleasant sunny autumn day slip away because it can be a golden opportunity to tour Yosemite in more ways than one!
The golden light of autumn certainly does paint the majestic Yosemite landscape with an appealing glow. This is especially true in the late afternoon when the sunlight cuts through atmospheric dust that stretches all the way out to the Pacific Coast. The towering sequoias almost look too lifelike to be real, while the finer details of the pale granite landscape are far easier to notice. The visual contrast this time of year is perfect for photography or even taking the time to apply paint to canvas, so by all means, be sure to pack a camera or an artist palette for the ride.
For those who have limited time to spare or for when blizzard conditions are forecasted for the following day, the best section of Yosemite to tour is Tioga Road through the crest of the mountains. There is literally one point of interest after another along this stretch of road and the unique landscapes in between are equally as captivating. The world famous granite domes and towering mountain peaks capture plenty of attention, while the picturesque alpine streams and lakes beckon visitors to take a closer look. Even the mysterious Yosemite Valley can be viewed in the distance from the roadside and of course all around are the tall old growth trees. Yosemite is the land of the giant sequoia, which is the largest tree species in the world and these trees certainly do command some attention.
The sound of the breeze blowing through the alpine forest is enticement enough, yet the golden light of autumn is a reminder that winter is not far away. Getting stuck in Yosemite during an unexpected blizzard is a dangerous proposition, so it is best to check the weather forecast before heading uphill. A leisurely day trip to check out the scenic overlooks is well worth it this time of year, so be sure to chalk the venture up before the window of opportunity fades away!
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