The Top-Ranked West Coast Destination For A Fall Getaway

When you think of fall foliage, the East Coast is probably one of the first places to cross your mind. New England especially is famous for its hills and trees full with vibrant hues of orange, red, yellow, and brown leaves. The crisp air and stunning views are iconic, making them a top choice for those who can't get enough of fall scenery.

However, the East Coast isn't the only place to delight in the colorful, changing leaves. Sure, you can find stretches of turning leaves in the Midwest, but the place we're talking about is often overlooked: the West Coast, specifically, Yosemite.

Yosemite National Park is known for its spectacular views and the sea of people that visit during peak season. During the summer months, it's almost always crowded with tourists trying to take in its many sights — especially the most beautiful places in the park. For those looking to dodge the crowds and see fall foliage though, Yosemite Valley, the canyons formed by formal glaciers in Yosemite National Park, should be on your travel radar.

See animals and majestic views

Hiking in Yosemite in the fall can be a breathtaking experience. You're not battling crowds or high temperatures, and you get to take in the grand scenes that the park is famous for. It's a win all around. If you're an animal lover, you'll still see plenty of them — just not reptiles and amphibians since they'll have gone into hibernation or have already migrated to escape the dipping temperatures. However, depending on when you go in the fall, you may still see black bears and otters and a variety of birds. Crowds aren't dense and therefore less likely to scare the animals off, so you might have better luck at actually seeing them.

The park is open year round, so you're free to trek the hundreds of miles of hiking trails in the fall, just be sure to dress in layers and invest in a good pair of shoes, preferably hiking boots.

Factors to consider

If you do decide to try visiting Yosemite National Park in the fall, remember to do your research. Check the weather and understand that, especially as you hike to higher altitudes, the weather can change rapidly. Fall weather and temperatures can vary quite a bit so, like we said, dress in layers so you can adjust accordingly.

Next, ensure that your car is ready to face the elements — think about bringing tire chains — since car services on Tioga Road, which is known for the breathtaking views you can see from it, end in September. Also, if you're visiting later in the fall, keep in mind that there may be road closures due to snowfall.

Yosemite National Park is stunning, some may argue all the more so in the fall. See for yourself by visiting once the leaves turn. You might just be surprised by the immense beauty it has to offer and the Yosemite adventures you'll create.