3-Day Fall Itinerary

3-Day Fall Itinerary

DAY 1: 

Valley Floor Tour

Kick-off your first day in the park with the Valley Floor Tour. It’s a great way to see the Valley while learning about the incredible history, flora, and fauna throughout the park. This 2-hour tour operates in open-air trams when weather permits, during colder weather the tour is enjoyed from the comfort of a heated bus with panoramic windows.


Consider grabbing lunch at The Ahwahnee Bar. Menus items include sandwiches, salads and a nice variety of appetizers, making it the perfect spot for a lunch break on your first day in Yosemite.


Take the path less traveled with a half-day (4-hour) custom guided hike! A private hiking guide will design a hike tailored specifically to your preferences and hiking experience level. Along the way you’ll have the option to learn about Yosemite’s geology, flora, fauna, and incredible Native American history!

If you're looking for some self-guided hike options that are best in autumn some recommendations include: 

      • Easy: Sentinel Dome or Taft Point Trail (2.2 miles, 2 hours round trip to either Sentinel Dome or Taft Point)
      • Moderate: Mist Trail to Vernal Fall footbridge (1.6 miles, 1-1.5 hours round trip)
      • Strenuous: Mist Trail to top of Vernal Fall (2.4 miles, 3 hours round trip); Four Mile Trail (4.8 miles, 3-4 hours one way to Glacier Point or 9.6 miles, 6-8 hours round trip); Panorama Trail (8.4 miles, 4.5-7 hours)


Consider relaxing over dinner at the Mountain Room Lounge. Menu features lighter fare including appetizers, sandwiches, salads, soups, shareable platters and desserts. 

Night Programs

End your day with a walk through the woods with the Night Prowl adventure or go on a cosmic voyage with the Starry Night Skies Over Yosemite tour! During the Night Prowl, you will learn about animals, such as bats, owls, or bears and those nocturnal animals’ adaptions for living at night. The walk will be easy, flat, and one mile or less. Through the Starry Night Skies tour, you’ll learn about the moon, the Milky Way, constellations, comets, meteors, and the folklore that follows! 

Day 2: 


Degnan's Kitchen and Basecamp Eatery (shuttle stop #8) are some convenient breakfast options to kick-start your day. Degnan’s Kitchen serves hot breakfast sandwiches, pastries, freshly baked donuts, handcrafted coffee/espresso drinks and a variety of grab & go options. Basecamp Eatery has a wide variety of breakfast items. Items include breakfast burritos, French toast or tasty grab & go options such as muffins or pastries. Basecamp Eatery also provides a Starbucks coffee bar to enjoy your favorite drink.

Rock Climbing

Autumn is the best time of the year for rock climbing, with months renamed SENDtember and ROCKtober. Give rock climbing a try with the Yosemite Mountaineering School, regardless of your experience level there is a lesson you will learn from and enjoy. These lessons are generally 7.5 - 8 hours long with a break in the middle for lunch, so pack a picnic to enjoy mountainside. 


Once you’re back in the Valley head to Basecamp Eatery at the Yosemite Valley Lodge. The eatery has something for everyone with Italian, classic American, and International menus.

DAY 3:  


The Ahwahnee Dining Room offers delicious breakfast menu options such as Eggs Benedict and the Three Egg Omelet. Also offered, is the breakfast buffet with oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, fruit and more traditional breakfast options. 

Save a little time for exploring this historic hotel, an art gallery in itself. Designed to highlight its natural surroundings, the stunning interior design includes stained-glass windows, immense natural-stone fireplaces and Native American design elements. This National Historic Landmark will leave you in awe as you start your final day in Yosemite. 

Walk Among Giants! 

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias was reopened June 15, 2018 after a three-year restoration project to preserve the giant sequoias and associated wetland habitat and provide a great visitor experience. These giants are among the rarest, oldest, and largest living organisms in the world today, travel Highway 41 to the south entrance of the park to walk among these giants. 

From the parking lot just inside the park’s south entrance, take the free shuttle service to the Mariposa Grove Arrival Area. One hiking option is the Grizzly Giant Loop Trail (moderate: 2.1 miles, 2 hours round trip), which guides you past the most notable trees, such as the California Tunnel Tree and the Grizzly Giant. Another option is the relatively flat, wheelchair accessible, Big Trees Loop Trail (easy: 0.3 miles, 30-45 minutes round trip), which winds through a forest of giant sequoias featuring the Fallen Monarch and interpretive panels on the life and ecology of the giant sequoias. 

Lunch at Wawona Hotel

Enjoy lunch at the charming, Victorian-era Wawona Hotel Dining Room. The dining room has expansive windows, which allow you take in the surrounding fall colors, towering trees, and wrap-around porch. The menu features salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers, and other delicious lunch entrees. 

Pioneer History Center

Before leaving the south side of the park, stop at the Pioneer History Center. The center features horse-drawn wagons, a covered bridge, and historic buildings from Yosemite's past. The Pioneer History Center has a plethora of unique and beautiful photo opportunities with lots of fall colors, especially around the covered bridge, have your camera ready!

Sunset at Glacier Point

Along the drive back to the Valley, turn off at Glacier Point Road and take the must-see scenic drive to Glacier Point and catch a beautiful sunset overlooking Yosemite Valley, Vernal and Nevada Fall, the high country, the Sierra Nevada mountains, including Half Dome and El Capitan. While you’re there, visit the Glacier Point Gift Shop & Snack Stand to enjoy a hot chocolate and a tasty treat!


For your last night in the park, enjoy perfectly cooked steaks, sustainably caught seafood, or try the delicious Chicken Mole at the Mountain Room in Yosemite Valley Lodge. Cheers to your Yosemite vacation over a sweet treat and some cocktails.  

Join us in the fall season for Yosemite's Vintners' Holidays. California's most renowned vintners come together in Yosemite to share some of their most acclaimed wines. Guests have the option to book the dinner only or our session and lodging packages!