View Full Version : Yosemite Valley Fall Color Report

25-Oct-2009, 14:16
I have just returned from YV, and here is a color report for you...

The Dogwood along Hwy 120 from the Big Oak Flat entrance station to Crane Flat are near, or at peak. They look wonderful; many red, some lighter.

The Dogwood on the valley floor are in various states of change along Southside Drive. They are very well along, and are looking nice at Camp Curry.

The Broadleaf Maples along Southside Drive, and most anywhere on the south side of the Valley are flaming.

The Black Oaks are in various states of change. The trees in the sunny areas are just starting to turn, and those in the shaded areas are looking very nice.

The Sugar Maple across the road from the chapel is at peak, and likely won't last much longer. (This is a non-native tree, the last remaining of the 18 that were planted in the late 1800's at the site of the old Yosemite Village)

Most of the Sword Fern along the north side are brown, but some still have nice color. The willows are in various states of change. The oaks just west of the Yosemite Falls pathway, are looking nice (these are in the area know as Swan Slab).

On another note: Yosemite and Bridalveil Falls are flowing nicely, but have slowed somewhat. If we get more rain later this coming week, they should perk up again.

So, if you can get to Yosemite this week, or early next, you should have very nice conditions to enjoy.

Cheers to All,


Hugh Sakols
25-Oct-2009, 18:16
I scouted out this composition with my dslr and then set up my view camera just a couple of hours ago.

25-Oct-2009, 19:08
Oh man, wish I could go! I missed much of the color this year in the owens valley.

Jim Fitzgerald
25-Oct-2009, 22:38
My son and I are going to the valley for Halloween!


Ivan J. Eberle
26-Oct-2009, 08:50
Wind event due tomorrow, might want to double-check the forecast:

26-Oct-2009, 10:20
Here's another WX update from NWS-Hanford:

Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 51. South southwest wind 8 to 11 mph becoming northwest between 18 and 21 mph. Winds could gust as high as 29 mph.

Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 28. Blustery, with a north northeast wind between 14 and 22 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 52. Northeast wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 29.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 59.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 32.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 64.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 34.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 65.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 41.


Jim Fitzgerald
26-Oct-2009, 18:00
I'm there on Saturday AM and I'll be sure to report back.


Drew Wiley
27-Oct-2009, 16:02
Well, I had to do a roofing job in the hills, but did have one day in which I headed
south into the N Fork of the Kings, then through all kinds of back roads. Dogwoods
and willow with a lot of pink and yellow 4000-6000 ft level. My back was a bit sore
from the roof work, so I didn't attempt a dayhike into the high country. Was raining
today as I returned on Hwy 49, with a big dust/wind storm in the central valley.
Probably snowing a dab at upper elevations. This area is an impressive alternative
to Yosemite, but the road up the north fork is not for the faint at heart - narrow one
lane with no guard rail, blasted across the face of a cliff for a considerable distance.
Almost never any cars (thank goodness! there's no place to turn around!). Drove
thru Hornitos today. Lower hills lovely right now, but was too windy to set up the 8x10. Glad I got some shots yesterday. Would have been nice in Yos, however,
since the wind was absent above 2000ft, and the drizzle would have been nice for

Jim Fitzgerald
1-Nov-2009, 22:17
Okay, just got back. The fall color is peaking in the valley I'd say. Great color at 4,000-5,000 feet. The light coming of the North side of the valley is acting like a big reflector and the light was magnificent. The bonus was the full moon on halloween. Nothing but digital shooters lined up on the Sentential Bridge like flies. Saw two other LF shooters, one shooting 5x7 color and 4x5 color and B&W.

Took the 645 with me as my son and I hiked a lot. Got a lot of great images and I could use a new pair of knees! Bitch to get older.


Harley Goldman
2-Nov-2009, 16:34

I looked for you, but did not see you. I was shooting 4x5, but did not see any others.

The valley was gorgeous, as was Highway 41 on the way out. If anyone can get there, I would recommend it.

Jim Fitzgerald
3-Nov-2009, 07:28
Harley, I looked for you also. My son and I did a lot of hiking and I'm glad I had the 645 with me. The bonus of our trip was eating lunch at Tenaya Lake on Sunday afternoon. The lake was a mirror and we sat in our chairs at the edge of the lake for some time with no one else around. Only thing missing was the big white puffy clouds to the North. Met the 4x5 shooter there.


Greg Gibbons
9-Nov-2009, 14:25
Anyone have recommendations on where to camp this weekend, if I don't have reservations? Is it tough getting a campsite?

Is the color still good, or is it too late?

Jim Fitzgerald
9-Nov-2009, 19:09
Greg, You can usually get a campsite at camp4 which is over by the Yosemite Lodge and the trail to the top of Yosemite falls. It is first come first serve and is where the climbers camp. At only $5.00 a night it is a steal.
Not sure about the color but the light this time of year is great.


Hugh Sakols
9-Nov-2009, 21:29
I just was in the valley today and the black oaks are looking quite nice. I found a couple of trees in El Cap Meadow that are just about on fire.

Harley Goldman
10-Nov-2009, 19:33
Try the online reservation system, Greg. There are usually last minute cancellations a few days before the weekend, so keep checking it.

Curt Palm
11-Nov-2009, 09:46
Anyone have recommendations on where to camp this weekend, if I don't have reservations? Is it tough getting a campsite?

Is the color still good, or is it too late?

as far as camping goes, you shouldn't have any problem, check out this web site:


they update availability every morning. there were 84 sites in Upper Pines available for 11/13 (friday) and 74 for 11/14 as of this morning.
you should be able to get a reservation online to make sure you have a spot.

BTW, the campgrounds don't take reservations December through March 14th.