The peak season for Yosemite is summer – June, July, and August (between Memorial Day and Labor Day).
April, May, and early June are some of the best times to visit Yosemite Valley. There are fewer crowds, and the waterfalls are at their peak, especially in May and June.
With over 800 miles of hiking trails, pulling on your hiking boots will get you off the beaten track in more ways than one.
The full Valley Loop Trail (11.5 mi |18.5 km) will take around 5-7 hours, or, you can make a leisurely half loop of either the eastern or western valley.
One of Yosemite’s most popular attractions is its giant ancient sequoia trees. Yosemite has three Giant Sequoia Groves: Mariposa Grove, Tuolumne Grove, and Merced Grove.
Taft Point is a worthwhile hike for sunset, set off about an hour before. Do be careful near the edges as there is no real fencing to prevent you from falling thousands of feet to the Valley floor.
A short and relatively easy hike (some steep elevation at the last stretch) Sentinel Dome offers views similar to Glacier Point but not quite as crowded.
One of our recommendations to beat the sunrise crowds, Inspiration Point offers an alternative to the often crowded Tunnel View. It’s a short yet steep 1.3-mile hike for spectacular views of the Valley from above.