What to Wear Hiking in Yosemite in October?

The fall season is one of the nicest times to visit Yosemite National Park because it offers mild weather. Since the weather’s cooler, hiking and rock climbing are more fun and comfortable. That means you can enjoy the outdoors without sweating away all of your hard-earned calories. Additionally, bikers will also find it easier to traverse the roads because of less traffic.

If you’re asking what to wear hiking in Yosemite in October, just pack what you need for your activities. Bring the appropriate gear and clothes for hiking, fishing, and climbing. Take a medium-weight jacket with you if you’re only doing light exercises. Additionally, you might need a hat and gloves to keep you protected from the night cold.

Aside from these, there are also other things you should remember when visiting Yosemite in October. We’ll talk about these things below, along with some hiking spots that you should check out. If you’re planning to visit Yosemite in October, continue reading!

How Should I Dress for Yosemite in October?

Yosemite weather changes almost every time of the year, so you must come prepared for your trip. Weather in the fall is usually mild, but there’s always a chance that early snowstorms surprise you. Since this is the case, packing for a trip might be tricky. If you don’t know what clothes to wear for your October Yosemite trip, here are some suggestions on how to dress.

Wear plenty of layers!

Since the weather in Yosemite changes quite quickly, you would want to wear layers. Make sure you have something to mix and match with the changing climate. If you are camping, bring warm layers for cold nights and comfortable clothing for lounging around.

Dress appropriately for the outdoors.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or just enjoy the outdoors, you’ll want to wear clothing designed for the activities. Clothes made from quick-dry materials are helpful, as they won’t hold moisture when you’re in humid climates. 

Additionally, don’t forget to bring your crocs or sandals with you when you explore. This way, your feet can rest when you’re not hiking.

Don’t go fancy.

If you’re looking to pack light, consider avoiding fancy clothing that you would be upset over if it got ruined. You’ll be on the go for a camping trip, so make sure you pack clothes that will be comfortable and functional. You can also pack clothes that you can wear over and over again, so you don’t have to worry about packing too much.

Do I Need Hiking Shoes for Yosemite?

Whatever season you visit Yosemite, there’s going to be a lot of hiking involved. With this, it’s important to bring a pair or two of your trusty hiking shoes for your trip. Some people prefer wearing heavy-duty boots with high-ankle support, while others opt to wear a pair of lightweight and waterproof hiking sandals. 

Although it depends on your preference, ensure that the pair you’ll be wearing won’t give you any blisters. If you want to add another layer of cushion, you can always wear socks. Not only would they add protection, but they’ll also keep your feet warm. 

Best Hikes at Yosemite in October

Yosemite is ideal for hiking during October because most traits are still open, and the daytime weather is generally mild. Here are some hiking spots you can visit on your October Yosemite trip.

Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Point

The first mile of this hike will be roughly 1,000 feet but will give you a majestic view from the Columbia Rock. If you continue further, you’ll be able to get a glimpse of the Half Dome, the Yosemite Valley.

Nevada Falls Loop

The Mist Trail is steeped in history and is a must-see when visiting Yosemite National Park. Climb the historic granite steps of the Mist Trail to be enchanted by two of Yosemite’s largest waterfalls.

Mariposa Grove

Hiking the Mariposa Grove should be on your list if you want to be amazed by Giant Sequoias.  You’ll want to take a walk through the park, but don’t forget to look up at these massive 1,000-year-old trees!

How Cold Does It Get in Yosemite in October?

As mentioned, the weather in Yosemite in October is generally mild. However, it can also get a little unpredictable. On average, the temperature in Yosemite can range from 42°F to 71°F. On the other hand, the temperature is much colder at higher elevations.

At Tuolumne Meadows (8000 feet), the average temperature goes from 25°F to 56°F. Also, keep in mind that some higher areas may be closed because of snow. Thus, it’s important to keep yourself updated with snow reports, road closures, and river water levels.

Does It Rain in Yosemite in October?

Between October and May, Yosemite receives 95% of its rains. However,  October brings with it only four days of rain. With this, it’s important to pack essential items to make your trip comfortable and safe.

Here are some items that you should bring on your trip:


You can never have enough water on your trip. Keep in mind that experts recommend at least three liters of water per day. Of course, you’ll need more if you’re on a long hike, with little shade, or are involved in strenuous activity. If you think that three liters are a lot to carry, you can opt to bring a purifying system with you.


Snacks are a must-have when you’re on the trail. Even when taking a short hike, you should make sure that you have snacks with you to keep your energy up. If you’re planning on hiking for several hours, consider eating a full meal. Of course, you can also make your own. 

Emergency Kit

A trip to Yosemite can be one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. However, you also have to be prepared for the unexpected. Thus, you must prepare an emergency kit, including a headlamp, first-aid kit, and whistle.

Does Yosemite Get Snow in October?

September and October are typically beautiful, with clear, brilliant days. However, Yosemite National Park has a lot of snowfall from January through May and October through December. October is also the first time snowfall lands on Yosemite and may bring a few early winter storms.

Additionally, river and stream levels fluctuate dramatically in the fall. Some streams are trickling or completely dry by then since the melted snow supplies them. By mid-October, temperatures are cold enough for freezing rain, rain, sleet, or snow. 

Best Fall Hikes in Yosemite

If you don’t have time to go to Yosemite in October, you can always choose another time. Fall is generally a great season to visit the park, so you don’t have to worry. If you’re looking for the best fall hikes in Yosemite, here are excellent spots to visit!

Cloud’s Rest

Cloud’s Rest is a large granite formation just north of Half Dome. It’s a popular hiking spot as it provides an amazing view of the valley. The best place to start your hike is at the Sunrise Lakes trailhead, located on Tioga Road near Tenaya Lake.

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake is a stunning spot in Yosemite National Park. There are plenty of great options for recreation at Tenaya Lake, including kayaking, swimming, and boating. It also offers plenty of sun worship opportunities.

Dog Lake

The Dog Lake trail begins at the Dog Lake parking area west of Tuolumne Meadows on Tioga Road. You’ll be rewarded with a beautiful view of Dog Lake at the end of the trek. Additionally, it also gives you a glimpse of the Lembert Dome. It is a granite scramble over the hill, perfect for sightseeing from the car to the trailhead or back.

Four Mile Trail

Four Mile Trail is an amazing option for hikers looking for a shorter but steeper path, offering views of Yosemite Valley. Not only that, but it also provides scenery of Yosemite’s famous landmarks, including the Half Dome and El Capitan. 

Take That Yosemite Trip in October

Yosemite National Park is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. Not only is it full of majestic sceneries, but it’s also filled with outdoor activities that you can do. However, if you’re not dressed for the occasion, you probably won’t enjoy it. Aside from this, travel essentials are also a must when going to Yosemite, no matter the season. 

With this, you must plan accordingly so you can pack the proper outfit and essentials. Whether you’re visiting Yosemite next week or in October, this article contains everything you need to know and bring. That said, it’s time to book a ticket to Yosemite!

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