What To Wear Hiking In Yosemite In Summer

Hiking in Yosemite in Summer is one of the most spectacular activities. The skies are clear, the trees are green, and the water features are inviting. Visitors far and wide come to this majestic park all year. But it’s during the summer months when their numbers peak!

So what do you need to bring for a summer hike at the Yosemite National Park? It’s generally warm at around 32 degrees Celsius during summertime at Yosemite. However, the temperature does not stay this warm all day. You must be prepared for shifting temperatures, especially when you’re hiking, so you must bring a lightweight jacket, a long-sleeved shirt, and a hat. There’s a lot to cover when it comes to the right summer hiking apparel in Yosemite.

Now, the article will tackle the essentials and other gear details like shoes, socks, hats, and accessories. So before you pack up, make sure to read on for the latest hiking apparel and gear tips. 


Hiking in Yosemite in Summer: The National Park’s Amazing Trails

Before you pick the right clothes to bring, you must first understand some important things about Yosemite weather, climate, and the environment. Consider the following things: 

Day Hiking

Day hiking in Yosemite summer is mostly around May Lake, Mist Trail, and Half Dome. Study the terrain, elevation, minimum and maximum daytime temperatures of these areas, or the specific area you plan to explore.

Elevated areas

Areas with higher elevations can be as warm as 32 degrees Celsius but may quickly drop when clouds roll by on normal hiking in Yosemite in summer.

Cool Trails

Trails are cooler during the early morning and before dusk.

Weather and Rain Possibility

Even during a very warm day, you may find yourself in the middle of a thunderstorm during the afternoons.  Rain is unlikely to happen, but it’s best to be ready with an umbrella. 

Daytime Outfit Guide: What Do You Wear for a Hiking in Yosemite in Summer?

It would help if you walked far to get from one spot to another, often enduring the hot sun or the rough road. Be sure to come prepared. Weather changes and temperature drop and peak with the area. So, bring the following clothes. 

Wear breathable clothing when hiking in Yosemite in Summer.

Use sports fabric rather than cotton clothing as these are breathable and more comfortable. Cotton shirts and shorts only cling to the body as you sweat. Thus, moisture gets trapped between the skin and the fabric. Sports material will allow moisture and sweat to evaporate. You’ll be cooler and more comfortable.

Lightweight jackets are a must in summer hiking.

Trails could be warm at one time and then chilly after a few minutes. You may also need to wear or remove your jacket repeatedly. Wear a light jacket, so when you feel warm, you can remove it and stash it inside your bag or wrap it around your waist.

Mid-layer shirt – long-sleeved

This shirt keeps you protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Plus, it will keep you warm in case of any temperature drops.

Base layer shirt

Remove all your layers and wear a basic base layer shirt if it becomes too hot. White shirts are better than dark ones as they absorb less light. White shirts are also thinner and allow moisture and perspiration to evaporate faster. 

Shorts, hiking pants, or leggings

You can wear any of these as long as you’re comfortable and to move freely. But, avoid denim as this is not as breathable and is very heavy to use. Shorts are great but consider pants to avoid insect stings and bites and keep away from irritating plants. 

Underwear for summer hiking

Women men should wear a brassiere designed for hiking in Yosemite in summer as well as jogging or climbing. Sports underwear is the best as it can repel moisture. I allow perspiration to evaporate faster, as well. Men should wear supportive underwear as well. 

Top 8 Must-Bring Items for a Hiking in Yosemite in Summer

Don’t forget the following when you plan for a summertime hike in Yosemite National Park trails: 

1. Sunglasses

A good pair of sunglasses will help you see the trail better, especially on a sunny day. You may opt for a pair of cool aviators or a retro wrap around for optimum protection no matter where you go.

2. Hat

You can wear any hat you want as long as it provides adequate protection from the sun. Your hat should be made of breathable fabric or materials. You can use cotton hats, a native wide-brimmed hat, or a regular sun hat will do.

3. Extra socks

You’ll never know when you need one. You might get your socks wet from walking in shallow water, or you may get misted by a waterfall. Either way, it’s very uncomfortable to walk with wet socks, so you should always carry a pair. 

4. Towels

You need soft, clean towels to wipe the sweat or when you wash your face or hands. Don’t forget to carry your extra plastic bag to keep a wet or saturated towel. 

5. Gloves for Hiking in Yosemite in Summer

Some hikers prefer to use hiking gloves, especially when they plan to move to higher elevations. Good hiking gloves will protect your hands from cold weather and come with traction points on the thumb and even your forefinger, so you can still use your touchscreen electronics. It’s good to have a pair with you for any hiking in Yosemite in summer. 

6. Hiking backpack

You need a durable, spacious, and balanced backpack to keep all the things you need. As much as possible, bring only the things you need for the hike. Avoid taking a heavy backpack as it can easily tire you down. 

Remember, if you need to bring a camera for your hike, bring it inside its dedicated camera bag along with your accessories. Don’t stash these inside your backpack. You might damage your camera and its accessories and parts. 

7. Poncho

You may easily stash it inside your backpack. It’s a blessing to have in case of rain too. With a poncho, you can continue your hike without the need to use an umbrella. 

8. Masks

Because of restrictions due to Covid-19, you must wear a mask in any outdoor or indoor area. Choose surgical or medical disposable masks instead of cloth masks as these allow you to breathe freely and more efficiently than cloth masks. 

Be sure to keep used masks away and throw these in your wastebasket at home. It would help if you observed cleanliness and orderliness inside the park, so don’t leave used masks and litter behind. 

What Are The Best Yosemite Hiking Boots in Summer?

The right hiking boots will depend on your preference but take note, trails at Yosemite are long and hot. Some trails lead through forests, near bodies of water, and in hard flat land. Therefore, you need footwear that can withstand long hikes, are waterproof, and support your feet, ankles, and toes better. 

  1. Use your regular hiking shoes. Don’t shop for one a day or a few days before your trip. Your shoes should be comfortable and easy to walk on. 
  2. Your shoes must provide adequate support for your feet, ankles, and toes. Some may prefer a high-ankle shoe to regular hiking shoes. 
  3. You may also wear hiking sandals. Still, make sure you’re comfortable with them. That is to avoid injuries like scratches and abrasions. 
  4. Wear good hiking socks to provide cushion and to keep your feet and toes warm. 

New to using hiking boots or hiking sandals? Visit a local shop to get the best pair at least months before your scheduled hiking trip to the park. It would help if you broke in your shoes. Otherwise, you may only suffer from injuries and a lot of pain. You may also wear hiking boots during the hike and take a pair of flip-flops with you if you want to wade in shallow water. There are many shallow streams and creeks in the area, so don’t overlook the chance to take a dip. 

Hiking in Yosemite in Summer: Other Essentials Gears

The following are not articles of clothing or footwear. Yet, it can make your hikes less stressful and more enjoyable. 

  • Hiking poles – you can efficiently hike all kinds of trails with hiking poles. These are adjustable and easy to use so that beginners can use them on a hike. 
  • Umbrella –you need one to shield from the rain or direct sunlight. A foldable umbrella would work best. 
  • Sunscreen – use SPF 50+ to provide the best coverage from the sun. Use the sunscreen as instructed by the manufacturer. 
  • Water and snacks – bring a lot of water, especially during longer hikes. You need water for drinking and also for cleaning or washing. If you’re hiking as a group, divide your supply among your members.

Bring easy-to-eat snacks inside bento boxes, Tupperware containers, or microwaveable dishes with a cover. Don’t leave plastic and litter behind. 

  • Emergency kit – you need emergency or first aid medications, bandages, plaster, wound supplies, etc. 
  • Electronics – arrive at the hiking area with a fully charged device. Take a power bank or a mini charging device with you. Bring flashlights, cameras, etc. Be sure to place your electronics in waterproof plastic bags. 

Hiking in Yosemite in summer will be exciting, challenging, and fun. But don’t overlook planning for your hike to keep you safe and ready for the trail ahead. Finally, hiking with the right clothes, footwear, and gear will take you places. So, be sure to consider these smart tips

Recent Posts