Yosemite rafting season begins in April of each year as temperatures begin to warm and snow in the mountains starts melting. Whitewater rafting aficionados look forward to this time of year when Sierra rivers are at their peak. Here are five of the biggest reasons to raft Yosemite rivers in the springtime.
1. Spring is Yosemite’s Waterfall Season
Springtime is waterfall season in Yosemite and all of the falls in the Park are gushing at their highest levels of the year. In Yosemite Valley alone you can view six major waterfalls, many of which will disappear by summer. You really have not experienced Yosemite until you have visited in the spring.
2. Fewer People
The Yosemite region sees significantly fewer visitors in the springtime. It is easier to find open lodging options, roads and trails are less busy, and parking is more readily available at the most popular destinations. This equates to more time to see and experience this amazing place.
3. More Wildflowers
Spring is also flower season in the Sierra. The hillsides are lush with an array of colorful wildflowers. Paddling any river in the Sierra in springtime is a total sensory experience not to be missed. Don’t forget your camera!
4. Yosemite Rivers are Alive
Yosemite’s rivers all come to life in the spring. Beginning in April and then building in volume to peak levels in late May, the Merced and Main Tuolumne rivers expand as the snow melts before dropping to more moderate summer flows. This high water season offers some of the year’s most fun and exciting trips. If you are wanting a little more action and whitewater challenge, go in spring.
5. Because it’s Spring, and this is Yosemite!
Yosemite is a sacred place. Any time we get to spend there is a gift. For a few months each year, the hills are greener, the waterfalls bigger, the rapids louder, the smell of lupines more fragrant, and the trails less busy. Treat yourself.