Fall in Yosemite National Park

I’m going to steal a line here, but do you know the feeling that comes from finally seeing a place that you’ve only seen prior in postcards?

Yosemite is that type of place, if you’ve never been.

A place where the geology figuratively slaps you in the face as granite features such as Half Dome and the El Capitan jet out from the valley below. Anytime of year is a good time to be at Yosemite, however, as the autumn colors from the deciduous trees blend with soft light and active animals.

Spots remain on our upcoming Yosemite Fall Colors tour – set for Oct 28 through Nov 2 – Make sure to select between the hiker or standard versions, as just a few spots remain on each tour style. Click here to familiarize yourself between the difference.

What better way is there to experience the blessings of autumn in the mountains before the holidays catch up and take up all our time, as they often do.


“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

-John Muir


Yosemite is one of the crown jewels of the National Parks System, providing photographic opportunities of jaw dropping landscapes, waterfalls, rainbows and wildlife. The light is soft in autumn making it perhaps the finest time of year to photograph Yosemite Valley’s brilliant foliage as it is turning red and gold.


“Ask yourself: “Does this subject move me to feel, think and dream?”  

-Ansel Adams


First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park might be best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles we will find amazing geology exposed inside deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, and vast wilderness area home to an assortment of animals.

Approximately 90 mammal species call Yosemite home, and their behaviors are also  truly fascinating photographic subjects. If you are fast enough to catch ‘em! Among these mammals are black bear, mountain lions, Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep, Red Fox and Pacific Fisher, among others.

Granite dominates the geology of Yosemite National Park. All those big striking and famous towering monuments are granite carved from glaciers.

Granite is an intrusive igneous rock, meaning it crystallized from magma, miles underground. At these depths, magma is insulated by the rocks around it and cools very slowly, growing large interlocking crystals.

The “salt-and-pepper” look is a blend of the “salt” being quartz, potassium feldspar, and plagioclase feldspar. And the “pepper” being mostly biotite and hornblende.

Ice Age glaciers played an essential role in shaping Yosemite’s landscape. Most of this ice had melted away due to natural warming by about 10,000 years ago. During a more recent cold period called the Little Ice Age, small glaciers formed below the highest peaks. Currently, two remain: the Lyell and Maclure glaciers. These ice bodies are important to local ecosystems because they provide a year-round supply of cold water to the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River, especially during the late summer and fall after the winter snowpack has melted (Science info from nps.gov/yose).

Our Autumn photography excursion features full days of hiking (on the hiker version only) and photography from sunrise to sunset as we visit carefully selected locations in the best possible light.


“Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.”

– Ansel Adams


Couldn’t agree with Mr. Adams more. Getting you to just the right spot at just the right time is essential, and what we at Backcountry Journeys do very well. Let us do that work for you!

We’ll plan to hit the iconic spots such as Half Dome, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls and Glacier Point as well as many off the beaten path locations at a time when most of the crowds have relinquished.

This Yosemite photography tour will be based out of a cozy lodge, located just inside of the Park, a glorious place to return each evening for warmth, rest and relaxation and of course a yummy meal at the restaurant.

So, come join us at one of America’s jewels, and find out what John Muir and Ansel Adams loved so much about the mountains of Yosemite’s Sierra.


“The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains – mountain dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in Nature’s workshops.”

-John Muir


Kenton Krueger







Kenton Krueger has spent the past several years guiding guiding backpackers, hikers and photographers into the wild places of the American West such as Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks as well as in the Grand Staircase Escalante in southern Utah. In addition to backpacking and camping, his adventures include rock climbing, exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah, mountain biking, and bagging 14ers in Colorado’s San Juan Mountain Mountain Range. Kenton is a trail runner, former pilot, newspaper photographer and writer. Kenton looks forward to utilizing his years of guiding experience, combined with his passion and experience behind the lens to provide memorable and unforgettable experiences at the wild places we will visit together.

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