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Bike Trails And Beyond In Yosemite And Madera County

yosemite-madera-visitors-bureau-yos_social_2015_lawson-1_ed_web-2MOUNTAIN AREA — Crisp air, clear trails, and less spendy… fall may be the best time to visit Yosemite National Park, Bass Lake and Madera County, depending on your preferences. Visiting in autumn is a great idea for many reasons but mostly because you avoid the summer crowds, kids are back in school and it’s less expensive than summer, with lodging rates reduced after Labor Day.

Seasonally speaking, it’s a perfect time to indulge in all outdoor activities, including a jaunt into the park to see the leaves change color, or hiking, mountain biking and other outstanding outings, while enjoying cool mornings, sunny days and star-studded nights.

The average temperature for Yosemite National Park should range from around 59 degrees at night to 72 degrees in the daytime in mid-autumn. The higher you go, the colder and more temperamental the climate gets. The South Gate entrance neighborhoods of Madera County, Oakhurst and Bass Lake expect the highs to be in the mid to upper 70s, with nightly lows in the 60s. Rain may visit in October so check your forecast.

Yosemite is sometimes best explored on foot. Park the car and hit the many trails that are designed for all abilities, from easy to difficult. Perhaps a bus or guided tour is more your speed. For something breathtaking and memorable, try a scenic flight over Yosemite.

yosemite-madera-visitors-bureau-yosemitevalley_fall_klawson-4web-2“Summer is our busiest time but fall is my favorite, because it’s not busy and the cooler days give me the chance to spend time doing my favorite outdoor activities,” says Therese Williams, Director of PR for Visit Yosemite | Madera County.

Outside Yosemite at Bass Lake, visitors will find ideal place to go for all things mountain biking. Cycling allows visitors to experience the landscape from an intimate perspective and a little wind in the hair, or bouncing off a helmet, gives a feeling of freedom like no other.

Here’s a list of good bike rides in the Bass Lake and Yosemite area:

Bass Lake Biking Trails

Intermediate Trails
Goat Mountain | Forks Trail – 8 miles round trip. Note: Bike to top of Goat Mountain to the Fire Lookout tower. Watch for poison oak.

Goat Mountain | Spring Cove – 8 miles round trip. Note: Bike from Spring Cove campground to Fire Lookout tower. Watch for poison oak.

Advanced Trails
Bass Lake – Central Camp Road |Trail 007 – from 3 miles to as long as 20 miles. Note: Best done on a long travel full-suspension bike.

Willow Creek Trail – from 3 miles to as long as 20 miles. Note: This is a double-black-diamond ride best don on a full-suspension bike with at least 5 inches of travel.

Biking Trails Inside Yosemite

Wawona | Swinging Bridge – 4 miles round trip. Note: From the Wawona store, ride out 2 miles on paved Forest Drive to the entrance to the Swinging Bridge area. Park your bike at the entrance and walk the .75 mile round trip to the bridge (and swimming hole).

Wawona | Meadow Loop – 3.5 mile loop. Note: Ride a lovely, forested flat meadow.

Yosemite Valley | See current Yosemite Guide newspaper for areas where bikes are permitted. Note: Bikes are not permitted on dirt or trails leading out of the valley …

Wawona | Swinging Bridge – 4 miles round trip. Note: From the Wawona store, ride out 2 miles on paved Forest Drive to the entrance to the Swinging Bridge area. Park your bike at the entrance and walk the .75 mile round trip to the bridge (and swimming hole).

Wawona | Meadow Loop – 3.5 mile loop. Note: Ride a lovely, forested flat meadow.

Note: Bikes are not permitted on dirt or trails leading out of the valley floor in Yosemite.

yosemite-madera-visitors-center-1601_tarantulachildFall is also the time when tarantulas come out of their domiciles and wander in a migratory fashion, and it wouldn’t be tarantula season without the Coarsegold Tarantula Festival.

Madera is one of the richest agriculture centers in the world, and Madera County shows off one of the gems in the crown of produce by inviting everyone to the Madera Pomegranate Festival.

yosemite-madera-visitors-bureau-pomo-festival-2Some of California’s most renowned vintners come together in Yosemite to share acclaimed wines. With sessions through November and December, the Grand Grape Celebration offers the opportunity to chat with vintners as you sample their latest perfectly-aged selections. The elegant event culminates with a five-course dinner featuring dishes perfectly paired to the featured wines.

For more information on adventures in Yosemite National Park, Bass Lake and Madera County visit www.yosemitethisyear.com or call phone (559) 683-4636.

Yosemite photos by Kim Lawson

 

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