Trending This Fall at Rush Creek Lodge & Spa

Fall holds a special place in our hearts at Rush Creek Lodge and Yosemite, as the sweeping foliage brings warm days, cool nights, and a bounty of Yosemite adventure.

We’ve gathered the top 10 trending attractions and activities this fall that guests are enjoying right now.

In Yosemite


1. vALLEY LOOP TRAILFall Color and Half Dome on the Merced River (Desiree S.)

This is the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure, with loops as short as 1-mile and as long as 11.5-miles. Every bend in the trail offers unique perspectives of Yosemite Valley’s most iconic granite features.

Throughout the year, the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail transforms with the changing seasons, making it a popular destination for sightseers and experienced hikers.

Whether blanketed with falling leaves in autumn or adorned with a glistening dusting of snow in the winter, this trail offers an ever-evolving and enchanting glimpse into the natural beauty of Yosemite Valley!


2. Wapama fallsGroup Photo at Wapama Falls (Kim Carroll)

Hetch Hetchy, 35-minute drive

Yosemite National Park is no doubt recognized for its jaw dropping waterfalls. Though every year when fall rolls around, the flow of Yosemite’s most iconic waterfalls begins to dwindle.

This is not the case in Hetch Hetchy! Wapama Falls is Yosemite National Park’s biggest waterfall by volume, making it a must-see for those chasing waterfalls this fall.

For the sightseer, Wapama Falls can be viewed while standing on the O’Shaughnessy Dam.

For hikers, it’s a 5-mile round trip hike to the base of this waterfall.


3. Tuolumne GroveTuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias (Megan G.)

30-minute drive

We will never stop recommending this grove of giants, where every season brings new beauty. Catch the changing dogwoods against the brilliant red bark of the Sequoias in this dense Evergreen forest.

Visit a Tunnel Tree and the largest Sequoia, Big Red, on the 3-mile round trip trail through the grove.

Fun Fact: The path down to the Grove is paved because it is the old Big Oak Flat Road! Completed in 1875, this road welcomed tourists traveling by stagecoach and eventually some of the first automobiles until it closed in 1940.


4. Glacier point road Glacier Point Sunset (Corey M.)

This scenic road winds its way to one of the most spectacular viewpoints in the park: Glacier Point. Along the way, travelers are treated to vistas of Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls and pass multiple trailheads. Glacier Point Road is typically open from late spring to early fall, so get your trip in before the season’s first snow blankets the road!

For sightseers, Glacier Point offers a jaw-dropping vista overlooking Yosemite Valley. You’ll receive unforgettable views of Half Dome with Yosemite’s high country painted in the background.

For hikers, there are many trails that begin along this road. The two most notable being Sentinel Dome and Taft Point. Both trails have the same starting point and do not exceed a 2.2-mile roundtrip.

Looking for a longer trek? Connect the two trails to form a 5.8-mile loop.


5. Mirror  lakeMirror Lake (Jonah C.)

In the fall, Mirror Lake in Yosemite National Park undergoes a breathtaking transformation.

This pristine body of water, nestled at the base of Half Dome, becomes a magical reflection of the season’s colors!


6. Tioga roadTuolumne Meadows (Megan G.)

This road flaunts an extensive list of renowned Yosemite hikes and destinations. Whether you’re looking for a day of sightseeing with back-to-back big vistas, or to explore Yosemite’s backcountry, Tioga Road will amaze and inspire you. So go on a journey through diverse ecosystems, from lush forests to seas of granite, and from alpine lakes to sweeping meadows.

Tioga Road reaches an elevation of 9,945 feet and is the first road to see snow, so be sure to get it in while you can!

7. Fly FishingFly Fishing

$40/day to rent fly fishing equipment from the Recreation Desk

Grab a trail lunch from the General Store and rent Fly Fishing equipment from the Recreation Desk and escape to one of our local rivers. Rental includes all necessary equipment to secure a big catch!

A California Fishing License is required to fish our local rivers, and is not included with the rental.

Our favorite fishing spots:

  • Middle Fork Day Use Area, located on Evergreen Road
  • Carlon Day Use Area, located on Evergreen Road
    This one can be a hike and fish, with the trailhead to Carlon Falls located in the Day Use Area!
Back at the lodge…


8. Basket Weaving & JEWELRY makingJewelry Making (Willow B.)

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Thursday | 7pm

Using a basketry kit from Traditional Craft Kits, this class guides students through how to make a traditional California Native-style one-rod coiled basket.

Alternatively make a beautiful bracelet or earring keepsake of your Yosemite adventure using a variety of real gemstone, glass, wood, and other natural material beads.

Book now

9. stargazingRush Creek Stargazing (Kim Carroll 9-17_303 4800)

Experience the night sky like never before! Up close to nature’s light show, you’ll be gazing through our 12″ aperture Dobsonian telescope with goto tracking technology.

Learn about constellations, observe planets, nebulas, galaxies and other celestial wonders. Book now on our website!


10. Twilight spa day useRush Creek Spa Aromatherapy Steam Room (Kim Carroll)

Nov-Apr 6-9pm | Ages 16 and up, $45 per person

After a day’s adventure, find warmth and relaxation in our indoor/outdoor spa filled with innovative elements inspired by the natural beauty and power of Yosemite. Amenities at Rush Creek Spa integrate our signature combination of stone, sound, scent and warmth.

Get into your robes and settle in for an evening of crisp mountain air under starry skies.