National Parks Tips

Are there mosquitoes in Yosemite National Park

mosquito sittin on a leafI’ve visited Yosemite National Park many times in the past and have been worried about mosquitoes too. You might be wondering before your trip are there mosquitoes in Yosemite National Park? There are mosquitoes in Yosemite National Park during the Summer months. Mosquitoes are very active during dusk and dawn. Since Yosemite is home to numerous waterfalls, rivers, and lakes, it is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Although mosquitoes are prevalent in Yosemite, there are many strategies you can take to help avoid mosquitoes or help yourself be protected against them so that you don’t end up being bitten. I have had my share of mosquito bites from my visits to Yosemite, but eventually figured out great ways to avoid being bitten.

What time of the year has the most mosquitoes?
yellow raft on river

Mosquitoes love Yosemite and peak mosquito season will vary depending on elevation and location. This will change from year to year for how many mosquitoes are present in the park. The time of year that has the most mosquitoes is between May and August. During these months the water levels are still high and combined with the humidity which provides the perfect environment for mosquitoes to spawn.

Due to rainfall and melting snow creating puddles, the mosquitoes will be spawning all throughout those months, so its best to move quickly when you encounter any stagnant water or any large lakes. May and June are notorious for being the worst months for mosquitoes as the temperatures are beginning to heat up and the snow begins to melt. I would suggest avoiding Yosemite National Park during these two months if you want to escape the mosquitoes.

When should I visit Yosemite to avoid mosquitoes?
fall in yosemite

If you plan accordingly, it is entirely possible to visit Yosemite National park and avoid mosquitoes. You should visit Yosemite after the middle of September to avoid mosquitoes. During this time, typically most of the stagnant water has dried up, thus leaving nowhere for the mosquitoes to spawn.

As the temperatures begin to cool in Fall, the mosquitoes will be nowhere to be seen and you can relax and enjoy your hikes and the beautiful Yosemite sights. Though this will vary from year to year, you should be able visit Yosemite between November through March and be able to have a mosquito free experience at Yosemite.

What should I wear to help keep mosquitoes away?
mosquito sitting on water

After being bitten many times after many visits to Yosemite National Park, I desperately wanted to figure out a way to protect myself on my next trip. There is one main thing to keep in mind for what to wear.  It is to cover your exposed skin. If you can’t visit Yosemite during seasons when mosquitoes are not prevalent, then the next best thing you can do is wear proper attire to protect yourself from bites. You should wear long sleeves, long pants, and a head-net to help keep mosquitoes away.

Wearing long sleeves will help having less exposed skin for mosquitoes to bite and keep you protected from the sun. The same goes for wearing longer pants as opposed to shorts so that mosquitoes can’t bite you on your legs. Another thing a lot of people don’t normally wear is a head-net which will help keep mosquitoes away from your face and neck. Wearing these things significantly reduced the number of bites I got on my next visit to Yosemite National Park. This is an inexpensive way to hep you protect yourself from mosquito bites and keep them away.

What can I use to keep mosquitoes away from me?
hikers standing on hill during sunset

When the mosquitoes are present in Yosemite you’ll feel like you were bitten all over. Even if you follow my advice above and wear long sleeves, long pants, and a head-net you are still not guaranteed to escape your hikes bite free. You can use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to keep mosquitoes away from you. Spraying this insect repellent on your neck, arms and legs will dramatically increase the odds that you won’t be bit by mosquitoes during your hikes.

If you are on an all day hike keep in mind that you need to respray the insect repellent every six hours or whatever the label recommends on your choice of insect repellent. The insect repellent likely wears off due to your sweat and time, so be sure to reapply it throughout the day.

road leading towards a giant mountain

Yosemite National Park is home to sublime granite peaks, gorgeous evergreen forests, astonishing waterfalls, a variety of wild life from squirrels to black bears, and unfortunately mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are primarily prevalent during the summer months from May all the way to August. You can protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves, long pants, and a head net and also utilize insect repellent. If you want to avoid mosquitoes, then visit the park after September when temperatures begin to drop and the stagnant water has evaporated. Mosquitoes are a natural part of the Yosemite ecosystem, but you can do things to protect yourself or avoid them to have a better Yosemite experience.