While Yosemite National Park is not on the radar for fall colors to the extent that, for example, New Hampshire and Vermont are, landscape photographers can still “reel in some keepers” if they know the best locations and the best times to catch the respective areas at peak color.
Of course with nature, there are seasonal variations for timing of fall color due to autumn average temperature ranges, etc. from one year to the next. The best conditions are warm, sunny days, and crisp nights without a hard freeze. A storm sweeping in with strong winds can strip the trees of autumn leafs overnight as well. Probably the best conditions for dramatic fall color landscape photography, is after a light snow, which flocks the brightly colored trees and bushes in a dramatic color contrast. The downside of this situation is that usually the light snowfall is followed with freezing temperatures that turn the gold leafs to muddy brown. Still, to be present during that short period of time is a photographer’s delight.