If we went later than April, Death Valley will be very hot. So we made this our 1st destination and even with that the temperature peaked at 97° in Badwater. So going in February the weather would be awesome. But another thing to consider for going in early April is that the spring flowers can be spectacular with some luck and the right weather conditions being on your side. So many decisions to be made!
- Drive North on Hwy 395 to Minden Nevada.
- Take Carson Pass (Hwy 88) to Jackson California
- Then take Hwy 49 South to Big Oak Flat
- Hwy 120 which will then take you into Yosemite.
If we went earlier than April, Yosemite would still be quite frozen. Even in mid April we had two overnight lows of 15° and 19° and one snowstorm overnight which melted by early morning. This time of the year also means we escaped the summertime crowds and saw the waterfalls flowing throughout the valley. So Yosemite in February means you need to be ready for possibly a lot of snow and very cold temperatures.
But here is my MAIN reason to suggest a visit in February. You see there is this crazy, beautiful photographic event at Horsetail Falls that happens only around mid to late February. Conditions have to be just right, enough snow melt for water to be coming over the cliff, and enough of a break in the clouds at just the right time around sunset for the light to hit the falls to see what looks like lava flowing where Horsetail Falls should be. I've never seen it but it's on my bucket list of things to photograph. And as I've not seen it myself I have no images I can share. But here is a link from Yosemite Park to visit and see why it's a must see! http://www.yosemitepark.com/horsetail-fall.aspx
We had a fabulous trip in April but I would bet you would have a 'WOW' trip if you go in February. I know the next time we go I'll be aiming for a February trek!