When people think of November, visions of clouds, rain, and cold usually come to mind. This couldn’t be further from the truth for the High Sierra. It’s true that small storms begin to peak their head, but for the most part, you can expect sunny skies with cool comfortable temps. With fun things to do in November in California High Sierra, you pretty much have access to the full gambit of four-season fun. To help, here’s 8 of our favorites to get your sense of adventure rolling.

Go Skiing

opening day at Mammoth Mountain
Image appears courtesy: Mammoth Mountain Resort

Near the top of our list of fun things to do in November in California High Sierra is normally opening day at ski resorts across the state. It’s a time to celebrate the end of fall and the beginning of snow sliding season. At a hefty 11,053 feet above sea level, Mammoth Mountain provides the highest lift-served skiing in the state. Despite old man winter dishing out 400 inches of snow annually, they bolster that with snowmaking ensuring they are one of the first to open in the country. This year’s opening date is set for November 10th.

Gobble Up Some Singletrack

mountain biking 007 trail in Bass Lake CA
Photo by: Local Freshies® – Image appears courtesy: High Sierra Visitor’s Council

For gravity fed fun, the High Sierra offers a cornucopia of mountain biking adventures to pick from. By November, some of the higher terrain maybe covered in snow, but the lower valleys and foothills of the Sierra provide some of the best conditions of the season. One of our fall favorite adventures is to tackle Bass Lake’s famed 007 trail, following it up with sunset views from Yosemite’s Glacier Point.

Enjoy A Cruise

Photo by: Photo by: Marcello Rostagni – Image appears courtesy: Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

Every season in Lake Tahoe has its merits. But when it comes to outright photogenic beauty, November is arguably the best. The fall colors are beginning to fade away. The first snows have frosted the highest peaks. The summer crowds are long gone, and you can still get out and enjoy its splendor. To take in the High Sierra’s crowning jewel from a different angle, consider booking a dinner cruise aboard the M.S. Dixie II. It’s the perfect time to enjoy All The Beauty & Fun… All To Yourself!

Climb A Rock

bouldering in Bishop
Buttermilk Country. Photo: Jim Purdum – Image appears courtesy: Bishop Visitors Center

For some reason, as soon as winter arrives on the peaks of the Sierra, people think Bishop is snow-covered. It couldn’t be further from the truth. November through April is prime season for bouldering. Instead of the triple digit heat of summer, you’ll find pleasant temps in the 60s. What the famed granite walls are to Yosemite, bouldering is to Bishop. Start at the Happy & Sad Boulders then send your way through the Buttermilks. If you prefer to rope up, follow the sun on the cliffs of the Owens River Gorge.

Go For A Soak

Benton Hot Springs Inn Mono County California
A private at Benton Hot Springs – Image appears courtesy: Mono County Tourism

With the kids in school and work in full swing, a long weekend of rest and relaxation is a good idea. All across the Sierra Nevada you’ll find dozens of bubbling hot springs to soak away your stresses. The highest concentration of them are in the Eastern Sierra. One of our personal favorites is at the Inn at Benton Hot Springs. Miles away from civilization, each room gets their own private hot spring to enjoy while still getting a great night’s sleep. In the summer it can be challenging to get a reservation, but November is the perfect time to book a room.

Obtain Serenity Via A Stroll

Stockton Creek Reserve in Yosemite Mariposa County
Image appears courtesy: Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau

If there’s one thing anyone regardless of age will appreciate, it’s a pleasant hike in nature. Of course, you can attempt to tackle a big climb, but we suggest slowing down and enjoying the season. Take in the last bit of fall colors, or better yet, explore one of the lesser known trails in the foothills of the Sierra like Stockton Creek Preserve. Just minutes outside of the historic town of Mariposa, you’ll find a birding paradise within an oak forest.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Tuolumne County Alicias Sugar Shack
Photo by: Local Freshies® – Image appears courtesy: High Sierra Visitor’s Council

Let’s be honest… fall is hands-down the best season for baked goods. Ingredients like aromatic pumpkin spice, rich caramel, and zesty cinnamon just make your mouth water. This is the time to splurge and enjoy a decadent dessert. Make a pitstop at Alicia’s Sugar Shack on your way to explore Sonora Pass. Serving up tasty pastries such as scones, danishes, cookies, and even gluten-free options, you’ll be swooning in heaven. For the foodie, we suggest a visit to Visalia. Located in the center of the fruit basket of America, you’ll find a plethora of places to enjoy like the Component Coffee Lab. You can taste the passion in their offerings. From their ethically sourced coffee beans to their mouthwatering breakfast dishes such as their O.G. Avocado Toast, you’ll be giddy from the flavor profiles.

Hit The Links

rolling landscape with the lusciously green links of the Saddle Creek Resort in front
Image appears courtesy: Calaveras Visitors Bureau

As people’s focus drifts to the High Sierra and skiing, take advantage of the lesser crowds and go golfing instead in the Gold Country. The temperatures on average are in the mid-60s, and greens fees are lower than they would be in summer. Take a swing at the Golf Club at Copper Valley. Consistently ranked as one of California’s top courses and Golfweek Magazine’s #23 on the list of Best Courses You Can Play in California. Or enjoy the award-winning Robert Trent Jones Jr redesigned Greenhorn Creek Golf Course. Pair it with wine tasting, great food, and the historic towns in Calaveras county and you may never want to come back.

Although “Fun-tober” was a blast, as you can see, November is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to things to see and do.

Author: Alex Silgalis

Alex founded Local Freshies® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.

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