Escape the tourist crowds with an itinerary designed to show you the very best that Yosemite National Park has to offer, while still expertly avoiding the busiest areas.. Hike at your own comfort level with options for alternate routes and a schedule that eases you in – your first hike is an easy one, allowing you to go slow before tackling more serious trails.. Learn about the important work being done by Yosemite Conservancy, with an educational guided walk through the historic Ahwahnee village, where you’ll learn about Native American heritage and the park’s conservation efforts.. Forgo the camping sites typical for most visitors to Yosemite and instead rest your feet each evening in a rustic mountain resort that boasts unforgettable views and plenty of charm and character.
Follow your feet on this 6-day walking tour that shows off the very best of Yosemite National Park. From giant sequoia trees, to the stunning Cathedral Lakes, to the massive Half Dome rock and thunderous waterfalls of the appropriately named Mist Trail, this hiking trip covers a lot of ground in a short time. Best of all, you get to experience Yosemite with a bit comfort, thanks to transportation to and from the trailheads and accommodation in a cosy mountain lodge. But this trip is more than just pretty sights – you’ll also learn about the area’s Native American heritage and pioneer past, and about the important work being done to preserve and protect the region.
Breakfast Included: 5 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included: 1
Welcome to SF! California’s Golden Gate City is packed with plenty of things to do, from exploring the city’s famous Chinatown, to digging into fresh crab at Fisherman’s Wharf, to wandering through the oldest Japanese tea garden in the USA. Your day is free until our welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight, so if you arrive in town early, feel free to go out and see the sights. After your group meeting, head out for a welcome dinner together and feast on some local cuisine.
Yosemite National Park – Tuolumne Grove
After breakfast, head oft for the famous Yosemite National Park, with a lunch stop along the way at the historic Iron Door Saloon, the oldest continuously operating saloon in California, dating back to the mid-1800s. Be sure to check out the saloon’s old photos of the Hetch Hetchy valley and collection of antique gold mining tools. Look around closely and you might even spot a few stray bullet holes in the walls. After lunch, enjoy your first walk today – an easy, downhill hike – at the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. The grove is home to, no surprise, a couple dozen mature giant sequoia trees, including one that’s been carved into a tunnel you can walk right through. Of course, what goes down must come back up, but your return upward climb will be rewarded once you arrive at your accommodation. While many visitors to Yosemite stay in campsites, you’ll get to unwind at Yosemite Bug, a cosy and charming mountain lodge that features a garden deck and views over the gorge. Settle into your home for the next few days and soak up the rustic atmosphere.
Yosemite National Park – Cathedral Lakes
It’s an early start today to the trailhead for the famous Cathedral Lakes, approximately 2 hours away by vehicle. It’s all worth it though, as this hike reveals some of the most impressive views in the High Sierra. Soak up the jaw-dropping, high-altitude scenery of the Lower and/or Upper Cathedral lakes that are worth every step of your 3- to 5-hour hike. If you’re concerned about difficulty and altitude levels, don’t worry – you’ll be given a choice of different routes, depending on the group’s comfort and abilities. Back in Yosemite Bug, you may want to enjoy dinner in their fantastic restaurant where the menu changes daily.
Yosemite National Park – Mist Trail
Today’s drive to the start of the trail is shorter (approximately 1 hour), but the hike is no less incredible. The Mist Trail is Yosemite's signature hike, for good reason. While many of the park’s hikes leave the best views for the end, this trail is scattered with fabulous views along the whole route, including a few waterfalls (be sure to pack your rain gear as the falls are close to the trail and you will get sprayed). You’ll also get to see Yosemite’s iconic Half Dome rock formation. It was once believed that the Half Dome was completely inaccessible to climbers, until George Anderson reached the summit in 1875. Over a century later, famed climber Alex Honnold, star of the 2017 documentary Free Solo, would hold the record for the fastest ascent of the Half Dome’s Regular Northwest Face route – the first Grade IV climb in the USA. In the evening, rest up back at Yosemite Bug, where, weather permitting, your guide can stoke a roaring campfire.
Yosemite National Park
Today is slightly different, with a free morning for you to enjoy your way. You can take a shuttle to Yosemite Valley for more hiking on your own, or perhaps to visit local museums, rent a bike or anything else that interests you. Or, you may want to sign up for white water rafting (additional cost) with a company that’s right next door to your accommodation. Your tour leader will be able to help you with arrangements. In the afternoon, your group will rendezvous for an included walk with an expert guide from Yosemite Conservancy. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the important work the group does for the Native American community and preserving their culture within the park. As you walk from the historic Ahwahnee Hotel through the meadows of Yosemite Valley and past the ruins of an old pioneer village, you’ll hear Native American stories and history, and learn about Yosemite’s role in the country’s conservationist movement. Your guided walk will end at the Yosemite Valley Lodge, where your leader will be waiting to transport you back to Yosemite Bug for your final night.
Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to San Francisco
For your last day, enjoy a short hike on the shores of the beautiful Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Not only is this area stunning to see, but it’s also an important historic site for conservationists – controversy surrounding the construction of the Hetch Hetchy Dam helped lead to the creation of the US National Park Service in 1916. You’ll then drive back to San Francisco, aiming to arrive around 5 pm to 6 pm, at which point your Yosemite adventure ends and you are free to begin your trip home at your leisure. If you require an additional night’s accommodation in San Francisco, we can arrange that for you.