“Of all the mountain ranges I have climbed, I like the Sierra Nevada the best.” – John Muir
If the mountain man himself, John Muir, could come to such a bold conclusion about the Sierras, you KNOW it must be true! The Sierra Nevada Mountain range is a naturalist’s definition of perfection.
Year after year, our 3-day Camping trip to Yosemite National Park has been our best seller. Yosemite’s High Country leaves passengers captivated: with more time to explore, we take groups beyond Yosemite’s crowded valley and into the less-traveled areas of the park. Our guides can skip the tourist traps on longer road trips and show off why we Californians love our state!
Interest has increased for new and unique experiences, so we started designing an itinerary that incorporated more of the Sierra Nevada mountain range’s diversity. in 2016, Incredible Adventures launched a 4-day road trip highlighting the best of the Sierras. On this trip, we spend one day and night each in Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, and South Lake Tahoe with fun, unique add-ons in between. With both hotel and camping accommodation options, travelers of all different spending budgets and comfort levels can join the fun!
Interested in spending four days in on the road with us? Here’s how Northern California’s ultimate mountain road trip plays out:
Denise’s Farmers Market
Before even hitting your first National Park, you’ll be introduced to California’s flourishing Agricultural region: cherries, strawberries, almonds, OH MY! California’s Central Valley provides more than half of the USA’s fruits, vegetables, and nuts: it’s the state’s single most productive agricultural region, and one of the most productive in the world! Denise’s Farmers Market is one of our favorite spots on the way out. Sample and purchase fresh and dried produce – and every flavor of corn nuts! Our passengers love to stock up on snacks here and avoid the concession queues in the park. This rest stop that doubles up as a midway point to Yosemite for bathroom breaks and yummy treats, and will leave you happy, healthy, and with more time to explore when you get to the park!
Yosemite National Park
Your first stop along the Sierras will be America’s Favorite National Park. Everyone from John Muir to Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama and millions of visitors in between cannot help but be astonished by Yosemite’s beauty. Your guide will show off the Valley, High Country, and groves of Giant Sequoias. Then you’ll spend the night at the Yosemite Bug – a quaint Mountain Resort known for their comfortable rooms and hearty buffet!
Next, you’ll head North through the Sierras on your way to Mammoth Lakes. Located at almost 8,000 ft elevation, this town is known as a top ski destination in California. In the summer, mountain biking and hiking are popular in the area. The gondola ride up to Mammoth Mountain and a visit to Mammoth Brewing company are not to be missed!
Devil’s Postpile National Monument in Ansel Adams Wilderness
Talk about geographic phenomenon! The Devil’s Postpile is a dark cliff of columnar basalt formed from lava flow an estimated 10,000 years ago. This unique rock formation is located in between Mammoth Lakes and Lake Tahoe along the John Muir Trail.
Bodie Ghost Town
After discovering gold in nearby Mono Lake back in 1859, W. S. Bodie triggered a massive settlement to the Sierras just North of his find. However, all these new neighbors only had one thing in mind: once they mined through all of the gold, the party ended pretty abruptly. Then, around 1912, the population began declining. By 1915, newspapers were already officially labeling Bodie a proper “Ghost Town”.
Everyone seemingly just up and left. Cars, churches, saloons, have all been preserved and protected as National/State Historic Landmarks. It’s a really neat glimpse of a town stopped in time, and a great stop on your way to glorious South Lake Tahoe.
South Lake Tahoe
Lastly, we head to South Lake Tahoe. Located right on top of the state line between California and Nevada, South Lake is El Dorado County’s most populous city. Tahoe is known for its snow activities in the winter, lake activities in the summer, and 24-casinos where you can win big year-round!
From the luxurious sunset walks along the lake to rugged hikes to flowing waterfalls with expansive views of the Emerald Bay, ending this 4-day road trip through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in South Lake Tahoe is the perfect final act. In the morning, you’ll pack up and return to beautiful San Francisco, seeing the gorgeous views of the city from Treasure Island and the Bay Bridge.
Best of the Sierras Reviews – See what passengers have said about the tour:
“Tops on the “living it up” list should be the Yosemite and Tahoe Sierras Tour offered by Incredible Adventures, the only tour company that offers a round trip to Yosemite National Park, the mountain resort town of Mammoth Lakes and spectacular Lake Tahoe.” -Steve, 2016
“This was truly an incredible adventure. Leo took us to the most breathtaking spots! Our phrase after each first view was ‘Oh My Goodness – WOW’. I loved this trip as it was all about Nature. And Leo made it easy and fun to enjoy every day of it.” – sfran2017, 2017
“We saw the drop-dead gorgeous Yosemite and Lake Tahoe views, and also enjoyed great food stops along the way. The Bug is a charming stay! Highly recommend this tour!” -tripper4040, 2017
“We’ve just returned from the most awesome tour of Yosemite and Lake Tahoe with Leo from Incredible Adventures. The key to a great tour is a great guide! The itinerary was awesome but Leo bought it all to life with an incredible range of knowledge and experience. His familiarity with the best routes and photo opportunities put us at ease very early on.” -Dan, 2017