Yosemite Winter Day Tour from San Francisco

Why We Love This Tour

“Winter is the most underrated time of year, which means you essentially get the park to yourself amongst towering waterfalls and snow-capped peaks. My favorite photo from the famous Tunnel View was of snow dusted trees and a frozen Bridalveil Fall.”

– Nicole Stratman
Tour Guide

Tour Highlights

  • El Capitan
  • Yosemite Falls (frozen!)
  • Half Dome
  • El Capitan Meadow
  • Bridalveil Fall
  • Yosemite Village
  • Tunnel View
  • 3 hours free time
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Price: $159

* child rates are available for those 12 and under. Rates for tours beyond this season may have adjusted pricing; see booking page for exact rates.

El Capitan Winter
See El Capitan towering 3000 feet above the frozen valley
Winter Tunnel View
Take in the solitude and serenity of this snowy landscape from Tunnel View
Experience the magic of Yosemite in winter
Experience the magic of Yosemite in winter

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Overview

See Yosemite in Winter

Prepare for brisk mountain air, snowflake-dusted pines and muted meadows blanketed with sparkling snow.  With a number of spectacular views, a variety of trails open, art galleries, and the Curry Village ice skating rink (depending on timing) you’ll have plenty to do. The hush that falls over Yosemite Valley as the winter months isn’t only due to many of the critters going into hibernation. Visiting in the winter, you’ll miss the 80% of guests that come during the summer months. The winter trip gives you the rare treat of feeling like you have the park all to yourself.

Although you could spend 3 weeks exploring the park, the 1-Day Tour is the perfect trip to give you a taste of the park with exceptional views that you can only catch during the winter months. Once you see the dramatic Sierra Nevada in the stunning winter sun, you’ll understand why John Muir named these mountains the ”range of light.”

Join a Yosemite Winter 1-Day tour and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Yosemite National Park with us this winter. If you want to get to know Yosemite National Park more intimately, check out our “Yosemite Stay & Play” 2 Day Winter Hotel Tour, which includes accommodations and an optional ski and snowsport package!

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary

Morning – Head to Yosemite

6:15 – 7:00am: We’ll embark on this journey from the San Francisco Hilton Hotel at the Mason Street entrance. (Pro tip: arrive 10-15 minutes early!)

7:00 – 10:00am: As you settle in for the journey, we’ll pass by some exceptional San Francisco sights. Catch views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island and the incomparable San Francisco Skyline as we head east on the Bay Bridge. You’ll taste a piece of California’s rich agricultural hub as we pass through a slice of the Central Valley famous for specialty fruits and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cherries, and strawberries.

10:00 – 11:30am: We’ll continue into the mountains as we connect with the rich history of California’s gold country, passing through some of the first settlements built during the Gold Rush. Take in the freshness of the winter air and earthy forest smell as we make our way to the heart of the park. Your guide will pepper in stories and historical facts about the different sights. With an intimate group, there’s plenty of time to stop along the way to take pictures with the beautiful panoramas. Be sure to listen for the logistics as we get ready for the day tour!

Afternoon – Free time in Yosemite National Park

12:00pm: As we wind through Yosemite Valley into the heart of the park, you’ll catch rare sights of the glacier-formed cliffs and rock formations coated in meters of fresh snow. We’ll make stops at some of the key vistas, where you can see Half Dome with a halo of fresh snow, the winding Merced River, and the main event: Tunnel View. At 4,500 feet above sea level you’ll look across the expansive eastern part of Yosemite Valley, a view that inspired John Muir to create the concept of protected national parks.

12:45pm: Once we arrive at the drop-off location, you’ll have close to 3 hours of free time to check out the wide variety of sights and activities in the valley. Are you in the mood for a hike through this winter wonderland? Feel like sipping cocoa and learning about the history of Yosemite? Are you eager to test out your skills on the ice rink? You’ll have options to hike to the base of Yosemite Falls, check out the visitor center, meander through the stunning Ansel Adams Gallery, or grab a cocoa from the Ahwahnee Hotel. If the weather is right, you may have the option to hike some of the trails that begin in the valley or rent skates at the Curry Village ice rink. Although you could spend three weeks in Yosemite, the three hours you get on your own is enough time to understand why Yosemite is one of America’s most popular national parks.

3:30pm: We’ll come back together in the afternoon to warm our rosy cheeks in the shuttle and set our course back to San Francisco, arriving back at the hotels between 8:30 and 9:00pm.

 

 

**Sample Itineraries: Please note that due to conditions outside of our control (special events, traffic) and the small size of our vehicles/groups, we allow our guides the flexibility to tailor your itinerary to best suit the needs of the group. While we guarantee that we’ll do our best to provide you with all of the highlights within this itinerary (conditions permitting), we do not guarantee them in this specific order. **

Tour Details

About Your YOSEMITE WINTER DAY TOUR

Departure: Daily, all winter. 6am – 7am pickup at most SF hotels.

Duration: 1 full day (14-15 hours)

Transportation: Eco-friendly, comfortable transport in a biofuel mini-coach (33 passengers max, generally 13-20)

Includes:

  • Complimentary pickup/dropoff from select San Francisco hotels (see our FAQ for details)
  • Full-time professional, knowledgeable guide
  • Narrated in-coach tour of Yosemite Valley (1.5 hrs)
  • 3 hours of free time in the park
  • Yosemite Park entrance fee
  • Transportation to/from Yosemite in biofueled mini-coach

Not included:

  • Meals (stops will be made to purchase food)
  • Guide gratuity (customary 15-20% of tour cost as per TripAdvisor tipping guide)

 

PLEASE READ: Our terms/conditions and cancellation policy

Why Not Stay Longer?

Check out other wintertime adventures outside of San Francisco!

Reviews

Review your tour

Well worth the drive!

“It’s a 4.5 hour drive there and back but it is well worth it. The guide talks during the drive so you learn a lot and the time flies by. We had 3.5 hours there, which was enough time to do some trekking. The waterfall is still decent very tall even in winter with the snow around.”

– Rapha Traveled February 2018 Yosemite Winter Day Tour

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