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. **