Morning – Drive to Yosemite National Park
6:15 – 7:00am: Pick up from San Francisco hotels
7:00 – 10:00am: Heading east across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge offers great views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge. En route to the park we cross through the Central Valley, the largest agricultural region in the United States and famous for its rich volcanic soil. The section we drive through is best known for specialty fruits and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cherries, and strawberries. We will make a stop at a fruit stand where you can experience the local produce. After this quick rest stop, we drive into the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
10:00 – 11:30am: Continuing into the mountains brings us to California Gold Country and through towns that began during the gold rush before we wind our way into Yosemite National Park. Your guide will provide history, stories, and practical information as you enter Yosemite’s glaciated valley. Because of our small group size, we can incorporate multiple photo stops into our tour so you can better enjoy your time in the park.
Afternoon – Free Time in Yosemite National Park
12:00pm: Winter in Yosemite Park brings meters of snow that blanket the granite peaks in sheets of pristine white. Photograph the famous waterfalls and rock formations of Yosemite Valley highlighted with snow. Half Dome becomes particularly magnificent with a halo of fresh powder as does the mighty Merced River as it winds through meadows of silent beauty. During the tour you will see Yosemite Valley from a number of great vantage points, perhaps the best of which is a photo stop at Tunnel View. At 4,500 feet above sea level, this viewpoint gives you a spectacular view looking east into the valley.
12:45pm: From the drop off location, you will have approx. 3 hours of free time to explore the valley as you choose. You can walk to the base of frozen Yosemite Falls, check out the visitor center, visit the Ansel Adams Gallery, stop in at the Ahwahnee Hotel for a warm drink, or hike some of the trails that originate from the valley (weather permitting). You may also be able to rent ice 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: Regrouping again in the late afternoon, we head back to San Francisco, stopping for a short break before arriving back in the city.
Evening – Head Back to San Francisco
8:30 – 9:00pm: Arrive back in San Francisco
**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. **