Yosemite National Park

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Yosemite National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

San Francisco: Yosemite National Park & Giant Sequoias Hike

1. San Francisco: Yosemite National Park & Giant Sequoias Hike

The Total Yosemite Experience is the only 1-day tour to combine the Yosemite Valley and a Giant Sequoia Walk all in the same day. See why artists and poets have been inspired for generations. Since 1890, beautiful Yosemite National Park has been the jewel of America's National Parks, possessing some of the best–known landmarks in the world, such as the tallest waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls. You'll have 5-6 hours to explore the stunning national park, and take in the majestic natural wonders, accompanied by a complimentary audio guided tour. Yosemite is home to the spectacular Half Dome & El Capitan, 2 of the most frequently climbed cliffs in the world. It is also home to several groves of stunning Giant Sequoia trees, the largest trees on earth. The Giant Sequoia Walk is along 1 mile (1.5 km) of paved trail with a 400 ft (120 m) incline, snow depth permitting. Experiencing Yosemite in a friendly group, you will see stunning panoramas, go on walks, and even hike a little, before returning to San Francisco. Or if you prefer, you can upgrade to a private tour for your group only.

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San Francisco to Yosemite Park Small Group Tour

2. San Francisco to Yosemite Park Small Group Tour

Escape the crowds of San Francisco on a full-day tour to Yosemite National Park. Travel by comfortable, responsible transportation in a bio-fueled mini-coach. 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 the tour crosses through the Central Valley, where you will stop at a fruit stand for some local produce. Famous for its rich volcanic soil, the Central Valley is the largest agricultural region in the United States. The section the tour drives through is best known for speciality fruits and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cherries, and strawberries. After this quick rest stop, you will enter the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Continuing into the mountains brings you to California gold country and the gold rush town of Groveland before the tour winds its way into Yosemite National Park. On your 1.5-hour narrated coach tour of Yosemite's glaciated valley, you will see famous waterfalls and rock formations including Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America. Continue on past El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, Sentinel Dome, and much more. During the tour you will see Yosemite Valley from a number of great vantage points, the best of which is perhaps Inspiration Point. After the tour, you will stop for the afternoon near the base of Yosemite Falls. If you have not already picked up picnic supplies, there are many options for getting lunch in the park. You will have 3-4 hours of free time to explore the valley as you choose. You can walk to the base of Yosemite Falls, check out the visitor center, visit the Ansel Adams Gallery, stop in at the Ahwahnee Hotel, rent a cruiser bike, or hike some of the trails that originate from the valley. Although you could easily spend 3 weeks in Yosemite, the 3 hours you get on your own is enough time to understand why Yosemite is one of America's most popular national parks.

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From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park

3. From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park

Travel through the Great Central Valley into the Sierra Foothills where Forty-Niners panned for Gold. Follow the beautiful Merced River to the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Glaciers cut through these mountains forming spectacular granite monuments you will see throughout the park. Spend a total of 4 hours within the Yosemite National Park: 1-hour on a guided tour and 3 hours to explore on your own. There is the option of selecting a Chinese-speaking guide on certain days. Take advantage of the photo opportunities at: • El Capitan • Bridalveil Falls • Vernal Falls • Yosemite Falls • Cathedral Spires • Half Dome

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San Jose: Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias Trip

4. San Jose: Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias Trip

Towering granite cliffs and giant sequoias headline this full-day Yosemite tour from San Jose. Expert guides will make sure you don’t miss the history, geology, wildflowers, and wildlife, that have made this glacier-carved valley the jewel of America’s national park system. Your Yosemite Giant Sequoia Tour from San Jose begins with pickup from your hotel, then heads east crossing through California’s fertile San Joaquin (aka Central) Valley and into the craggy Sierra Nevada mountains. This is the only Yosemite Valley tour where you will also experience the solitude of the Tuolumne Grove of giant sequoias, the largest living things on earth. You’ll reconsider your place in the world, 2,000-year-old trees can make people do that. Your heart (and camera) will be racing as you enter Yosemite Valley, enjoying stops at Inspiration Point and El Capitan Meadow. You will stop for moments at Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and Bridalveil Falls, with plenty of time allocated to "take some selfies". Yosemite is open year-round, and if you visit in the winter months, you can picture Yosemite Valley covered in soft white snow, with animal footprints scattered about in the meadows and the snow-capped Half Dome casting its long shadow.

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Yosemite National Park: Valley Orientation Tour

5. Yosemite National Park: Valley Orientation Tour

Join an eco-friendly, small group guided tour and witness the stunning Yosemite National Park. Choose between three pickup locations covering hotels on Highway 41, 140 & 120. Then drive 30-60 minutes through Yosemite National Park to reach Yosemite Valley. On the way, your guide will explain the history and geology before stopping at El Capitan, the world’s largest granite monolith. Your guide will provide a park orientation and hiking briefing so you can wander around alone. Be dropped off either at Curry Village or Yosemite Valley Lodge in the park. During your 5 hours of free time, explore Yosemite either by hiking its most famous trails or biking your way around Yosemite Valley.  Marvel at views of Half Dome, a granite dome known for its distinct shape. Go for a swim in the nearby Merced River to cool down from Yosemite’s summer heat. Your expert guide can recommend the best trails and where to rent a bike.  After a day of exploration, meet your guide back at either Curry Village or Yosemite Valley Lodge to be dropped off back at your original point: Yosemite View Lodge.

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From Lake Tahoe: Yosemite National Park Full-Day Tour

6. From Lake Tahoe: Yosemite National Park Full-Day Tour

Enjoy traveling in a luxury 28-passenger mini bus to the High Sierra. You’ll leave South Lake Tahoe at 06:00 on the 3-hour drive to the main valley of Yosemite National Park. This breathtaking adventure provides an unforgettable opportunity to savor the vast array of stunning High Sierra features made famous by the likes of John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ansel Adams. The exclusive documentary tour includes a full-day of sightseeing in one of America’s favorite national parks, conducted by a Yosemite expert. The tour price includes transportation, the park admission fee, a delicious picnic lunch with an assortment of beverages, and a seasonal hike to the Bridalveil Fall or Yosemite Falls. Spend around 6 hours in the park, driving from one scenic location to the next. You can exit the bus to admire the scenery and take photos at each stop. When you reach the main valley at around noon, you’ll enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. On the way back the mini-bus will stop at O'Nelly Deli so you can have a bite to eat and something to drink. You’ll arrive in South Lake Tahoe at around 20:00.

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From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park Full-Day Trip

7. From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park Full-Day Trip

Spend an active, fun-filled day learning why Yosemite is one of America’s most popular national parks. Hike through the park with an experienced guide and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature on this small group tour. Start off by making your way east from San Francisco and heading across the Bay Bridge. You’ll continue toward the Sierras and make your way into the mountains. There, you’ll learn about California’s rich history as you pass through some of the first settlements built during the Gold Rush. Once you arrive in Yosemite National Park, it’s time to stretch your legs. Your first stop in Yosemite will include a 2.5-mile round trip hike to see the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. Be prepared for this strenuous hike, where you’ll descend 400 feet into the grove, before turning around and walking back up. Next, you’ll cruise into the famous Yosemite Valley to take in views of Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, Half Dome, and more. Capture breathtaking photos at Tunnel View and take in the eastern expanse of Yosemite Valley. Once inside the valley, you’ll have 1.5 hours of free time to explore on your own. Your guide will help you decide what to do: you can meander down paved paths, hike around Yosemite Falls, engage further with the park’s history at the visitor’s center, or visit the Ansel Adams Gallery. In the late afternoon, you’ll depart for San Francisco, stopping for a short break before arriving back in the city. You’ll arrive back at your hotel around 8:30 to 9:00 PM to sleep off the day’s adventures.

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Giant Sequoia Snowshoe & Yosemite Valley Tour

8. Giant Sequoia Snowshoe & Yosemite Valley Tour

Experience the best that winter in Yosemite National Park has to offer in just one day. Enjoy snow-topped Yosemite Valley and a picturesque snowshoe hike to the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias. Get picked up and go straight to Tunnel View, one of the best panoramas in all of Yosemite National Park. While here, grab some photos and take in the beauty of this glacially-carved valley in winter.  Next, travel to another area of the park to reach the trailhead to the Giant Sequoias. Once at the trailhead, it's time to layer up and strap on your snowshoes. If appropriate snow conditions do not exist, you will complete the hike in your regular hiking boots. On this 3-mile round-trip hike, make your way down the serene trail to reach the cluster of ancient Giant Sequoias. Find around 20 mature trees in one of Yosemite's most peaceful groves. Once you've worked up an appetite, enjoy your provided picnic lunch surrounded by the towering trees. Next, make the gradual uphill return of 600 feet elevation back to the trailhead. Change out of your layers, get comfortable, and relax on the scenic drive back to your hotel.

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Yosemite Self-Guided Audio Tour

9. Yosemite Self-Guided Audio Tour

Enjoy an audio tour of The Panorama Trail at Yosemite National Park and get the chance to visit one of the United States of America’s most incredible hiking experiences. A National Park since 1984, you will surely find out why for over 150-years the gems of Yosemite have been attracting adventurous spirits and appreciators of beauty from all around the planet. Your hiking trail begins at one of the country’s finest natural viewpoints, Glacier Point, and ends on one of its most widely acclaimed walking paths, The Mist Trail. From beginning to end, hiking The Panorama Trail is a life-changing adventure that you will never forget. On your hike of the Panorama Trail, you will observe the glorious granite formation of the Half Dome from multiple angles, admire the elusive Illilouette Fall from closer than any other cleared path allows, and even stand atop and below the base of both steps of “The Giant’s Staircase,” a series of the spectacular Nevada and Vernal Falls. As you drop nearly 2,800 feet in elevation, from the world of the Upper to the Lower Montane Forest, astounding changes in flora and fauna will continuously surprise you. Nearly every moment of this excursion seems to provide each hiker with a memorable, one-in-a-lifetime kind of view.

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3-Day Yosemite National Park Tour

10. 3-Day Yosemite National Park Tour

Start with pickup from central locations in Downtown San Francisco. Meet your expert guide and travel east crossing through California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley and into the rocky Sierra Nevada mountains. See 170-year-old mining towns and learn the colorful history of the region with stops for food along the way. Upon arrival at Yosemite National Park, be dropped at your chosen accommodation, which you will need to reserve separately beforehand. Customize your 3 days in Yosemite National Park according to your preferences. Discover the park’s wilderness, towering granite cliffs, Giant Sequoias, and awe-inspiring waterfalls with your guide's assistance. Throughout your stay in the park, your guides will be on hand to escort you to the many summertime and wintertime activities so you don’t miss the history, geology, and wildlife that make Yosemite Valley the jewel of the U.S. National Parks. Explore the many trails of the Yosemite Valley. Enjoy a stop at Inspiration Point, then take some selfies with El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Falls as your backdrop. In spring and summer, choose rock climbing, rafting, fishing, or nighttime stargazing (activities not included). In winter, have your guide arrange winter hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or ice skating, depending on weather conditions.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Yosemite National Park

Want to discover all there is to do in Yosemite National Park? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Yosemite National Park

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,134 reviews

The guide was very passionate and super nice. He taught us a lot, a lot of stories and all with humor. The bus ride is very long even if the guide does everything to make it pleasant: stories, culture, music, jokes and even movies. Otherwise, the places chosen are truly amazing. Yosemite Park is unique and I think this tour really captures all of its splendor. My only regret that I didn't have time to stop more (but hey, it's the time to not come home too late). What I liked the most was the view from the tunnel as well as the view from the bottom of the valley (last stop before departure). Also, the place for lunch in front of the waterfalls is just unique. As for the agency that takes charge, they are top, available and really take you to the hotel and bring you back there: which is comfortable anyway.

Must do when in SF. Yes it’s a long ride, but it’s so worth the visit! The time you get in the park is around 3h which is ok-ish for a small walk around the lodge to check the falls and maybe some half-dome views. You need days to explore the whole thing! In the winter you don’t get to see the sequoias because the road is closed. We stopped to see the tunnel view which is amazing and also stopped 2 times to see different views of elcap which is breathtaking! The driver was also very good and informative!

This tour was amazing, the guide is very professional and competent. Thank you Denise for making the tour unforgettable.

Well organized tour with adequate rest and bathroom breaks

The tour was really really nice, we were in a small bus,