Treasures of Yosemite
During this adventure, take leisurely hikes to discover the towering cliffs, expansive vistas, cascading waterfalls, and wide diversity of wildlife that comprise this World Heritage site.
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Yosemite National Park (est. 1890) is home to some of the most magnificent scenery in the American West. Take leisurely hikes to discover this World Heritage site up close. Classic Sites: See El Capitan, Half Dome, Sentinel Peak, Bridalveil Falls, and Yosemite Falls, the fifth-highest waterfall in the world. John Muir: Learn about Muir’s legacy in preserving California’s Sierra Nevada and hear about new conservation efforts. Ansel Adams Gallery: Learn about this photographer’s important work and visit the Pioneer History Center. Limited to 22 participants.
Day 1 — Fresno, Depart for Kings Canyon National Park.
Individual arrivals in to Fresno/Yosemite International Airport. Depart for Kings Canyon National Park. The park is an unspoiled treasure of some of the most striking scenery in the world. Explore the beauty of towering giant sequoia trees, soaring mountain peaks, and cascading creeks. Check in to John Muir Lodge, which is located in Grant Grove Village a short drive from historic Grant Grove and the famous General Grant Tree, a soaring 267-feet-tall! Gather this evening for a welcome reception and opening remarks.
Please note: We recommend guests arrive at Fresno International Airport the evening before the start of the program (May 14) to avoid delays and ensure they can meet the group departure. (D)
Day 2 — Kings Canyon to Yosemite National Park
This morning we continue on to Yosemite National Park, considered by many to hold the most magnificent scenery in the American West. Towering cliffs, expansive vistas, abundant waterfalls and important wildlife habitat are all components of John Muir’s legacy. While in Yosemite, exact meeting times for each planned activity will be announced by tour staff. Late in the afternoon, a historian from the Pioneer History Center will join us for a talk about the rich history of the park, and points out key features of the Wawona Hotel, built in 1879. Afterwards, enjoy a group dinner then relax with time for stargazing. (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Yosemite Valley, Bridalveil & Yosemite Falls
Today, check out of the Wawona Hotel venture into the heart of Yosemite Valley for a look at the classic features of El Capitan, Half Dome, Sentinel Peak and more. Half Dome, for many, is the signature of the park. Its walls are etched by vertical joints and the trails of past glaciers. The park’s waters are rushing in spring and you will marvel at 620 ft. Bridalveil Falls. Walk to Yosemite Falls, the fifth-highest waterfall in the world at 2,425 feet. As you explore the valley, learn more about the legacy of renowned naturalist John Muir and retrace some of his favorite locations and read excerpts of his journals. Late this afternoon check in to Yosemite Lodge and then gather for dinner this evening. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Yosemite High Country, Olmsted Point
This morning, drive over the scenic Tioga Road into Yosemite’s high country. Enjoy hiking and walking opportunities and take in the spectacular views of the valley floor below. A century ago John Muir convinced a nation that the rare and precious qualities of the Sierra Nevada were necessary to us all. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Yosemite Valley, Mirror Lake
Take a morning nature walk to scout for mule deer, bobcat, coyote, white-headed woodpecker, calliope hummingbird and blue grouse. Wildlife habitats of the park provide home to 74 species of mammals, and nearly 250 birds. Enjoy a discussion with a park resource specialist, and discover the challenges of preserving the majestic character of Yosemite while working to reduce congestion, construction, and further development within the park. Visit the Valley Visitor Center, Yosemite Museum, and Ansel Adams Gallery. Tonight, enjoy a festive farewell dinner at the beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Return to Fresno, Home
Check out of Yosemite Lodge and depart the park for Fresno/Yosemite International Airport. The drive from Yosemite Valley to the airport will take approximately 2.5 hours. Participants should plan their flights for departure after 1:00 p.m. (B)