Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite & Tahoe In-Depth

7 days
from
£2,539
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Moderate
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Trip code: 
TFY
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
New Walking Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
1–13

Begin your in-depth tour in everybody’s favourite, ‘The City by the Bay’ – San Francisco. Enjoy coastal Monterey where the sparkling Pacific Ocean and wildlife such as harbour seals, otters and whales dominate this area between May and November. Included is a whale watching cruise to observe these magnificent mammals. High in the Sierra Nevadas, we hit the wilderness trails of Yosemite National Park to explore the mountains, meadows, valleys and Giant Sequoia trees. Walking the trails is the best way to really unleash what Yosemite has to offer and we have included some dedicated and leader led hikes. The views are incredible, as pristine alpine forests give way to sparkling granite peaks. Mark Twain said Lake Tahoe’s air was pure enough for angels. Enjoy the lake vistas and hiking trails at Lake Tahoe and round off your experience with a sunset cruise whilst sipping champagne on the crystal-clear, deep blue water.

Highlights

  • Whale watching cruise in Monterey
  • Sunset champagne cruise in Lake Tahoe
  • Hiking with private ranger guide in Yosemite National Park to Upper Yosemite Falls trail
  • Hiking on the Mist Trail in Yosemite
  • Lake Tahoe on the Rubicon trail and Mount Tallac trails
  • Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Key information

  • 5 nights premium lodges and 1 hotel night in twin share accommodation
  • 4 days walking
  • Group normally 1 to 13, plus leader. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Travel by private vehicle and boat

What's included

  • All accommodation (see below)
  • 6 breakfasts, 2 dinners
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4

Day by day breakdown
Day 39.0km/5.5miles
Day 412.0km/7.0miles
Day 513.0km/8.0miles
Day 616.0km/10.0miles
Yosemite National Park

Itinerary

San Francisco
to
San Francisco
  • Day 1

    Arrival day in San Francisco

    Welcome to the ‘City by the Bay’ in sunny California. San Francisco is a city that the locals are fiercely proud of, and for good reason. There’s plenty to keep you entertained but the best introduction is booking one of our ‘Urban Adventures’ to discover the city through the eyes of a local guide. A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs tonight to meet your fellow travellers and tour leader over a welcome dinner.

    Please note: No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Alcatraz. We recommend you book an extra night in our hotel the night before the tour starts and book your ticket online in advance with Alcatraz Cruises.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Monterey

    As the Golden Gate Bridge disappears into the distance you make your way to Monterey on California’s rugged central coast. The magnificent Monterey Peninsula has been called the greatest meeting of land, sea and sky and is recognised as an ideal place to spot whales.

    There are two things that will happen today: the first is that you will hit the Monterey Peninsula Recreation Trail, keeping your eyes peeled for harbour seals, otters and the sparkling Pacific Ocean. The second - and you can’t leave Monterey without doing so - is to venture out on an included whale viewing cruise. It is commonplace to view these magnificent mammals that frequent the area between April and October. In the evening, with excellent nightlife and countless restaurants serving up some of the best seafood around, you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice in Monterey.

    Optional Activities:
    Kayaking - Lake Tahoe US$25

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Yosemite National Park

    Yosemite National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an absolute treasure, so it’s no surprise that this place is loved by visitors and locals alike! Yosemite embodies the spirit of America’s natural parks. Its rugged, towering peaks and magnificent waterfalls have been immortalised by countless photographers. The most famous of the park’s photographers was Ansel Adams, whose gallery sits in the heart of Yosemite Valley and you’ll have plenty of time to take a look at his iconic photographs.

    The first thing on the list today is the Mist Trail, arguably one of the most outstanding day hikes from Yosemite Valley. The Mist Trail has some superb views as you walk across picturesque bridges up towards Vernal Falls, where the spray from the falls will cool you down on a hot summer’s day, creating striking rainbows along the trail. Continue walking and you reach another beautiful waterfall, Nevada Falls. With no barriers, it really feels like you are well and truly in the California wilderness. Return via the John Muir Trail for the perfect afternoon views and if you’re lucky you may even spot Black Bear and coyotes that roam the surrounding areas. There’s never a dull moment in Yosemite.

    Optional Activities:
    • Bike rental - Yosemite US$12-$34
    • Float trip on the Merced River - Yosemite US$31

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Yosemite National Park

    Heading back out on the trails is really the only way to take in the best of what Yosemite has to offer. Therefore, we have included a Yosemite Ranger to lead a hike on the Upper Yosemite Falls trail, an incredible hike to really stretch the legs.

    Upper Yosemite Falls Trail is one of Yosemite’s oldest historic trails which leads to the top of North America’s tallest waterfall. This trail begins at Camp 4, along the Valley Loop Trail, and immediately starts climbing through a series of switchback trails, through oak woodland. You continue to climb above the tree line and into exposed areas where the only views in front of you are of Yosemite Valley, some of the most beautiful natural vistas on planet earth. Please note there are some steep drops on this trail. At Columbia Rock, you’ll be rewarded by views of Half Dome and Sentinel Rock. On the upper half of the trail you’ll encounter steep sections with uneven surfaces, but the views are more than worth it. At the top of the Yosemite Falls Trail, you have uninterrupted views of Half Dome and Lost Arrow Spire up close, as well as panoramic views of the various peaks.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay State Park

    Mark Twain said Lake Tahoe’s air was pure enough for angels. Beautiful skies, clean air and the cobalt blue lake awaken the senses, especially on Lake Tahoe, the second deepest lake in the USA. It contains enough water to provide every man, woman and child in the country with 200 litres of water a day, every day, for five years. That’s a lot of water!

    In 1969, Emerald Bay was designated a National Natural Landmark for its brilliant panorama of mountains and glacier carved granite. The Rubicon Trail, which begins in Emerald Bay State Park, is a moderate loop trail along the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe, which is easily accessible and offers some of the finest views of Tahoe. The trail traverses a multitude of different terrains including secluded coves, flat stretches and undulating short elevation gains and drops, twisting along some stunning shoreline cliffs. Part of this hike involves a walk along the south shore of Emerald Bay, an area famous for nesting Eagles. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Lake Tahoe

    Today you’ll hike a trail to really get you off the beaten path and see panoramic views of the area. If you would prefer to take things a bit easier, why not ask your leader to organise you a mountain bike or kayak to experience the lake at a different pace?

    The Mount Tallac Trail is a 9.6 mile trail and is the jewel in the crown of mountains which ring Lake Tahoe. From the summit at 9,735ft above sea level, Mt Tallac offers unparalleled and uninterrupted views of the area. This route traverses lush forest, scenic ridgelines, small alpine lakes and meadows well-known for their beautiful wild flowers. This trail will make you work for it but the rewards are phenomenal. Expect to find the trail flooded with chipmunks - Black Bears have also been previously spotted on this hike.

    How would you choose to spend your final evening of the tour? Well, we think the best way is by drinking champagne on a catamaran cruise around Lake Tahoe as the setting sun lights the water. From the middle of the lake you can truly appreciate the vastness of this jewel in the Sierra Nevadas.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Sausalito and San Francisco

    Departing Lake Tahoe, you make your way towards the outskirts of San Francisco. Nestled on a beautiful harbour on the bay, Sausalito is undeniably picturesque. It was awarded its name for the tiny willows which once populated the banks of its creeks and much of its fame is a result of its colourful houseboats lining the bay. With beautiful views of San Francisco and Angel Island, it’s easy to see why Sausalito is favoured by San Francisco natives.

    Finish your day with a leisurely stroll across the world’s most famous bridge, the Golden Gate. With views of the infamous Alcatraz Prison and the city, this is the most wonderfully apt way of bringing your tour to a close.

    This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We recommend booking post-tour accommodation if time allows. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

This In-depth tour offers an experiential journey of Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and Monterey whilst delivering superior comfort. Stay in a combination of National Park lodges and boutique hotels, in unique locations that bring the flavours of the areas to life. This tour has been specifically crafted to suit those looking to travel shorter distances but dig deeper into national parks and monuments, and benefit from specialist guides with expert local knowledge. This tour includes more meals, plus a host of unique activities to ensure a once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience.

Visas

United States

British, New Zealand, Swiss and most EU passport holders do not need a visa (and enter the country under the Visa Waiver Program), provided they are in possession of an onward air ticket when entering the USA. Visas for the USA are required by some nationalities and it is always best to check with the relevant embassies. All passengers travelling to and from the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required to hold a machine-readable passport (MRP). A MRP has the holder's personal details, e.g. name, date of birth, nationality and their passport number contained in two lines of text at the base of the photo page. This text may be read by machine. The US now charges $14 for the visa waiver program and must be paid by credit card. The US authorities have introduced a mandatory requirement for all passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme to register for an Electronic Travel Authority. As of 21 January 2016, any person who has travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria since March 2011, or have dual nationalities of these countries, may no longer qualify for the VWP. For additional specifics about the VWP please consult the VWP information on the U.S. Embassy London website. More information and all necessary Internet links can be found at www.exodus.co.uk/Usvisa

Vaccinations

United States

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for this trip.

Eating and Drinking

6 Breakfasts and 2 dinners included.

On this in-depth tour, there are a number of meals included with others in local restaurants. To help you budget for your meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from US$6-12, lunches from US$8-15 and dinners from US$13-30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately US$5 per glass and beer US$4 per bottle. Please also be aware that a tip of approximately 15%-20% is added to group meals in North American restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices.

Please make sure we are aware of any special meal requirements before travelling. We will do all we can to accommodate for various dietary requirements but in certain parts of North America certain food types can be limited.

Weather

TFA weather chart

TFA weather chart

Is this trip for you?

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Grand American Adventures (GAA). As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Grand American Adventures, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you are used to. GAA operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel.

This active in-depth tour is designed for adults, graded as moderate and offers a well-paced mix of walks for most levels of fitness. You do not need to be marathon fit but it is recommended that you train prior to arrival and ensure you are fit enough to walk on the named trails. Most walks are of moderate difficulty and are between five to six hours in duration.

There are opportunities for optional activities during your tour. Your tour leader will organise these on your behalf and you will pay locally in cash. You’ll find the main optional activities listed above under each itinerary day description, along with guideline prices. It may not be possible to do all optional activities listed on each tour.

Although each tour follows an itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility and from time to time your tour leader may suggest changes.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

5 nights premium lodges and 1 hotel

Whilst in San Francisco and Monterey we stay in comfortable hotels each with their own unique character. In Yosemite we stay in an updated mountain resort is set on 22 acres of wooded land bordering Yosemite National Park built in the 1920's. Accommodations range from vintage cabins with timber porches to 2-bedroom, houselike cabins with private decks. In Lake Tahoe set on the south shore, this cosy quarters come with gas fireplaces and coffeemakers, plus flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. Most rooms have balconies, while some add lake views and direct beach access. Amenities include a heated outdoor pool, hot tub and a 24-hour fitness center, as well as a pier and a marina with jet ski and kayak rentals.

Hotel accommodation will be in clean, comfortable national park lodges, boutique hotels and unique locations that bring the flavours of the areas to life. They will all be in close proximity to the highlights of the region. You will be roomed with a fellow passenger of the same sex on a twin share basis (two people per room) unless you are travelling as a couple. Each hotel used is listed within the itinerary so you are comfortable with the standard at the time of booking. They are subject to change for a similar style/standard, although we endeavour to stick to the advertised itinerary as closely as possible.

Single supplement on request, please call your sales consultant for prices and availability. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

For anyone leaving from the UK we would be pleased to book your flight in conjunction with your tour. Please contact us for competitive prices on flights departing from most UK airports.

If you are booking your own flights, you are free to arrive at any time on day one but it is advisable that you arrive in plenty of time to reach your joining hotel and attend your welcome meeting. We also suggest that you book your return flight the day after your tour finishes. If you have to return home on the day your tour finishes, please make sure that your flight does not depart before 21:00 hrs.

Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any delays, cancellations, changes to your flights, or any missed flights. We are unable to delay a tour, or finish a tour early due to your flight times.

Call us on 020 8772 3936