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BEGINS IN: BURLINGAME, CALIFORNIA

An American Icon: Majestic Yosemite National Park

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Road Scholar
Program #19237RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Yosemite National Park has elevations ranging from 4,000 to over 8,000 feet.

Itinerary for Sep 28 — Oct 3, 2014

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Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Hilton SFO Bayfront is ideally located just four miles from San Francisco Airport in the contemporary neighborhood of Burlingame, CA, a short drive from downtown San Francisco. The hotel offers inspiring views overlooking San Francisco Bay and nearby there's a scenic walking path where guests can enjoy a stroll along the Bay. The charming downtown section of Burlingame is filled with plenty of shopping and dining options.

Contact info:
600 Airport Blvd.
Burlingame, CA 94010 USA
phone: 650-340-8500
web: http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/california/hilton-san-francisco-airport-bayfront-SFOAPHF/index.html

Room amenities: Each guest room contains a 42 inch flat screen HDTV with complimentary HBO(R), in-room movie channels, on-demand movies, cable, CNN and ESPN. All rooms are equipped with a coffee maker and tea service, hairdryer, iron/ironing board, arm chair with ottoman, clock radio with MP3 connection, curved shower rod, non-allergenic feather pillows, safe, visual strobe for the hearing-impaired, bathroom amenities and telephone featuring auto wakeup, voicemail, and a dataport. 24-hour housekeeping is standard and evening room service is available. Guests receive USA Today daily, Monday through Friday. Complimentary WiFi internet access is available in all guest rooms.

Facility amenities: The Hilton SFO Bayfront is a 100% smoke-free hotel. It offers guests many fine amenities including the California culinary-inspired restaurant, Windows on the Bay, which provides sweeping views of San Francisco Bay. Guests can also enjoy their favorite cocktail in the relaxed atmosphere of the hotel's Lobby Lounge. The hotel features an indoor heated pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center as well as a 24-hour business center. Guests may plug in their iPod, camera or laptop to an in-room system. The hotel provides complimentary shuttle service to and from SFO and to downtown Burlingame. WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: Complimentary WiFi internet access is available in the lobby and guest rooms.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Based on availability
Call the hotel for current room rates, or go to sanfranciscoairportbayfront.hilton.com and enter dates that are before or after program, then go to menu on left side of screen and click on link at the bottom that says "Have a special code"; on the next screen enter the corporate account number: 2747104 and click update information. The Road Scholar preferred rates, if available, will be shown under the regular hotel rates.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, September 28 - Independent Arrivals/ Registration/ Program Orien...
Arrive To: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Check into the Hilton SFO hotel after 3:00PM.

PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet which we'll review during our orientation session.

ORIENTATION: We'll have an overview of the program ahead and review the up-to-date schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, any other administrative issues, and answer your questions. Please be aware that local circumstances may require adjusting program elements. In the event of changes, we will notify you as quickly as possible. We appreciate your understanding.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel

Menus are contracted for the program and are designed to offer balanced, healthy meals for the participants. This program offers two choices for meals: standard and vegetarian. We are unable to customize menus for individuals. However, we have found that by requesting sauces and dressing to be served on the side, we are able to accommodate various food intolerances and allergies. Vegetarian meals must be requested in advance on your Participant Information Form. Unfortunately, there are no other special meal options. Participants with special dietary needs should be prepared to avoid certain foods or supplement the regular meal plan as needed.

Evening: CROSSING POINTS: Participants introduce themselves to the rest of the group.

Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.

Lodging: Hilton SFO Bayfront

Meals Included: Dinner

Type: Lodge

Description: Yosemite View Lodge is a two-story motor inn that is situated along the Merced River, 2 ½ miles from the west entrance to Yosemite National Park. The Lodge provides guests with a beautiful and tranquil natural setting overlooking the wild Merced River. This location is a great location for touring some of the most popular sites in the park. It is a mile east of El Portal, 12 miles from Bridal Veil Falls and El Capitan; 14 miles from Lower Yosemite Falls and Upper Yosemite Falls, and 15 miles from Glacier Point and Yosemite Village.

Contact info:
11136 Highway 140
El Portal, CA 95318 USA
phone: 209-379-2681
web: http://www.stayyosemiteviewlodge.com/

Room amenities: All guest rooms include a private bathroom with shower/tub combination, hair dryer, and complimentary toiletries; kitchenette with microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker and dishware; clock radio; and iron/ironing board. Rollaway beds are available. Other amenities include cable/satellite TV with premium channels; direct-dial phone; and climate-control. Wireless Internet access is available for a surcharge.

Facility amenities: All of the 278 air-conditioned guestrooms are equipped with kitchenettes. The hotel offers a range of amenities including a bar/lounge and the on-site Yosemite View restaurant; 24-hour front desk service; a gift shop and convenience store; coin-op laundry facilities; and a central safe-deposit box at the front desk. Yosemite View Lodge amenities also include an indoor heated pool, two outdoor pools (open seasonally), five spa tubs and a patio area. WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: There is a fee of $9.99 per 24-hour period (rates may vary) for high-speed in-room Internet access.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Two: Monday, September 29 - Field Trip to Yosemite National Park/ Lunch at Wa...
Field Trip to Yosemite National Park/ Lunch at Wawona Hotel/ Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

Note: The 1.5 mile roundtrip walk at the Mariposa Grove is on a dirt trail and has scattered rock steps.

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Board the motor coach for our field trip to Yosemite National Park.

For tens of thousands of years, humans have changed, and have been changed by, this place we now call Yosemite. “It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter,” said famed naturalist John Muir.

Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is known for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves and biological diversity. Two wild and scenic rivers, the Tuolumne and Merced rivers, begin in the park and flow west to the Central Valley. Yosemite is one of the first wilderness parks in the United States and encompasses nearly 1200 square miles.

Lunch: Lunch at the historic Wawona Hotel. The Wawona Hotel, a National Historic Landmark, rests upon verdant meadows and beside rushing streams. The tranquility of this Victorian-style lodge in Yosemite makes it a favorite of those who prefer a relaxed environment and the gracious charm of a bygone era.

Afternoon: After lunch we'll visit the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias which contains about 500 mature giant sequoias. Giant sequoias are perhaps the largest living things on Earth and may exceed 3000 years in age. We board the motor coach and continue to Yosemite Valley with a stop at Tunnel View for a photo op of the world famous view of the Valley.

Dinner: Dinner at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls Food Court. Dinner coupon will have an $19 value. Purchases over $19 will be an out-of-pocket expense of the individual.

Evening: After dinner, check into Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal.

Please be aware that Yosemite View Lodge is located outside the western entrance to the park and about 17 miles from Yosemite Valley or a good 30 minute bus ride one way.

Lodging: Yosemite View Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Lodge

Description: Yosemite View Lodge is a two-story motor inn that is situated along the Merced River, 2 ½ miles from the west entrance to Yosemite National Park. The Lodge provides guests with a beautiful and tranquil natural setting overlooking the wild Merced River. This location is a great location for touring some of the most popular sites in the park. It is a mile east of El Portal, 12 miles from Bridal Veil Falls and El Capitan; 14 miles from Lower Yosemite Falls and Upper Yosemite Falls, and 15 miles from Glacier Point and Yosemite Village.

Contact info:
11136 Highway 140
El Portal, CA 95318 USA
phone: 209-379-2681
web: http://www.stayyosemiteviewlodge.com/

Room amenities: All guest rooms include a private bathroom with shower/tub combination, hair dryer, and complimentary toiletries; kitchenette with microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker and dishware; clock radio; and iron/ironing board. Rollaway beds are available. Other amenities include cable/satellite TV with premium channels; direct-dial phone; and climate-control. Wireless Internet access is available for a surcharge.

Facility amenities: All of the 278 air-conditioned guestrooms are equipped with kitchenettes. The hotel offers a range of amenities including a bar/lounge and the on-site Yosemite View restaurant; 24-hour front desk service; a gift shop and convenience store; coin-op laundry facilities; and a central safe-deposit box at the front desk. Yosemite View Lodge amenities also include an indoor heated pool, two outdoor pools (open seasonally), five spa tubs and a patio area. WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: There is a fee of $9.99 per 24-hour period (rates may vary) for high-speed in-room Internet access.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Three: Tuesday, September 30 - Instructor-led Field Trip to Tenaya Lake, Tuolumn...
Instructor-led Field Trip to Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Meadows and Olmstead Point/ Yosemite Valley Visitor's Center/ Yosemite Museum/ Ansel Adams Gallery

Note: At Tenaya Lake, we walk on a flat paved trail for a distance of a tenth of a mile or so. At the lunch stop, we walk up the dirt and rock trail onto the lower slopes of Lembert Dome for a view over the Meadows. The footing is uneven and somewhat steep; the distance is about 100 ft.

Breakfast: Breakfast at The River Restaurant, Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal. After breakfast, the group will ride the bus for approximately 30 minutes into the park; will return to Yosemite View Lodge for dinner.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Our on-board instructor provides the narrative for our field trip to the gateway to Yosemite's back country along Tioga Pass to Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Meadows and Olmstead Point.

Tioga Pass Road offers a 39-mile scenic drive between Crane Flat and Tuolumne Meadows through forests and past meadows, lakes, and granite domes. Tenaya Lake is a magnificent High Sierra lake surrounded by granite domes, lodgepole forests and Yosemite’s vast wilderness Tuolumne Meadows is a large, open sub-alpine meadow graced by the winding Tuolumne River and surrounded by majestic peaks and domes. Olmsted Point looks down on Yosemite Valley from the east--and from a very different angle.

Lunch: Picnic lunch at Lembert Dome

Afternoon: Return to Yosemite Valley and visit the Visitor's Center, Yosemite Museum and the Ansel Adams Gallery.

Dinner: Return by bus to Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal for dinner at The River Restaurant.

Evening: PERFORMANCE: An Evening with John Muir

A live presentation of John Muir, the Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate for wilderness preservation in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to save the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States.

Lodging: Yosemite View Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Lodge

Description: Yosemite View Lodge is a two-story motor inn that is situated along the Merced River, 2 ½ miles from the west entrance to Yosemite National Park. The Lodge provides guests with a beautiful and tranquil natural setting overlooking the wild Merced River. This location is a great location for touring some of the most popular sites in the park. It is a mile east of El Portal, 12 miles from Bridal Veil Falls and El Capitan; 14 miles from Lower Yosemite Falls and Upper Yosemite Falls, and 15 miles from Glacier Point and Yosemite Village.

Contact info:
11136 Highway 140
El Portal, CA 95318 USA
phone: 209-379-2681
web: http://www.stayyosemiteviewlodge.com/

Room amenities: All guest rooms include a private bathroom with shower/tub combination, hair dryer, and complimentary toiletries; kitchenette with microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker and dishware; clock radio; and iron/ironing board. Rollaway beds are available. Other amenities include cable/satellite TV with premium channels; direct-dial phone; and climate-control. Wireless Internet access is available for a surcharge.

Facility amenities: All of the 278 air-conditioned guestrooms are equipped with kitchenettes. The hotel offers a range of amenities including a bar/lounge and the on-site Yosemite View restaurant; 24-hour front desk service; a gift shop and convenience store; coin-op laundry facilities; and a central safe-deposit box at the front desk. Yosemite View Lodge amenities also include an indoor heated pool, two outdoor pools (open seasonally), five spa tubs and a patio area. WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: There is a fee of $9.99 per 24-hour period (rates may vary) for high-speed in-room Internet access.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Four: Wednesday, October 01 - Instructor-led Field Trip through Yosemite Valley...
Instructor-led Field Trip through Yosemite Valley/ Lunch & Guided Visit at the Ahwahnee Hotel

Note: The walk into the El Capitan Meadow is on a dirt path in a flat meadow and the distance is about 100-150 ft. The walk to the base of Bridalveil Fall is 1 mile roundtrip, but up a steep trail (up to 24% slope). Part of the trail is dirt and somewhat rocky but the rest of the trail is paved. The flat paved loop at Lower Yosemite Falls is about 1 mile roundtrip. Happy Isles Trail is .5 mile round trip on flat, partly paved trail; trailhead elevation is 4000 ft.

Breakfast: Breakfast at The River Restaurant, Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Our on-board instructor leads us on a field trip through Yosemite Valley which is world-famous for its impressive waterfalls, cliffs and unusual rock formations.

First stop is El Capitan Meadow for a straight up view of El Capitan, a favorite for experienced rock climbers. Rising more than 3,000 feet above the Valley floor, it is the largest monolith of granite in the world.

Second stop is Bridalveil Fall for a walk to the base of the falls.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel, a National Historic Landmark. Completed in 1927, it was built in a rustic style with an American Indian motif. Historic paintings of Yosemite, stunning stained-glass windows, and woven tapestries grace the walls of The Great Lounge and Dining Room.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Guided walk of Ahwahnee Hotel

Known for its magnificent façade, and architecture, the Ahwahnee was specifically designed to highlight its natural surroundings, featuring Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and Glacier Point.

Guided walk on Happy Isles Trail

Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore the variety of dining options in Yosemite Village, at Ahwahnee, Yosemite Lodge or Curry Village.

After dinner, return by bus to Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal.

Lodging: Yosemite View Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Type: Lodge

Description: Yosemite View Lodge is a two-story motor inn that is situated along the Merced River, 2 ½ miles from the west entrance to Yosemite National Park. The Lodge provides guests with a beautiful and tranquil natural setting overlooking the wild Merced River. This location is a great location for touring some of the most popular sites in the park. It is a mile east of El Portal, 12 miles from Bridal Veil Falls and El Capitan; 14 miles from Lower Yosemite Falls and Upper Yosemite Falls, and 15 miles from Glacier Point and Yosemite Village.

Contact info:
11136 Highway 140
El Portal, CA 95318 USA
phone: 209-379-2681
web: http://www.stayyosemiteviewlodge.com/

Room amenities: All guest rooms include a private bathroom with shower/tub combination, hair dryer, and complimentary toiletries; kitchenette with microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker and dishware; clock radio; and iron/ironing board. Rollaway beds are available. Other amenities include cable/satellite TV with premium channels; direct-dial phone; and climate-control. Wireless Internet access is available for a surcharge.

Facility amenities: All of the 278 air-conditioned guestrooms are equipped with kitchenettes. The hotel offers a range of amenities including a bar/lounge and the on-site Yosemite View restaurant; 24-hour front desk service; a gift shop and convenience store; coin-op laundry facilities; and a central safe-deposit box at the front desk. Yosemite View Lodge amenities also include an indoor heated pool, two outdoor pools (open seasonally), five spa tubs and a patio area. WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: There is a fee of $9.99 per 24-hour period (rates may vary) for high-speed in-room Internet access.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Five: Thursday, October 02 - Field Trip to Glacier Point/ Free Afternoon
Note: From Glacier Pt parking lot, short (approx 500 yds) paved trail leads uphill to restrooms and then flattens as it leads to overlook. Option of continuing on paved walkway to 2nd overlook, which has series of terraced viewpoints reached via granite steps overlooking Valley. Terraced overlooks can also be reached via a small, dirt trail, with some loose rocks/trees roots and a few granite steps. Loop is approximately a half mile or less.

Breakfast: Breakfast at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls Food Court.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: A final field trip to Glacier Point rounds out the Yosemite experience. Glacier Point, an overlook with a commanding view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and the High Sierra, is located 30 miles (one hour) from Yosemite Valley. The road ends at Glacier Point, and it is a short walk to the viewpoint. Glacier Point, some would say, is the most spectacular viewpoint anywhere. Most people agree that its views of the high country and breathtaking views of Yosemite Valley, including Half Dome and three waterfalls, are the most spectacular in the park.

Lunch: Picnic lunch at Glacier Point

Afternoon: Free time gives you a chance to explore on your own or to hike some of the many paths and trails the park offers.

Dinner: Farewell dinner

Lodging: Yosemite View Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, October 03 - Return to San Francisco Airport and Hilton SFO Ho...
Return to San Francisco Airport and Hilton SFO Hotel/ Independent Departures

Breakfast: Breakfast at The River Restaurant, Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal.

Morning: Board the motor coach for the return trip to San Francisco.

Lunch: Lunch en route to SFO

Afternoon: Program ends after the drop off at San Francisco Airport at approximately 3:00PM, followed by the return to the Hilton SFO hotel in Burlingame. The return time of 3:00PM at SFO is not guaranteed.

This concludes the program. We hope you have enjoyed our 'An American Icon: Majestic Yosemite National Park' program and will join us for other rewarding adventures in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch



Free Time Opportunities


Burlingame, CA
General OverviewIn San Francisco there are limitless opportunities for sight-seeing. Our program will keep participants busy, but there will be a few hours of free time for personal exploration.

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
5 Field trips
1 Performances

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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