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BEGINS IN: OAKHURST, CALIFORNIA

National Parks of the Sierra Nevada: Yosemite, King's Canyon and Sequoia

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Road Scholar
Program #20197RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group 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
ECCO's elevation is about 3,100 ft. Two overnights at 7,000 and a bus stop at 8,000 ft.

Itinerary for Sep 7 — Sep 12, 2014

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Type: Conference Center

Description: ECCO sits on 160 lovely acres forested with oaks, manzanita, incense cedar and ponderosa pine. Our dining room overlooks a pond populated by mallards, egrets, herons--and one mute swan. We are set back from the highway 1 mile , away from traffic and noise. It's a perfect place to reflect, relax and learn. We are at the gateway to Yosemite, only 12 miles from the southern entrance to the park and about 45 miles from Yosemite Valley itself. As you enjoy a walk on our grounds, you may find yourself accompanied by mule deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife.

Contact info:
43803 Highway 41
Oakhurst, CA 93644 USA
phone: 559-683-8162
web: www.eccoyosemite.org

Room amenities: Climate-controlled, hair dryers.

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

Additional nights before:
Because we are a conference center, we are not often able to accommodate either early arrivals or late departures.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, September 07 - Arrival between 3:00 pm and 5:00pm. Social hour, ...
Arrival between 3:00 pm and 5:00pm. Social hour, get to know you, announcements and dinner. We are so glad you have chosen this program! Please enjoy this relaxing evening and get to know your home-away-from-home.

Dinner: Please plan to arrive at ECCO between 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Unfortunately, staff may not be available to assist outside of those hours. After check-in, take time to relax before our get-acquainted social hour. During our social hour, we will have a short orientation time to help answer your questions and properly welcome you to our home. Dinner follows at 6. We regret that we cannot hold dinners for those who arrive late so please plan accordingly. Lyles hall is accessible 24 hour and is a wonderful place to lounge in your free time. We have wifi, cable TV, a warm wood stove, comfortable couches, reading material, puzzles and games. It is a wonderful place to nurture new friendships.

Evening: A short program of introductions and program information follows dinner. The rest of the evening is left free for you to relax and recover from your day's journey.

Lodging: Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: The pinnacle of Kings Canyon lodging, the John Muir Lodge is a stone-and-timber retreat located in Grant Grove Village and within minutes of historic Grant Grove and its towering forest of giant sequoias.

Contact info:
86728 Highway 180
Kings Canyon National Park, CA 93633 USA
phone: 559-338-5500
web: www.visitsequoia.com/John-Muir-Lodge.aspx

Room amenities: Each room is private, with a private bath. Rooms also include: Desk with two chairs Private bathroom with tub and shower Radio Ipod® Docking Station Hair dryer Coffee maker with coffee provided Telephone Central heat

Facility amenities: Within a .25 flat, paved walk there is a grocery store, eatery, gift shop, and visitor information center.

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


Day Two: Monday, September 08 - Depart for Sequoia & Kings Canyon. 1st stop is th...
Depart for Sequoia & Kings Canyon. 1st stop is the General Grant Tree for a walk & lunch. We will then hike to Tokopah Falls(1.7miles each way). Arrive at John Muir Lodge in time lounge on the front porch a midst the forest. After dinner we will do some star gazing.

Note: Our bus ride from ECCO to Sequoia/Kings Canyon is about 2 hours long. Enjoy interpretation provided by our Study Leader, Shirley Spencer. Enjoy the adventure of leaving the rolling foothills, traversing the thriving crops and farms of the central valley, and then climbing back up to 6,500 ft to the Grant Grove Village, where we will be lodging.

Breakfast: 7:00 a.m. Breakfast in Lyles Dining Hall. An ECCO breakfast buffet may include French toast, quiche or pancakes accompanied by potatoes and sausage or bacon. Standard items include eggs, hot/cold cereals, fruit, toast or muffins and yogurt and granola.

Morning: We begin with a our trip to Kings Canyon and Sequoia. We will discuss and explore the 7 botanical zones of Kings Canyon. You will have opportunity to compare and contrast the three parks. In addition, we will discuss the history's of the three parks.

Lunch: 12 noon - We will have lunch at the General Grant Tree

Afternoon: 1:00 p.m. We will talk about the "Floral Life Zones of the Sierra Nevada" as we explore Kings Canyon. Field trip excursions may include Grizzly Falls, Roaring River Meadow and Muir Rock.

Dinner: 6:00 p.m. Dinner at John Muir Lodge

Evening: Evening program - Astronomy- the start of the road to panorama point begins at our lodge. We will drive to a magnificent lookout, and do a short night time hike to the ultimate star gazing location. The study leader will lead us through an astronomy lesson that is alive with stories, constellation finding, and perspective.

Lodging: John Muir Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: The pinnacle of Kings Canyon lodging, the John Muir Lodge is a stone-and-timber retreat located in Grant Grove Village and within minutes of historic Grant Grove and its towering forest of giant sequoias.

Contact info:
86728 Highway 180
Kings Canyon National Park, CA 93633 USA
phone: 559-338-5500
web: www.visitsequoia.com/John-Muir-Lodge.aspx

Room amenities: Each room is private, with a private bath. Rooms also include: Desk with two chairs Private bathroom with tub and shower Radio Ipod® Docking Station Hair dryer Coffee maker with coffee provided Telephone Central heat

Facility amenities: Within a .25 flat, paved walk there is a grocery store, eatery, gift shop, and visitor information center.

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


Day Three: Tuesday, September 09 - Field Trip - Sequoia National Park will be our ex...
Field Trip - Sequoia National Park will be our exploration for the day. We will visit the General Sherman Tree, believed to the largest tree in the world.

Breakfast: 7:00 a.m. - Breakfast will be at John Muir Lodge.

Morning: Depart for field trip to Congress Loop which includes General Sherman Tree, the largest mass tree in the world.

Lunch: 12:00 noon Enjoy a sack lunch at the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park.

Afternoon: Field trip continues to various nearby locations which include interpretive hikes of ancient groves, wildlife abundant meadows, and spectacular views of the Great Western Divide.

Dinner: 6:00 p.m. Dinner at John Muir Lodge

Evening: Live Birds of Prey presentation with Diane Gannar of Fresno Wildlife Rehabilitation.

Lodging: John Muir Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: ECCO sits on 160 lovely acres forested with oaks, manzanita, incense cedar and ponderosa pine. Our dining room overlooks a pond populated by mallards, egrets, herons--and one mute swan. We are set back from the highway 1 mile , away from traffic and noise. It's a perfect place to reflect, relax and learn. We are at the gateway to Yosemite, only 12 miles from the southern entrance to the park and about 45 miles from Yosemite Valley itself. As you enjoy a walk on our grounds, you may find yourself accompanied by mule deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife.

Contact info:
43803 Highway 41
Oakhurst, CA 93644 USA
phone: 559-683-8162
web: www.eccoyosemite.org

Room amenities: Climate-controlled, hair dryers.

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

Additional nights before:
Because we are a conference center, we are not often able to accommodate either early arrivals or late departures.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, September 10 - Today we will depart Sequoia/Kings Canyon and ret...
Today we will depart Sequoia/Kings Canyon and return to ECCO. After lunch we will depart for afternoon exploration of Mariposa Grove.We will walk up to 4 miles as we explore the various Sequoias as we learn the history of the preservation the grove.

Breakfast: 7:00 a.m. Breakfast at John Muir Lodge before we depart for Yosemite

Morning: 8:00 a.m. We will depart for ECCO.

Lunch: 12 noon Lunch in Lyles Dining Hall

Afternoon: 2:30 p.m. We will depart for Glacier Point in Yosemite. Our field trip guide will share not just the geologic significance of the valley below as well as the political history of the very significant look out.

Dinner: At the Glacier Point Amphitheater, we'll eat a boxed dinner as we watch the sun slowly set on the iconic valley. If you bring your camera you may catch the last warm rays of sunlight coloring Half Dome's canvas of granite.

Evening: After dinner, don't move an inch. Frank Helling will share a living history presentation on John Muir while on location. Likely, you will feel like you've met the pioneer in person.

Lodging: Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: ECCO sits on 160 lovely acres forested with oaks, manzanita, incense cedar and ponderosa pine. Our dining room overlooks a pond populated by mallards, egrets, herons--and one mute swan. We are set back from the highway 1 mile , away from traffic and noise. It's a perfect place to reflect, relax and learn. We are at the gateway to Yosemite, only 12 miles from the southern entrance to the park and about 45 miles from Yosemite Valley itself. As you enjoy a walk on our grounds, you may find yourself accompanied by mule deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife.

Contact info:
43803 Highway 41
Oakhurst, CA 93644 USA
phone: 559-683-8162
web: www.eccoyosemite.org

Room amenities: Climate-controlled, hair dryers.

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

Additional nights before:
Because we are a conference center, we are not often able to accommodate either early arrivals or late departures.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, September 11 - Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point will be the hig...
Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point will be the highlights of the day. Bring the camera and some good walking shoes another great day of exploration.

Breakfast: 7:00 a.m. Breakfast in Lyles Dining Hall

Morning: 7:45 a.m. Board bus for Yosemite National Park (exact destination to be determined, depending on weather conditions); 8:00 a.m. Bus departs for Yosemite.This will be a big day with a first stop at Tunnelview. This is one of the most photographed places on earth. We will then continue on to Bridalveil Fall, the Ahwahnee Hotel, and Yosemite Valley Visitors Center.

Lunch: 12 noon Sack lunch in the park

Afternoon: After a tour of the world famous Ahwahnee Hotel, enjoy some free time in Yosemite Valley. Ride the free shuttle and visit any or all destinations that suit your fancy. Meet the ECCO bus at the predetermined location and ride back to ECCO for dinner.

Dinner: 6:00 p.m. Dinner in Lyles Dining Hall

Evening: 7:00 p.m. Evening Program. Evening Programs are optional, but usually highly valued as an entertaining and educational cap to the day. Presentations could range from a live animal presentation, living history performance, musical or artistic guests, or lectures on human and cultural history of the area. Our presenters are professionals who enjoy expanding guest's knowledge on Yosemite.

Lodging: Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, September 12 - Present day issues of the national parks. This di...
Present day issues of the national parks. This discussion will discuss the National Parks challenge of providing access while trying to preserve it for future generations.

Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. Breakfast in Lyles Dining Hall

Morning: 9:00 a.m. Class - Discuss present-day national park issues

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. Farewell lunch in Lyles Dining Hall.We hate to say "goodbye," but it's that time. We've left you with enough time to plan another day in Yosemite National Park or the opportunity to explore other areas of our beautiful Sierra Nevada--perhaps Nelder Grove, the Scenic Byway or the quaint town of Mariposa. We hope you'll come back again to enjoy another of our programs. Thank you very much for joining us this week. We hope to see you again!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Free Time Opportunities


Oakhurst
Bass LakeBass Lake is one of the most popular vacation spots in Central California. The lake was created back in 1899. It was enlarged 6 years later, and work on the present dam began in 1909. At 3,500 feet in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, the 4-mile long lake is on the north fork of Willow Creek which is a tributary of the San Joaquin River. Its waters turn powerful, electricity-producing turbine engines for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), the world's largest non-government utility. Because of its altitude, it's not unsual for Bass Lake to have snow on the ground for several weeks during the winter--not tons of snow...but enough snow to carry chains in your trunk...and, as locals put it, enough snow to be beautiful but not bothersome. Bass Lake is popular for all of the right reasons. It's close to California's Central Valley (1 hour from Fresno) via Highway 41 and only 20 minutes from Yosemite. Nature lovers appreciate the lake, and so do fishermen--it's stocked with trout, bass, salmon, catfish, crappie and bluegill. Water skiers appreciate the warm water--75 to 78 degrees in the summer. The lake has excellent marina facilities.
Fresno Flats Historical SiteFresno Flats Historic Park recaptures the flavor of 19th Century life in the Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains of Central California. Eastern Madera County is the southern end of the historic Mother Lode gold fields, but the people who settled here came not so much for gold but more to build their lives and raise their families, making their living as farmers, merchants and using the rich natural resources of the mountains. The museum complex is built around two restored and furnished homes dating to the 1870s. Both have been designated by the State of California as Points of Historical Interest for their unique construction styles once common throughout Northern California, but virtually unknown today. They were saved from demolition, moved to Fresno Flats Historical Park and restored by the volunteers of Sierra Historic Sites Association, as were a pair of early-day one-room schools, two 19th Century jails and several other farm buildings.
For additional information, visit: www.fresnoflatsmuseum.org/about.html
Sierra Mono MuseumSierra Mono Indian Museum Roads 225 & 228, North Fork 9:00 - 4:00 Tuesday-Saturday 559-877-2115 Admission: $3/Adults $2/Seniors $1/Students The North Fork Mono Tribe is the original inhabitant of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The tribe consists of two clans: the golden eagle and the coyote, both of which are represented at the entrance to the museum. The Mono way of life is featured in the museum through examples of fishing, hunting, acorn gathering, cooking, healing, basketmaking, games and ceremonies. Also featured is the Tettleton Wildlife Collection, one of the finest in California.
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine RailroadThe Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is a restoration of the old narrow gauge Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company Railroad. A section of the original railbed has been reconstructed using the same techniques used at the turn of the century. Two vintage Shay steam locomotives have been brought in from the Westside Lumber company and restored to provide authentic motive power for the trains. Shay number 15 was built in 1913 and weighs 60 tons. Number 10, built in 1928 weighs 83 tons and is the heavest operating narrow guage Shay locomotive today. Railcars once used to provide transportation for logging and track repair crews have been refurbished and are now operated for passenger excursion. Antique Model "A" Ford gas engines power the trolley-like "Jenny" cars over the route.
For additional information, visit: www.ymsprr.com/
Yosemite Sierra Visitors BureauCheck out the Yosemite-Sierra Visitors' Bureau for the wealth of activities available to visitors to our area, from photo, art and antique galleries to outdoor recreation activities to many sites of historical interest.
For additional information, visit: www.yosemitethisyear.com
Oakhurst, CA
Antiques & Art GalleriesA variety of antique stores and art galleries offer shopping/browsing opportunities in Bass Lake and Oakhurst, both about 15 minutes from ECCO.
Bass LakeAbout 15 minutes from ECCO, Bass Lake offers opportunities for fishing, swimming and relaxing.
California Mining & Mineral MuseumIn Mariposa, about 30 minutes from Oakhurst. One of the finest gem and mineral museums in the country.
Glacier PointGlacier Point is a view of Yosemite not to be missed, and, except on rare occasions, we can't take you there. (Large buses are not permitted.) The drive is one and a half hours each way but well worth the effort.
For additional information, visit: www.nps.gov/yose
GolfOakhurst boasts 2 golf courses, about 15 minutes from ECCO.
Mariposa History CenterIn Mariposa, 30 minutes from Oakhurst. This is a marvelous exploration of central California's early years.
Nelder GroveAbout 7 miles from ECCO, this is your opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with some ancient giant sequoias. Shadow of the Giants is an easy one-mile walking trail.
Sierra Mono MuseumIn North Fork, 30 minutes from oakhurst. This Indian-owned and operated museum features one of the finest collections of Indian basketry around.

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.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
Sep 7 — Sep 12, 2014 waitlist only  

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

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

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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