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Hiking Yosemite: Up Close and Personal

Program Number: 13977RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/4/2014 - 5/8/2014; 10/26/2014 - 10/30/2014; 11/2/2014 - 11/6/2014; 5/3/2015 - 5/7/2015; 5/31/2015 - 6/4/2015; 6/14/2015 - 6/18/2015; 9/20/2015 - 9/24/2015; 10/4/2015 - 10/8/2015;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Oakhurst, California
Price starting at: $838.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 12; 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

Those who really want to know Yosemite must explore its wonders on foot. Follow in the footsteps of pioneers like John Muir, the father of Yosemite National Park, and Galen Clark, its Guardian, not to mention the Native Americans who first inhabited this enchanting land. Explore Yosemite’s unique glacially-carved valleys, granite monoliths, waterfalls and lush meadows and hear on-site lectures. If you’ve long yearned for a chance to see the treasures of Yosemite National Park away from the madding tourist crowd, this is it!




Highlights

• With instructors who are expert Yosemite hikers, trek three major trails in the Glacier Point, Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley areas of Yosemite National Park.
• Learn about the geology, flora, fauna and human history of this Queen of the National Parks.
• Explore the complexities of managing Yosemite National Park from the perspective of those who have worked in the park.



Activity Particulars

Each day, choose from a learning hike (less intensity, more education) or a challenge hike (similar location, but with increased distance, elevation change and speed.) Hiking 5-10 miles a day, uneven terrain. Elevations of 8,000 feet.




Date Specific Information

5-4-2014, 10-26-2014, 11-2-2014, 5-3-2015, 5-31-2015, 6-14-2015, 9-20-2015, 10-4-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst.




Oakhurst

With Yosemite National Park and the expansive Sierra Nevada just out the backdoor, Oakhurst is an active community and gateway to the region’s many natural splendors, including fine hiking trails and native wildlife.



Accommodations
Clean, comfortable, rustic conference center on 162 forested acres, walking trails on-site. Rooms are without televisions or telephones (both available in main lodge).

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Shirley Spencer

Shirley Spencer has lived in the Sierra Nevadas since 1979. An educator and seasonal Ranger at Yosemite National Park since 1986, she also instructs at Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Canyonland and Arches national parks. Shirley is also a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and holds a California State Teaching Credential for secondary and middle school science. In 2009, she published her book, “Flowering Shrubs of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada,” which includes 40 of her original watercolors and scientific descriptions of each plant. An avid hiker, backpacker, skier, kayaker, scuba diver and mountaineer, Shirley teaches rock climbing with her husband Mark. She is also an accomplished watercolor painter, vocalist, guitarist and organic farmer.
 
Mark Spencer

Mark and his wife Shirley have lived in the foothills of southern Yosemite for over 30 years. He is active in many outdoor sports including hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, scuba diving and mountaineering. Mark currently works as an engineer for Mariposa County Fire Department and is a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Together with his wife, he has co-authored and published two books as well as several magazine articles focusing on recreation and natural history within the Sierra Nevada.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
  Oakhurst, CA 4 nights
 Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
Type: Conference Center
  Description: ECCO is a conference center situated on 162 acres in the Sierra Nevada foothills 12 miles south of the south entrance to Yosemite National Park. Our grounds are forested with oaks, incense cedar and manzanita, which provide a home to deer, raccoons, coyotes and squirrels. Our pond features a swan and other waterfowl as well as perch and bass. (Fishing is catch-and-release with barbless hooks.)
  Contact info: 43803 Highway 41
Oakhurst, CA 93644 USA
phone: 559-683-8162
web: www.conferencecenter.org
  Room amenities: Rooms are individually climate-controlled with private baths. Each room has a hair dryer. Please bring your own shampoo and conditioner.
  Facility amenities: In keeping with our tranquil retreat setting, you are not disturbed by the distraction of televisions or telephones in sleeping rooms. Satellite TV is available in the main lodge, as well as a recreation room with ping pong/game tables. Our Fourth Green recreation complex features basketball, volleyball, soccer/football fields and a horseshoe pitch. Wireless internet is available in Lyles Hall and on Lyles Hall deck. (Bring your own laptop.) Walking/hiking trails on-site and nearby, including a self-interpretive nature trail onsite at ECCO. The towns of Oakhurst, Bass Lake, North Fork and Mariposa feature a number of fine arts galleries and museums. Bass Lake offers swimming/boating opportunities 5 miles from ECCO.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior:  Because we are a conference center, we are rarely able to offer early arrives or late departures.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after:  Because we are a conference center, we are rarely able to offer early arrives or late departures.
  Check out time: 9:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in 3:00PM. You are welcome to arrive earlier and enjoy our serine landscape, but there may not be staff available to assist you before 2:00PM. Pleas call us if you plan to arrive after 6:00PM. You will be staying at Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO) that night.
  End of Program:
Lodge room late check-out at noon - Lunch is at 11:30AM - Program ends after lunch. You will be staying at Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO) the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is available directly in front of lodge rooms. Parking is free.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Oakhurst, CA
  Nearest city or town:  Our nearest large town is Fresno, CA
  Nearest highway: Highway 41 (Although our driveway begins on Hwy 41, the conf. ctr. is set back a mile from the highway.
  Nearest airport:  Fresno/Yosemite International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Oakhurst, CA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Fresno, CA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
ECCO
phone: 559-683-8162
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$75.00 per person - subject to change until reservation confirmed with ECCO
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

   

ECCO shuttle is only available on program opening/closing days. Shuttle is limited to a maximum of 4 passengers. Reservations must be made and payment received by ECCO in advance of arrival. Other local businesses may provide on-demand shuttle service. Please call Kristen at 559/683-8162 for further information.

 
Driving Directions
  Eastern Sierra via Tioga Road (Note: Tioga Road is closed from the first snowfall in November through May or June--if you travel close to those dates, call 209/372-0200 for up-to-the-minute road conditions.) From Hwy 395 take Hwy 120 westbound. You will travel through some of the most beautiful parts of Yosemite, dropping down into Yosemite Valley. Watch the signs for Hwy 41 southbound. Take Hwy 41 southbound toward Oakhurst. (It will be 1 to 1-1/2 hours’ driving time from Yosemite Valley.) After exiting the park’s south gate, travel approximately 12 miles. ECCO will be on the left, soon after the turn to Cedar Valley Road. If you pass Road 632, you have gone too far. Watch carefully because the signs are a little hard to see from this direction. Keep an eye out for the Christ Church sign, since we share a parking lot with them. Once you’ve turned left into the Christ Church parking lot, follow the signs one mile back to ECCO.
  From Fresno Yosemite International Airport BE AWARE THAT GPS AND ONLINE MAPS WILL USUALLY SEND YOU DOWN THE WRONG DRIVEWAY. FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS PLEASE. From FYI turn left on Clinton Avenue. Cross McKinley Avenue, which becomes Peach Avenue. Turn right at the on-ramp to Fwy 180 headed westbound. Merge onto Hwy 41 northbound (toward Yosemite). Stay on Hwy 41 for approximately 45 miles. You will drop down into a valley where the town of Oakhurst is located. At the traffic signal at the intersection of Hwy 41 and Hwy 49, YOU WILL NOT TURN. This is just for identification purposes. Stay on Hwy 41 approximately 4 miles north of Oakhurst. ECCO is on the right. Our driveway on HWY 41 is just a few feet after you pass Road 632. We share a driveway with Christ Church. On our driveway, continue past the church and a small retirement community. The driveway ends at ECCO.
  From Northern California BE AWARE THAT GPS AND ONLINE MAPS OFTEN LEAD YOU DOWN THE WRONG DRIVEWAY. PLEASE REFER TO THESE DIRECTIONS. Take Hwy 99 south. Exit on Hwy 140 east (toward Yosemite). At the intersection with Hwy 49, turn right. Hwy 49 dead ends at Hwy 41 in Oakhurst. Turn left on Hwy 41. ECCO is 4 miles north of the intersection of Hwy 41 & Hwy 49. Stay on Hwy 41 approximately 4 miles north of Oakhurst. ECCO is on the right. Our driveway on HWY 41 is just a few feet after you pass Road 632. We share a driveway with Christ Church. On our driveway, continue past the church and a small retirement community. The driveway ends at ECCO.
  From San Francisco Airport BE AWARE THAT GPS AND ONLINE MAPS OFTEN LEAD YOU DOWN THE WRONG DRIVEWAY. PLEASE FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS. Take Hwy 101 south to Gilroy. Exit eastbound on Hwy 152 and stay on 152 until it merges southbound with Hwy 99. Exit on Hwy 145. At the end of the offramp turn left. Go over the freeway and turn right. Turn right again on Cleveland Avenue. Continue on Cleveland about a mile to 145. Turn left on 145. Go about 20 miles then turn left on Hwy 41. Once you drop down into Oakhurst, ECCO is 4 miles north of the intersection of Hwy 41 & Hwy 49 on Hwy 41. Our driveway on HWY 41 is just a few feet after you pass Road 632. We share a driveway with Christ Church. Once on our driveway, continue past the church and a small retirement community. The one mile driveway ends at ECCO.
  From San Francisco International Airport (Option 2) BE AWARE THAT GPS AND ONLINE MAPS OFTEN LEAD YOU DOWN THE WRONG DRIVEWAY. PLEASE REFER TO THESE DIRECTIONS. From SFO go either to Oakland or across the Hayward Bridge (92) to Hwy 580. Travel 580 east (toward Stockton) to Hwy 205 (toward Stockton) east to Hwy 120 (Manteca) to Hwy 99 (Fresno/LA). Travel south on 99 to Merced, exit Hwy 140 east to Mariposa. Turn right onto Hwy 49, follow Hwy 49 to Hwy 41 at Oakhurst. Turn left onto Hwy 41 and travel north about 4 miles. Our driveway on HWY 41 is just a few feet after you pass Road 632. We share a driveway with Christ Church. Once on our driveway, continue past the church and a small retirement community. The one mile driveway ends at ECCO.
  From Southern California: BE AWARE THAT GPS AND ONLINE MAPS OFTEN LEAD YOU DOWN THE WRONG DRIVEWAY FOR ECCO. PLEASE USE THESE DIRECTIONS. Take Interstate 5 north to Hwy 99. Take Hwy 99 north to Fresno. In Fresno take Hwy 41 north toward Yosemite. ECCO is approximately 1 hour from Fresno. On Hwy 41 you will go up into the Sierra foothills and then drop down into the valley where Oakhurst is located. Although you will stay on Hwy 41, your first landmark will be the traffic signal at Hwy 41 and Hwy 49 in Oakhurst. Continue north, toward Yosemite for approximately 4 miles. ECCO will be on the right-hand side of the road just past Road 632. We share a driveway with Christ Church. Once on our driveway, continue past the church and a small retirement community. The one mile driveway ends at ECCO.
  From Yosemite Valley BE AWARE THAT GPS AND ONLINE MAPS OFTEN LEAD DOWN THE WRONG DRIVEWAY TO ECCO. PLEASE REFER TO THESE DIRECTIONS. ECCO is approximate 1-1/2 hours from Yosemite Valley. As you exit YV, follow the signs toward Hwy 41. while traveling out of the park, you will pass the turnoff for Glacier Point and Badger Pass as well as the Wawona Hotel. Exit through the south gate of the park and continue on Hwy 41. ECCO is on the left approximately 12 miles south. Our sign may be difficult to see from that direction, so watch for the Christ Church sign. Turn left there and follow the signs to ECCO about a mile back. Landmarks to find our driveway are that it is between the roads of Cedar Valley and Rd 362. If you see Road 632 or the Bass Lake cut off (Rd. 222), you have gone too far. Once on our driveway, you will pass Christ Church and a small retirement community. The one-mile driveway ends at ECCO.
Elevation Note: ECCO is situated at 3,100 feet. You will be hiking at elevations from 3,100 to 8,000 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Participants should bring 1. Comfortable, well-broken-in hiking boots, 2. a hat 3. insect repellent 4. a day pack in which to carry lunch and other items during field trips 5. sunglasses 6. A personal first aid kit 7. Water container such as a Nalgene bottle or hydration pack. Disposable water bottles are provided. 8. Trekking pole(s) are helpful if you have them. 9. Windbreaker and rain poncho 10. Motion sickness medication is helpful if you are prone to motion sickness. The drive into Yosemite hiking locations is approx. 1-1/2 hours over winding roads. 11. Your Senior National Park Pass, if you have one. If you don't, entry fees into Yosemite National Park are included in your program fees.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Settle in, social hour, orientation, dinner and relaxation.
(Sunday, May 4)
   
 Arrive To: 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. If you find that you will be arriving late, please give us a call at 559/683-8162 to let us know, so we don't worry about you. If you receive our voice mail, please be sure to leave a message, as we may be away from the office attending to arriving guests.
 Afternoon: At 5:00 p.m. we will have a get-acquainted social hour with wine and/or sparkling cider and hors d'oeuvre in Lyles Hall dining room.
 Dinner: Dinner in Lyles Hall dining room. Dinner features a delicious main entrée of beef, chicken, fish or pasta, along with potatoes or rice, vegetables, salad bar, rolls and dessert. Please note that only one entree selection is served per meal.
 Evening: After dinner class convenes with an overview of the course, as well as a discussion of trails to be hiked, review of equipment requirements and safety considerations. Please note that daily hike destinations may be revised during the program due to weather or other circumstances as necessary.
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.
(Monday, May 5)

Note: Elevations of 5,000 ft with up to 1,200 ft elevation change and between 6-7 miles of hiking on paved and dirt paths.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lyles Hall. Breakfast in Lyles Hall - An ECCO breakfast buffet may include French toast, waffles or pancakes accompanied by sausage or bacon. Standard items include eggs, hot/cold cereals, fruits, toast or muffins and yogurt.
 Morning: Bus departs destination at the time announced in your final schedule.
 Lunch: Enjoy a sack lunch on the trail as we travel to our destination.
 Dinner: Dinner in Lyles Hall.
 Evening: Evening activities to be announced. They often include living history presentations, live birds of prey demonstrations and videos.
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Yosemite high country. Destinations include Taft Point, Sentinel Dome and Glacier Point.
(Tuesday, May 6)

Note: Beginning at 7,000 ft and traverse up to 1,000 ft in elevation change over the course of 5 to 9 miles. Hiking is mostly on trails with an optional trek to the top of Sentinel Dome which includes an off trail scramble up decomposing granite.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lyles Hall.
 Morning: Board the bus for the day's destination, as announced by you group leader.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Board the bus for return to ECCO at approximately 4:00 p.m.
 Dinner: Dinner in Lyles Hall.
 Evening: 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
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Yosemite Valley. Hike in the midst of cliffs, domes, waterfalls, rivers, wildlife, and more!
(Wednesday, May 7)

Note: Specific hikes will be announced by instructors. Options include, but are not limited to, Vernal Falls and Mirror Lake. Hikes range between 3.5 and 5.5 miles with options between no elevation change or 2,000 ft of elevation change. Starting elevation in 4,000 ft. Trails consist of paved path, dirt path, and granite steps.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lyles Hall.
 Morning: Both "teaching" and "challenge" hikes will be offered, with destinations to be announced. See Day 1 for further information.
 Lunch: Lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Meet bus at assigned time and location for return to ECCO.
 Dinner: Optional evening program
 Evening: Evening program to be announced.
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Hike from Highway 41 on the Lewis Creek Trail, Return to ECCO for a Farewell Lunch
(Thursday, May 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lyles Hall.
 Morning: The area south of Yosemite National Park boasts its own beauty. Hike from the Highway 41 trailhead on Lewis Creek trail through national forest land back to ECCO. The most notable feature of the area is Corlieu Falls, the highest waterfall in Madera County. The trail also follows the historical route of the Madera-Sugar Pine Lumber flume. Learn about management differences and similarities between the National Park Service (administered by the Department of the Interior) and the U S Forest Service (operated by the Department of Agriculture). Discuss challenges that face both agencies today. Total hike length: approximately 4 miles. You may be asked to check out of your rooms, return your keys and evaluations prior to your hike; however where possible you are allowed to remain in your rooms until after lunch so that you can shower and change before your departure. Your group leader will give you complete information about your final day.
 Lunch: Participants get together for a farewell lunch prior to embarking on the next leg of your journey.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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