1197
California
Seasons of Magic in Yosemite: Splendor in the Sierra Nevada
Gain a deeper understanding of Yosemite as you explore natural wonders, visit a historic hotel and learn the story of how art helped establish the world’s first national park.
Rating (4.72)
Program No. 1197RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
955
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Oakhurst, CA
D
Episcopal Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)

Activity note: Lodge check-in from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in Lyles Dining Hall to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. We'll enjoy our get-acquainted social hour that includes drinks and appetizers.

Dinner: At Lyles Dining Hall, we will enjoy a buffet of rotating entrees, sides, salads, vegetables, and desserts. Coffee, tea, water, assorted juices included.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Field trips off site will be by shuttle. Field trips to and from Yosemite are around 35 miles each way on country roads. Classes will be held in Lower Lyles West or the chapel, a short walk from Lyles. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We will then enjoy a short, award-winning video from the National Park Service about Yosemite National Park. The balance of the evening is left free to relax after y our day's journey

DAY
2
Yosemite & Sierra Nevada Geology, Animal Life
Oakhurst, CA
B,L,D
Episcopal Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)

Activity note: Minimal walking around campus.

Breakfast: At Lyles Dining Hall, we will enjoy a buffet of rotating breakfast items like eggs, hot/cold cereals, fruit, toast or muffins, yogurt, and granola. Coffee, tea, water, juice, soft drinks included.

Morning: We will walk from the dining hall to the chapel for our first class on the “rocky start” of the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite. After a short break, we will walk around the campus’ pond to learn about the flora in the area.

Lunch: At Lyles Dining Hall, we will enjoy a buffet meal that may include a sandwich bar or a hot entrée. Other offerings include a homemade soup of the day and salad bar, along with a dessert. Coffee, tea, water, assorted juices included.

Afternoon: After a break, class continues with a short study on the truly adventurous animal pioneers of the Sierra Nevada. After class, we can choose to relax and enjoy the serene grounds, or take a bit of time to explore some of the surrounding countryside.

Dinner: Dining hall buffet.

Evening: We will enjoy an evening presentation at the chapel from a local expert, which could range from a live animal presentation, living history performance, musical or artistic guests, or lectures on human and cultural history of the area.

DAY
3
Yosemite Valley Field Trip, Wawona Hotel Dinner & Music
Oakhurst, CA
B,L,D
Episcopal Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle. Walking up to 1 mile on mostly flat ground in Yosemite Valley, both paved and unpaved.

Breakfast: Dining hall buffet.

Morning: After packing lunch, we will board the shuttle for Yosemite Valley, departing by 8:00 a.m., with natural history lessons from our instructor along the way, enhanced by amazing views of geology, flora, and fauna we learned about the day before. Every seat is like a front row seat. We will first stop Tunnel View, with that famous first glimpse of Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, and Cathedral Rocks. As we view the woodlands through the conifer forest, we’ll drop down into the glacially-carved valley of Yosemite to visit Sentinel Bridge and Yosemite Valley Lodge. Even those who have been to Yosemite before will see the park’s glory with new eyes, enlightened by the passion and knowledge of superb instructors.

Lunch: In Yosemite Valley, we will enjoy a sack lunch we packed this morning, consisting of sandwiches, chips, fruit, and other snacks. Water included.

Afternoon: Continue exploring Yosemite Valley with your Park professional. Board shuttle for Wawona.

Dinner: Meet Tom Bopp on the steps of the Wawona Hotel for a tour of it's exterior and take a few moments to listen to him play the piano before Dinner in the elegant dining room of the Wawona Hotel.

DAY
4
Free Time in Yosemite Valley
Oakhurst, CA
B,L,D
Episcopal Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle. Walking up to 1 mile on mostly flat ground in Yosemite Valley, both paved and unpaved.

Breakfast: Dining hall buffet.

Morning: We will board the shuttle for Yosemite Valley, departing by 8:00 a.m., for a day of free time in the park. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Lunch: Yosemite Valley sack lunch.

Afternoon: Free time continues before regrouping and heading back to campus late afternoon by dinner time.

Dinner: Dining hall buffet.

Evening: In the classroom, we will enjoy our evening presentation from a local expert.

DAY
5
Yosemite Valley Field Trip, Historic Ahwahnee Hotel
Oakhurst, CA
B,L,D
Episcopal Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle. Walking up to 1 mile on mostly flat ground in Yosemite Valley, both paved and unpaved.

Breakfast: Dining hall buffet.

Morning: We will board the shuttle for Yosemite Valley, departing by 8:00 a.m.

Lunch: Lunch at the world-famous, Majestic Yosemite Hotel formally known as the Ahwahnee Hotel. The Ahwahnee is considered the crown jewel of Yosemite dining, and is an award-winning Dining Room. It is both magnificent and intimate. The 34-foot-high beamed ceiling with large sugar pine trestles that complement the room’s granite pillars, floor-to-ceiling windows, chandeliers, linen tablecloths and beautiful china create the perfect ambiance for a memorable dining experience. Following lunch is a tour of the Ahwahnee's great rooms with their exquisite Indian basketry displays and elegant stained-glass windows.

Afternoon: After lunch, our instructor will lead us on a tour of the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, formerly known as the Ahwahnee Hotel, where we'll marvel at the architecture, the basketry displays, and the history inherent within its walls. Afterwards, we will take a park shuttle to Yosemite Village to explore the area for the rest of the afternoon before returning to campus by dinner.

Dinner: Arrive back to ECCO with plenty of time to freshen up before the evening activities. Appetizers and drinks at 6:30 p.m., banquet dinner at 7:00 p.m., New York New Year's toast at 9:00 p.m. Dancing and socializing in Lyles Hall happening for as late as you prefer. Happy New Year!

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Oakhurst, CA
B

Breakfast: Dining hall buffet.This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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