1197
Oakhurst
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 (4.75)
Program No. 1197RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
955
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Oakhurst, CA
D
Episcopal Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO)

Afternoon: Make your way to Lyles Dining Hall at 5:00 p.m. for a get-acquainted social hour that includes drinks and appetizers. We'll briefly get to know each other and have a short orientation to answer all of your questions.

Dinner: Dinner in Lyles Hall at 6:00 p.m. 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. Dinner is served until 6:20 p.m.

Evening: After dinner, we will have the remainder of our orientation session followed by introductions and a short award-winning video, "Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit." The balance of the evening is left free for you to relax after your day's journey. Cards, games & puzzles are available for your enjoyment.

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

Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. - Breakfast in Lyles Dining Hall. An ECCO breakfast buffet may include French toast, waffles or pancakes accompanied by sausage or bacon. Standard items include eggs, hot/cold cereals, fruit, toast or muffins and yogurt and granola.

Morning: 9:00 a.m. - Class - "A Rocky Start - A Bit about Yosemite/Sierra Nevada Geology." Please note that this and subsequent classes may involve walking on ECCO grounds to enhance and illustrate your natural history studies. If mobility is an issue, please contact coordinator to discuss. For those who prefer not to walk, you'll have an opportunity to look over our selection of reference materials.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. - Lunch in Lyles Hall. - Lunch may include a sandwich bar or a hot entrée. These may be offered with a homemade soup of the day and salad bar, along with a dessert.

Afternoon: 1:00 p.m. - Class - "Animal Life of the Sierra Nevada." After a break, class continues with a short study on the truly adventurous pioneers who first traveled west.

Dinner: 6:00 p.m. - Dinner in Lyles Hall. Dinner features a delicious main entrée of beef, chicken, fish or pasta, along with potatoes or rice, vegetables, salad bar, rolls and dessert.

Evening: 7:00 p.m. - 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.

DAY
3
Yosemite Valley Field Trip
Oakhurst, CA
B,L,D
Episcopal Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO)

Activity note: Bus trip to Yosemite is 30 miles each way on country roads. Approximately 3 hours of bus time today. Field trips include walks of varying lengths to enhance and illustrate the natural history subjects being taught, approximately 1 mile of walking for field trips.

Breakfast: 7:00 a.m. - Early breakfast in Lyles Dining Hall, to enable us to get an early start on our field trip to Yosemite Valley.

Morning: 7:45 a.m. - Board bus for Yosemite Valley. Bus departs at 8:00 a.m. or as soon as everyone is aboard. Your study leader/field trip guide continues her natural history lessons as you travel. Through your large windows and at our various stops, view examples in the field of things you've learned about the day before. Explore the woodlands terrain through the conifer forest, dropping down into the glacially-carved valley of Yosemite. The drive from ECCO to Yosemite Valley is approx. 1.5 hours over winding, beautiful mountain roads. Every seat is like a front row seat as you gaze upon the Queen of National Parks. Even if you've been to Yosemite before, you'll see the park's glory with new eyes--enlightened by the passion and knowledge of our superb instructors. Stops will be made at Tunnel View (that famous first glimpse of Half Dome), Bridalveil Falls, Sentinel Bridge and Yosemite Valley Lodge. Note: This is not an active outdoor program; however this and the field trip on Day 5 may include walks of varying lengths to enhance and illustrate the natural history subjects being taught. If mobility is an issue, please contact ECCO for more information.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. - Enjoy a sack lunch in Yosemite Valley.

Afternoon: After lunch your field trip guide will lead you on a tour of the Majestic Yosemite Hotel formerly known as the Ahwahnee Hotel, where you'll marvel at the architecture, the basketry displays and the history inherent within its walls. After the historical tour you will take a Botanical saunter across Yosemite Valley to Shuttle Stop #5. 3:00 p.m. for return to ECCO. Stops will be made along the way at Gates of the Valley and Tunnel View. You will arrive back at ECCO between 5:00-5:30 p.m.

Dinner: 6:00 p.m. - Dinner at ECCO

Evening: 7:00 p.m. - 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.

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

Activity note: Bus trip to Yosemite is 30 miles each way on country roads. Approximately 3 hours of bus time today. Field trips include walks of varying lengths to enhance and illustrate the natural history subjects being taught, approximately 1 mile of walking for field trips.

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

Morning: 7:45 a.m. - Board bus for Yosemite Valley. Bus departs at 8:00 a.m. or as soon as everyone is aboard. This field trip is designed to give you the freedom to explore Yosemite National Park as you choose. We will drop all participants off near Yosemite Village where you can choose to explore the Ansel Adams Gallery, Indian Village, Visitors Center and so much more! Your Group Leader is more than happy to help you in planning out your free day!

Lunch: Enjoy a sack lunch in Yosemite Valley.

Afternoon: Continue your free time in the Park. Take advantage of the free shuttle system to get to and from desired destinations within Yosemite Valley, tag-a-long on a scheduled Park Ranger walk or talk (if available) or simply relax and enjoy the beauty of Yosemite! Meet bus at designated location and time for return to ECCO.

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

Evening: 7:00 p.m. - 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.

DAY
5
Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoias & Yosemite National Park
Oakhurst, CA
B,L,D
Episcopal Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO)

Activity note: Bus trip to Yosemite is approximately 35 miles each way on country roads, Nelder Grove is located 7 miles from ECCO and takes roughly 30 minutes of travel time. Approximately 4 hours of bus time today. Field trips include walks of varying lengths to enhance and illustrate the natural history subjects being taught, approximately 1 mile of walking for field trips.

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

Morning: 7:45 a.m. - Board bus for Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoias. Bus departs by 8:00 a.m. or as soon as everyone is on board. Yosemite has recently closed the Mariposa Grove for a restoration project until an unspecified time in 2017 . Luckily, we have a mature grove just 30 minutes up an adjacent road just outside of the park. Explore the wonder of the world's largest tree by mass in the Shadow of the Giants trail loop. Your destination for this field trip will be determined based on weather, travel conditions, available attractions, and the size of your group.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. - Lunch at ECCO

Afternoon: 12:15 p.m. - Board Bus for second field trip into Yosemite National Park.

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

Evening: 7:00 p.m. - Evening Program - The closing program is lead by your study leader and Park Ranger, Shirley Spencer. Enjoy a time of reminiscing, stories, and a sing-a-long.

DAY
6
Class, Program Concludes
Oakhurst, CA
B,L

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

Morning: 9:00 a.m. Class - Discuss present-day national park issues. Our national parks are ever-evolving entities; changing to meet human and ecological needs. Discover what the issues are, how the park service responds to them and learn about plans for the future. We do ask that you check out of your lodge room by the 9:00 a.m. class start.

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. Farewell lunch in Lyles Dining Hall