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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 one of America's first national parks.
Program No. 1197RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,379
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 one of America's first national parks.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,379
Program No. 1197 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
Activity Level: Outdoor: No Sweat (12)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 16 - May 21, 2021
Starting at
1,379
Itinerary Note

This program runs concurrently with another Road Scholar Program, Hiking Yosemite. These programs share some meals and evening programs. Glacier Point is scheduled to close from Spring of 2021 through the Fall of 2022 for road repairs and restoration, alternate field trip and hike destinations will be offered during this closure.

Jun 6 - Jun 11, 2021
Starting at
1,379
Itinerary Note

This program runs concurrently with another Road Scholar Program, Hiking Yosemite. These programs share some meals and evening programs. Glacier Point is scheduled to close from Spring of 2021 through the Fall of 2022 for road repairs and restoration, alternate field trip and hike destinations will be offered during this closure.

Sep 5 - Sep 10, 2021
Starting at
1,379
Itinerary Note

This program runs concurrently with another Road Scholar Program, Hiking Yosemite. These programs share some meals and evening programs. Glacier Point is scheduled to close from Spring of 2021 through the Fall of 2022 for road repairs and restoration, alternate field trip and hike destinations will be offered during this closure.

Oct 10 - Oct 15, 2021
Starting at
1,379
Itinerary Note

This program runs concurrently with another Road Scholar Program, Hiking Yosemite. These programs share some meals and evening programs. Glacier Point is scheduled to close from Spring of 2021 through the Fall of 2022 for road repairs and restoration, alternate field trip and hike destinations will be offered during this closure.

Nov 21 - Nov 26, 2021
Starting at
1,379
Itinerary Note

Mariposa Grove (Shuttle) & Glacier Point are typically closed for the season from early November through May, we will offer (weather permitting) an optional hike into the grove on one of your free days, it is a 4 mile round trip hike into the grove.

Dec 27 - Jan 1, 2022
Starting at
1,379
Itinerary Note

Mariposa Grove (Shuttle) & Glacier Point are typically closed for the season from early November through May, we will offer (weather permitting) an optional hike into the grove on one of your free days, it is a 4 mile round trip hike into the grove.

Apr 24 - Apr 29, 2022
Starting at
1,449
May 15 - May 20, 2022
Starting at
1,449
Jun 5 - Jun 10, 2022
Starting at
1,449
Oct 2 - Oct 7, 2022
Starting at
1,449
Nov 20 - Nov 25, 2022
Starting at
1,449
Dec 27 - Jan 1, 2023
Starting at
1,449
Activity Level: Outdoor: No Sweat (12)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 16 - May 21, 2021
Starting at
1,649
Itinerary Note

This program runs concurrently with another Road Scholar Program, Hiking Yosemite. These programs share some meals and evening programs. Glacier Point is scheduled to close from Spring of 2021 through the Fall of 2022 for road repairs and restoration, alternate field trip and hike destinations will be offered during this closure.

Jun 6 - Jun 11, 2021
Starting at
1,649
Itinerary Note

This program runs concurrently with another Road Scholar Program, Hiking Yosemite. These programs share some meals and evening programs. Glacier Point is scheduled to close from Spring of 2021 through the Fall of 2022 for road repairs and restoration, alternate field trip and hike destinations will be offered during this closure.

Sep 5 - Sep 10, 2021
Starting at
1,649
Itinerary Note

This program runs concurrently with another Road Scholar Program, Hiking Yosemite. These programs share some meals and evening programs. Glacier Point is scheduled to close from Spring of 2021 through the Fall of 2022 for road repairs and restoration, alternate field trip and hike destinations will be offered during this closure.

Oct 10 - Oct 15, 2021
Starting at
1,649
Itinerary Note

This program runs concurrently with another Road Scholar Program, Hiking Yosemite. These programs share some meals and evening programs. Glacier Point is scheduled to close from Spring of 2021 through the Fall of 2022 for road repairs and restoration, alternate field trip and hike destinations will be offered during this closure.

Nov 21 - Nov 26, 2021
Starting at
1,649
Itinerary Note

Mariposa Grove (Shuttle) & Glacier Point are typically closed for the season from early November through May, we will offer (weather permitting) an optional hike into the grove on one of your free days, it is a 4 mile round trip hike into the grove.

Dec 27 - Jan 1, 2022
Starting at
1,649
Itinerary Note

Mariposa Grove (Shuttle) & Glacier Point are typically closed for the season from early November through May, we will offer (weather permitting) an optional hike into the grove on one of your free days, it is a 4 mile round trip hike into the grove.

Apr 24 - Apr 29, 2022
Starting at
1,739
May 15 - May 20, 2022
Starting at
1,739
Jun 5 - Jun 10, 2022
Starting at
1,739
Oct 2 - Oct 7, 2022
Starting at
1,739
Nov 20 - Nov 25, 2022
Starting at
1,739
Dec 27 - Jan 1, 2023
Starting at
1,739
Activity Level: Keep the Pace (3)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Aug 22 - Aug 27, 2021
Starting at
1,379
Itinerary Note

Glacier Point is scheduled to close from Spring of 2021 through the Fall of 2022 for road repairs and restoration, alternate field trip and hike destinations will be offered during this closure.

Aug 21 - Aug 26, 2022
Starting at
1,449
Sep 4 - Sep 9, 2022
Starting at
1,449
Activity Level: Keep the Pace (3)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Aug 22 - Aug 27, 2021
Starting at
1,649
Itinerary Note

Glacier Point is scheduled to close from Spring of 2021 through the Fall of 2022 for road repairs and restoration, alternate field trip and hike destinations will be offered during this closure.

Aug 21 - Aug 26, 2022
Starting at
1,739
Sep 4 - Sep 9, 2022
Starting at
1,739

At a Glance

Experience the ever-changing beauty of Yosemite National Park and the expansive Sierra Nevada on an extraordinary adventure. Feel the mist of Bridalveil Fall. Delight in your first glimpse of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley from historic Tunnel View. Walk among towering sequoia trees. Led by an exceptional storyteller, hear the history of this legendary landscape and delve into its geology, wildlife and vegetation during fascinating field trips into Yosemite National Park.
Activity Level
Varies by date
Optional hiking up to three miles on gently sloping terrain. Elevations up to 7,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Stand before natural marvels like El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall and Yosemite Falls.
  • Walk trails that wind among giant sequoias, the world’s largest trees and some of the oldest living things on Earth.
  • Visit the Ansel Adams Gallery and the Native American Village and Museum.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
FLO: A Biography of Frederick Law Olmsted
by Laura Wood Roper
A Sierra Club Naturalist's Guide to the Sierra Nevada
by Stephen Whitney
Shattered Air: A True Account of Catastrophe and Courage on Yosemite’s Half Dome
by Bob Madgic
Challenge of the Big Trees
by William C Tweed
History of the Sierra Nevada
by Francis Farqhar
High Odyssey: The First Solo Winter Assault of Mt. Whitney and the Muir Trail Area
by Gene Rose
Salt: A World History
by Mark Kurlansky
. Gloryland: A Novel.
by Johnson, Shelton
This books is roughly based on the life of his great-grandfather who was a buffalo soldier and one of those who patrolled Yosemite NP around the turn of the century to protect it from poachers, loggers, miners, etc. Born on Emancipation Day, 1863, to a sharecropping family of African and Indian blood, Elijah Yancy never lived as a slave, but his self-image as a free person is at war with his surroundings: Spartanburg, South Carolina, in the Reconstructed South. Shelton Johnson is an interpretive ranger for Yosemite National Park. His area of expertise is the Buffalo Soldiers and their influence on the early history of Yosemite and the west.
The Earth Speaks: An Acclimatization Journal
by Steve Van Matre
Secrets of the Oak Woodlands; Plants and Animals Among California's Oaks
by Kate Marianchild
The Geologic Story of Yosemite National Park.
by Huber, N. King.
Geologic History of Yosemite
They Saw the Elephant: Women in the California Gold Rush
by Jo Ann Levy
The Journey Home
by Edward Abbey
Garden of the Sun: A History of the San Joaquin Valley: 1772-1939.
by Wallace Smith
The Secret Knowledge of Water
by Craig Childs
My First Summer in the Sierra
by Muir, John.
The first of John Muir's books. This inspirational book allows the reader to understand John Muir's desire to protect and preserve Yosemite.
Flowering Shrubs of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada
by Shirley Spencer
The Invention of Nature; Alexander Von Humboldt's New World.
by Andrea Wulf
Field Guide to Birds of North America
by John W Fitzpatrick
The Star Thrower
by Loren Eiseley
Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West
by Dale L Morgan
Assembling California
by John McPhee
Mountain Sage
by Elizabeth Stone O'Neill
Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds.
by Scott Weidensaul
Wildflowers of the Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley
by Laird R Blackwell
On the Loose
by Jerry & Renny Russell
Up and Down California in 1860-1864: The Journal of William H Brewer
by William Brewer
A Journal of Ramblings Through the High Sierra of California by the University Excursion Party
by Joseph Le Conte
Mountains Without Handrails: Reflections on the National Parks
by Joseph L Sax
Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World
by Michael Pollan
A Sierra Club Naturalist’s Guide to the Sierra Nevada.
by Whitney, Stephen
. Stephen Whitney has taken most of the University of California Press guides and books and done an excellent job of condensing a wide range of biotic and abiotic topics. I highly recommend this guide to anyone interested in the Sierra Nevada, whether a teacher, backpacker, student, or amateur naturalist.
Flowering Shrubs of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada.
by Spencer, Shirley.
While the trees of Yosemite thrill visitors and the wildflowers often steal the show, every year the blue elderberry, the snowberry, the American dogwood, and dozens of other shrubs bloom in a glory all their own. This lovely volume, with inspired watercolors showing the fruit, flowers, and foliage of the plants, pays these shrubs full homage. Complete with useful information for plant identification, this book serves as a welcome and needed introduction to some of Yosemite's wildflowers.
Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada
by Clarence King
Westering ManL The Life of Joseph Walker
by Bil Gilbert
Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey
Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
by Jared Diamond
My First Summer in the Sierra
by John Muir
High Odyssey: The First Solo Winter Assault of Mt. Whitney and the Muir Trail Area.
by Rose, Gene.
Anyone who loves mountains, and especially the Sierra Nevada, will find this a great addition to the library. It documents the little known winter solo ski trip over the entire John Muir trail, from Mt. Whitney to Yosemite, by Orland Bartholemew in 1928-29. The author expertly crafts the story from old notes and a diary.
A Sand County Almanac
by Aldo Leopold
Uncertain Path; A Search for the Future of National Parks
by William C Tweed
The Education of Little Tree
by Forrest Carter
Sisters of the Earth
by Lorraine Anderson
The Land of Little Rain
by Mary Austin
Touch the Earth: A Self-Portrait of the Indian Existence
by McLuhan, T. C.
The Geologic Story of Yosemite National Park
by King N Huber
Winter WorldL The Ingenuity of Animal Survival
by Bernd Heinrich
Oaks of California
by Bruce M Pavlik
Sierra Nevada Natural History: An Illustrated Handbook.
by Tracy I Storer
Black Elk Speaks
by John Neihardt
Gloryland: A Novel
by Shelton Johnson
Sierra Nevada Wildflowers
by Karen Wiese
Shaping the Sierra: Nature, Culture, and Conflict in the Changing West
by Timothy Duane
"Ansel Adams and the American Landscape"
by Jonathan Spaulding
Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water
by Marc Reisner
The Incomparable Valley: a Geologic Interpretation of the Yosemite.
by Francois E Matthes
The Wild Muir: Twenty-two of John Muir's Greatest Adventures
by John Muir
Conifers of California
by Ronald M Lanner
Yosemite: Volume One
by William Neill
Our expert instructor highly recommends William Neill's blog and ebook. Find the blog at www.williamneill.com/blog/ and Find his ebook at www.williamneill.com/store/ebooks/yosemite-volume1/index.html
The Hour of Land; A Personal Topography of America's National Parks.
by Terry Tempest Williams
Galen Clark: Yosemite Guardian
by Shirley Sargent
The King of California: J.G. Boswell and the Making of a Secret American
by Mark Arax
A Field Guide to Mammals
by William H Burt
An Illustrated Flora of Yosemite National Park
by Botti, Stephen J
An Illustrated Flora of Yosemite National Park. El Portal, California:
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
by jared Diamond
The San Joaquin – A River Betrayed
by Gene Rose
The Photographer's Guide to Yosemite
by Michael Frye
www.michaelfrye.com
Nature’s Army: When Soldiers Fought for Yosemite
by Harvey Meyerson
The Wild Muir: Twenty-two of John Muir’s Greatest Adventures.
by Muir, John.
Short stories from John Muir that creates an understanding of John Muir.
William Neill Blog
by http://www.williamneill.com/blog/
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Oakhurst, CA
D
Episcopal Conference Center Oakhurst

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

Activity note: Light exercise available prior to breakfast (walking, yoga, etc.). 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
Episcopal Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
B,L,D
Episcopal Conference Center Oakhurst

Activity note: Light exercise available prior to breakfast (walking, yoga, etc.). 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: Yosemite Valley sack lunch.

Afternoon: After lunch we will have free time 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
4
Yosemite Valley Field Trip, Wawona Hotel Dinner & Music
Oakhurst, CA
B,L,D
Episcopal Conference Center Oakhurst

Activity note: Light exercise available prior to breakfast (walking, yoga, etc.). 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: 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
5
Yosemite Valley Field Trip, Historic Ahwahnee Hotel
Oakhurst, CA
B,L,D
Episcopal Conference Center Oakhurst

Activity note: Light exercise available prior to breakfast (walking, yoga, etc.). Getting on/off shuttle. Walking up to 3 miles 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, 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 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

Activity note: Light exercise available prior to breakfast (walking, yoga, etc.).

Breakfast: Dining hall buffet.This concludes our program.

Morning: 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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We’re committed to making your experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

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