The drive to Yosemite National Park is about 275 miles, approximately 5 1/2 hours.
Breakfast buffet in hotel restaurant offers a selection of eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, hot and cold cereals, fruit, yogurts, and fresh baked breakfast breads, plus assorted juices, coffee, tea, and water.
After checking out of the hotel, we board our motorcoach for a full day field trip to Yosemite National Park. Without question, Yosemite is one of America's most beautiful and best known of our national parks. Designated as the country’s third national park in October 1890, Yosemite Valley has been preserved since 1864. For the first time in history, Congress set land aside for the preservation and recreation for all people, and the national park concept was born.
At Big Trees Lodge (formerly the historic Wawona Hotel), enjoy a 3-course plated meal with salad, entrée, and dessert plus choice of milk, coffee, tea, or water; other beverages available for purchase. Located 4 miles from the park’s southern entrance, Wawona was a popular stagecoach stop for passengers traveling to and from Yosemite Valley in the 1800s.
After lunch, we'll visit the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias which contains about 500 mature giant sequoias. Giant sequoias are perhaps the largest living things on Earth and may exceed 3,000 years in age. Reopened on June 15, 2018, the Mariposa Grove restoration project aimed to restore the grove's dynamic ecology and increase its resilience. Many visitors from around the world are eager to visit the beloved grove of trees that has been closed for the last three years. Be prepared to share your experience with other arboreal enthusiasts who may be craning their necks to see the sequoias for the first time. Your patience with the opening and new infrastructure is appreciated. Keep an eye out for the sequoia saplings that have taken root with the absence of people. Aboard the motorcoach, we continue into Yosemite Valley with a stop at Tunnel View. This renowned scenic overlook offers some of the most iconic views of the park including Bridalveil Fall, El Capitan, Half Dome, and the broad expanses of Yosemite Valley — an outstanding photo opportunity. Moving on, we will check in to Yosemite Valley Lodge, the accommodation closest to Yosemite Falls.
At Base Camp Eatery, formerly the Yosemite Valley Lodge Food Court, dinner coupons will be used to purchase hot or cold entrées, pasta dishes, grilled items, pizzas, sandwiches, or salads at different stations. Assorted beverages such as milk, soft drinks, coffee, tea and water are available. Alcohol beverages are available for purchase.