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19237
California

The Best of Yosemite National Park: An American Icon

Discover the wonders of Yosemite National Park alongside naturalists as you learn about and explore Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, Mariposa Grove and many other iconic treasures.
Rating (4.92)
Program No. 19237RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
2,499
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
California

The Best of Yosemite National Park: An American Icon

Discover the wonders of Yosemite National Park alongside naturalists as you learn about and explore Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, Mariposa Grove and many other iconic treasures.
Length
6 days
Starts at
2,499
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Program No. 19237 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.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 23 - May 28, 2021
Small group
Starting at
2,799
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

May 30 - Jun 4, 2021
Starting at
2,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Jun 6 - Jun 11, 2021
Starting at
3,899
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

This departure stays at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel instead of the Yosemite Valley Lodge. There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Jun 13 - Jun 18, 2021
Small group
Starting at
2,799
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Fresno, CA. There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Jun 27 - Jul 2, 2021
Starting at
2,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Jul 18 - Jul 23, 2021
Starting at
2,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Aug 22 - Aug 27, 2021
Small group
Starting at
2,799
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Fresno, CA. There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Sep 26 - Oct 1, 2021
Small group
Starting at
2,799
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Oct 3 - Oct 8, 2021
Starting at
3,899
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

This departure stays at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel instead of the Yosemite Valley Lodge. There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 23 - May 28, 2021
Small group
Starting at
3,529
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

May 30 - Jun 4, 2021
Starting at
3,259
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Jun 6 - Jun 11, 2021
Starting at
5,449
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

This departure stays at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel instead of the Yosemite Valley Lodge. There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Jun 13 - Jun 18, 2021
Small group
Starting at
3,529
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Fresno, CA. There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Jun 27 - Jul 2, 2021
Starting at
3,259
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Jul 18 - Jul 23, 2021
Starting at
3,259
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Aug 22 - Aug 27, 2021
Small group
Starting at
3,529
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

This departure starts in Fresno, CA. There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Sep 26 - Oct 1, 2021
Small group
Starting at
3,529
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

Oct 3 - Oct 8, 2021
Starting at
5,449
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by Dec. 31, 2020 to take $200 off the price shown!

Itinerary Note

This departure stays at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel instead of the Yosemite Valley Lodge. There is no Glacier Point Tour on this date due to construction.

At a Glance

On an unforgettable adventure in Yosemite National Park, learn on-site about monumental natural wonders like Yosemite Falls, Tuolumne Meadows and Glacier Point. Expert naturalists address the geologic saga of the park as well as its interwoven natural and human histories. As Half Dome and El Capitan loom overhead, explore the Native American history of the Ahwahneechee, and learn the intricacies of rock climbing, a popular park activity. Stay at lodgings inside the park on this fantastic adventure!
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to 1.5 miles over varied terrain including paved and dirt paths. Standing up to 45 minutes at a time. Elevations range from 4,000-8,000 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Experience the impressive granite formations of Half Dome and El Capitan, a favorite for rock climbers.
  • Discover Yosemite’s high country with a walk in the Tuolumne Meadows area, one of the largest high-elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada at 8,600 feet.
  • Explore Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias to stand in awe of hundreds of these impressive trees, and dine at The Ahwahnee Hotel.

General Notes

Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Frank Helling
Frank Helling is an active adventurer and naturalist who has spent much of his life “sauntering” in the footsteps of the great mountaineer, philosopher and nature writer John Muir. He has backpacked, hiked and climbed in the Sierras, Rockies, Cascades, Alps, Alaska, Hawaii and the deserts of the American Southwest. A former high school science teacher, Frank has also worked as a ranger and naturalist in Kings Canyon National Park and as a professional wilderness instructor.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Frank Helling
Frank Helling View biography
Frank Helling is an active adventurer and naturalist who has spent much of his life “sauntering” in the footsteps of the great mountaineer, philosopher and nature writer John Muir. He has backpacked, hiked and climbed in the Sierras, Rockies, Cascades, Alps, Alaska, Hawaii and the deserts of the American Southwest. A former high school science teacher, Frank has also worked as a ranger and naturalist in Kings Canyon National Park and as a professional wilderness instructor.
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.
History of the Sierra Nevada
by Francis Peloubet Farquhar
The History of the Sierra Nevada covers all aspects of the human history of the area from the prehistoric native Americans, Spanish exploration, mountain men, pioneers, 49'ers, railroad, John Muir and the national parks to recent trends of utilization and recreation.
Yosemite: The Complete Guide
by James Kaiser
Filled with vivid color photography and informed writing, Yosemite: The Complete Guide puts the best of Yosemite National Park at your fingertips. Fully updated to include current travel info (including the new rules for hiking Half Dome), the second edition offers expanded chapters on geology, ecology, wildlife, and history. James Kaiser takes readers on a joyous romp through Yosemite, revealing the fascinating story behind the scenery. This handy book equips travelers with everything they need to know. Lodging, camping, and dining are covered in-depth, as well as outdoor adventures (hiking, biking, rock climbing, rafting, skiing), transportation issues, and seasonal weather patterns. Over 20 hikes are listed, with trail descriptions, topographical maps, and photos.
Sierra Nevada Natural History
by David Lukas, Tracy I. Storer, Robert L. Usinger
First published forty years ago, this handbook has become an enduring natural history classic, used by thousands to learn more about virtually every aspect of this spectacular mountain range--from its superb flora and fauna to its rugged topography. Comprehensive yet concise and portable, the book describes hundreds of species: trees and shrubs, flowering plants and ferns, fungi and lichens, insects and fish, amphibians and reptiles, and birds and mammals.
My First Summer in the Sierra
by John Muir
From the photographer who brought Thoreau's Walden and Cape Cod to life comes a new work combining classic literature with brand-new photography. This time, Scot Miller takes on the seminal work of John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra. The book details Muir's first extended trip to the Sierra Nevada in what is now Yosemite National Park, a landscape that entranced him immediately and had a profound effect on his life. The towering waterfalls, natural rock formations, and abundant plant and animal life helped Muir develop his views of the natural world, views that would eventually lead him to push for the creation of the national parks.
Geology of the Sierra Nevada (California Natural History Guides)
by Mary Hill
Geology of the Sierra Nevada (California Natural History Guides) is a comprehensive guide to the geologic history of the Sierra Nevada.
Yosemite
by Ansel Adams (Author), Andrea G. Stillman (Contributor), Michael L. Fischer (Contributor)
This beautifully printed paperback original collects Ansel Adams' finest images of the place closest to his heart, Yosemite National Park. It presents the essence of Adams' long association with Yosemite: sixty-six memorable photographs of glacial lakes and craggy peaks, cascading waterfalls and granite monoliths, lone trees and sylvan streams. Here are Moon and Half Dome, Clearing Winter Storm, and El Capitan, Winter, Sunrise - images that have become veritable icons of the American wilderness. It includes selections from Adams' writings about the park and its environment.
13 Reviews
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4.92 Average
(5)

Our trip the Yosemite this fall has been the highlight of our year. Our excellent guide,Frank, was knowledgable and friendly. We met new friends and enjoyed everyone on the trip. It was a life enhancing week for me and my husband.

(5)

Very enjoyable experience. Well managed. Good food. Great people. Will do more programs in future.

(5)

Four days in Yosemite Valley offered great opportunities for early morning and later evening walks and photographic opportunities, alone time and chances to glimpse wildlife.

(5)

This was a really fun trip in a wonderful location and hotel.

(4)

This Yosemite adventure provides a wealth of information and experience on the geology, history, weather, biology, and beauty of this magnificent national park.

(5)

Outstanding trip! Yosemite is beautiful and this "Best of" trip keeps you in the heart of it. For free time - the shuttle service is excellent.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

We had a wonderful time on our Yosemite trip. Mary Jackson and her husband, Drew, were fun to be with and made everything go as smoothly as possible. Michael Ross was interesting and informative as he served as the naturalist for the tour. It was also fun to meet John Muir as played by Frank Helling, and hear a little of his adventures. The only problems had to do with the food. One dinner was at 8:30 p.m., the picnic lunches were pretty bad, the dinner with John Muir was cold and in a room where the AC had not been turn on and our final lunch took three tries before a place was found to serve us. All of these should be addressed by Road Scholar. However most of us did not come on this trip for the gourmet meals and between Mary, Drew, Michael, Frank and our other fellow travelers, we had a great time and would certainly recommend this trip to others.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

Yosemite is fabulous, Mary and Drew Jackson were perhaps the best group leaders I've had on any outing, and the other program participants were a joy. Once again, though, your vegetarian choices were terrible. Issues: 1. Plated meals leave us no choice - we bailed from four and bought our own meals, usually at the same venue. We packed cheese, crackers, fruits and nuts for our outings. Hotels and restaurants now routinely serve a variety of good vegetarian choices - the issue is what the Road Scholars staff orders for our vegetarian plated meals. 2. A salad and pasta primavera is not nutritionally adequate meal. We were served this four times in a six day program. It makes us second class citizens when others are served generous portions of salmon, chicken, beef, or sea food. 3. Your vegetarian options were almost all vegan. That would be okay if they had adequate vegan nutrition and flavor, but they did not. Some eggs, dairy, yoghurt, gardenburgers or other protein source would have helped those options. The soggy roasted vegetable wrap for a picnic lunch was the low point of nutrition and aesthetics. 4. No problems with breakfasts - eggs, yoghurt and the usual offerings work just fine. 5. This is the 6th Road Scholar program we've had this problem with. The vegetarian choices have been good to excellent on the cruises (Aegean Odyssey, Paul Gaugin, and the Great Lakes cruise), but even the land portions of those excursions were disappointing for vegetarian meals. 6. I am a physician with training in public health and also edited a health and nutrition newsletter ("Doctors Orders") for 20 years. I would be happy to discuss vegan and vegetarian nutrition and dietary options if your staff need help. 7. I recognize that the Road Scholar demographic has not as widely embraced vegetarian and vegan diets as other age groups. If you had more 30-something clients, you would already have fixed this. Christopher H. Coulter, MD, MPH 714-296-3333

(5)

Yosemite National Park should be experienced by everyone and more than once. The Road Scholar program does an excellent job of housing you right in the valley close to the magical places of the park. The program offers a nice balance of education on the park, its flora, its animal life and its history. But Mother Nature provides you the big stuff....waterfalls, granite walls, star-lit nights and a deep sense of spiritual uplift. Go experience Yosemite!!

(5)

Yosemite is an awe inspiring place. Don't miss seeing and experiencing it and do it with Road Scholar because they handle ALL the details for you and give to access to intructors, experiences and information you may not otherwise have.

(5)

Yosemite is a beautiful place with a rich history. Road scholar provided an excellent trip.

(5)

This trip exceeded my expectations! The big plus was to be able to stay in the park so that you could get up early and walk to Yosemite Falls or Cook's Grove before people came in the morning. You could attend Nature Conservancy programs on free nights, which were excellent. I saw the program on Search and Rescue. Very well organized and excellent educational speakers. Due to snow, programs had to be changed and the changes were excellent! I highly recommend this program.

(5)

This program is the best way to experience many of the amazing places in Yosemite, whether you have never seen it or are returning. We learned about the "energy of a tree", saw the world-famous "Tunnel" view at the best time of the day(in the afternoon), watched the climbers on El Capitan through a very long lens. Otherwise, they were not visible as they look very small from the ground! The light changes on Half Dome. and other locations were amazing. The open times and the park's free shuttle bus gave us all many opportunities for individual exploration and just time to absorb the beauty of nature. Even with all the visitors, we could feel alone at many places.






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