Walking approximately 1.5 miles during the day: 150 feet into El Capitan Meadow; dirt path, flat terrain. To base of Bridalveil Fall is 1 mile roundtrip; steep trail, uneven terrain. Loop at Lower Yosemite Falls is about 1 mile roundtrip, flat, paved.
A buffet in the Lodge's dining room will include an assortment of muffins and baked goods, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, fresh fruit salad, bacon, sausage, French toast or waffles, hot or cold cereals, coffee, tea, juice, and water.
Our on-board instructor will lead our field trip through Yosemite Valley, world-famous for its impressive waterfalls, cliffs, and unusual rock formations. The first stop is El Capitan Meadow for a clear view of El Capitan, a favorite for experienced rock climbers. Rising more than 3,000 feet above the Valley floor, it is one of the largest granite monoliths in the world. Our next stop is Bridalveil Fall. At more than 600 feet tall, it is one of the most prominent falls in Yosemite. Some Native American tribes believe it to be the home to a vengeful spirit and that those who look directly into the waterfall will be cursed. In the central valley, we'll visit the Sentinel Bridge and Cook’s Meadow area. Sentinel Bridge is famous for its upstream view of the Half Dome. As we walk through Cook’s Meadow, enjoy views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and Sentinel Rock. The meadow is named after John J. Cook, who owned a hotel in Yosemite Valley in the 1880’s and often grazed cattle there.
At the historic Ahwahnee Hotel, enjoy a plated 3-course lunch with salad, entrée, dessert, with coffee, tea, or milk; other beverages available for purchase. The landmark dining room has high beamed ceilings, granite pillars, and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Yosemite Falls.
We’ll walk outside for a talk about The Ahwahnee Hotel that dates from 1927. Known for its magnificent façade and architecture, this hotel was designed to complement its natural surroundings. Ride the free Yosemite Valley Shuttle bus to Lower Yosemite Fall. Starting from the trailhead, we’ll walk the path with our naturalist.
On your own to enjoy what you like. Dining options will be listed in the “Yosemite Guide” park newspaper published several times a year and available on line at http://www.travelyosemite.com/lodging/dining/.
At Leisure. There are many opportunities to enjoy the park after dark on your own. Use the “Yosemite Guide” to find out what programs are being offered, programs offered by the National Park are free of charge. https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/guide.htm Programs at the Yosemite Theater require a ticket that you can purchase the day of at the visitor center bookstore or on-line at https://yosemite.org/experience/theater/.