Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 10 miles, approximately 3 hours including stops along the way. Walking approximately 2 miles during the day: 150 feet into El Capitan Meadow, dirt path, generally flat terrain; 1 mile roundtrip to/from base of Bridalveil Fall, steep trail, uneven terrain; Loop at Lower Yosemite Falls about 1 mile roundtrip, flat, paved.
In the lodge dining room, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, breakfast potatoes, French toast or waffles, hot and cold cereals, fruit salad, an assortment of muffins and baked goods, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
We will board the motorcoach and a local expert and naturalist who will provide commentary during our field trip through Yosemite Valley, world-famous for its impressive waterfalls, cliffs, and unusual rock formations. We’ll stop first at 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 will be Bridalveil Fall. At more than 600 feet tall, it is one of the most prominent waterfalls 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 famed for its upstream view of the Half Dome. As we walk through Cook’s Meadow, we’ll have 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 1880s and often grazed cattle there. We’ll ride to the Ahwahnee Hotel after our field trip.
At the historic Ahwahnee Hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with salad, entrée, dessert, milk, coffee, tea, water; 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. Next, we’ll take the free Yosemite Valley shuttle bus to Lower Yosemite Fall. Starting from the trailhead, we’ll walk the path with our naturalist. At the conclusion of the field trip, the Group Leader will accompany those who wish to return to the hotel. Those who would like to stay out and return independently are welcome to do so.
On your own to have what you like. Dining choices can be found in the “Yosemite Guide” park newspaper published several times a year and available on line at 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. See www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/guide.htm. Activities at the Yosemite Theater require a ticket that can be purchased the day of at the visitor center bookstore or on-line at https://yosemite.org/experience/theater/. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.