21069
California

Yosemite National Park: Share an American Icon With Your Grandchild

Based at Yosemite Valley Lodge, experience the best of the park with your grandchild — walking the trails with a naturalist and exploring must-see icons!
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Program No. 21069TRVLZ
Length
6 days
Starts at
2,399 / ADULT
1,399 / CHILD
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 5 L 4 D
DAY
1
Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Brisbane (San Francisco Airport), CA
D
DoubleTree by Hilton San Francisco Airport North

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: Check-in with the hotel front desk to receive your room key. Walk to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes and other important information. Please ask for your packet when you check in, if you arrive late. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. Have fun as grandparents and grandchildren introduce themselves in a session we call Crossing Points. Discover what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.

Dinner: In our private room at the hotel, enjoy a plated meal with salad, entrée, rolls and butter, dessert, and beverage choices including fresh brewed coffee, assorted hot teas, and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: The group leader will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Dinner on day 4 is on your own in Yosemite National Park. Dining options will be listed in the “Yosemite Guide”, which you can view online at http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/guide.htm. If you are interested in eating dinner at The Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room, please be advised that “Proper attire is kindly requested for dinner.” Gentlemen are asked to wear collared shirts and long pants. Ladies are asked to wear dresses or skirts / slacks and blouses. Make reservations by calling (209) 372-1489. Indicated times are approximate; program activities and schedules may need to change due to local circumstances. We will alert you as quickly as possible in the event of itinerary changes. Thank you for your understanding. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own. Settle in and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite, CA
B,L,D
Yosemite Valley Lodge

Activity note: The drive to Yosemite National Park is about 275 miles, approximately 5 1/2 hours. The paved trail from Bridalveil Fall parking area to base of waterfall is 1/2 mile roundtrip with approximately 80 foot elevation gain.

Breakfast: 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.

Morning: Once we check out of the hotel, we will board our motorcoach for Yosemite National Park which is about a 5 hour drive from Brisbane, CA. Yosemite is one of America's most beautiful and most visited 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. There will be a rest stop en route to Yosemite National Park.

Lunch: Lunch at a local casual restaurant on our way to Yosemite National Park.

Afternoon: Upon arrival, our on-board instructor will lead us on a field trip through Yosemite Valley which is world-famous for its impressive waterfalls, cliffs and unusual rock formations. We'll stop at Bridalveil Fall for a walk to the base of the falls. Plunging 620 feet, Bridalveil thunders in the spring but during the rest of the year its light, swaying flow resembles a “bridal veil.” We will check in to Yosemite Valley Lodge, the accommodation closest to Yosemite Falls.

Dinner: Your group leader will give you a voucher to use at any establishment in Yosemite for dinner. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions or you could use the suggestions listed in your program folder. You have a variety of dining options at Yosemite Valley Lodge, The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite Village, or Curry Village.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Yosemite Valley Bike Ride, Mariposa Grove, Wawona Hotel
Yosemite, CA
B,L,D
Yosemite Valley Lodge

Activity note: Riding up to 5 miles on a bicycle. In the event that bicycles are unavailable, we will travel throughout Yosemite Valley by our motorcoach. The drive to Mariposa Grove is about 30 miles and takes about 1 hour on a curvy mountain road. The hike into Mariposa Grove is about 2-3 miles roundtrip on a wooden boardwalk.

Breakfast: A breakfast 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.

Morning: We will be joined by a local naturalist who will guide us through Yosemite Valley by bicycle, depending on the availability of bikes and weather. Our naturalist will lead us along the valley floor with stops at Sentinel Meadow, Sentinel Bridge, Ahwahnee Meadow, and a view of Half Dome. Bicycle rentals in Yosemite Valley are first-come-first serve. We will plan to arrive early to retrieve bikes for the morning tour.

Lunch: At Base Camp Eatery, formerly the Yosemite Valley Lodge Food Court, lunch coupons will be used to purchase hot or cold entrées, grilled items, pizzas, sandwiches, or salads at different stations. Assorted beverages such as milk, soft drinks, coffee, tea and water are available.

Afternoon: We will board the motorcoach for our visit to 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 the grove's 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. The driver will park the motorcoach near the shuttle stop at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Center where restrooms are located. The group will board the National Park Service bus that will take the group into the grove and to the start of the wooden boardwalk to see the sequoia trees. Our naturalist will guide us through the grove and explain giant sequoia ecology and our connection with these large trees.

Dinner: At 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.

Evening: Aboard the motorcoach, we journey back 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. After we return to Yosemite Valley Lodge, enjoy an evening at leisure.

DAY
4
Tioga Road, Tenaya Lake, Free Time
Yosemite, CA
B,L
Yosemite Valley Lodge

Activity note: Walking distances up to 2 1/2 miles on uneven terrain with elevation gains up to 500 feet.

Breakfast: At the Lodge.

Morning: We will board the motorcoach for a day in the subalpine environment of the High Sierras. Our on-board naturalist provides the narrative for our bus trip through the gateway to Yosemite's back country along Tioga Pass Road to Tenaya Lake. Tioga Pass Road offers a 39-mile scenic drive between Crane Flat and Tuolumne Meadows through forests and past meadows, lakes, and granite domes.

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic style bagged lunch featuring a wrap, selection of sides, and bottled water at Tenaya Lake; a magnificent High Sierra lake surrounded by granite domes, lodge pole forests and Yosemite’s vast wilderness.

Afternoon: Tenaya Lake offers the chance for grandchildren to take a memorable swim in the midst of the dramatic scenery. Please be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty at Tenaya Lake. One needs to be able to swim in order to go into the lake. Grandparents will be responsible for watching their grandchildren if they go swimming in the lake. We’ll return to Yosemite Valley where you’ll have the remainder of the afternoon free for relaxation or personal independent exploration. Refer to the “Yosemite Guide” paper for ideas of where to go and what to do. The Group Leader will also be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the valley. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You have a variety of dining options at Yosemite Valley Lodge, The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite Village, or Curry Village.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Yosemite Mountaineering School, Indian Caves Exploration
Yosemite, CA
B,L,D
Yosemite Valley Lodge

Breakfast: At the Lodge.

Morning: From Yosemite Valley Lodge, we'll ride the free Yosemite Valley Shuttle bus to meet our instructors for the day. Due to limitations set by Yosemite Mountaineering School, our group will be split in half for the two activities. The first group will meet with an expert climbing guide from the Yosemite Mountaineering School & Guide Service for a climbing class. Designed for beginnings, we'll learn the basics of climbing and rappelling. The second group will meet with our local naturalist for a walk to explore the "Indian Caves". The caves consist of a series of meandering fissures between boulders. We will hear tales and legends that may explain their historical importance.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Yosemite Village, order from a select menu plus coffee, tea, and water.

Afternoon: Groups switch. Free Afternoon. 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 and give directions.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the Lodge. Enjoy an Italian Food themed buffet with items such as salad, pasta, meatballs with sauce, chicken, vegetables, assorted breads, desserts, and coffee, iced tea, and lemonade.

Evening: At leisure. Say farewell to new Road Scholar friends and prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Return to Brisbane, Program Concludes
Brisbane (San Francisco Airport), CA
B,L

Activity note: The return trip is approximately 5 hours depending on traffic, and includes a stop for lunch.

Breakfast: At the Lodge.

Morning: We will board the motorcoach after we check-out of the hotel for the return trip to the hotel in Brisbane.

Lunch: En route to Brisbane, stop to have a sit-down plated lunch with entrée, dessert, fountain drink, coffee, hot and iced tea, and water.

Afternoon: We expect to arrive at the hotel in Brisbane by approximately 3:00 p.m. (depending on traffic). This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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