Getting on/off motorcoach; traveling about 275 miles, approximately 5.5 hours to Yosemite National Park. Walking less than 1 mile; dirt path, flat meadow; paved trail; approximately 80-foot elevation gain. NOTE: If the water levels are high in the valley, be prepared for a large spray at the base of the fall, which could leave you drenched and walkways slick.
At the hotel, the breakfast buffet 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, water.
After checking out of the hotel, we will board our motorcoach and depart for Yosemite National Park. En route, we’ll stop to stretch our legs and take in the scenery. 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.
At the Ahwahnee Hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with salad, entrée, and dessert plus coffee, tea, milk and water; other beverages available for purchase. This hotel opened in 1927 and is a popular stop for Yosemite visitors. Its dining room has a 34-foot-high beamed ceiling, large sugar pine trestles, granite pillars, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
We’ll board a bus and set out with our on-board instructor on a field trip through Yosemite Valley, which is world-famous for its impressive waterfalls, cliffs and unusual rock formations. We will learn about the valley’s glacial past, which carved the grand walls we see today. The first stop is El Capitan Meadow. From the meadow, we’ll use our binoculars and scan for climbers on El Cap, one of the world’s most popular climbs. Rising more than 3,000 feet above the Valley floor, it is the largest granite monolith in the world. The first ascent on El Capitan was made by Warren Harding in 1958; records continue to be broken with Alex Honnold free soloing the rock in 2017. Our second stop is 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.” Our last stop takes us to Sentinel Bridge with a classic view of Half Dome framed by pine trees. We will check-in to our hotel after our exploration of the Yosemite Valley floor. NOTE: If the water levels are high in the valley, be prepared for a large spray at the base of the fall, which could leave you drenched and walkways slick.
The Group Leader will provide us with vouchers to use at any establishment in Yosemite for dinner. There are various dining options at Yosemite Valley Lodge, The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite Village, or Half Dome Village.