Yosemite Private Expedition

  • Trip Type: Private Expedition
  • 7 days | Round-trip Fresno

Expedition Details


One of America’s greatest natural treasures, Yosemite National Park spans nearly 1,200 square miles of dramatic granite domes, emerald lakes, waterfall-laced cliffs, and forests. Venture to the place that inspired John Muir and Ansel Adams, a geological wonderland endowed with a rich history and staggering beauty. Explore magnificent sequoia groves; hike through glacially carved valleys and alpine meadows; searching for wildlife along the way. From the towering monolith of El Capitan to the soaring silhouette of Half Dome, discover a host of natural wonders and soak up the park’s sheer grandeur.

Trip Highlights

    • Hike amid a spectacular landscape of high-mountain meadows, pristine lakes, and waterfalls in the company of a private guide.
    • Walk in the shadow of giant sequoias through Mariposa Grove, home to Sequoiadendron giganteum, possibly the largest living organisms on Earth by volume.
    • Delve into the geological history of Yosemite and learn about the lives of John Muir and Ansel Adams, two of the park’s greatest champions.
    • Search for the park’s wild denizens, including black bears, bighorn sheep, foxes, and a variety of birds.

Itinerary - 7 Days

Day 1 — Fresno, California

Arrive in Fresno and transfer to your hotel for an evening at leisure.
Best Western Plus Airport Fresno

Day 2 — Fresno/Yosemite National Park

After breakfast, depart Fresno and drive into the Sierra Nevada foothills. Our destination is Yosemite National Park, which boasts some of the most magnificent scenery in North America. Towering cliffs, waterfalls, and pristine wildlife habitats all attest to the legacy of naturalist John Muir—one of the park’s earliest champions. On the way to your lodge, stop and enjoy some moderate hikes with your private guide, getting introduced to the park’s glacially formed landscapes and ecology. Then settle into your Victorian-style lodge, which sits cradled between the giant sequoias of Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley.
Big Trees Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Mariposa Grove

Spend the day exploring Mariposa Grove—home to Sequoiadendron giganteum, the giant sequoia, possibly the largest living organism by volume. This stand of some 500 colossal trees is the largest of Yosemite’s three sequoia groves. Choose from a variety of trails, hiking in the shadow of these majestic trees, which can grow to more than 200 feet in height. Enjoy dinner on your own back at the lodge.
Big Trees Lodge (B,L)

Day 4 — Yosemite Valley

Head north to Yosemite Valley today, taking in the polished granite domes of El Capitan, Half Dome, Sentinel Dome, and more. Embark on some spectacular hikes with your private guide, selecting trails that suit your pace. As you explore the valley, learn about the legacy of naturalist John Muir and visit some of his favorite locations. Later this afternoon, check in to your lodge and enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
Yosemite Valley Lodge or Rush Creek Lodge at Yosemite (B,L)

Day 5 — Tuolumne Meadows/Hetch Hetchy

Choose between two options today, depending on the season and weather conditions. Explore Yosemite’s high country, traversing the spectacular Tioga Pass Road, which offers sweeping mountain vistas. Highlights of this area include the high-alpine Tuolumne Meadows; the evocative Mono Lake, with its unusual limestone formations; and Olmsted Point, where you can view the north side of Half Dome. Alternatively, explore the beautiful Hetch Hetchy Valley, submerged by the construction of the O’Shaughnessy Dam in the 1920s and 1930s and now the site of a proposed environmental restoration project. Here, you’ll hike to Wapama Falls along a scenic trail leading to the two-tiered, 1,400-foot cascade.
Yosemite Valley Lodge or Rush Creek Lodge at Yosemite (B,L)

Day 6 — Yosemite Valley

Spend our last full day hiking and exploring the valley. Depending on the weather, hiking choices may include the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls, the John Muir Trail, or Cook’s Meadow Loop. Along the way, keep an eye out for Yosemite’s resident wildlife, such as bighorn sheep, coyotes, and mule deer. Visit the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center to learn how this distinctive landscape was formed and how the park has evolved over its 125-plus-year existence. Then stop in at the Ansel Adams Gallery, where classic Ansel Adams prints are on display alongside the work of contemporary photographers. Later this afternoon, enjoy a private tour of the historic Ahwahnee Hotel, now called the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, which has counted presidents, queens, and movie stars among its guests. Enjoy a final dinner in the hotel’s elegant dining room.
Yosemite Valley Lodge or Rush Creek Lodge at Yosemite (B, L, D)

Day 7 — Yosemite National Park/Fresno/Depart

After breakfast, bid farewell to Yosemite and transfer to the airport for your flight home.

About Private Expeditions

National Geographic Private Expeditions are specially crafted itineraries designed for independent travelers that combine guided excursions, fascinating insights into culture and wildlife, and top accommodations. Simply select a trip and decide whom you'd like to travel with and when you want to travel. We'll take care of the rest.

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This expedition is available from April through October. Choose any dates that work for you. For 2019 inquiries, please call our travel specialists.


Private Expeditions are designed to fit into your schedule. You choose your desired departure date, and we'll make all the arrangements. Click the reservation request button below to get started.

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Expedition Cost

Apr.-Oct., 2018
6 people $4,995
4 people $5,995
2 people $7,995

Prices are per person, double occupancy and are subject to availability. Single traveler prices are available upon request. Airfare to and from Fresno are not included in the expedition cost. A surcharge may apply to certain travel dates based upon holidays, local events and festivals.

Activity Level


Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.

Contact Us: 1-888-732-2379

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