Yosemite Family Expedition

  • Trip Type: Family
  • 7 Days | Round-trip San Francisco
  • Group Size: Max 26

Expedition Details


California's Sierra Nevadas split into fantastic formations at Yosemite, where glacier-polished granite domes rise high above the valley floor and waterfalls tumble from great heights. Astonish your family with all that is colossal here: from the soaring wall of El Capitan to ancient sequoias that reach into the sky. Discover different parts of the park with naturalists. Learn about the native people who once inhabited this region, and hear the stories of photographer Ansel Adams and conservationist John Muir, two legendary men who cherished, and helped protect, the wonders of Yosemite.

Trip Highlights

  • Discover the beauty and grandeur of Yosemite National Park with your family
  • Hear the stories behind the iconic rock formations on a walk with a naturalist from the Yosemite Conservancy
  • Enjoy a kid-friendly rock-climbing class under the guidance of well-trained instructors
  • Step back in time in the gold rush town of Mariposa, and try your hand at panning for gold
  • Stay at lodges that reflect the local character, including the incomparable Majestic Yosemite Hotel, a National Historical Landmark

Itinerary - 7 Days

Day 1 — San Francisco, California

Arrive in San Francisco and transfer to our hotel for an evening at leisure.
Sir Francis Drake Hotel

Day 2 — Mariposa

Drive into the Sierra Nevada foothills on our way to the gold rush town of Mariposa. Visit the renowned Mariposa Museum and History Center, exploring the old stamp mill, the blacksmith shop, and newspaper press. After a picnic lunch, enter the realm of Sequoiadendron giganteum, the largest living organism by volume, on a guided walk through a giant sequoia grove. Check into our lodge near the south entrance of Yosemite tonight.
Tenaya Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Glacier Point

Journey north to magnificent Yosemite Valley and ascend to Glacier Point for sweeping vistas of El Capitan and Half Dome. Hear about the park’s geology and walk the granite slopes of Sentinel Dome if you wish. Arrive at our lodge this afternoon and learn about its art and architecture on a guided tour.
Majestic Yosemite Hotel (B,L)

Day 4 — Yosemite Valley

This morning, kids have a chance to take part in a kid-friendly rock-climbing class with the guidance of well-trained instructors and an expedition leader. Adults will join a naturalist for a morning walk to Swinging Bridge, where we’ll stop for a picnic. The afternoon is yours to independently explore the valley. Kids have a special pizza dinner at Degnan’s Loft, while adults enjoy dinner at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. Later on in the evening, adults and kids reunite on the Great Lawn for stargazing.
Majestic Yosemite Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Yosemite Valley

Walk to Mirror Lake or opt for a more strenuous climb to the top of Vernal Fall. Kids can take a mule ride to the top of Vernal Fall and meet their parents at the top. Later, pay a visit to the Ansel Adams Gallery, founded as an artists’ studio in 1902 by Harry Best, whose daughter Adams later married. This evening, enjoy a poolside barbecue dinner at the Evergreen Lodge.
Evergreen Lodge (B,D)

Day 6 — Tuolumne Meadows

Head into the vast, high-mountain meadows above the Tuolumne River today. Walk to Soda Springs and see an exhibit on John Muir and the region’s early residents at the historic Parsons Memorial Lodge. Stroll along the famed Pacific Crest Trail taking in stunning views at the highest meadows in the Sierra Nevada. Gaze up at Lembert Dome, a popular climbing spot, and go for a hike in the area if you wish. Or return to the lodge for a geocaching adventure.
Evergreen Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Hetch Hetchy

Explore the beautiful Hetch Hetchy Valley, the "Little Yosemite Valley" and learn of the fascinating and controversial story of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Enjoy a farm-to-table lunch on our way back to San Francisco.

Related Trips


This expedition is not currently being offered.

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 on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.