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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.
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. (B,L)
Pete Devine has shared the wonders of Yosemite National Park with visitors for more than 25 years. He is the principal naturalist for the Yosemite Conservancy and helps plan their Yosemite Outdoor Adventures program. Pete has worked as a ranger in three national parks, a river guide on the Colorado River, an archeologist in New Zealand, a teacher on Cape Cod and a naturalist and guide in China. He is a cyclist, skier, backpacker and birder, as well as a popular presenter at science, education and outdoor conferences. Pete has served on several non-profit boards and has written numerous articles on Yosemite. His knowledge of the park's history, geology and wildlife is extensive, and in 2009, he was awarded the highest honor given by the Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education. Pete is an expert on Steller’s Jays, makes annual studies of the Lyell Glacier, and is married to a Yosemite archeologist.