Yosemite National Park Photo Expedition

  • Trip Type: Photography
  • 7 Days | Round-trip San Francisco
  • Group Size: Max 16

Expedition Details


Follow in the footsteps of Ansel Adams in one of North America's most spectacular national parks. Find a unique angle on sites he made famous, including El Capitan and Half Dome. Trace Adams' legacy at the Ansel Adams Gallery, long owned by his family. Capture the spirit of the California Gold Rush on a photo shoot in historic Mariposa and discover creative ways to frame the massive sequoias of Mariposa Grove.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore and photograph the spectacular vistas of Yosemite, from the dramatic crag of El Capitan and the towering face of Half Dome to the landscapes of Hetch Hetchy
  • Walk through a sequoia grove and photograph the Sequoiadendron giganteum, the largest living organism by volume
  • Trace the history of Yosemite and the lives of two of its greatest champions, John Muir and Ansel Adams, during talks by local experts
  • 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 (L,D)

Day 3 — Glacier Point

Today, actively explore and photograph breathtaking views of Yosemite Valley and the Southern Sierras from Glacier Point. Journey north to magnificent Yosemite Valley and ascend to Glacier Point for optimal opportunities to photograph the 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. Then go on an optional hike on the valley floor before a picnic lunch. 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

Join a naturalist for a morning hike from El Capitan Meadow to Swinging Bridge, where we’ll stop for a picnic. The afternoon is yours to independently explore the valley. This evening, enjoy dinner at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, followed by stargazing from the Great Lawn.
Majestic Yosemite Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Yosemite Valley

Embark on a photo hike to Lower Yosemite Fall or opt for a more strenuous climb to top of Vernal Fall. Later, pay a visit to the Ansel Adams Gallery, founded as an artists’ studio in 1902 by Harry Best, whose daughter Adams later married.
Evergreen Lodge (B,D)

Day 6 — Tuolumne Meadows

Head into the vast, high-mountain meadows above the Tuolumne River today for spectacular photographic opportunities. Walk to Soda Springs and see an exhibit on John Muir and the region’s early residents at the historic Parsons Memorial Lodge. 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 talk on geocaching.
Evergreen Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Hetch Hetchy

Explore and photograph 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 cutting-edge environmental restoration project. Enjoy a farm-to-table lunch on our way back to San Francisco.


This expedition is not currently being offered.

Featured Expedition Moment

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.