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Sierra Nevada, CA

UNESCO sites

Our most recommended Sierra Nevada, CA UNESCO Sites

From San Francisco: Yosemite Park Guided Day Trip

1. From San Francisco: Yosemite Park Guided Day Trip

Escape the crowds of San Francisco on a full-day guided tour to Yosemite National Park. See highlights, including Yosemite Falls and Inspiration Point. Enjoy seamless travel in a bio-fueled mini-coach. Heading east across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge offers great views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge. En route to the park the tour crosses through the Central Valley, where you will stop at a fruit stand for some local produce. Famous for its rich volcanic soil, the Central Valley is the largest agricultural region in the United States. The section the tour drives through is best known for specialty fruits and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cherries, and strawberries. After this quick rest stop, you will enter the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Continuing into the mountains brings you to California gold country and the gold rush town of Groveland before the tour winds its way into Yosemite National Park. On your 1.5-hour narrated coach tour of Yosemite's glaciated valley, you will see famous waterfalls and rock formations including Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America. Continue on past El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, Sentinel Dome, and much more. During the tour you will see Yosemite Valley from a number of great vantage points, the best of which is perhaps Inspiration Point. After the tour, you will stop for the afternoon near the base of Yosemite Falls. If you have not already picked up picnic supplies, there are many options for getting lunch in the park. You will have 3-4 hours of free time to explore the valley as you choose. You can walk to the base of Yosemite Falls, check out the visitor center, visit the Ansel Adams Gallery, stop in at the Ahwahnee Hotel, rent a cruiser bike, or hike some of the trails that originate from the valley. Although you could easily spend 3 weeks in Yosemite, the 3 hours you get on your own is enough time to understand why Yosemite is one of America's most popular national parks.

Yosemite Valley 3-Day Camping Adventure

2. Yosemite Valley 3-Day Camping Adventure

Spend 2 nights camping in the world famous Yosemite Valley outside of San Francisco. You will travel in an eco-friendly biofueled vehicle, and all camping gear is provided to lighten your load. All you need to bring is a sleeping bag and enthusiasm for the Californian wilderness. Don't worry if you've never camped before. The camping and cooking equipment is provided, using quality tents. Everybody is expected to participate in the set-up and break-down of camp, and a professional guide will be there to ensure a positive camping experience. You will camp at comfortable campsites that have hot showers and modern facilities. Swimming is available nearby. Food is also provided, but there will be no chefs! You will get the chance to cook over campfires, and you will also be the waiters, dishwashers, and of course the guests! The fare is all-you-can-eat and very tasty, and is a mixture of chicken, beef, and vegetarian. Day 1: On the morning of your first day camping, your guide will meet you downtown at the corner of Mason and O'Farrell Streets in front of the Hilton Hotel at 08:15. Once out of San Francisco, cross the Central Valley and head through gold country on your way to the mountains. Before reaching Yosemite Valley, hike down for a picnic among the giant sequoia trees, the largest living things on Earth. Meals on the first day are not included in the tour price, but you will have an opportunity to get food en route to the park. Depending upon group interest and logistics, you may visit any of the 3 sequoia groves. The hike through the giant sequoias is pleasantly shaded and brings you right up close to these massive wooden monuments, some of which are more than 1,000 years old and measure up to 30-feet wide and 300-feet tall. Continue into the park on a 90-minute guided tour, and descend into Yosemite Valley, the most famous and photographed part of Yosemite, thanks to the work of photographer Ansel Adams. While in the Yosemite Valley, your guide will give you an orientation to the park, as well as an explanation of the itinerary and options for the next 2 days. After some free time in Yosemite Valley, head for the campsite to set up camp, ending the day with drinks around the campfire as you decide what to do with your next 2 days in the park. Day 2: Rise early and prepare breakfast and lunch, clean up camp, and head off in the van for a fun day full of hiking, sightseeing, and exploring. Usually the second day is reserved for exploring Yosemite's High Country. A group hike to May Lake and Mount Hoffman is generally the highlight of the day, depending upon snowpack. May Lake is a picturesque example of a High Sierra lake. If you want more of a challenge, you can continue past May Lake to Mount Hoffman. Located at the geographic center of the park, Mount Hoffman is a non-technical hike that rewards you with a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountain landscape. At the end of the day, head back to camp for dinner and time to unwind by the campfire. Day 3: Day 3 is a free day, where the itinerary is based on the interests of the group. Normally the tour heads back into Yosemite Valley, where you can choose one of a number of great hikes, rent a bike, or relax in the shade by the emerald green Merced River. After a full day in the park, head back to San Francisco, arriving around 21:00. In May, June, and early July, you have the option of joining a whitewater rafting trip on the Merced River, depending on snowpack. This Class III-IV adventure can be added to your Yosemite Escape adventure for only $140-$160.

From San Francisco: Yosemite Lodge 2-Day National Park Tour

3. From San Francisco: Yosemite Lodge 2-Day National Park Tour

Escape to the mountains for 2 full days of hiking, sightseeing, and exploring in the amazing natural wilderness of Yosemite National Park. Trek through Yosemite Valley and the Giant Sequoias. Spend the night in the heart of Yosemite Valley at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. Your hotel is located at the base of Yosemite Falls - the waterfall that gave the hotel its name. On this tour of Yosemite National Park from San Francisco, you'll have 2 days to explore, giving you more time and flexibility to see all the sights. Your guide stays in the hotel with the group, providing valuable knowledge of the history of Yosemite and a more personal experience of the park throughout your trip. The 2 days in Yosemite National Park are divided between time in Yosemite Valley and exploring the outlying areas of the park. In the valley, you will visit and photograph famous highlights such as Yosemite Falls (the tallest waterfall in North America), El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, and Inspiration Point. Beyond the valley, enjoy a hike among the Giant Sequoias (weather permitting). This tour of Yosemite arrives back in San Francisco at approximately 21:00 on the second day.

From San Francisco: Cedar Lodge 2-Day Yosemite Park Tour

4. From San Francisco: Cedar Lodge 2-Day Yosemite Park Tour

Run away for 2 days of crisp, fresh mountain air with an affordable and fun 2-day trip to Yosemite National Park from San Francisco. Escape to the mountains for 2 full days of hiking, sightseeing, and exploring in the amazing natural wilderness of Yosemite National Park. Trek through Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and the Giant Sequoias, and sleep comfortably in your own hotel room. On this tour of Yosemite National Park from San Francisco, you'll have 2 days to explore, giving you more time and flexibility to see all the sights. Detailed Itinerary: Day 1: San Francisco - Cedar Lodge Head from San Francisco to Cedar Lodge, which is situated in the picturesque Merced River Canyon. Arrive at the accommodation and continue toward the surrounding nature. Learn the history of Yosemite as you explore the Yosemite Valley and take in stunning sites like Yosemite Falls, Inspiration Point, Half Dome, Bridalveil Fall, and El Capitan. Afterwards, return to the lodge and explore its creature comforts which include a restaurant, bar, 2 swimming pools, jacuzzi, and private beach access on the Merced River. Day 2: Cedar Lodge - San Francisco Explore the outlying areas of the park. Take a trip to the awe-inspiring Glacier Point and enjoy a hike among the Giant Sequoias (weather permitting). At the end of the day, head back to San Francisco and arrive at around 21:00.

California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

5. California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

Discover the most iconic highlights of California, as well as some lesser-known gems, on this 3-day tour from Los Angeles. Drive the renowned 17 Mile Drive, explore Santa Barbara, and visit Yosemite Valley National Park or Hearst Castle. Enjoy 2 nights of accommodation and a bay cruise in San Fransisco included. Day 1: Los Angeles – Santa Barbara – 17 Mile Drive – Carmel Summer RouteDepart north up the spectacular California Coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish Mission and learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community to browse in the local shops. See the spectacular California coastline up close (small vehicles will travel the southern portion of route 1 while full-size coaches will travel the 17-mile drive exclusively). Visit the town of Carmel, home to the actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll in town before departing to reach your hotel at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport. Winter RouteDepart north up the spectacular California Coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Stop at the heart of downtown at the “state street promenade” and stroll through the exclusive shops and restaurants. Continue to Santa Barbara beaches and Stearns wharf to “walk on the water” and enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean. Finish your visit at the Spanish Mission Santa Barbara and continue to Solvang, “the Danish capital of America” a quaint Danish community at the heart of California. After your lunch break, head north through Silicon Valley before departing to reach your hotel at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport. Day 2: San Fransisco – Bay Cruise – Golden Gate Bridge – ChinatownSummer RouteStart your tour at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise in the world-famous bay. Enjoy great views of both the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. Next, return to Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union square, Chinatown, and Nob Hill. Stay overnight in Modesto. Winter RouteStart your tour at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise in the world-famous bay. Enjoy great views of both the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz island. Then return to Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union square, Chinatown, and Nob Hill. Stay overnight at the Springhill Suites Oakland Airport. Day 3: San Fransisco – Yosemite – Los Angeles Summer RouteHead east through the farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls, and Half Dome. See the highest waterfalls in North America, Yosemite Falls. Then head back to Los Angeles in the evening. Winter RouteStart the day with a visit to Monterey including the wharf and Cannery Row. Continue your tour of the beautiful California Coast with a visit to the town of Carmel-by-the-sea. Then head south to the world-famous Route #1 where you'll see the spectacular California coastline up close (small vehicles will travel the southern portion of route 1 while full-size coaches will travel the 17-mile drive exclusively). Then drive back to return to Los Angeles.

San Jose: Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias Trip

6. San Jose: Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias Trip

Towering granite cliffs and giant sequoias headline this full-day Yosemite tour from San Jose. Expert guides will make sure you don’t miss the history, geology, wildflowers, and wildlife, that have made this glacier-carved valley the jewel of America’s national park system. Your Yosemite Giant Sequoia Tour from San Jose begins with pickup from your hotel, then heads east crossing through California’s fertile San Joaquin (aka Central) Valley and into the craggy Sierra Nevada mountains. This is the only Yosemite Valley tour where you will also experience the solitude of the Tuolumne Grove of giant sequoias, the largest living things on earth. You’ll reconsider your place in the world, 2,000-year-old trees can make people do that. Your heart (and camera) will be racing as you enter Yosemite Valley, enjoying stops at Inspiration Point and El Capitan Meadow. You will stop for moments at Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and Bridalveil Falls, with plenty of time allocated to "take some selfies". Yosemite is open year-round, and if you visit in the winter months, you can picture Yosemite Valley covered in soft white snow, with animal footprints scattered about in the meadows and the snow-capped Half Dome casting its long shadow.

Yosemite: Valley Hiking Tour from Oakhurst

7. Yosemite: Valley Hiking Tour from Oakhurst

Witness some of the most awe-inspiring views of nature on a full-day trip through Yosemite Valley with an expert guide. See the towering and famous El Capitan, revel in the majestic Half Dome, dine under the tallest waterfall in North America — Yosemite Falls — and hike along the Mist Trail. Meet your guide before heading straight to Yosemite National Park via the south entrance. Arrive at Tunnel View to witness the most well-known views in Yosemite Valley, El Capitan and Half Dome, and be awe-struck by their sheer grandeur and height. Follow the Merced River to Curry Village, where your guide will lead you on a 3-mile (5.4-kilometer) round-trip hike on the most famous trail in the Valley, the Mist Trail, to the Vernal Falls Footbridge. After the hike, head to Yosemite Village to enjoy a boxed lunch while taking in a spectacular view of Yosemite Falls. Next, stroll along the Valley Loop Trail to the Ahwahnee Hotel. See its fascinating design and architecture of this 1927 hotel, which puts it on the list of the National Register of Historic Places. Walk back to Yosemite Village through the meadows before heading over to El Capitan Meadows for more stunning photos. Then, sit back and relax on the scenic drive back to Oakhurst.

From San Francisco: Yosemite & Tahoe Sierras 4-Day Trip

8. From San Francisco: Yosemite & Tahoe Sierras 4-Day Trip

After departing San Francisco, head through California’s famous Gold Rush Country, high into the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. It’s time to experience the majestic views from Yosemite Valley with some of America’s tallest waterfalls and towering granite cliffs rising 4,000 feet from the valley floor. Your guide will help you find the perfect trail to take in this glacially carved valley. Relax on the banks of the Merced River and soak up the spectacular views before heading back to the rustic mountain resort to kick back, have some drinks and share the stories of your day. The next day, enjoy hiking and lunch among the Giant Sequoias before traversing Yosemite’s Tioga Pass viewing iconic sites like the reflective Tenaya Lake and Tuolumne Meadows. You'll stay overnight in beautiful Mammoth Lakes. Huge mountains, numerous lakes, and expansive valleys await you! Try your hand at mountain biking or take a scenic Gondola ride to check out one of the most stunning 360 degree views in California. In the morning you'll have the option to visit the Ansel Adams Wilderness area and Devil’s Postpile National Monument, or choose to take a short hike over to Rainbow Falls to snap a selfie! Next, you’re back on the road to Lake Tahoe, with a stop to experience a bit of Gold Rush history at the historic Bodie Ghost Town. in Tahoe you can try your luck at blackjack or the roulette wheel at The Hard Rock, Harrah's or one of South Lake Tahoe's other casinos. If you're not into gambling, try a sunset sail or a lake cruise to Emerald Bay. You’ll stay the night in a South Lake Tahoe hotel or campsite. On your final morning, get up close and personal with Lake Tahoe by kayak, stand-up paddleboard or bike, or take a gondola ride up to Heavenly Mountain resort where an array of adventure activities await. You can also keep it simple and go on a short hike with the guidance of your professional tour leader. You'll be dropped off in San Francisco by 9:00 PM.

From San Francisco: Yosemite Private Full-Day Trip

9. From San Francisco: Yosemite Private Full-Day Trip

Explore the Yosemite Valley and Yosemite National Park at your own pace, and avoid the hassle of organized bus tours. Traveling by private car, enjoy the comfort of seeing the places you want to see without worrying about your arrival time. Learn more about the famous landmarks with a reliable service, offering maximum security and, most of all, the best level of hospitality in the industry. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in San Francisco (pick-ups in other cities in the Bay Area are available on arrangement), get recommendations on the best places to stop to take pictures or explore further; you decide where you want to go. Take a scenic drive to Yosemite National Park in the Yosemite Valley. Marvel at tracts of forest as you drive to mighty Yosemite Falls. Go to Glacier Point for a commanding view of the Half Dome, Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Falls. Visit the almost vertical rock formation of El Capitán, and get really close to the ancient sequoias in their staggering groves. Transfer back to San Francisco in time to see the Bay Bridge Lights, a site-specific monumental light sculpture and art installation.

From El Portal: Yosemite High Country Guided Hike Day Tour

10. From El Portal: Yosemite High Country Guided Hike Day Tour

Leave the crowds behind and discover pristine wilderness from 10,000 feet in elevation on this small-group tour of the Yosemite High Country. After getting picked up from Yosemite View Lodge, meet your expert guide and begin your full-day adventure.  After pickup, ascend more than 5,000 feet to the glacier-carved, the highest paved highway in California called Tioga Pass. From here, make your way to the Pothole Dome trailhead, where you will have 2 hours to hike a relatively easy 2.5 miles to the sloping granite top of Pothole Dome.  From the top of the dome, you will be greeted with stunning panoramic views of the Tuolumne River, sweeping views of the Tuolumne Meadows, and Yosemite's craggy, high-elevation peaks towards the east. In the early summer, the Tuolumne Meadows are known for their wildflowers that bloom near the end of June and the start of July. After the hike, indulge in lunch along the shores of Tenaya Lake. You will then have the choice to swim in the crystal clear waters or soak up the sun from the picnic tables along the beach. Taking a dip in the refreshing water is the perfect solution to a hot summer's day. You'll have 2 leisurely hours to swim among the polished granite domes, relax along the sandy beach or go for stroll among towering cedars. With a fraction of the people that crowd the lower elevations of Yosemite Valley, it won't be hard to find a quiet place to yourself to enjoy the pristine beauty of California's first National Park. After lunch, you'll stop at Olmstead Point, one of the most famous viewpoints in the Park, before making your way back towards El Portal for a timely drop off at Yosemite View Lodge. Enjoy seeing Half Dome from an all-new perspective as you search for black bear and mule deer along the scenic mountain road.

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What people are saying about Sierra Nevada, CA

Had an absolute blast! If you are in the area you must go!! Words/ photos can't describe the beauty of Yosemite! You can't possibly see enough in 1 day, the 3 day adventure was perfect & our guide Chad was extremely knowledgable, personable & flexible, he really helped to make the experience what it was!

We had a long but fantastic day. Yosemite National Park is very beautiful and the road to it is also very beautiful, especially the last part. Our guide Britney was really great. Such enthusiasm all day long. For us the best guide ever

Fred was fabulous! Very informative and had great knowledge about San Francisco in general as well as Yosemite! Knew park well and took care of my elderly Dad whilst we took a walk! Can’t recommend enough!

Just marvellous. The one thing that was less than brilliant was the campsite, which is about 30 minutes drive from the park and a bit dusty and unglamorous. Other than that, very special.

Great trip, thanks Parker, our guide for the amazing trip.