You probably know the names. The Sierra Nevada. Half Dome. El Capitan. Bridalveil Fall. And maybe you've seen the photographs or had an Ansel Adams poster hanging in your college dorm. That's Yosemite. Everybody's heard the names but who's really explored them? Who has stood in awe of Bridalveil Fall? Watched pro climbers take on El Capitan? Hiked through Yosemite Valley? Because the thing is, if you're going to hang pictures of Yosemite on your walls, wouldn't it be great if they had your family in them? Well, here's your chance.
Day 1 Splendid bike ride to thundering waterfalls, mountain meadows and spectacular panoramas Get acquainted with the Sierra National Forest on a fun-filled spin along the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway to Jones Store, a historic supply depot full of local charm.
Day 2 Walk amid the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Yosemite's largest stand of these ancient trees The landscape shifts from urban to pastoral to alpine on our scenic drive from San Francisco to the Sierra Nevada. In the mood for some R&R? Kick back at the lodge, lounge by the pool or perhaps indulge at the spa.
Day 3 The historic Ahwahnee Hotel, the best way to stay in the valley Set out on foot from Glacier Point, savoring air perfumed with ponderosa and cedar, and relishing views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome and the Sierra Nevada Climb to the top of immense granite-faced Sentinel Dome.
Day 4 Adults glean secrets of Yosemite Valley from a local naturalist while the younger set takes a rock-climbing class on the world-famous granite walls of the Valley In the afternoon, explore the valley any way you choose: visit the Ansel Adams Gallery, hike to the falls, bike with your family or float down the Merced River.
Days 5-6 Time to explore one of Yosemite's hidden gems Hike through Hetch Hetchy Valley, once called "Yosemite Valley's twin sister" and now the site of a reservoir that provides drinking water to much of Northern California Enjoy family-friendly activities like bocce ball and ping-pong or simply relax under the stars in the saltwater pool or the hot tub Cap off the week with a hike to Carlon Falls in a hidden corner of the park.
- Glorious hikes to thundering waterfalls, alpine meadows and spectacular panoramas
- Glean secrets of Yosemite Valley from a local naturalist
- Walk amid the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Yosemite's largest stand of these ancient trees
- Kid-friendly rock climbing class in Yosemite Valley
- Ahwahnee Hotel, the best way to stay in the valley
Premiere & Casual Inns
Tenaya Lodge (2 nights): A family-friendly mountain resort near Yosemite's South Gate with plentiful amenities and panoramic forest views. (pool, spa)
Ahwahnee Hotel (1 night): A National Historic Landmark - and as much an icon of Yosemite as Half Dome - the Ahwahnee features elaborate stained-glass windows, etched stone floors, original Miwok Indian arts and crafts, carved wood paneling, Oriental rugs and Shaker-style furnishings. (pool)
Evergreen Lodge (2 nights): Elegantly rustic and welcoming cabins nestled amid towering pines on the western border of Yosemite. (pool)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Other||Optional hiking, biking, museum visit|
|Other||Naturalist guided walk (3 hours)|
|Kids||Rock climbing (6 hours)|
|Other||Nature trail (1.5 miles)|
|Other||Oakdale cheese shop visit (1.5 hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/30-7/5 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/28-8/2 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/6-11 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/11-16 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 6 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction for canyoneering: 6 years
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ amount of cultural appreciation, difficulty of activities, routes
- 9+ difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions, routes
- 6+ several longer dinners, routes are difficult for pulling a Burley and therefore not appropriate for younger children, difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions
Guest Trip Reviews
Our Backroads trip in Yosemite was an experience of a lifetime for our family. The activities, accommodations, cuisine and leaders were beyond exceptional. Over and over again, Backroads delivered!- Glastonbury, CT
The guides were EXCELLENT. I fell in love with Yosemite!- Las Vegas, NV
I really loved how the extra food and perishables were donated along the way to the museum staff, search and rescue teams, rangers, etc. that is really thoughtful and true to the values i'd expect from Backroads. Very impressive and really nice to know it wasn't wasted!- Peoria, IL
We were impressed at how well the trip leaders accommodated different needs and how the trip was designed to appeal to kids of all ages. Our four-year old and six-year old girls loved the rock climbing expedition. They can't wait to go on their next Backroads trip!- Bellevue, WA
We had a very good time. Yosemite was presented to us in a very comfortable way. Can't imagine doing it without Backroads.- Halifax, NS
We had a great first time experience as a family. We enjoyed all the planned activities as well as the scheduled free time. We will definitely do another trip in the future!- Miami, FL