John Muir knew exactly what he was seeing. So big, so beautiful, so worth preserving. Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls—legendary landmarks in a legendary park whose grandeur is almost overwhelming. It's no surprise that many 19th-century visitors to this glacier-carved wonderland saw it as a new Eden. Soak up jaw-dropping vistas from Glacier Point. Marvel at soaring granite cliffs that the early travelers once likened to Gothic cathedrals. Bask in the shade of towering sequoias. Welcome to Yosemite National Park—747,956 acres of "wow!"
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Shuttle TimeWe know you signed up for an active vacation, so why would you want to spend time sitting in a van? The truth is, we do spend more time shuttling on this trip than we do on many other Backroads trips, but that’s because we’re willing to go the distance to bring you the very best of Yosemite’s natural wonders. Of course, we could cut out some shuttle time by only exploring one corner of the park, but how could we possibly choose which experiences to sacrifice? Rest assured that we have planned our itinerary to make the most of this vast and spectacular national park.
Service at the AhwahneeThe grand Ahwahnne Hotel is a historical treasure and by far the best place to stay in the Yosemite Valley. Its location within Yosemite National Park makes it an ideal base for exploring the valley’s many sights, but also means it is run by the national park and subject to park regulations and oversight. Similar to many National Park Lodges, service at the Ahwahnee can seem slow and brusque compared to the normally high standards found on other Backroads trips.
Day 1 Step back in time to the days of California's gold rush on a visit to the Mariposa Museum After fueling up with a picnic, get your legs moving on a scenic canyon hike lined with ferns, evergreens and moss.
Day 2 Walk amid the awe-inspiring Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Yosemite's largest stand of these ancient trees The grove's famous Grizzly Giant tree is estimated to be 1,800 years old—give or take a few centuries Perhaps you'll be up for a swim or a spa treatment at our hotel, cradled by the pines of the Sierra National Forest.
Day 3 Ahwahnee Hotel, the best way to stay in the valley Travel to Glacier Point, offering commanding vistas of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome and the Sierra Nevada As you hike to the historic Ahwahnee Hotel, feel dwarfed by the vertical cliff walls looming above you.
Day 4 Glean secrets of Yosemite Valley from a local naturalist The valley is yours to explore however you wish, be it horseback riding, hiking to Lower Yosemite Falls or paying a visit to the Ansel Adams Gallery.
Days 5-6 Sprawling Tuolumne Meadows, with endless hiking trails, glorious high-country scenery and a profusion of summer wildflowers Cap off the week with a hike to a lookout with views of Hetch Hetchy, Wapama Falls and the surrounding high country.
- Sublime hikes to alpine meadows, spectacular panoramas and waterfalls
- Glean secrets of Yosemite Valley from a local naturalist
- Sprawling Tuolumne Meadows, with endless trails
- Walk amid the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Yosemite's largest stand of these majestic trees
- Ahwahnee Hotel, the best way to stay in the valley
Tenaya Lodge (2 nights): A comfortable mountain resort near Yosemite's South Gate with plentiful amenities and panoramic forest views. (pool, spa)
Ahwahnee Hotel (2 nights): 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 (1 night): 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|
|Naturalist Guided Walk (3 Hours)|
|Optional Hiking, Horseback Riding, Beach Cruiser Riding, Museum Visit or Rock Climbing|
|Historical Tour of the Ahwahnee Hotel (1 Hour)|
* Includes a shuttle
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/14-19 Price: $3498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/21-26 Price: $3498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/28-7/3 Price: $3598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/12-17 Price: $3598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/19-24 Price: $3598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/26-31 Price: $3398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/2-7 Price: $3498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/16-21 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/23-28 Price: $3498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/30-9/4 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/6-11 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/13-18 Price: $3398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/20-25 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/27-10/2 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/4-9 Price: $3198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.
If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|2 - 3 guests from $5,098 pp dbl. occ.||8 - 9 guests from $3,898 pp dbl. occ.|
|4 - 5 guests from $4,498 pp dbl. occ.||10 - 11 guests from $3,398 pp dbl. occ.|
|6 - 7 guests from $4,098 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $3,098 pp dbl. occ.|
All Private Singles-Solos trips require a minimum of 16 guests.
Guest Trip Reviews
We travel with other companies to compare trips but always return to Backroads. Yosemite will be our 20th trip and we look forward to the wonderful guides, friendly guests and wonderful accommodations.- Charlottesville, VA
This is my third Backroads trip. I am pleased to note that every other member of our party had previous Backroads experiences! Such return support speaks for itself.- Roscoe, IL
Yosemite stands on its own but was certainly enhanced by our great leaders. They were fun, helpful, personable, professional...everything one expects and needs from a group leader. Looking forward to our next Backroads trip!!- Chula, GA
My brother and I turned 50 this year. We decided to take a trip together as brothers. I had wanted to take a Backroads trip for several years after hearing of the company from a co-worker and after having reviewed catalogs for several years. I suggested the trip to my brother who agreed. This trip fulfilled everything I hoped for and more. I spent a lot of quality time with Jeff on the trail without having to worry about anything. The location was "off the chart," the friendliness and directions of our leaders were "off the chart" and the friendship of our fellow travelers just added to the overall quality of the trip. I cannot wait until my next trip! Jeff and I have already talked about going on the Zion trip in Utah.- Suwanee, GA
With each trip, we are certain that we just experienced the very best leaders ever. Then we arrive for the next trip and we experience this same excellence all over again with a different leader. The many wonderful and knowledgeable people that work in the organization are the backbone of Backroads!- Richmond, VA
I had very high expectations for this trip, having wanted to visit Yosemite for many years. I have to say that they were exceeded in every respect. The trip leaders were very enthusiastic and on top of everything. They took us to some beautiful places, where we saw very few people. The lodgings were very luxurious and the food was great. I will never forget this trip!- Kingston, UK
Backroads exceeded our expectations in terms of delivering a wonderful experience; hiring great hike leaders who were personable, knowledgeable, extremely hard working, guest focused and created new advocates and future guests for their wonderful company.- Los Angeles, CA