Easygoing Walking Tour California's Yosemite
Dolce Tempo Journey - National Park's Dramatic Half Dome & Waterfalls
Welcome to one of America’s most prized natural wonders—the imposing cliffs, towering waterfalls and endless beauty of Yosemite National Park. Carved by ancient glaciers into the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains, this gorgeous expanse of trails, viewpoints and raw wilderness has beckoned adventurers and artists for centuries. Walk in the steps of Ansel Adams, John Muir and Alex Honnold while soaking up the magnificence of this world-renowned treasure.
THIS ITINERARY: 6 days, 5 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Premiere Hotels
Start/End San Francisco
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
Refreshingly Active Adventures
Escape the crowds to explore secluded walking trails and serene panoramic vistas. Discover less-visited corners of one of America’s “crown jewel” national parks.
Converse with local naturalists who unravel the mysteries of Yosemite’s towering giant sequoia trees and share the fascinating history of early pioneering conservationists.
Unique Hotels & Delectable Dining
Experience the historic elegance of the magnificent Ahwahnee Hotel, the most prized of all the national park lodges. Savor a classic locally sourced gourmet Backroads picnic in the heart of Yosemite Valley.
6 Days Premiere Hotels
Welcome to Yosemite! Walk through the mighty Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees, the largest living organism on the planet | Walk through “tunnel tree” and marvel at the grandeur of Grizzly Giant, estimated to be around 2,000 years old | Unwind at our mountain resort cradled by the pines of Sierra National Forest | Opt for a poolside cocktail or a rejuvenating spa treatment.
A comfortable mountain resort near Yosemite's South Gate with plentiful amenities and panoramic forest views. (pool, spa)
Stroll along the canyon rim overlooking Yosemite Valley with expansive views of the park’s most famous icons, including Half Dome and Yosemite Falls | Enjoy a scenic drive into the heart of the valley passing El Capitan and Bridalveil Falls | Keep an eye out for Yosemite’s plentiful wildlife, including black bears and their springtime cubs | Learn about the park's landscape and history from a local naturalist as we walk along the shores of the meandering Merced River | Explore Yosemite Valley at your leisure—opt to hop on an e-bike and visit Mirror Lake, walk an easygoing trail to Yosemite Falls or visit the Ansel Adams Gallery | Settle in at The Ahwahnee, an iconic lodge tucked in a grove of trees beneath towering granite walls | Take in the unique design and architecture of this historic jewel and savor a memorable dinner with park views out of floor-to-ceiling windows.
A National Historic Landmark, this iconic hotel features elaborate stained-glass windows, original Miwok Indian arts and crafts, Oriental rugs and Shaker-style furnishings. (pool)
Be immersed in Tuolumne Meadows, a less-visited corner of Yosemite, rich in subalpine meadows, wildflowers and granite domes | Visit Hetch Hetchy, a dramatic glacial valley far from the crowds | Walk to Wapama Falls and relish views of misty rainbows and the surrounding glacially carved cliffs reaching into the sky | Delight in the amenities of Yosemite’s newest lodge situated on a wooded 20-acre expanse | Stroll along the south fork of the Tuolumne River to a two-tiered waterfall where swimming opportunities await | End your epic adventure in the ever-fascinating city of San Francisco.
Set on 20 wooded acres at the doorstep to Yosemite National Park, this new lodge offers an ideal blend of contemporary sophistication and rustic warmth. (pool)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Dolce Tempo: What to Expect
Our walking activities allow you to leisurely explore local footpaths and paved walking paths, exploring authentic, local hidden gems. Get away from the crowds to experience the essence of your location, taking time to explore and experience your region on your own terms. Your day unfolds according to your agenda, not someone else's. Our easygoing daily routes typically include 2-3 hours of walking per day, approximately 2-7 miles. Your trip is fully supported with dedicated Trip Leaders, support vans and meticulously selected routes and a Backroads navigation app to offer guidance on the route.
The terrain on this trip includes well-maintained trails that vary from level to hilly and include some elevation gains and loss. Most activities take place at elevations of 5,000–9,000 feet, which can make the routes feel more challenging than the mileage may suggest.
- All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners
- Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
- Snacks and beverages between meals
- Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
- Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
- Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
- Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
- All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
- Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
- On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
- Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
- Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
- Park and other entry fees
- Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
- Select coach transfers
- Baggage transfers and porterage
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.
We 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.
The Ahwahnee 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 it 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 casual when compared with the hospitality found on other Backroads trips.
According to local COVID-19 regulations, national park lodge meals this season may be to-go style and outdoors. Chilly mornings and evenings are not unusual, so please come prepared with plenty of layers. Of course, you are welcome to take any meals back to your room. We recognize that this will not be a typical Backroads dining experience; we are working hard behind the scenes to provide an excellent trip experience while following all regional restrictions and guidelines. Please note that regulations are subject to change, and we will take advantage accordingly.
While biking and hiking and kayaking trips are at the core of popular adventure travel offerings, they are not for everyone. So Backroads, a company that has long been the leader in active travel trips, has come up with an array of softer adventures for 2021.