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Yosemite Walking & Hiking Tour

Yosemite's Dramatic Domes & Waterfalls

From $3,598 - $3,898 pp dbl. occ. | 6 days / 5 nights

(+$1,060 for sgl. occ.)

Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls—legendary landmarks in an epic park whose grandeur is almost overwhelming. Soak up sublime vistas from Glacier Point. Marvel at soaring granite cliffs that were once likened to Gothic cathedrals. Behold towering sequoias. Welcome to Yosemite National Park: 761,266 acres of "wow!"

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California

San Francisco, California

Yosemite California walking tour map

Highlights

  • Experience spectacular hikes to alpine meadows, waterfalls and jaw-dropping panoramas
  • Gaze skyward on a walk through a grove of giant sequoias, Yosemite's ancient trees
  • Explore the endless trails of Tuolumne Meadows, a glacier-carved area over two miles long
  • Discover the impressive rock formations for which Yosemite is known, including world-famous Half Dome
California

San Francisco, California

Yosemite California walking tour map

Itinerary

Day 1 Ride on a historic steam train and step back in time to the days of California's gold rush | 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 an awe-inspiring grove of giant sequoias, Yosemite's imposing ancient trees—some estimated to be 1,800 years old, give or take a few centuries | What's your pleasure today? 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 Glacier Point offers commanding vistas of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome and the Sierra Nevada | As you hike to the historic Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly known as the Ahwahnee), feel dwarfed by the vertical cliff walls looming above you.

Day 4 Glean a treasure trove of Yosemite Valley secrets from a local naturalist | The valley is yours to explore however you wish—hike to Lower Yosemite Falls or pay a visit to the Ansel Adams Gallery.

Days 5-6 Get to know sprawling Tuolumne Meadows, with endless hiking trails, glorious high-country scenery and a profusion of summer wildflowers | Cap off the week with a hike alongside the South Fork of the Tuolumne River to delicate Carlon Falls.

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.

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

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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 the selection of dates below for your group; some dates are only available for 16 or more guests while other dates are available for 8 or more guests. If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you. Call or email us to reserve your date.

2018 Private Trip Pricing
  • 10 or more guests: from $3,598 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $4,098 pp dbl occ
  • 6 - 7 guests: from $5,298 pp dbl occ
  • 4 - 5 guests: from $5,698 pp dbl occ
  • 2 - 3 guests: from $6,598 pp dbl occ

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

Don't see your ideal travel date? Make a Date

  • 8 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 8 or more guests
  • 16 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 16 or more guests
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Prices

From $3,598 - $3,898 pp dbl. occ.
6 days / 5 nights

(+$1,060 for sgl. occ.)

Premiere Hotels

Tenaya Lodge
Tenaya Lodge

Fish Camp (2 nights)

Majestic Yosemite Hotel
Majestic Yosemite Hotel (FKA Ahwahnee)

Yosemite Village (2 nights)

Rush Creek Lodge
Rush Creek Lodge

Groveland (1 night)

Activity Level

This trip is rated Levels 1-4

What's Included

Services and equipment are included.

Why Backroads

Why Travel with Backroads in Yosemite

More On This Trip

Reviews by Power Reviews ®

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Premiere Hotels

Accommodations may vary based on departure date. Any difference from what is listed below can be found by clicking on your desired date on the View Scheduled Dates or Private Dates tabs.

Tenaya Lodge

Tenaya Lodge

Fish Camp (2 nights)

A comfortable mountain resort near Yosemite's South Gate with plentiful amenities and panoramic forest views. (pool, spa)

Majestic Yosemite Hotel

Majestic Yosemite Hotel (FKA Ahwahnee)

Yosemite Village (2 nights)

Formerly known as the Ahwahnee, this National Historic Landmark features elaborate stained-glass windows, original Miwok Indian arts and crafts, Oriental rugs and Shaker-style furnishings. (pool)

Rush Creek Lodge

Rush Creek Lodge

Groveland (1 night)

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)

This Trip Is Rated Levels 1-4

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.

Daily Route Options (drag to see full )

Daily Route Options
Day EASYGOING ACTIVE AVID
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
1 2* 200 4 900
2 4 800 7* 1200 11 1600
3 4* 1200 6* 1300 9* 800 11 800
4 3* 300
Naturalist Guided Walk (3 Hours)
Optional Hiking, Beach Cruiser Riding, Museum Visit or Rock Climbing
Historical Tour of the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (1 Hour)
5 4* 250 6* 300 7 1100
6 3 200
 

Note: The terrain on this trip includes well-maintained trails that vary from level to hilly and include substantial elevation gains and losses on longer options. 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.

* Includes shuttle.

Learn more about how we determine our activity level and fully support a range of abilities and interests.

Please note that our distance and elevation figures come from Ride with GPS. Other sources (such as Map My Ride and Garmin devices) may give differing elevation figures due to different GPS and mapping technologies. Readings from a Garmin or a smart phone are influenced by other factors such as air pressure.

Meals

All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners

Also Included

  • 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

Get the Straight Talk about This Trip

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 Time

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. 

Service at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly known as the Ahwahnee)

The Majestic Yosemite 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 Majestic Yosemite Hotel can seem slow and brusque compared to the normally high standards found on other Backroads trips.

Why Travel with Backroads in Yosemite

A Hotel Nearly as Famous as the Park

In Yosemite National Park, the four-diamond Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly known as the Ahwahnee) is a historic landmark and widely acknowledged to be the best home base for every kind of active adventure—which is why it's often booked a year in advance for summer stays. But as a Backroads guest you don't have to worry about that; we're the only active travel company that secures rooms at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, so you're free to walk, hike and generally immerse yourself in one of the world's great parks.

More Leaders to Support You

On our Yosemite trips we have an extra leader supporting you along the trail—for a total of three, compared to the industry standard two. So we can be in more places at once, giving personal attention to guests traveling at their own pace. Here's more on our Trip Leaders.

The Best Leaders in Yosemite

Backroads has the best-qualified people to lead your trip in Yosemite, and our guests back that up, rating our Trip Leaders an average of 9.75 out of 10 for all-around quality of performance. Get the facts (and no fluff) on how we recruit and develop the very best people for your trip.

We Were Born Here (in 1979)

Backroads has been inviting active travelers to explore our own backyard since Jimmy Carter was in the White House. We offer more trips than anyone else in Yosemite, and we've spent more years finding the best ones. What keeps it real is having a consistent vision and the same passionately committed leadership for nearly four decades.

Everyone at Their Own Pace

We design and support our Yosemite trips to suit mixed abilities and varied interests—so you can set your own pace, then change things up as the day unfolds. And all guests are free to do the same, traveling together or apart, with no one cramping anyone else's style. Which sounds easy in theory, but it's hard to pull off. Here's more on how we do it.

A Variety of Routes Each Day

In Yosemite you head off each morning after choosing among several expertly designed routes—all with detailed directions, mileage and shuttle options. Unlike trips with one fixed daily route (or worse, one guide that everyone's obliged to follow), you're free to enjoy the best of the region at your pace, stopping wherever you want to explore further.

Only the Best Hotels

On this trip featuring Premiere Hotels, you can count on the best lodgings Yosemite has to offer. In fact, the hotels we've chosen in this region have higher retail room rates than those offered by any other active travel company—even when their trips cost more.

Choose Your Fellow Travelers

With Backroads you won't end up with kids on what you thought was an adult trip; we have exclusive departures for families, so they're off having their own adventures. As you browse our unrivaled selection of trips and dates, you can count on finding a trip in Yosemite that's geared exclusively to your choice of traveling companions.

Signature Backroads Picnics

Guests rave about our picnic spreads. Enjoy a welcome break in a scenic spot, or a quick refuel stop if you don't want to lose momentum. And because we have two vans, one can host lunch while the other is out providing support along the route.

Quality You Can Measure

Since 1979, Backroads Founder and President Tom Hale has shown that staying #1 means constantly evaluating our performance using the best possible source of information: our guests. As we systematically analyze your feedback on our trip consultants, leaders, hotels, meals and on-trip activities, we never stop working to make a great company even better.

Videos

Straight Talk

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 Time

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. 

Service at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly known as the Ahwahnee)

The Majestic Yosemite 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 Majestic Yosemite Hotel can seem slow and brusque compared to the normally high standards found on other Backroads trips.
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