Yosemite waterfall
Couple hugging in front of a lake.
Wild deer in a field
Upper Yosemite Falls in spring, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California
Person hugging giant redwood tree trunk
Spring flowers in a meadow in Yosemite Valley.
Couple hiking on trail in front of lake.
Person posing in front of split redwood tree
Waterfall in Yosemite
Backroads leader holding snack plate
Person taking photo of wild mushroom
Dogwood blossoms in spring along the Merced River, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California
Redwood forest grove
Vernal Fall as seen from the Mist Trail, Grand Staircase of the Merced River, above Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California
Exterior view of Hotel Ahwanee
Walking & Hiking
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California's Yosemite Valley Walking & Hiking Tour

National Park’s Springtime Waterfalls & Wildflowers

Couples, Friends & Solos

5 days 4 nights

Activity Level: 1-3

Casual Plus Hotels

From: $3,799 pp dbl occ

($1,400 for sgl occ)

Something special happens to Yosemite in the spring. It's like a light turns on, offering a new perspective on the landscape. The icons are here, of course: Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls. But the drama is turned up. Flowers start to show their colors as they reach for blue sky and still snow-covered peaks. Powerful waterfalls, robust from spring melt, are even more entrancing. And the summer temperatures have yet to arrive. This is springtime in Yosemite. And it shines!  

California Yosemite Valley Walking and Hiking Tour
California Yosemite Valley Walking and Hiking Tour


Start/End San Francisco

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.


  • Embark on spectacular hikes to vibrant meadows, luscious waterfalls and jaw-dropping vistas
  • Feel the majestic energy of Yosemite’s ancient trees on a walk through a grove of giant sequoias
  • Explore Yosemite's incomparable valley floor, without the typical summertime bustle and throngs
  • Marvel at eminent and sometimes snowcapped rock formations, including world-famous Half Dome


Accommodations may vary based on departure date.
5 Days Casual Plus Hotels
Accommodations may vary based on departure.
Days 1-2

Hike amid the largest stand of giant sequoias in the park—these centuries-old trees are enough to take your breath away | Spend a leisurely afternoon at the Ahwahnee, a storied hotel in Yosemite Valley | Enjoy a swim in the heated outdoor pool, explore the hotel’s museum-like public spaces and hallways or find a spot in the Great Lounge to soak in the historic ambience | Set out on foot from Yosemite Valley, journeying past waterfalls and towering granite walls | Follow a stretch of the famed John Muir Trail | Choose to spend the rest of the morning however you wish: set out on a hike to Yosemite Falls, hop on a bike and cruise through Yosemite Valley or visit the Ansel Adams Gallery | Savor dinner and views out to Glacier Point in the Ahwahnee’s grand dining room beneath impressive wrought-iron chandeliers hanging from the 34-foot-high ceiling.  

Exterior View of The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
Yosemite Village
| Casual Plus Hotel

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)

Days 3-5

Embark on an illuminating walk with a local naturalist into the valley | Sink into the charming comfort of Yosemite’s newest lodge, situated on a wooded 20-acre expanse |​ Explore Hetch Hetchy, engaging with the valley’s fascinating natural and human history | View striking Kolana Rock, an El Capitan-like granite dome looming 2,000 feet above, as well as Wapama Falls’ triple cascades | Delight in an array of brightly colored wildflowers, including lupine, monkeyflower, buttercup and wallflower in the valley once described by John Muir as “a grand landscape garden” | Hike alongside the South Fork of the Tuolumne River to picturesque two-tiered Carlon Falls. 

Exterior View of Rush Creek Lodge
Rush Creek Lodge
| Casual Plus Hotel

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 in USD.

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Our Private Trips are best for groups of 6 or more. We suggest joining a scheduled trip.

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Activity Level: 1-3

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. Several routes and a range of levels are offered each day so you can choose how much or how little activity you want to do. Learn more about how we determine activity levels.

Route notes

The terrain on this trip ranges from fairly flat to challenging climbs and steep downhills on longer options. Most of our hikes are on well-maintained trails though the possibility of rain and snow at higher elevations can affect trail conditions. Some activities take place at 8,000 feet, so they can feel more challenging. You can ease the effects of altitude by drinking plenty of water and pacing yourself.

Daily Route Options

* Includes shuttle.
Day 1
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 1 miles | 800 ft. gain
Level 2 | 4 miles | 900 ft. gain
Day 2
Walking & Hiking
Level 2 | 3 miles | 1100 ft. gain
Level 3 | 5 miles | 1600 ft. gain
Level 4 | 7 miles | 2200 ft. gain
Day 3
Naturalist-Guided Walk (3 hours)
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 3 miles* | 200 ft. gain
Day 4
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 3 miles* | 500 ft. gain
Level 2 | 5 miles | 800 ft. gain
Level 3 | 6 miles | 800 ft. gain
Day 5
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 3 miles | 300 ft. gain

What's Included

  • All breakfasts, 5 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

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.

Weather-Related Itinerary Changes

Springtime weather in Yosemite is generally pleasant, with typically warm days and cold nights. However, rain and snow are still possible and even in an average year, higher elevations are routinely covered in snow. Trail conditions in spring can be wet, muddy or even snowy, and hiking routes and distances may need to change depending on these conditions.


In order to bring you the best of what Yosemite has to offer, we spend more time shuttling on this trip than on a typical Backroads trip. This enables us to explore our favorite areas of the park and enjoy its natural wonders and springtime splendor to the fullest.

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