Our trip begins in Oakland, California. We rendezvous with our guides at our host hotel at 7:45am and, following a brief orientation, set off for the soaring granite peaks, cascading waterfalls and giant sequoia groves of Yosemite National Park. Reaching Yosemite in early afternoon, we stop for a picnic lunch before continuing on to Tunnel View and beginning a three-mile warmup hike to Artist Point, gaining our first views of El Capitan and Yosemite Valley.
While we enjoy our time on trail, our camp host is busy setting up our Signature Camp at Yosemite's Hodgdon Campground in preparation for our arrival. Once at camp, we can relax in our comfortable outdoor lounge area and sleep in spacious tents fully outfitted with cots, sleeping pads, floor coverings, lighting, and an assortment of REI camp furniture. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: 3 miles with 500' elevation gain/loss; Terrain: Dirt and stone trails. Drive time: 5 hours.
One of the park's most awe-inspiring day hikes, today's route rewards ambitious hikers with a seemingly endless display of breathtaking Sierra scenery. After breakfast, we transfer to, and begin our hike from Half Dome Village. We hike up granite staircases, built right alongside thundering Vernal and Nevada Falls to the top of Nevada Falls itself. For the descent, we follow in the footsteps of John Muir, along his namesake trail, back to the bottom of the Valley. Along the way, we catch views of Half Dome, Mount Broderick and Liberty Cap, as well as wide views of the falls that we hiked next to this morning. At trail's end, our vehicle awaits to transport us back to our familiar camp for some relaxation time and a well-earned dinner. All meals included.
Hiking: 9 miles with 2,200' of elevation gain/loss; Terrain: Dirt and stone trails including many stone steps. Drive time: 2 hours.
Our hike today showcases the most dramatic views from Yosemite Valley's South Rim. From the trailhead, we begin our climb towards Sentinel Dome (8,123'), a granite dome offering a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of the surrounding Sierra landscape. After getting our fill of postcard-worthy scenery, we continue on to Taft Point, a rocky promontory offering sweeping views of western Yosemite Valley and the fissures?immense vertical cracks in the valley wall. We return to camp this afternoon with a newfound appreciation for the majestic natural beauty that has drawn explorers, hikers and photographers to this park during the past century. All meals included.
Hiking: 5 miles with 600' of elevation gain/loss; Terrain: Dirt and stone trails. Drive time: 2.5 hours.
We begin the day with an early cup of coffee or tea and a hearty breakfast before setting out to explore Yosemite's magnificent high country. Our guides lead us on a hike through wildflower-dotted meadows to one of the high country's sparkling alpine lakes, tucked in among the surrounding granite peaks. Taking in the quintessential High Sierra scenery, we eat a lakeside lunch and perhaps go for an invigorating swim before starting our walk back to the trailhead. This evening, our day in Yosemite concludes with a delicious guide-prepared meal, a warm campfire and spectacular stargazing. All meals included.
Hiking: 7-9 miles with approx.1,500' of elevation gain/loss; Terrain: dirt and stone trails. Drive time: 2 hours.
Today's rewarding hike leads us to the smooth granite summit of North Dome, perched near the rim of Yosemite Valley. Starting at the Porcupine Creek Trailhead, we hike through forest and meadow along a rolling trail that leads to jaw-dropping views of imposing Half Dome and Clouds Rest. Our final specially prepared celebration dinner tonight offers a wonderful opportunity to relive the day's adventure with newfound friends and recap our week in one of America's most beloved national parks. All meals included.
Hiking: 9 miles with 1,000' of elevation gain/loss; Terrain: dirt and stone trails. Drive time: 1.5 hours.
We leave our camp for the final time this morning and, prior to beginning our return trip to the Bay Area, stop to spend time in the Tuolumne Grove of giant sequoia. We hike through the grove as our guides teach us about the lifecycle of these ancient, massive trees that make the park their home. Stopping for lunch en route, we continue our drive to Oakland, arriving by 7pm. Please do not schedule a departing flight from Oakland until after 9pm tonight. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 4 miles with up to 500' of elevation gain/loss. Drive time: 5 hours.