Meet your guides and fellow travelers at 9am in Fresno, California. En route to Yosemite National Park we stop for a picnic lunch and snowshoeing orientation. We trek on Old Glacier Point Road to take in the sweeping views of Yosemite, and the High Sierra. We enjoy a home-cooked meal at our private lodgings in Yosemite West. Lunch and dinner included.
Snowshoeing: 2.5 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 600’ ; Driving: 2.5 hours.
This morning we circumnavigate the valley floor beneath the soaring granite walls of Tenaya Canyon. Beginning at the Ahwahnee Hotel, we hike to Mirror Lake on a trail sheltered by the cover of quiet woods. Mirror Lake offers a jaw-dropping view of Half Dome soaring 5,000’ directly above us. Exploring in the spring months, we see that Mirror Lake has plenty of water and the reflections of the surrounding cliffs are excellent. Trips in the autumn provide beautiful colors that create captivating reflections along Tenaya Creek. Our hike takes us to the very end of Tenaya Canyon, below Clouds Rest, where we gaze up at the steep granite walls around us. Returning to our lodgings, we relax and have dinner. All meals included.
Hiking: 6 miles at elevations of 4,000-4,300’. Elevation gain/loss: 300’.
Starting at Badger Pass, we don snowshoes and trek to Dewey Point. As we tackle the gradual incline we learn about the many deciduous and coniferous trees that line the trail. We also keep an eye out for wildlife including black-tailed deer, Douglas squirrels, and snowshoe hares. Reaching Dewey Point we are rewarded with one of the best views of the Yosemite Valley. On a clear day, we have panoramic views of Clouds Rest, El Captain and Half Dome. Following a picnic lunch, we return to Badger Pass and transfer to our lodgings for the evening. All meals included.
Snowshoeing 7.5 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 700’.
After another healthy breakfast to start our day, we travel to the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. Enjoying the valley floor and the incredible views it provides, we make our way through the meadow to our trailhead. Today we hike to an observation point below the famous Yosemite Falls. During the winter, the lower portion of this trail is in direct sunlight on clear days, creating a pleasant journey along the trail’s many switchbacks. Winter provides an opportunity to see Yosemite Falls in a unique setting, potentially with a frozen “snow cone” of ice at the base. After exploring the valley we make our way back to our accommodations for our final dinner together. Toasting to new friendships and an amazing adventure, we close out the night looking forward to our final day in this special place. All meals included.
Hiking 5 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 1,000'.
We load our luggage into the support vehicle before heading to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (6,128'), the largest and most impressive grove of giant sequoias in the park. We snowshoe or hike through the grove, which is home to more than 500 mature giant sequoias, and take time for a picnic lunch. Returning to the support vehicle, we bid farewell to Yosemite National Park and drive to Fresno, arriving later this afternoon. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: Up to 5 miles; Elevation gain/loss up to 1,200'; Driving: 2.5 hours.