Start the tour by getting picked from either the Fresno area, Oakhurst, Coarsegold, Mariposa, El Portal, Fish Camp, or Bass Lake. Enter the park from the Southgate and stop at Chinquapin and Glacier Point, an overlook with a commanding view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Yosemite’s high country. Take a short walk to the Point for breathtaking views of the valley, Yosemite Falls, Nevada Falls, Vernal Falls, Curry Village, Ahwahnee Lodge, Merced River, and the surrounding mountain tops.
Those looking to do some hiking can explore the 4-mile downhill trail from Glacier Point. The trail ends on Southside Drive, where the guide will be waiting for you. Continue on to a few other sites in the valley, all en route to the famous Ahwahnee Hotel. Known for its magnificent façade and architecture, The Ahwahnee was specially designed to highlight its natural surroundings, which include Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and Glacier Point. The destination of queens and presidents alike, this distinctive Yosemite hotel offers a perfect balance of history, hospitality, and elegance and shines as Yosemite National Park’s distinctive AAA® Four-Diamond hotel.
Visitors who choose not to hike will drive back to Chinquapin and down to the Yosemite Valley. Starting from the Tunnel View, soak up incredible views of Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, The Chapel, Sentinel Bridge, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. Head to the Ahwahnee Hotel for lunch and then visit the meadows in front of El Capitan, where you might be able to see skilled rock climbers ascending its face. From there, drive along the Merced River to check out the President Roosevelt and John Muir campsites. Throughout the tour there will be ample opportunities to take beautiful pictures from the best locations.
Traveler pickup is offered
FRESNO DEPARTURE - Hotels in the River Park Area, Fresno Airport Area and Fresno Downtown area. Hotels near Hwy 99 will have to meet us at In and Out Burger parking lot at 8110 N Blackstone Avenue,
OAKHURST DEPARTURE - (Coarsegold) - Chuckchansi Gold Resort and Casino. (Oakhurst) - America's Best Value Inn, Chateau de sureau, Best Western, Oakhurst Lodge, Southgate Hotel, Yosemite Sierra Inn, Comfort Inn, Narrow Gauge Inn ( Bass Lake) Pines Resort, World Mark ( El Portal ) - Yosemite View Lodge and Cedar Lodge. (Mariposa) Miners Inn, Best Western, Quality Inn and all other smaller locations on Hwy 140 in Mariposa, Happy Burger 5120 CA -140 for those staying in area AirB&Bs.
FISH CAMP DEPARTURE- Tenaya Lodge, Bed and Breakfast places, Redwoods in Wawona and Yosemite West.
6am - 8am
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
It was the best tour ever, handled by Crossroads Tours locally and Rick our tour guide who was absolutely fabulous and so knowledgeable. The lunch at Ahwahnee fell on Easter Sunday and as mentioned in the tour package required an extra $25 / person and since all of us wanted to spend more time sight seeing rather than eating a big brunch, we opted out of that. Instead what we got as included in the package was a delicious gourmet sandwich with cookie and fruit and we got to eat it at The Ahwahnee hotel in a secluded part of the lobby with beautiful views and drinks that we got at the Ahwahnee bar ; ))
Overall if your time is limited at The Park, this was the best tour for seeing all the main sights, and the Sequoia Grove. Thank you Rick, Ram and Sarah.
We had a fantastic tour of Yosemite and saw all the major attractions. Steve our guide was awesome and gave us a good amount of information about the Park and all it's features. Lunch at Ahwahnee was a real treat. I can highly recommend this tour to anyone who has not been to Yosemite since it will give a good overview and understanding about the Park
This is the perfect tour especially if you have never been to Yosemite and have limited time. We were picked up at our hotel lobby at time arranged through a call the day prior. The guide picked us up in a very comfortable Ford Expedition. There were only 2 couples on our tour so very private and personalized. Because Glacier Point is closed this time of year we spent entire day in the valley. We stopped at all the major sights and had enough time to enjoy the falls, views and take photos. Loved the early stop at Fern Spring where Mick our guide provided us plastic water bottles to fill and drink from throughout the day. There is a bit of walking but not too bad if in fairly good shape. Good hiking, or water proof walking shoes, are needed this time of year. Dress in layers as temps can fluctuate. Our guide was knowledgeable and helpful, funny with personal stories and flexible to our wishes. The lunch at the Majestic hotel dining room always be the Ahwahnee to me was excellent. It included selecting one item from salad, sandwiches and entrees plus one non-alcoholic beverage. We got to sit at the Queen's table in the end alcove with best view. Named so as Queen Elizabeth dined at this specific table when she visited. We were picked up at 7am as in hotel near south entrance. We got back at 3:30 quite tired but happy that we saw and learned do much. This tour is a bit pricey but for us so worth it as we didn't have to worry about driving, parking or how to get to each site. We learned more having a guide and enjoyed company of the guide and meeting the other couple. Yosemite is such a magnificent cathedral of nature that not having to worry about the mundane allowed us to enjoy more fully. At the end of the tour we were given an insulated tote bag-a nice memento.
This was our first time to Yosemite and we used this tour as an opportunity to learn the history and get a sense of the landscape (i.e get our bearings on day 1). We used the feedback that Rick (our guide gave us) to do various hikes and drives. We took advantage of the fact that we went in the summer, and drove down Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows (we saw a bear in this area) to Tioga Pass and Mono Lake. It was an amazing experience, the views were great and we were all taken about by the change in temperature from approx. 99F in Yosemite to approx. 64F at the Tioga Pass.
In addition, we hiked up to Nevada Falls through the Mist trail, and then came down the John Muir trail. This was certainly a great route because while hiking up, we were under half dome.
I would definitely recommend this tour, but WITHOUT the option of the Ahwahnee Lunch, as we di fee that we were gipped.
The only part that I did not appreciate in the description, is that the description in Viator makes it seem like lunch is included. That is not the case. The company will make reservations for you at the Ahwahnee for lunch, however lunch is on you. This was not clear in the description of the tour. I did not make a big deal at the time, because this has nothing to do with the tour guide himself, however had I known that lunch was not included and all they were doing was taking us to the Ahwahnee, then I would not have booked this option. Below is the description per Viator:
Check - Hotel pickup and drop-off
Check - Sports Refillable Water Bottle or Bottled Water
Check - Lunch at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel (additional fee on Sunday)
Check - 10 Gratuities for your Guide is included ( you can pay additional if you desire directly
X - Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
X - Gratuities
The tour also says its 9 hours, but we were picked up at 8:00am and dropped off at 2:30pm (so it was approx. 6.5 hours).
Enjoy a luxurious full-day tour experience of Yosemite and Glacier Point. This tour is designed for a very small group, and chances are if you have 4 or more people in your group you may get a private tour. Highlights include all the iconic sites of Yosemite Valley, including waterfalls and famous rock formations. An experienced guide will pick you up from your hotel, airport, or train/bus station. This tour also includes lunch at The Historic Ahwahnee Hotel (except on Sundays).