Majestic Yosemite Valley. See it! Feel it!

We got such awesome feedback to our Monterey map, we thought, “Why not create another?”

So, we asked our Expedition Leaders to create a “best of” map for guests taking a 1-day or 2-day tour from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park.

Heads up. Before doing your plan for visiting Yosemite Valley, think about your companions. Is everyone in the group prepared for a strenuous or lengthy hike? How will children handle it? Caution: climbing from sea level in San Francisco to an altitude of 4,000 feet in Yosemite Valley can be tough on the lungs— be realistic about what your group can do!

If you choose an active itinerary, come prepared with sturdy shoes that you’ve used before, layers of clothing, simple first aid items, hat with a brim, sun block, trail snacks and plenty of water.

Based on feedback from hundreds of tours to Yosemite National Park, here are the highlights on one handy dandy map.


Check out:

Lower Yosemite Falls. The trail to this awesome water fall is well marked from Yosemite Valley Lodge The mostly flat hike is about 2 miles round trip and can easily be done in under 2 hours.

Swinging Bridge. Not really a swinging bridge any more, but still a nice hike along the river. You can take many stops for photos of the falls and cliffs and still get back to Yosemite Lodge in about 45 minutes.

Majestic (formerly the Ahwahnee) Hotel. They don’t build them like this Yosemite National Park landmark anymore. The hotel is at least a 45-minute hike from the Valley. So, if you’re pressed for time, take YARTS to Stop 3.

Ansel Adams Gallery. If you’re not much into hiking, a visit to this gallery is inspirational. Adams’ images help you to not just see the park but to feel it. The gallery is a 10-minute walk from Yosemite Lodge.

Half Dome Pavilion. This is one spot that takes more than a couple of hours. Take YARTS to Stop 13 and enjoy this magnificent playground for hiking, rafting or biking in the shadow of this monument.

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