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Two day tour options

London, England...
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Two day tour options

Hi,

My brother and I will be in California in September and would like to go on an organised tour to Yosemite (from SF).

We would be looking to spend two days (one night) there but could stretch to two nights (the first option is preferable). We would like to get as much done as possible.

We would be happy to "go cheap" and stay overnight in the tent cabins but are also happy to stay in the lodges/hotels.

I have done a brief bit of research and come across a number of decent looking tour websites (Extranomical; Starline; Yosemite Tours; Inc Adventures; AllSanFranciscoTours).

Would anyone recommend one in particular? Which is the best value?

Cheers

Graham

Washington State
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1. Re: Two day tour options

Hi Graham

Almost everyone drives, and folks who know and love Yosemite don't take tours from San Francisco.

However, we hear good things about Extranomical and Incredible Adventures. Some of the companies you've listed appear to be resellers of tours on one of these two.

Some always use a bus and some usually use a smaller van. Check directly with the company about the size of vehicle they plan to use in September.

Most seem to drop you off on Day 1 and then to pick you up on the afternoon of Day 2. Check to see if any kind of guide or tour is provided. You might not want one, but it's nice to know. The free Valley Shuttle will get you around the Valley, but you won't get up to Glacier Point and probably not to a grove of Giant Sequoias.

Here is the list of all (most?) of the companies that offer tours from SF to Yosemite:.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60713-c191550 Although TripAdvisor doesn't allow reviews of overnight tours, I think a few have slipped through the review filters and are posted to the tour company review pages on TripAdvisor. The review pages are hyperlinked to the article or you can search on the San Francisco page since that's where they're based.

London, England...
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2. Re: Two day tour options

Thanks very much for your reply.

So, in your opinion, would it be best to drive ourselves to the Park, organise our own accommodation and perhaps book a hiking tour of some sort in advance? Would this get the best out of the trip?

I agree with what you say about the typical itineraries - i.e. it seems to be they drive you there and take you back whilst your time there is to do what you please (but there is not much of a guided tour/hike). Do any of the tour companies (like Extranomical, Incredible Adventures etc) offer tours which organise the hikes/activities when you're there?

Thanks again

Graham

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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3. Re: Two day tour options

Check the websites for details, but I think Incredible Adventures offers a camping tour with a guide.

IMO, the best way is to do it yourself.

I wouldn't take a guided hike but I would go on any of a dozen options where you'd see other folks on the trail. Or take a free ranger walk/stroll in an area that interests you. But there are fee hiking tours for folks who want to hear about the geology & history of the area.

Read through some of the Trip Reports linked to the Top Questions so you can see what others have done on their visit to Yosemite.

Santa Clara...
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4. Re: Two day tour options

Really depends on your travel style for guided or not. My Chinese American older family members LOVE guided tours. They take specialized ones aimed at this demographics on motor coaches all over the US and Canada, Yosemite included. They are the group with the leader with a handkerchief on the umbrella you will see everywhere.

There are some US destinations that are very easy for the independent traveler. Yosemite Valley is one of these. There are other places where a guide is essential for out of the way trails. For example, I took one in Juneau Alaska to a glacier and ice cave.

So read the links our fine DE suggested and decide for yourself. There is no one size fit all in traveling style.

London, England...
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5. Re: Two day tour options

Hi,

Thanks for your replies. I think we are going to drive there ourselves.

In terms of accommodation, we may go "cheap" and close (location-wise) and srtay at Curry Village. However, as we will have a car (and of course there are shuttles), we would consider staying in a hotel a bit further out.

Would you be able to recommend/suggest a few hotels/lodges in the Park (or just outside) which are still within reasonable driving distance of the Panorama Trail?

Thank you

Melbourne
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6. Re: Two day tour options

If you can get accommodation that you are happy with inside the Valley then I would recommend you go with that. My husband and I have visited Yosemite three times and stayed at the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal due to availability and budget constraints (couldn't justify The Ahwahnee). However, next visit we have promised ourselves that we will be organised sooner and stay inside the Valley.

London, England...
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7. Re: Two day tour options

Thanks - yes I noticed Yosemite View Lodge. Did you enjoy your stay there? How close is it to the Park, and more specifically the Panorama Trail?

On a separate note, is there sufficient space to park at the beginning of trails or is it too busy?

Thanks

Washington State
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8. Re: Two day tour options

Yosemite View Lodge is about 20 minutes from Yosemite Valley, assuming no delays at the entrance station and no traffic. But it's just a few minutes from Yosemite National Park's Arch Rock Entrance. Yosemite is 1200 square miles; getting to the destination of your choice inside the Park will take longer.

Most folks begin the Panorama Trail at Glacier Point. Are you intending to hike down the Panorama Trail to the Valley, take a shuttle to the trailhead for Four Mile Trail, and hike back up to Glacier Point? If so, then Yosemite West is the closest location to the Panorama Trail trailhead at Glacier Point.

Or are you intending to hike up the Panorama Trail from the Valley to Glacier Point? There are two options to get to the top of Nevada Fall and then continue to Glacier Point - the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail. Both begin at Happy Isles. There is trailhead parking about 1/2 mile from Happy Isles.

I'd guess that Yosemite View Lodge to this trailhead parking near Happy Isles (just past Curry Village) is about 30 - 35 minutes without traffic. I'd guess it's about 1 1/4 hours to Glacier Point, again without traffic.

Redlands, California
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9. Re: Two day tour options

Isn't the "hikers' bus" up to Glacier Point in the a.m. an option if the OP can get to the 8.30 departure? Then walk down. Up the 4 mile and down Panorama would also be possible, although with Yosemite Falls probably dry I'm not sure it would be worth it.

Melbourne
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10. Re: Two day tour options

Hi Graham,

The Yosemite View Lodge is convenient and clean and comfortable but it's not luxury accommodation. But it is very nice being able to sit on your balcony and look at the river. There is a restaurant and a pizza place on site which is handy when you get back from a long day of hiking. Also the rooms have a kitchenette with a small refrigerator which is handy for milk and drinks and you can prepare your own breakfast. If you're not bothered by the drive then it's definitely an option to consider.