The only 1-day Yosemite tour from San Francisco to deliver more than you dreamed at Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls and on a hike to Giant Sequoias.
|This San Francisco tour to Yosemite National Park is jam-packed with the towering granite monuments of Half Dome, Cathedral Peak and El Capitan, all forged by dramatic Mesozoic Era geology. You will see Bridalveil Fall, Horsetail and Yosemite Falls put on impressive water displays. Unlike other Yosemite tours, you can enjoy nature hikes in Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias and on the Meadow Loop Trail to the Swinging Bridge.|
Your Yosemite and Giant Sequoias Tour begins with a convenient pickup in at your downtown hotel. Then we head east out of San Francisco to Yosemite, crossing through California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley before climbing into the rocky Sierra Nevada mountains. We also offer pickups for this tour from San Jose to Yosemite or Groveland to Yosemite. Relax as you learn the colorful gold rush history of the region. The tour pauses half-way to Yosemite to stretch your legs and grab refreshments.
Soon after finishing the trip to Yosemite National Park from San Francisco, you will experience the quiet solitude of the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. You will not doubt for a second that these Yosemite trees are the largest living creatures on the planet. No picture does them justice, but that should not keep you from trying!
In winter, when conditions on the Tuolumne Grove trail are snow-covered or unsafe, we substitute this experience with other attractions. See our Yosemite National Park Winter Tour from San Francisco.
Your heart will be racing as we head down into Yosemite Valley and make the next stop at Inspiration Point, a view of the valley made famous by Ansel Adams and hundreds of artists since. Take a moment and then some selfies with El Capitan, Half Dome, Sentinel Dome, Glacier Point, Cathedral Peak and Bridalveil Fall as your backdrop.
Once we reach the floor of Yosemite Valley, you will have a couple of hours of free time to grab a quick picnic lunch. Then, check out the Ansel Adams Gallery or the Yosemite Valley Wilderness Center in Yosemite Village. Both are great spots to pick up some souvenirs and gifts for friends back home.
Besides giant trees, Yosemite Valley is home to more than 400 types of species of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians. In Spring, wildflowers blanket the valley floor. The Lower Yosemite Falls, Mist and Meadow Loop trailheads are all near to Yosemite Valley Lodge. Each is guaranteed to delight hikers of any age.
After re-boarding your tour vehicle, your day has more highlights. The tour makes a photo stop at El Capitan Meadow where you can get a straight-on view of the Yosemite icon, an impressive vantage point for Cathedral Rocks, and, if the season is right, Horsetail Fall which produces the famous “firefall” in late-February.
Your Yosemite experience ends on a high note at Valley View. This spot serves up a view along the banks of the
framed by El Capitan and the imposing spires of Cathedral Rocks. This is a great spot for your “saying goodbye” selfie.
Things to Know About This Yosemite National Park Tour:
During the winter months, warm, layered clothing is often needed. You will need sturdy, comfortable shoes or boots with rubber soles and treads for the best experiences on the park’s trails.
The Giant Sequoias hike on the Yosemite Giant Sequoia Tour is dependent on snow levels and trail conditions and may not be available from October to May.
The hike to the Tuolumne Grove of redwoods includes 400 feet (122 meters) of incline on the return and can be difficult. It should not be attempted by guests with respiratory or cardio conditions.
06:30 AM to 10:30 AM: Pick up & Drive to Yosemite
11:00 AM to 12:30 PM: Park Entry & Hike
12:30 PM to 1:30 PM: : Visit Inspiration Point to Marvel at Major Yosemite Sights
1:30 PM to 3:30 PM: Free Time in Yosemite Valley
3:30 PM to 4:30 PM: Stop at El Capitan Meadow
4:30 PM to 9:00 PM: Departure, Break for Dinner, and Dropoff
Times listed are approximations. Traffic and unforeseen events can cause delays. Please do not make flight/travel arrangements on the same day as your tour.
The hike is only available when trail conditions are safe, usually April to October. The hike is a 2-mile round trip on a paved trail with a steep incline on the return. Individuals with respiratory issues or not used to strenuous exercise may skip the hike and wait in the outdoor seating area at the Tuolumne Grove stop.
Each season in Yosemite Valley offers its own advantages. Summer is the best chance for sunny and warm hikes, Fall offers peace and solitude at the popular attractions, Winter means a blanket of snow over all the rock monuments and Spring features the peak of the annual Yosemite Valley waterfall show.
Our incredible 1-day tour to Yosemite from San Francisco visits all the top attractions, like Tunnel View, El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite Falls, and (conditions permitting) the Giant Sequoias. A longer, multi-day tour allows time to enjoy longer hikes, bike riding, swimming in the Merced River, the night’s brilliant stars and more. See our overnight options here:
Walking is best form of transportation in the Valley. We do not recommend public transportation or park shuttles during your free time since you cannot certain about getting back the tour vehicle on time. The most popular attractions are a short distance from the drop-off point near Yosemite Valley Lodge.
Sorry, but no. The entrance fee we pay to Yosemite National Park is based on the vehicle and not on the individuals, and the entrance is located at a toll gate - not on foot. Therefore, the tour cost includes the admission fee.
Our 1-day Yosemite tour picks up in San Jose in the South Bay (make the reservation here), and Livermore in the East Bay. If you are staying near the San Francisco airport or another location away from the downtown area, we recommend using a ride-sharing service or public transportation to the Hilton Union Square hotel. Our pickup for that location is outside the Mason Street side entrance of the hotel.
Our Yosemite tour has live narration in English, but we offer complimentary recorded audio guides in 8 languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, and Portuguese. If an audio guide is required, please specify the language when booking.
The weather in the Sierra Mountains can be unpredictable and you will be spending 4-5 hours outdoors enjoying nature. We recommend that you dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes or hiking sandals (not flip flops). Bring along a light water-resistant jacket, camera or phone, 1-liter water bottle, hat and sunscreen, sturdy umbrella (if the forecast calls for rain), and some cash or a credit card for meals, snacks and souvenirs.
Meals are not included on this tour. We do make a stop about halfway to and from Yosemite, where you can buy food and beverages. There are a few restaurants and a food court in Yosemite Valley. They are usually crowded, so it’s a good idea to bring or purchase a picnic lunch prior to arriving in the park.
Your Yosemite tour will make 5-6 stops for you to exit the vehicle and take some photographs although weather and traffic conditions may have your driver alter the itinerary slightly. The usual stops are: Tuolumne Grove of Sequoias, Tunnel View, Bridalveil Falls, Valley Lodge (lunch), El Capitan Meadow, and Yosemite Valley View lookout.
Nice and easy hikes through Cook’s Meadow or to Lower Yosemite Falls or the Swinging Bridge can all be done during your free time. On clear days, biking to Yosemite Village, Mirror Lake or the Ahwahnee Hotel is a great choice. Finally, the Ancel Adam Gallery is a wonderful showcase of the artist’s work. We do not recommend taking the park shuttle since the timing of the return trip can be unpredictable.