Yosemite Sierra Hiking Adventure
Explore three of the Nation's finest national wonders, Yosemite, King's Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks, located along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Encompassing 14,000-foot peaks, alpine lakes, and stands of giant sequoia trees, these parks provide a stunning landscape where mountains extend into a seemingly endless sky.
This trip has been created with plenty of flexibility to accommodate a wide range of individual interests and abilities. We have chosen non-technical day hikes for the reasonably athletic, and that best reflect the variety and scenic beauty that make up these extraordinary parklands. So join us for a week of active days and luxurious nights that is sure to quench your appetite for adventure and relaxation.
Day 1. Hike to Giant Forest and Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park, Wuksachi Lodge (559-253- 5678 / private bath)
For a real taste of solitude, we begin with a hike into the backcountry of Sequoia National Park. From Giant Forest we meander through one of the most majestic stands of Sequoia trees in the world. The General Sherman Tree, the world¡¦s largest living thing, towers above our path. Stroll through beautiful Crescent Meadow where brilliant wildflowers adorn its lush grounds. John Muir is said to have called this lovely, grassy open area the ¡§gem of the Sierra.¡¨ Next we connect with the High Sierra Trail, with incredible and breathtaking views that make this a favorite of the Sierra¡¦s backcountry enthusiasts.
After an exhilarating climb up Moro Rock, complete with steps and railings in places, we shuttle just a few miles to Wuksachi Lodge, located in the heart of Sequoia National Park.
Hike from Giant Forest to High Sierra Trail and to Moro Rock [up to 6 miles, 500 feet of elevation gain/loss]
Moro Rock Option [600¡¦ climb, then descent]
Day 2. Hike to Pear Lake, Sequoia National Park, Wuksachi Lodge
After a hearty breakfast and a short shuttle to the trailhead, we ascend through rich forest of white fir, cedar and sugar pine enroute to the high country. We’ll be traveling along the famed Watchtower route where we can see far into the Tokopah Valley, where the biggest waterfall in the park, Tokopah Falls, tumbles over 1000 feet. Above tree line, Heather, Aster, and Emerald lakes will welcome us along the way to Pear Lake.
After enjoying lunch at our high country location, we descend back to the trailhead and enjoy a second relaxing evening at Wuksachi Lodge.
Pear Lake hike [12.4 miles; 2250 feet of elevation gain/loss]
Day 3. Hike in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite View Lodge (866-875-8456 / 406-826-8190 private bath)
After a morning shuttle to Yosemite, we hike in Mariposa, the Park’s largest of three groves of Giant Sequoias. Mariposa Grove contains several hundred of these monarchs, including two of the 25 largest trees in the world.
We begin the hike at The Fallen Monarch which fell more than three hundred years ago and continues to resist the process of decay.
The Bachelor and Three Graces are a group of four trees, three of them growing very close together with the fourth a little more distant. Their roots are so intertwined that if one of them were to fall it would likely bring the others along with it.
The Grizzly Giant is the grove’s oldest tree and most commonly thought to be the largest but that title goes to a less inspiring tree named The Washington Tree. Estimated at 2700 years old, the Grizzly giant is 209 feet tall and 25-1/2 feet in diameter.
The California Tunnel Tree was cut in 1895 to allow coaches to pass through it (and as a marketing scheme to attract visitors to the grove) and is now the only living tree with a tunnel in it since the fall of the Wawona Tunnel Tree in 1969. The Faithful Couple is a rare case in which two trees grew so close together that their trunks have fused together at the base.
The Telescope Tree has been left completely hollow by decades of repeated fires. In spite of that, the tree is still living, as Giant Sequoias do not require a whole trunk to survive. It is possible to walk inside the tree and to look up at the sky. The Columbia Tree: The tallest tree in the grove and in Yosemite National Park.
We continue our day with a late afternoon shuttle to Yosemite Valley, the site of our lodging for the next two nights.
Shuttle from Sequoia National Park to Yosemite National Park [4 hours]
Mariposa Grove Hike [4 miles, 800 feet of elevation gain/loss]
Day 4. Hike the Panorama Trail from Rim to Valley in Yosemite National Park, Yosemite View Lodge
You couldn¡¦t ask for a better way to experience the majestic splendor that Yosemite has to offer than by hiking the Panorama trail. As its name implies, this trail offers incredibly panoramic views of Yosemite¡¦s cascading waterfalls, soaring granite monoliths and of the verdant valley floor below.
Beginning with views of Half Dome and Clouds Rest from Glacier Point, the trail crosses behind Illilouette Fall after two miles and continues partially uphill along the Panorama Cliff. At the top of Nevada Fall, we descend past Vernal Falls on the Mist Trail, concluding at Happy Isles Nature Center.
Panorama Trail [8.5 miles, 3200 feet of elevation loss]
Day 5. Hike to Lower Cathedral Lake from
Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park,
Tuolumne Tent Cabins (801) 559-4884 / shared baths /
nemeadowslodge_lodgingdetails.aspx , or Lake View
Lodge, LeeVining, 6/13 and 9/19, 760-647-6543,
You couldn't ask for a better way to see the majestic splendor that Yosemite has to offer than by hiking the challenging Panorama trail. Cascading waterfalls, granite monoliths and breathtaking views to the valley floor abound on this trail. With magnificent, yet different views around every corner, your eyes will be overwhelmed by all the visual stimuli!
Following a shuttle from the Valley to the high country of Tuolumne Meadows, we begin our hike to Lower Cathedral Lake. The trail is an ancient Indian path and is now part of the John Muir Trail, a famed backpacking thoroughfare. Lower Cathedral Lake is among the most impressive of Yosemite's granite-wrapped High Sierra lakes. It's surrounded by Cathedral Peak to the east and by Echo and Tressider Peaks along the southern shore, all over 10,000 feet in elevation.
The eastern shore of the lake is a wide rock shelf that, besides being picturesque in its own right, makes a great place to hang out and recover from the swamp crossing we executed to reach it. If you trek to the far end of the lake and look west, Tenaya Lake lurks below.
We stay tonight in the Tuolumne Meadows Tent Cabins. Our stay here evokes the early days of travel to Yosemite. The canvas-covered tents are wood-framed on a cement platform. There is no electricity but candles are provided for lighting. Shower and restroom facilities are located in the center of camp. The dining room, situated alongside the Tuolumne River, provides rustic a la carte dining for breakfast and dinner. Depending on the number of tent cabins available (we have to reserve these a year in advance) and guests on the tour, there is a likelihood that up to 4 guests may need to share a cabin.
Shuttle from Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows [1- 1/2 hours]
Lower Cathedral Lake Hike [7 miles, 790 feet of elevation gain/loss]
Day 6. Hike from Tioga Road to Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, Fresno
We will travel into Yosemite Valley on one of California's most beautiful and scenic byways. We have a number of options today--hike the many trails that dot the valley floor, horseback ride to Mirror Lake, stand dwarfed below the majestic valley walls, or shop at the valley's numerous gift shops. Our trip concludes at approximately 5:30 p.m. in Fresno.
Our final hike provides a spectacular conclusion to our week together. Beginning at Porcupine Creek Trailhead off of Tioga Road, we hike through red fir and lodgepole forest, follow Lehamite Creek and cross Indian Canyon Creek before arriving at Yosemite Point. From here we have a commanding view of Yosemite Valley and of Yosemite Creek hurling over the edge of the hanging valley in a spectacular and deafening show of force. At 2,425 feet, Yosemite Falls is North America¡¦s highest waterfall.
We then cross Yosemite Creek on a footbridge and begin the steep descent past the Upper Falls (1,430 feet, alone one of the world¡¦s 20 highest), ¡§the cascades¡¨ (675 feet) and finally the Lower Falls (320-foot drop).
Following a shuttle to Fresno, we say our farewells at approximately 5:30 p.m. in Fresno.
Hiking [9.5 miles, 4000 feet of elevation loss]
Shuttle to Fresno [2 hours, 15 minutes]
Inn & Camping Departures: Inn and Campground Descriptions
Lodgepole Campground, Sequoia National Park - The campground is situated at 6,700 feet of elevation along the Marble fork of the Kaweah River, just two miles from the Giant Forest sequoia grove. Flush toilets and solar showers are available - Days 1 and 2.
Crane Valley Campground, Sequoia National Forest - We camp near Bass Lake in a dense forest of pine, oak and cedar trees. Restrooms consist of outhouses and solar showers will be available--Days 3 and 4.
Yosemite View Lodge - Situated on the Merced River near the entrance to Yosemite National Park, the Lodge has two outdoor and one indoor pool and an outdoor spa. Each room has a fireplace and a spa-tub. - Day 5.
|Yosemite Sierra Hiking Adventure
|Single Room Supplement**
* Best suited for ages 8 and older. Ages 8-18 receive a 15% discount On inn trips, youths getting this discount must share a room with a full paying adult. Solo Traveler trips minimum age is 21.
** Rooms are based on double occupancy. You can opt to have your own room and pay our Single Room Supplement fee. With reservations 90 days or more in advance, you can book just one person and pay the regular rate if you will share a room.
All trips require a minimum of 4 people for the trip to run and the trip maximum is 12.
Gateway City Transfer:
Public transportation is available between Fresno Yosemite International Airport and various hotels in Fresno by calling Casey's Yellow Cab 559-268-2222. Reservations are recommended. The Courtyard Fresno Airport has a complementary shuttle from the airport to the hotel.
Trip Fees Include:
All meals (lunch Day 1-lunch Day 6), all accommodations (double occupancy), all national park entrance fees, T-shirt, water bottle, support vehicle, and professional guides.
Trip Fees Exclude:
Airfare, personal insurance, hotel miscellaneous expenses (phone, fax, laundry, etc.), additional optional tours, services not specified in the tour itinerary, and guide gratuities (An appropriate gratuity to each trip leader is $75-$100 per guest).
Exploring this region can involve daily shuttles of up to several hours.
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Boulder Outdoor Center
2525 Arapahoe Avenue Suite E4-228
Boulder, CO 80302
Please contact us on the web.
Special Requests + What to Bring:
If you have any special dietary needs or any special request that will make your trip more enjoyable, please be sure to notify your Trip Consultant or travel agent after booking. One of our trip consultants will be contacting you to go over options and the details with you.
The World Outdoors will provide you with extensive pre-departure information, including your reservation payment receipt and confirmation, travel insurance application, suggestions for preparing for your trip, a packing list, information on pre- and post-trip arrangements, a guest questionnaire and a liability release agreement.
General Information, Questions & Answers
What type of weather should I expect?
You can expect daytime temperatures to be in the 70 s, with evening temperatures being up to 30 F cooler. As in other mountainous regions, weather conditions in the Sierras are extremely variable... Be prepared for anything!
How will the change in altitude affect me?
This is a difficult question to answer as altitude physiologically affects different people in different ways. The Sierra Mountains range from 5,000 feet to over 14,000 feet elevation, and have an extremely dry climate. Thus, to prevent altitude sickness we recommend that you always remain well hydrated, gradually expose yourself to higher elevations, exercise moderately until altitude acclimatized, eat a diet consisting of at least 70% carbohydrates beginning 1 to 2 days prior to ascent, and get plenty of rest. Furthermore, we suggest that you arrive at our gateway city at least 1 to 2 days prior to the first day of your trip.
How difficult is this trip?
This terrain on this trip is hillier and more challenging than our Easy tours. It is intended for the average active adult who feels comfortable exercising 4-6 hours a day. The hikes are 4-8 miles, with additional miles optional, and include climbs of up to 1200 feet with options of up to 1500 feet.
Special Family Values
Young people, ages eight through 18, receive a 15% discount on this trip. This applies to camping trips when accompanied by one full paying adult and inn trips when sharing a room with one full paying adult. Though children eight years and older are welcome on this tour, please see our itinerary above and make sure your child can handle the level of physical activity on this trip. Call us to discuss the suitability of a particular tour.
Families are welcome on all open departures except solo traveler adventures.
If you're traveling on your own and want to share the experience with other solo travelers, we've set aside special departures for many of our trips. Itineraries are identical to our those of our open trips but, because these departures are composed entirely of independent travelers, there's a unique, fun dimension to the group dynamic. Of course, solo travelers are more than welcome on all of our open departures as well, where often half of our guests are traveling alone.
Meeting Place & Time
8:00 a.m. at the Courtyard Fresno Airport, 1551 North Peach Avenue, Fresno, CA, 559-251-5200. Please plan to arrive at the inn at the designated meeting time, and not earlier, for the convenience of the innkeeper. We recommend that you have a big breakfast before you arrive, and come prepared to hike following a short orientation and a shuttle. We suggest that you wear comfortable hiking boots with ankle support and wool socks coupled with a thin liner sock.
Driving to the Meeting Place: Fresno is northwest of Los Angeles approximately 3 1/2 hours by car. It is located on Highway 99, which is best approached on I-5 from the north or south. To get to the Courtyard by Marriott from Rt. 99, take the exit for Rt. 41, then take a left on Chestnut and a right on McKinley. The Courtyard is located between the cross streets of McKinley and Peach. Rental cars may be left in the hotel parking lot for the week you are on your TWO tour. Please notify the front desk if you are going to do so.
Please see our directions and driving times in the upper right hand corner to get additional directions.
5:30 p.m., Courtyard Fresno Airport, 1551 North Peach Avenue, CA. Shuttle services should be scheduled no earlier than 6:30 p.m. and airline departures should be scheduled no earlier than 8:00 p.m.
How do I book airfare for this trip?
Once you have booked your reservation, Sherry will contact you to help arrange your air. You can also call James TravelPoints, a local travel agency, at 800-538-7461 and ask for Georgia (ext 251) or Di (ext 252) or email GeorgiaT@travelpoints.com or DianeJ@travelpoints.com. Be sure to tell her you are traveling with The World Outdoors. Alternatively, you are welcome to book your airfare online, directly with the airline or through your personal travel agent.
The Best Value in Active Travel Guarantee:
We commit to you that all of our trips are of the highest quality at the best value. If you find a trip of equal quality that matches our itinerary and inclusions at a lower fare within 30 days of booking your trip with us, we will gladly refund the difference. A simple guarantee that assures you of the best trip at the best fare!
If you cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing. We calculate your refund from the day we receive written notice of your cancellation. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving early from a trip.
Number of Days Prior to Trip Departure
|90 days or more
||$100 per person
|89 to 60 days
||50% of total price per person
|59 to 30 days
||75% of total price per person
|29 to 0 days
||100% of total price per person
We highly recommend trip insurance. This is an option we will discuss with you.