Sierra Nevada, California Outdoor sports

Our most recommended Sierra Nevada, California Outdoor sports

From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park Full-Day Trip

1. From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park Full-Day Trip

Spend an active, fun-filled day learning why Yosemite is one of America’s most popular national parks. Hike through the park with an experienced guide and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature on this tour. Start off by making your way east from San Francisco and heading across the Bay Bridge. Continue toward the Sierras and into the mountains. Learn about California’s rich history as you pass through some of the first settlements built during the Gold Rush. Arrive in Yosemite National Park for a 2.5-mile round-trip hike to see the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. Be prepared for a strenuous hike, descending 400 feet into the grove, before turning around and trekking back up. Next, cruise into the famous Yosemite Valley to take in views of Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, Half Dome, and more. Capture breathtaking photos at Tunnel View and take in the eastern expanse of Yosemite Valley. Then, enjoy 1.5 hours of free time to explore on your own. You can meander down paved paths, hike around Yosemite Falls, engage further with the park’s history at the visitor’s center, or visit the Ansel Adams Gallery. In the late afternoon, you’ll depart for San Francisco, stopping for a short break before arriving back in the city. Arrive back at your hotel in the late evening to sleep off the day’s adventures.

San Francisco: Yosemite National Park & Giant Sequoias Hike

2. San Francisco: Yosemite National Park & Giant Sequoias Hike

Experience both the Yosemite Valley and the Giant Sequoia Walk on this day tour. See why artists and poets have been inspired for generations by the breathtaking sceneries at the national park. Since 1890, the beautiful Yosemite National Park has been the jewel of America's National Parks, possessing some of the best-known landmarks in the world, such as the tallest waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls. Have 5 to 6 hours to explore the stunning national park, and take in the majestic natural wonders, accompanied by a complimentary audio-guided tour. See the spectacular Half Dome and El Capitan, two of the most frequently climbed cliffs in the world. It is also home to several groves of stunning Giant Sequoia trees, the largest trees on earth. The Giant Sequoia Walk is along 1 mile (1.5 km) of paved trail with a 400 ft (120 m) incline, snow depth permitting. On a group tour, view stunning panoramas, go on walks, and even hike a little, before returning to San Francisco. Or if you prefer, upgrade to a private tour for your group only.

From San Francisco: Yosemite Tour with Giant Sequoias Hike

3. From San Francisco: Yosemite Tour with Giant Sequoias Hike

Begin your Yosemite National Park day tour by getting picked up at select San Francisco hotels. Cross the Bay Bridge and drive through the Central Valley to the town of Oakdale where you will stop for a short break. Start your day in the park at Tunnel View. Then, go to Bridalveil Falls for a quick walk to the base of the roaring waterfall. Next, proceed onto Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. After, enjoy some free time where you will get a chance to picnic at the base of Yosemite Falls, by a river, or in a granite-enclosed meadow. Chances are high that you will see rock climbers in the spring or fall, bears in the summer, and spectacular ice formations in the winter. After regrouping, head to El Capitan, the center of the rock climbing universe. Depending on the season, you may see some climbers on the rock, but they will appear smaller than ants on the 3000-foot (914 meters) rock. Enjoy a photo stop at Valley View and then head to the Tuolumne Grove to take a one-mile (1.6 km) hike to see a grove of 1500-year-old giant sequoia trees. Please note that the hike to the sequoias may not be available during the snow season. After the hike, head back to San Francisco with a restroom stop along the way.

From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park

4. From San Francisco: Yosemite National Park

Travel through the Great Central Valley into the Sierra Foothills where Forty-Niners panned for Gold. Follow the beautiful Merced River to the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Glaciers cut through these mountains forming spectacular granite monuments you will see throughout the park. Spend a total of 4 hours within the Yosemite National Park: 1-hour on a guided tour and 3 hours to explore on your own. There is the option of selecting a Chinese-speaking guide on certain days. Take advantage of the photo opportunities at: • El Capitan • Bridalveil Falls • Vernal Falls • Yosemite Falls • Cathedral Spires • Half Dome

From San Francisco: Yosemite Park Guided Day Trip

5. From San Francisco: Yosemite Park Guided Day Trip

Escape the crowds of San Francisco on a full-day guided tour to Yosemite National Park. See highlights, including Yosemite Falls and Inspiration Point. Enjoy seamless travel in a bio-fueled mini-coach. Heading east across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge offers great views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge. En route to the park the tour crosses through the Central Valley, where you will stop at a fruit stand for some local produce. Famous for its rich volcanic soil, the Central Valley is the largest agricultural region in the United States. The section the tour drives through is best known for specialty fruits and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cherries, and strawberries. After this quick rest stop, you will enter the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Continuing into the mountains brings you to California gold country and the gold rush town of Groveland before the tour winds its way into Yosemite National Park. On your 1.5-hour narrated coach tour of Yosemite's glaciated valley, you will see famous waterfalls and rock formations including Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America. Continue on past El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, Sentinel Dome, and much more. During the tour you will see Yosemite Valley from a number of great vantage points, the best of which is perhaps Inspiration Point. After the tour, you will stop for the afternoon near the base of Yosemite Falls. If you have not already picked up picnic supplies, there are many options for getting lunch in the park. You will have 3-4 hours of free time to explore the valley as you choose. You can walk to the base of Yosemite Falls, check out the visitor center, visit the Ansel Adams Gallery, stop in at the Ahwahnee Hotel, rent a cruiser bike, or hike some of the trails that originate from the valley. Although you could easily spend 3 weeks in Yosemite, the 3 hours you get on your own is enough time to understand why Yosemite is one of America's most popular national parks.

San Jose: Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias Trip

6. San Jose: Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias Trip

Towering granite cliffs and giant sequoias headline this full-day Yosemite tour from San Jose. Expert guides will make sure you don’t miss the history, geology, wildflowers, and wildlife, that have made this glacier-carved valley the jewel of America’s national park system. Your Yosemite Giant Sequoia Tour from San Jose begins with pickup from your hotel, then heads east crossing through California’s fertile San Joaquin (aka Central) Valley and into the craggy Sierra Nevada mountains. This is the only Yosemite Valley tour where you will also experience the solitude of the Tuolumne Grove of giant sequoias, the largest living things on earth. You’ll reconsider your place in the world, 2,000-year-old trees can make people do that. Your heart (and camera) will be racing as you enter Yosemite Valley, enjoying stops at Inspiration Point and El Capitan Meadow. You will stop for moments at Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and Bridalveil Falls, with plenty of time allocated to "take some selfies". Yosemite is open year-round, and if you visit in the winter months, you can picture Yosemite Valley covered in soft white snow, with animal footprints scattered about in the meadows and the snow-capped Half Dome casting its long shadow.

San Francisco: 2-Day Yosemite Tour

7. San Francisco: 2-Day Yosemite Tour

Embark on a custom 2-day tour to the amazing natural surroundings of Yosemite National Park. Enjoy towering granite cliffs, diverse wildlife, and other spectacular sights. Get picked up from your hotel in San Francisco and cross through California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley into the rocky Sierra Nevada mountains. See 170-year-old mining towns and learn the colorful history of the region. Experience the solitude of the Tuolumne Grove of giant sequoias as you enter Yosemite. You won’t doubt for a second that these are the largest living creatures on the planet. Discover the breathtaking Yosemite Valley and enjoy a stop at Inspiration Point. Take some selfies with El Capitan, the Half Dome, and Bridal Veil Falls. Afterwards, check into your accommodations (not included) to rest up before enjoying one or more days of unguided time in the park. Choose from a huge range of activities including hiking, biking, rock climbing, and rafting.

From San Francisco: Yosemite Private Full-Day Trip

8. From San Francisco: Yosemite Private Full-Day Trip

Explore the Yosemite Valley and Yosemite National Park at your own pace, and avoid the hassle of organized bus tours. Traveling by private car, enjoy the comfort of seeing the places you want to see without worrying about your arrival time. Learn more about the famous landmarks with a reliable service, offering maximum security and, most of all, the best level of hospitality in the industry. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in San Francisco (pick-ups in other cities in the Bay Area are available on arrangement), get recommendations on the best places to stop to take pictures or explore further; you decide where you want to go. Take a scenic drive to Yosemite National Park in the Yosemite Valley. Marvel at tracts of forest as you drive to mighty Yosemite Falls. Go to Glacier Point for a commanding view of the Half Dome, Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Falls. Visit the almost vertical rock formation of El Capitán, and get really close to the ancient sequoias in their staggering groves. Transfer back to San Francisco in time to see the Bay Bridge Lights, a site-specific monumental light sculpture and art installation.

Lake Tahoe: Emerald Bay Helicopter Flight

9. Lake Tahoe: Emerald Bay Helicopter Flight

Take off from south Lake Tahoe and enjoy fantastic scenery on a helicopter flight. See several scenic landmarks including Fallen Leaf Lake, Cascade Lake, Taylor Creek, and Pope Beach as you fly towards breathtaking Emerald Bay. Admire the views of granite and forested landscapes surrounding Emerald Bay. See Eagle Falls which feeds into the lakes shimmering emerald-green waters. Take in these incredible sights from a helicopter for a truly memorable experience over Lake Tahoe.

Yosemite National Park: Valley Orientation Tour

10. Yosemite National Park: Valley Orientation Tour

Join an eco-friendly, small group guided tour and witness the stunning Yosemite National Park. Choose between three pickup locations covering hotels on Highway 41, 140 & 120. Then drive 30-60 minutes through Yosemite National Park to reach Yosemite Valley. On the way, your guide will explain the history and geology before stopping at El Capitan, the world’s largest granite monolith. Your guide will provide a park orientation and hiking briefing so you can wander around alone. Be dropped off either at Curry Village or Yosemite Valley Lodge in the park. During your 5 hours of free time, explore Yosemite either by hiking its most famous trails or biking your way around Yosemite Valley.  Marvel at views of Half Dome, a granite dome known for its distinct shape. Go for a swim in the nearby Merced River to cool down from Yosemite’s summer heat. Your expert guide can recommend the best trails and where to rent a bike.  After a day of exploration, meet your guide back at either Curry Village or Yosemite Valley Lodge to be dropped off back at your original point: Yosemite View Lodge.

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What people are saying about Sierra Nevada, California

From start to finish the whole experience was thoroughly enjoyable - and not just because of the incredible sites that we saw or the group that we had. Our tour guide, Mike, was amazing. He was very insightful on the park and it's history and provided us detailed information on not just Yosemite itself but also San Francisco. He was also open to any questions we had which educated us even further. I have been on multiple day trips previously however Mike is the best tour guide I have had. He also ensured throughout the trip that we had enough food/drink supplies and notified us to let him know if we ever needed something. It was a pleasure to be part of this tour. The park in itself was amazing however the group and Mike made it even better.

Our tour guide Joseph was excellent, giving us information on the places we drove through as well as Yosemite. Mai our driver was also good, stopping at several view points. The views were amazing and it was well worth the time spent travelling. We were picked up and dropped off at our expected times. Only disappointment was the limited amount of water flowing over the waterfalls due to visiting in October, I would recommend travelling in Spring. Didn't see any bears although they are in the area we visited. Wear walking shoes to take full advantage of the time there. The restaurant at Yosemite was cash less so make sure you take a credit card.

What a day!!! Once I got in the van, the adventure started! I felt safe, knew where we were going and the plan for the tour. Bud driver and guide were super friendly, went out of their way to make the most of the experience and were very thoughtful of the needs of the visitors. They really made it a great day I won’t forget. Thank you for a great experience, I’ll be back!!!

Was an awesome day getting to see Yosemite. Rob was a great tour guide and was very knowledgeable and passionate about Yosemite and San Francisco.

Roman was awesome. An informative guide with top notch German humor