Experience the Thrills of our Yosemite National Park Three-Day Adventure
"There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than Yosemite, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hand of man."
-President Theodore Roosevelt-
Discover the Majestic Yosemite Wilderness
First Day - "The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." – Saint Augustine
Join Golden Horizon Private Tours and experience a once-in-a-lifetime discovery trip by luxury 4X4 SUV through Yosemite that will span over three days and two nights, including personalized guided tours and hotel accommodations.
Our passionate and knowledgeable local guides will meet and greet you in the lobby of your hotel and then take you east toward the Central Valley, locally known as the ‘fruit basket of the world’ because it is the largest agricultural region in Northern America. Witness the contrasting and changing landscapes filled with the rugged ranges of Mount Diablo, wind turbines, and the flat, lush, and endless farmlands of the Central Valley. You will be taken through scenic back roads away from congested traffic, where you will instead see grasslands, ranches, and dairy farms. The tour might include a stop at a local farmers market or a fruit barn where you will enjoy fresh produce like apples, peaches, plums, mangoes, oranges, and strawberries directly from local farmers. Admire the open canal irrigation system as you are driven through San Joaquin Valley and marshlands, the same irrigation system that turned California’s Central Valley from a desert into productive farmland.
California has two gigantic water development systems, which capture water from rivers (Sacramento River, San Joaquin River, and the American River) storing it in lakes and reservoirs. The route to Yosemite will vary based on factors including where your hotel in Yosemite is located, and the stops you want to take along the way. Your guide will ensure sufficient stops at restaurants and other rest stops along the way.
After enjoying lunch, you will be driven on a winding road through the Sierra Nevada Mountains as you continue east toward Yosemite Valley. Our guides are here to provide you with insider access to the National Park’s magnificent sights, so be ready to enjoy numerous photo stops, which will be scheduled along the way at picturesque lakes, meadows, rivers, and hidden waterfalls.
You will spend the afternoon exploring Yosemite Valley’s natural wonders and let your guide escort you on a short hike to marvel at the beautiful and hidden waterfalls tucked away within and around the Yosemite Valley, including Bridalveil, Yosemite, or Vernal Falls. Observe the sheer granite cliffs that tower over Yosemite, like El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, Sentinel Rock, and Half Dome.
You will also see the Yosemite Visitor Center, one of the best interpretive visitor centers in California, where you can learn more about Yosemite’s amazing geology and history, which dates back to John Muir and the founding of America.
Going into the evening, your guide will be on hand to continue showing you famous and hidden iconic sights and wonders. After exploring Yosemite’s monuments and attractions, your tour guide will drive you to your hotel for your overnight stay. Depending on what hotel you are staying at, your guide will inform you in advance of the amenities offered, as some hotels may have swimming pools or hot tubs (taking a swim suit along is recommended). There may also be a number of restaurants around the hotel where you can dine.
Second Day- Don’t be a passive observer of nature—experience it!
"Travel not to go anywhere, but to go and explore ... " – Robert Louis Stevenson
After breakfast (which is not included in the tour price), get ready for a truly fulfilling journey to the Yosemite high country where you will visit famous and hidden natural wonders including, but not limited to, the breathtaking Glacier Point overlook. As you head toward Glacier Point, your tour guide will lead you to a daring scenic vista point above Tunnel View and the Yosemite Valley. Here, you’ll take in Yosemite’s breathtaking scenery with granite monoliths in the background, like Clouds Rest and Half Dome.
The Wawona Tunnel is also a remarkable viewpoint offering gorgeous views over El Capitan, Birdalveil Falls, Half Dome, and the Merced River, which winds its way in a thin silver course throughout the deep green Yosemite Valley. Another stop at a hidden viewpoint is scheduled off Wawona Road, where you will see more wonders, hanging cliffs, and waterfalls.
Your guide will now take you on a scenic ride all the way up to Washburn Overlook and then to Glacier Point. Once at Glacier Point, you will enjoy stupendous and spectacular views of the Yosemite Valley floor, hanging cliffs, Half Dome, and stunning hidden waterfalls − including Vernal, Nevada, and Illilouette Falls. This portion of the tour is filled with spectacular views to inspire you. You may bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the sweeping and marvelous scenery from Glacier Point’s high overlook. Spend time connecting with nature and focus on capturing the beauty of your surroundings. “You don't take a photograph, you make it” said Ansel Adams. While John Muir says, “going to the mountains is going home; nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.”
Your tour guide will let you choose where to eat lunch − whether it is at an outdoor picnic overlooking waterfalls, a casual restaurant in the Yosemite Valley, or at a fine dining restaurant where you can enjoy distinctive California cuisine with local ingredients.
Did you know President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir once looked at the same view of Glacier Point overlook in 1903? Yes, this inspiring and amazing high country viewpoint impressed even the President of the United States. Please note, Glacier Point is only open during the summer. If your three-day Yosemite tour occurs during the off-season, there are plenty of other sites to see.
After leaving Glacier Point and Washburn Vista Point, we will drive by Sentinel Dome and Taft Point hiking trails. Here, hikers can add an optional 2.2-mile (3.5 km) round-trip hikes, which takes about 2 hours from Glacier Point Road to Sentinel Dome or Taft Point. This exciting loop will take you to a magnificent rock towering 8,100 feet (2,470 meters), which offers breathtaking views of Yosemite Valley and its outlying area. You will also see the famous fallen Jeffrey Pine tree leaning on the granite surface that has become an icon for photographers and postcards.
When Glacier Point is closed in winter, we offer a number of alternative sites, including a hike or an easy walk to Mirror Lake (available in spring only), as well as a hike on the Mist Trail with your tour guide, to marvel at breathtaking hidden waterfalls including Vernal and Nevada Falls.
You may also challenge yourself and hike up to Emerald Pool, which forms on the ‘step’ between Nevada and Vernal Falls downstream. If you are not a hiker, your personal tour guide will drive you to iconic sights without any need to hike, or even walk. See sites like Hetch Hetchy Valley, located on the Tuolumne River. John Muir called this picturesque valley the ‘Second Yosemite Valley.’ Here, you can admire picturesque waterfalls and the impressive O'Shaughnessy Dam, which was founded in 1913 to supply water to the San Francisco Bay Area.
After an exciting and activity-packed day two, you will be dropped off at your hotel. Your guide will meet you in the morning to start the last day of the tour, before heading back to San Francisco or the airport.
Third Day: Explore the splendors of Yosemite’s Giant Sequoias: "The Real Titans!"
"People don’t take trips … trips take people." – John Steinbeck
After checking out of your hotel on the morning of Day three, you will be taken to one of Yosemite’s groves of giant sequoias. Your guide may choose to head south to Yosemite National Park on Wawona Road to visit the massive and ancient trees of sequoia in Mariposa Grove. Before reaching the Mariposa Grove of Giant sequoias, you have the option to stop at the visitor center at Wawona’s historic hotel located in the southern part of Yosemite National Park. This landmark is a Victorian-style hotel, which rests upon verdant meadows. Galen Clark, who helped to gain preservation legislation for Mariposa Grove, and what later became Yosemite National Park, lived in this area in 1855. He established a tourist rest stop and a modest ranch in 1857, which later became a classic Victorian resort known as the Wawona Hotel.
While in Wawona, you may want to take an additional hike and explore Chilnualna Falls, one of Yosemite’s lesser-known treasures, which culminates in a dramatic six-tiered cascade. You can also play golf at a charming golf course in Wawona, which blends into its surroundings.
Although famous for its lush green valley, amazing granite rock formations, and majestic waterfalls, Yosemite is also home to three groves of spectacular giant sequoia trees that are a must-see! Mariposa Grove is the largest grove in Yosemite National Park, where access is limited during the summer, but your guide will drive you to the heart of the grove and save you time. Once you are at Mariposa Grove, discover these giants as you hike alongside them.
These massive sequoias will leave you breathless, as you stand face-to-face with them. A sequoia can live as long as 3,000 years, making them among the oldest living trees on earth. This grove is surreal and seems more like a scene from a different planet. John Muir once called these trees the ‘king of all conifers.’ and John Steinbeck called them ‘ambassadors from another time.’
The Mariposa Trail leads you to this astounding grove where there are over 500 giant sequoias. Your fully-escorted and guided tour will start with a photo stop at Fallen Monarch tree, then Bachelor and the Three Graces—one of the most remarkable sequoias, weighing an astounding 2 million pounds and standing over 29,000 cubic feet tall, enough to build more than 18 homes. These giants are often targets of lightning: the Grizzly Giant was once hit six times in a single lighting storm!
You will also see many other amazing sequoias including the California Tunnel tree, where a tunnel was carved and cut in 1895, to allow stagecoaches to pass through it. This is the only living sequoia tree with a tunnel in it since the fall of the Wawona Tunnel Tree in 1969 − but don’t forget the giant tunnel trees in Redwood National Park and State Park, these coastal redwoods are the sisters of the sequoias.
If you wish to see more sequoias in a shorter amount of time without walking, you can ask your guide to take you to see the Big Trees Tram Tour, a 75-minute audio tour of the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. This seasonal open tram tour is usually available in summer based on a first come, first served basis (tickets are not included).
Mariposa Grove Road is closed to vehicles from November to April, and the two other groves of sequoias may be closed for safety considerations. The road closure depends on weather conditions. You can hike up and down the two-mile road (500 feet of elevation gain) when the groves of sequoias are closed (the road may be snowy or icy). The hike is worth the thrill and your guide will escort you through the mountain to visit these amazing trees − experiencing sequoias in winter is like a revelation, as its red bark vividly stands out in the white snow.
As you leave Yosemite, your guide may stop at Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, a historic 3-foot wide gauge railroad with two operating steam train locomotives near Fish Camp. Due to the Great Depression and lack of trees, the operation closed in 1931, but today, two steam locomotives still operate summer guided tours. You can ride the locomotive or choose to watch as you hear the sounds of the old steam powered train. You can also choose to have a lunch break in Oakhurst at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
As we head west to San Francisco, an optional stop may be planned to visit the historic and charming old gold mining towns of Jamestown or Mariposa. From the indigenous Miwoks to Spanish and Mexican explorers, Mariposa old town was known as a stop on the way to the Sierra Mountains, and the name is Spanish for ‘butterfly.’ Those first explorers discovered a creek while they were meandering through a gentle valley where swarms of butterflies were seen.
Depending on what you prefer, your guide will either start in Mariposa Grove and end in Yosemite Valley, or start in Yosemite Valley and end in Mariposa Grove. Remember, this is YOUR tour, and we are here to make it a once-in-a-lifetime personalized experience!
If you are interested in gold panning, ask your guide to show you a hidden camp where locals pan for gold.
Yosemite tours prices
This SUV tour is totally private and the price is per person.
|The Price is
You can either
book your own hotel
or choose the option
|Private 3 day
|Private 3 day
This VAN tour is totally private and not available for public or individual reservations. The price is per party and not per person.
not per person
Tax & Entrance Fees
or without Hotel
Van Tour tax,
Van Tour. Tax,
***Hotel based on
|1 - 5 persons||$5,999.00||$6,999.00|
|6 - 7 persons||$6,399.00||$7,599.00|
|8 - 10 persons||$6,799.00||$7,999.00|
|11 - 12 persons||$7,199.00||$8,499.00|
|13 - 14 persons||$7,299.00||$8,989.00|
Included: Tax, pick-up and drop-off in San Francisco downtown or Fisherman’s Wharf, a private 3-day guided tour, Yosemite National Park entrance fees (up to $125 included in the tour price), and hotel accommodation, if applicable.
Not included: The price does not include meals, driver’s gratuity, overtime, and optional activities or features.