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Discover Yosemite Wilderness including stunning waterfalls and giant sequoias and travel to the High Country

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread ... where nature may heal and
cheer and give strength to the body and soul.”

By John Muir


yosemite national park

Description of Yosemite National Park two-day custom adventures

Day 1

Your personal tour guide will pick you up at your San Francisco hotel around 8:00 in the morning and drive you to Yosemite National Park through the Central Valley. There will be a number of breaks and stops for breakfast, as well as photo opportunities, as you ride through the largest agricultural region in Northern America. You will have a chance to view picturesque farms, ranches, grassland dairy farms, endless farmlands with outdoor farmers markets, and rivers (which include the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers). The Central Valley, which spans over 450 miles, supplies a quarter of the food America eats including delicious fruits and vegetables.

After making a stop for breakfast in a small farming town, or historic gold mining town (meals are not included in the tour price), your guide will drive you through the winding roads along the Sierra Nevada Mountains toward Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Valley is home to some of the world's greatest natural wonders; among them Yosemite Falls, Ribbon Falls, Bridalveil Falls, and Cascade Falls, sheer granite towering cliffs like Half Dome, El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, the Three Brothers, Cathedral Spires, Royal Arches, the Lost Arrow Rock, Sentinel Rock, and so many more hidden wonders.

Glaicer PointYour experienced guide is educated about Yosemite and its abundant natural wonders, including the park’s stunning geology and biology. The two-day Yosemite custom trip is sure to be a memorable experience as you embark on our unique adventure to explore Yosemite National Park’s beautiful and majestic wilderness.

Following lunch, which will be at a restaurant of your choice or outdoor area overlooking Yosemite Valley, you will have the chance to explore more of Yosemite Valley through hiking and walking along waterfalls and picturesque rivers. You can also choose to spend this free time at the visitor center, which is highly recommended if you want to learn more about Yosemite Valley. Please be sure to wear comfortable shoes that are suitable for hiking. When you are on a Golden Horizon 4x4 SUV private tour, you have the option to walk, hike, or enjoy the views of the memorable and ever inspiring Yosemite National Park wonders and vista points as we drive you through Yosemite’s meadows and wilderness.

After an afternoon exploring and learning about this unique national park geology and biology, your guide will drive you to your hotel for the night. Though we do not take a commission on hotel rooms for our customers, we are happy to assist with reservations, because we value and appreciate our customers' business with Golden Horizon Travel. Nevertheless, we highly recommend that you book your hotel directly. Please see more information under the ‘accommodation’ section below.

Most hotels and resorts offer amenities including swimming pools and hot tubs (please bring your swimsuits). Surrounding the hotel or within the same resort, there are restaurants and cafes where you can dine and enjoy your breakfast the following day (meals are not included in the tour price).

Day 2 – Tour description:

Sierra NevadaEnjoy a full-day adventure on the second day of the tour that will take you to unique sights, including a guided tour to the majestic giant sequoias, and then a trip to the high country to marvel at breathtaking Glacier Point, High Sierra wonders, and hidden waterfalls. After breakfast (not included in the tour price), your guide will take you on a journey to explore two iconic sights: majestic and ancient giant sequoias and spectacular Glacier Point.

Glacier Point is an overlook on the south rim suspended over Yosemite Valley and towering at an elevation of 7,214 feet. From here, a panoramic vista stretches out into the endless horizon for many miles in all directions. You can see snow in the beautiful high country, which is not visible from Yosemite Valley on the one-day tour. Take in the stunning views of the giant staircase waterfalls including Vernal and Nevada falls (invisible from the Yosemite Valley). See Clark Range, Clouds Rest, the peaks of El Capitan and Half Dome, the Valley Floor, and much more. Don’t miss out on this amazing two-day custom adventure.

The splendors of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias: Please note that Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is closed for the next couple of years (until late 2017) for renovation and improvement to restore ecological processes, including the giant sequoia habitat and wetlands, and increase the resiliency of the Mariposa Grove while improving the overall experience for visitors.

Important: Due to the closure of Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, we created a new tailor-made adventure combining Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks in one custom discovery tour. The only remaining small groves of giant sequoias in Yosemite require challenging hikes and will be extremely crowded due to this closure, therefore we highly recommend this new adventure to discover hundreds of giant sequoias instead of just a few. There are 3,000-year-old giant sequoias in Sequoia National Park, something you cannot find in Yosemite. You can see as many as you want without even hiking, if hiking is an issue for you, as our 4X4 SUV will take you up to the groves.

After your guided tour to Glacier Point, your guide will drive you south to the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias (if open to the public, but will be closed until late 2017). The drive is through the Wawona meadows and may stop at the Wawona Historic Lodge for lunch.

Yosemite Giant SequoiasAfter lunch, you will head south toward the Mariposa Grove of ancient sequoias. The giant sequoia trees are found in three groves in Yosemite National Park. Mariposa Grove is the largest in Yosemite. It is located 35 miles (56km) south of Yosemite Valley and is home to the oldest and largest sequoias in the Yosemite National Park, which includes the unique 1,850-year-old Grizzly Giant and California Tunnel trees, which you can walk through.

Although in most visitors' minds Yosemite is most famous for its lush valley, granite rock formations, and majestic waterfalls, Yosemite National Park's three groves of spectacular giant sequoia trees are equally majestic and unique. The giant sequoia species, or Sequoia Dendron, is relatively rare and only grows in a 250-square mile area of the eastern Sierra Nevada mountain ranges in California. So don't miss your chance to see these beauties while visiting Yosemite National Park. For this reason, we recommend our two or three-day overnight custom tours.

Tips for visitors and hikers:
- If you are subject to car or motion sickness, please consider asking your doctor for recommended medication.
- Consider leaving unnecessary luggage at your hotel and travel light so you have more room in the vehicle.
- Wear clothes and shoes suitable for walking and hiking (Snow shoes in winter are recommended, and a swimsuit to enjoy the hotel’s swimming pool and hot tub).
- Bring sunscreen, bug spray, extra memory cards, and batteries for your camera (if applicable).
- Warm layers for cooler weather, and a raincoat for summer showers.
- Drink lots of water due to the high altitude and don't hike alone, as we offer fully-guided tours.
- We are not responsible for injuries or accidents that may occur during this trip in or out of Yosemite National Park. Please read our terms and conditions for more information.



Yosemite 2-day Adventure – Sample tour itinerary

Day 1

Day 2

suv tour yosemite Pick-up timeBack to Top

Your Golden Horizon Tours guide will meet and greet you at your hotel with a sign displaying your name. We offer complimentary pick-up and drop-off at your hotel in downtown San Francisco or Fisherman's Wharf, in Emeryville, or Oakland or in Dublin-Pleasanton Bart Station or anywhere along Highway 140 and 120, or in Mariposa when booking a private tour. Your personal tour guide will drive you through the East Bay and the city of Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore known for its wine country and medical and nuclear laboratories. We can also pick you up in Silicon Valley including San Jose, Morgan Hill and Gilroy when booking a private tour (extra fees may apply). Your tour guide will drive through the scenic hills of Pacheco pass and San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area (if leaving from Gilroy) and drive via Los Banos, Merced and Mariposa or Oakhurst.

Drive to Yosemite via Central ValleyBack to Top

Yosemite Falls valleyWhen departing from San Francisco driving onto Highway 580, the tour guide will drive you to Central Valley, through Livermore Valley and Altamont Pass windmill farm. Altamont Pass is nestled in the Diablo Mountain Range where you can see hundreds of wind turbines on both sides of the Highway. It is a surreal sight so be sure to check that out. You will then be driven down to the green flat valley known as Central Valley, passing cities like Tracy and Manteca, a small city where the famous American author, John Steinbeck worked at Spreckels Sugar Processing in order to gain inspiration and learn about the working class for his novels.

Break in Central Valley: "The Fruit Basket of the World."Back to Top

California Central Valley is one of the largest agricultural farming land in the world and the largest in North America. It is commonly referred to as the ‘Fruit Basket of the World’ because this is where most of fruit and vegetable consumed in America comes from. Your driver may stop at one of local farmers to showcase the valley’s crops. Have your driver stop at one of the local roadside fruit and veggie stands; they are wonderful and reasonably priced. There are also gourmet jellies, spreads and some great olive oils and balsamic vinegars you may want to try or head to a local grocery outlet, where you can also order veggie meals, sandwiches, BBQ, tri-tip and/or ribs. A number of coffee shops and restaurants can also be found along the way. Oakdale hosts an outdoor Rodeo and a chocolate festival every year and it is renowned for its cheese factory as well open for public.

Drive to Yosemite via old gold mining townsBack to Top

yosemite private The Yosemite tour continues on Highway 140 or via 120 through the Gold Country where gold was discovered in 1848. You will be driven through the historical Chinese Camp along Highway 120, an old mining town, and drive by Don Pedro Lake where you will have a chance to stop and take a picture. Don Pedro is a majestic man-made lake nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills boasting 160 miles of shoreline. Don Pedro Lake, which attracts over 400,000 visitors each year, became a popular destination because of its many water sports and water activity offerings: house boating rental, fishing, swimming, waterskiing, jet skiing and windsurfing. After driving past Don Pedro Lake, your tour guide will take you past Moccasin Powerhouse which is located along the Hetch Hetchy pipelines. Following that, the drive will take you around winding and scenic roads through the Sierra Nevada highlands heading east to the Yosemite. Enjoy the scenic views and picture the historic town of Groveland established by the famous gold seekers known as the Forty-Niners. Groveland is the gate to the Yosemite National Park and home to the historic Iron Door Saloon which was established in 1852.

Sierra Nevada’s Natural wondersBack to Top

Sierra NevadaThe Yosemite tour continues through the Sierra Nevada which stretches over 400 miles from south to north. The Sierra Nevada is home to the world’s most amazing natural wonders, including the Yosemite National Park and groves of giant sequoias, considered to be the largest trees on Earth. Geologically, the Sierra Nevada is home to the US highest peak outside of Alaska – Mount Whitney (14,505 ft).

You will arrive at the Yosemite National Park via the western side of the Yosemite Park, known as Big Oak Flat entrance (32 Miles to the Yosemite Valley). The 2-day Yosemite tour offers many opportunities to take breathtaking photos, beginning with the first tunnel photo stop located on Big Oak Flat Road. You will see some incredible sites, including Merced River and Canyon.

The Yosemite ValleyBack to Top

The Yosemite Valley is deeply carved into the gently sloping western flank of the western part of the Sierra Nevada and characterized by its ‘U’ shape. The Yosemite Valley tour offers you unique views of the park: imagine views of towering cliffs, spectacular waterfalls, and the beautiful Alpine scenery. Marvel in awe at Yosemite’s natural wonders, which include waterfalls, granite-polished domes and hanging rocks such El Capitan, Cathedral rocks, and Half Dome. You will be taken on an easy hike to marvel at the Bridalveil waterfalls facing El Capitan. And then drive up to Tunnel View viewpoint, overlooking the Yosemite Valley, for a spectacular photo stop. The tour will take you to Sentinel Bridge, which overlooks the Merced River dominated by the imposing Half Dome – the most colossal and recognizable rock monument in the Sierra Nevada. There is so much to see in Yosemite Valley, your tour guide will be on hand and offer you options and alternatives depending on the season and road conditions.

Walk to the Yosemite Falls: The highest Waterfall in North AmericaBack to Top

Yosemite Falls You will now stop for lunch at the Yosemite Lodge restaurant and recreational area in the heart of the Yosemite Valley, an idyllic location by Yosemite Falls. Be sure to stop by the Yosemite Valley gift shops for great souvenirs after or before lunch. You can also choose to enjoy your lunch outdoors, as a picnic, and be surrounded by the giant rocks that contrasts against the lush greet flat of Yosemite Valley grounds. You will be facing the Yosemite Royal Arches Rocks where the Yosemite falls emerge at a 2,400 foot drop down in the Valley. The Yosemite Falls are three waterfalls in one: The Yosemite Upper Falls, the Yosemite Middle Falls, and the Yosemite Lower Falls. The Yosemite falls combined drop a total of 2425-foot (739m) down in the Yosemite Valley, which makes the Yosemite Falls the world’s 6th highest waterfall. Other hiking trails may also take you off-the-beaten-path to hidden waterfalls and natural wonders. This will depend on the season and your preference, as you can choose between hiking, walking or simply driving and stopping anywhere within the Yosemite wilderness, thanks to our 4X4 vehicles.

check-in at the HotelBack to Top

After an exciting adventure on your first day in Yosemite, Day 1 of the Yosemite National Park tour has come to an end and now you will be driven to your hotel. Restaurants are open and available at your hotel or resort or in the town where you will stay (meals are not included in the tour price). Depending on which hotel you stay at, your tour guide and the hotel will suggest activities or restaurants for you to go to that night. Our tour prices are based on double occupancy at a 3-star hotel. We also recommend that you book your own hotel if you prefer or have higher expectations regarding the hotel accommodation (as we only charge a minimum nominal fee person & per night when booking your 2 or 3 star hotel/motel). The time you check into the hotel will be based on various factors, including road and weather conditions and your tour guide’s choice of routes or your preference.

Day 2

Breakfast at the hotel followed by Hotel Check OutBack to Top

Day 2 starts with a delicious breakfast at your hotel (not included in the tour price). After breakfast, the driver will check out of the hotel and accompany you as you embark on a new and exciting journey to explore Yosemite High country, gorgeous meadows, wilderness and a grove of giant sequoias.

Glacier Point: The Yosemite High Country WondersBack to Top

family vacation Enjoy a scenic ride from the grounds of the Yosemite Valley or the Wawona Meadows up to the splendid high country where you will enjoy a walking guided tour to the breathtaking Glacier Point. Enjoy stupendous and sweeping views that stretch out over the Yosemite Valley hanging cliffs, domes, including Half-Dome, and the stunning high country. You can also admire the Yosemite's most famous waterfalls, including Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. You may see some bears hanging out in the meadows among other wildlife. Please note that the trip to the famous waterfalls is not available for our 1-day Yosemite visitors, so it is a real treat for our 2-day Yosemite customers!

Lunch BreakBack to Top

Lunch Break Enjoy a much deserved lunch break anywhere in Yosemite National Park. There are delis and restaurants and you can even buy food and have a picnic outdoors. For our VIP tours, we will ensure you eat at your preferred restaurant. Your tour guide will arrange that with you the day of the tour.

Mariposa Grove of Giant SequoiasBack to Top

Mariposa Grove is home to the largest Giant sequoias in the Yosemite National Park and this particular stop is not available on our one-day trip to Yosemite. At the Mariposa Grove, you can choose between a short and easy walking tour and a more challenging hike, or you can simply take the Big Tree Tram Tour through the Park's Mariposa Grove of Giant sequoias. Regardless of what you choose to do, you will ultimately learn about the unique history of these magnificent trees. The Big Trees Tram Tour is a fascinating 75-minute audio tour of the Mariposa Grove of Giant sequoias. If you prefer not to walk or hike, you can see many of these ancient giant sequoias in the parking lot.
In the winter time, the gate to get to Mariposa Grove is closed, but you can walk about 30 minutes to the parking lot, which will be covered in snow, in order to see these ancient giants.

Back in San Francisco: "The City by The Bay"Back to Top

Back in San Francisco Your personal tour guide will drive you back to San Francisco or to your home (pick-up location) and drop you off. A few photo stops and food and restroom breaks will be scheduled as you make your way back to the City by the Bay via Central Valley.

Thank you for choosing Golden Horizon Private Customer Tours. We appreciate and value your continued business.

Note- Do not miss out our three day adventure as the 2-day trip is limited to certain areas and the driving distance on day 1 and day 2 makes the trip shorter as it takes 5 hours approximately to drive from the Bay Area to Yosemite and vice versa on the second day .


YOSEMITE TOUR PRICES

This SUV tour is totally private and the price is per person.

Price per person Private 2-day Trip
(accommodation
included)
Private 2-day tour
(accommodation
not included)
1 $2,278.00 $2,058.00
2 $1,139.00 $1,029.00
3 $1,049.00 $929.00
4 $909.00 $789.00
5 $799.00 $679.00
6 $699.00 $589.00
7 $619.00 $529.00

Private
Tour by
Luxury SUV

SUV
SUV

 

This VAN tour is totally private and not available for public or individual reservations. The price is per party and not per person.

Totally Private-
The price is
per party.
You can either
book your
own hotel or
choose the
option " hotel
accommodation
included "
Private 2-day
Van Tour tax,
entrance fees
without hotel
accommodation
–Book your
favorite hotel
Private 2-day
Van Tour tax,
entrance fees &
hotel accommodation
included
1 - 5 persons $3,899.00 $4,299.00
6 - 7 persons $3,999.00 $4,889.00
8 - 10 persons $4,119.00 $5,259.00
11 - 12 persons $4,699.00 $5,699.00
13 - 14 persons $4,999.00 $5,999.00

Private
Charter
By Van

VAN
VAN

 

Included: Tax, pick-up and drop-off in San Francisco downtown or Fisherman’ Wharf, a private 2-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



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