Make the most of your day trip to Yosemite National Park and choose a private custom tour that saves you time by avoiding the crowded sites and large group bus tours. Get to explore many more sites of Yosemite, at your own pace and go where you want to go.
Enjoy a 100% private custom tour with a dedicated local expert and passionate tour guide, who is also the driver. This option offers you a personalized guided tour with more privacy. Book this custom day trip and travel in style and comfort with luxury vehicles like 4X4 SUVs.
Let our passionate and knowledgeable tour guides drive you to Yosemite National Park to see amazing natural wonders including towering granite cliffs like the famous Half Dome, El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, breathtaking waterfalls, steep canyons, towering trees, fresh streams and rivers, wildlife, and much more.
Book now and experience the magic of Yosemite National Park with your expert tour guide.
Your personal tour guide will drive you to Yosemite National Park to see amazing natural wonders including towering granite cliffs like the famous Half Dome, El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, breathtaking natural waterfalls, steep canyons, towering trees, fresh streams and rivers, and much more.
Our 1-day Yosemite adventure is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for visitors who only have one day to spare. Make the most of your day private tour in our comfortable and spacious 4x4 SUVs or luxury vans -the ideal way to experience Yosemite day trip for individuals and small groups. You will have your own personal tour guide who will give you his or her undivided attention throughout this unique journey. Book a private custom 4X4 SUV tour and visit wonderful places with stunning sights; some of which are not accessible to large bus tours due to regulations and restrictions. You will have many opportunities to see all that a Yosemite day trip has to offer, in this jam-packed adventure. Sites include, but are not limited to, spectacular waterfalls, granite domes and eventually an optional side trip to a grove of giant sequoia (optional due to lack of time). Please note that this is 12-hour day trip, each way takes about 4.5 hours which leaves you 3 hours to squeeze in as many stops as possible in Yosemite Valley and outlying areas.
We highly recommend our overnight private tours and travel packages (hotel accommodation included) as the 1-day (12-hour tour) requires nine hours driving round trip from San Francisco to Yosemite and return, which leaves you with little time to visit and see just 1% of Yosemite National Park.
If you have more than a day, we highly recommend that you consider signing up for our 2 or 3-day custom tour, so you have more time to explore majestic Yosemite National Park and its jaw-dropping wilderness wonders. While most tour companies leave Yosemite in the early afternoon to get back to San Francisco on such a long trip, you can stay overnight in the park and enjoy peace and tranquillity of the valley floor and outlying areas after the crowds have left. You will have time to witness the changing colors and lights against Half Dome during the evening sunset, which is sure to make for a breathtaking photo opportunity and a great memory!
Established in 2000, Golden Horizon Travel is a very reliable tour company with a 100% customer satisfaction record. We specialize in VIP and private customizable SUV tours to Yosemite National Park from San Francisco (or any location along the way). Our five-star reviews on TripAdvisor are a testament to the outstanding customer service we provide to our valuable customers. Our private tour of Yosemite will be an adventure of a lifetime, and you will return home with wonderful memories. Though bus and large van tours offered by other companies may be less expensive, there is no comparison at all to the quality and comfort of our custom tours. Our private SUV tours are worth every cent because you get to experience the best that Yosemite has to offer, in a spacious luxury vehicle, without the hassle of dealing with large groups of people. You also have the flexibility to change the tour itinerary depending on your interests. Your highly-experienced personal driver-guide is incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about their tours.
You’ll find detailed information on our website about the sites, attractions and outdoor activities Yosemite National Park has to offer to visitors, so you know exactly the kind of fun experience you are signing up for. We believe it is important for you to know exactly what we will be covering, and you will be seeing on your Yosemite day adventure. No other tour company offers this much transparency with highly oriented customer service as we do.
Choose quality over quantity. Our five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, BBB and Google are a clear indicator of how satisfied customers are with our private custom tours. We pride ourselves on the authentic and excellent reviews we have received from our real customers; they are a true and genuine testament to our hard work and dedication and professionalism.
Book now and let our passionate, knowledgeable and expert tour guides drive you to Yosemite National Park magical wilderness.
6 am Pick-up time
Complimentary pick-up and drop-off at your hotel in downtown San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf, Oakland, Dublin, Pleasanton, Groveland or in Merced (private tours only).
Your trip to Yosemite begins with a drive through San Francisco, the Oakland Bay Bridge and along the East Bay. As you pass through Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore on your way out to the San Joaquin Valley, you will notice numerous high-tech companies such as SAP, Oracle, and the Lawrence Livermore Lab.
Drive to Yosemite via Central Valley
The Yosemite tour departs from San Francisco on Highway 580 to the San Joaquin Valley and drives through what is locally known as the Tri Valley, which includes Amador, Livermore and the San Ramon valleys. We pass through the Altamont Pass, which has one of the oldest and largest concentrations of wind turbines in the world, due to the extreme winds that race through the narrow opening in the Diablo Mountain Range. You will also see Mt. Diablo, also known as the Devil Mountain. (The name of this mountain comes from the 1805 escape of several Chupcan Native Americans from the Spanish in a nearby willow thicket. The Native Americans seemed to have disappeared and the Spanish soldiers thus gave the area the name ‘Monte del Diablo’, meaning ‘thicket of the devil’.) As we continue through the San Joaquin Valley, also known as the Central Valley, we pass over the California Aqueduct, a system of canals, tunnels, and pipelines that house water collected from the Sierra Nevada mountains and valleys of Northern and Central California to Southern California.
View the sharp contrast between the geology of the flat Central Valley and the surrounding rugged foothills. We will continue east to the city of Manteca, located at a major crossroad of Highways and railways in northern California, where the famous American author, John Steinbeck, worked a season at the Spreckels Sugar processing plant.
Coffee Break in Central Valley: ‘The Fruit Basket of the World’
You will continue through Central Valley, one of the largest and most productive agricultural regions in the world. Central Valley is commonly referred to as the ‘fruit basket of the world.’ It is home to large livestock farms, making California the highest cheese and milk producing state behind Wisconsin. It also makes California produce the largest amount of oranges (more than the state of Florida) and cotton (more than the state of Texas).
Traveling along Highway 120 through endless agricultural fields and ranch lands, you will then stop for a break at a local farmer's market in Oakdale where you will have an opportunity to purchase pastries, snacks and coffee and use the restrooms. The cowboy town of Oakdale is located about 98 miles west of Yosemite Valley.
Oakdale, also known as the ‘Cowboy Capitol of the World’ was the first town in the Western United States to host a professional outdoor rodeo. Oakdale was also the origin where Hershey Chocolate housed its satellite plant (which later closed in 2008).
Second Half: Drive to Yosemite Valley via the Sierra Nevada
We continue on Highway 140 or 120 through the Gold Country where gold nuggets were once discovered during the Gold Rush Era. We will then pass through the Chinese Camp, an old mining town, where at one time over 5,000 Chinese lived in hopes of finding gold during the gold rush. Your tour guide will give you an in-depth presentation about the Gold Rush as you drive through this area. We offer an optional photo stop at Don Pedro Lake, located 75 miles away from the Yosemite National Park. It is a huge man-made lake nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills offering 160 miles of shoreline.
Lake Don Pedro is a popular destination for vacations and brings over 400,000 visitors interested in water sports, houseboat rentals, fishing, swimming, and water-skiing, jet skiing and windsurfing (except during the dry season). As you wind around the Sierra Nevada Mountain, your tour guide will point out the Moccasin Powerhouse, which was strategically built along the Hetch Hetchy valley dam, which pumps water and provides electricity for the San Francisco Bay Area. You will be taken through the historic Town of Groveland, which was once home to many settlers, later known as the Forty-Niners, who came to this area in 1949 seeking fortune during the gold rush era. Groveland is the gateway to Yosemite National Park and home to the historic Iron Door Saloon, which is considered to be the oldest drinking establishment in California still operating since 1852. You will be taken through the historic Town of Groveland which was once home to many settlers, later known as the Forty-Niners, who came to this area in 1949 seeking fortune during the gold rush era. Groveland is the gateway to Yosemite National Park and home to the historic Iron Door Saloon which is considered to be the oldest drinking establishment in California still operating today and has been since 1852.
The Sierra Nevada –Yosemite Valley
You will then be driven through the Sierra Nevada, a mountain range that stretches over 400 miles and provides a natural frontier between the states of Nevada and California. The Sierra Nevada mountain ranges are home to some of the world’s most amazing natural wonders including Yosemite National Park and the giant sequoias that tower over the landscape in the western slope of the Sierra Mountains. You will have the opportunity to explore both while on the tour – time permitting.
You will arrive in Yosemite National Park from the western side of Yosemite known as the Big Oak Flat entrance (32 miles from Yosemite Valley). Or, depending on weather and road conditions, you might enter Yosemite via the El Portal or even Oakhurst. There are many breathtaking opportunities to take photos along the way, beginning with the first tunnel you drive through located on the Big Oak Flat Road. When exiting the tunnel, you will be awed by the breathtaking views of the Yosemite Valley stretching out in front of you.
Take advantage of the several spectacular stops overlooking Yosemite Valley, including the Merced River and Canyon, Yosemite Tunnel view and Yosemite Falls.
Explore Yosemite Valley wonders and sights
Traveling down into the valley you will have plenty of opportunities and quality time to explore Yosemite Falls and other landmarks like El Capitan and Half Dome, which dominates the valley floor. You will notice that Yosemite Valley is carved into the mountains like a ‘U’ shape. While on this riveting walk, you will see spectacular views of Yosemite’s upper and lower falls, Bridal Veil Falls and so many more natural waterfalls. Marvel at the granite monoliths towering over you as you explore the valley floor with your personal, knowledgeable tour guide.
You will take a short hike to Bridalveil Falls, where you may get misted by the water flowing over the towering cliffs, after which you will drive to the location known as Tunnel View where you can take breathtaking photos of El Capitan, Half Dome and the valley floor. While visiting the Yosemite Valley , you will have numerous opportunities to take photos of Half Dome from various angles, as well as photos of the Merced River and Sentinel Bridge.
Lunch Break by Yosemite Falls: The highest waterfall in North America
Enjoy a well-deserved lunch break at the Yosemite lodge restaurant and recreational area in the heart of Yosemite Valleynear Yosemite Falls,or opt to grab lunch to enjoy it outdoors. You can also enjoy shopping at one of the many gift shops.
While enjoying your lunch observe the beauty and variety of the giant granite rocks that contrast against the greenery of the valley floor. View the Yosemite Royal Arches rocks where the Yosemite Falls emerge before dropping 2,400 feet down into the valley. Yosemite Falls consist of three waterfalls: Yosemite Upper, Middle and Lower Falls. As one entire waterfall, Yosemite Falls is the 6th highest waterfall in the world, rising at a whopping 2,400 ft.
Optional Hike to the Yosemite giant sequoias in Tuolumne or Merced Groves
Heading back to San Francisco, you could choose to stop in the valley to take photos of El Capitan, one of the premiere rock-climbing areas in the world, and even spot a few climbers. Our last stop will include a hike to stop at Tuolumne Grove, where we will walk among some of the largest giant sequoias in the world. There are 75 groves of giant sequoias nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but only three groves are found in Yosemite National Park; The Mariposa, Merced & Tuolumne Groves. The Yosemite giant sequoias are the largest and fastest growing trees in the world. Mariposa Grove is the largest sequoia grove in Yosemite and not available on the 1-day tour. Due to a long day of driving, the hike to the sequoias is indeed optional and not recommended due to the limited amount of time and the challenging hike to these giant trees. We highly recommend booking the overnight adventure!
Back in San Francisco – All’s well that ends well!
Your tour guide will drive you back to your hotel via Central Valley where you will stop for a break. There are few tour guides who are as passionate, committed, and willing to carry out such long day driving and guiding. We are incredibly fortunate here at Golden Horizon to have such dedicated tour guides. Gratuity for these hard-working tour guides is highly recommended and appreciated. They ensure your safety, share their knowledge of Yosemite National Park and show you every bit of history along the way. Thank you for choosing Golden Horizon Tours.
Yosemite Day Trip Prices
This SUV tour is totally private and the price is per person.
|Price per person||1 Guest||2 Guests||3 Guests||4 Guests||5 Guests||6 Guests||7 Guests|
|Hotel Accommodation Excluded||$1198||$599||$409||$319||$259||$219||$189|
|Price per person||1 Guest||2 Guests||3 Guests||4 Guests||5 Guests||6 Guests||7 Guests|
|Hotel Accommodation Excluded||$1198||$599||$409||$319||$259||$219||$189|
his VAN tour is totally private and not available for public or individual reservations. The price is per party and not per person.
|Price per group||1-5 Guests||6-7 Guests||8-10 Guests||11-12 Guests||13-14 Guests|
|Hotel Accommodation Excluded||$1959||$2159||$2289||$2369||$2559|
|Price per group||1-5 Guests||6-7 Guests||8-10 Guests||11-12 Guests||13-14 Guests|
|Hotel Accommodation Excluded||$1959||$2159||$2289||$2369||$2559|
Included: Pick-up and drop-off in San Francisco downtown or Fisherman’s Wharf, East Bay, Central Valley or around Yosemite, all applicable taxes, Yosemite National Park entrance fees (up to $125 included in the tour price), a private 12-hour round trip and guided tour from 6am to 6pm approximately. When picking and dropping off outside of San Francisco, the total tour time will be adjusted accordingly as we are based in San Francisco, and not in Yosemite.
Not included: The price does not include meals, driver’s gratuity, overtime, and the hike to the sequoias is optional and not included due to lack of time.
The misconception about private tours: Ever wondered why small group private tours are more expensive than large group tours, if in fact you are going to the same place?
Simply because public group tours are more cost-effective for the operator, than private tours. In essence, the input cost of private tours and public tours are roughly the same - both provide one driver or a tour guide, one vehicle, same trip length whilst both companies assume the same business expenses and commercial insurance liability. However, private tour operators (like ours) make 95% less profit than public group tours, because all our resources are dedicated to a small group (couples or families), whilst the public tour operators make 10 times more profits thanks to the volume (quantity)!
We, on the other hand, focus on quality as we never share our private tours with other customers. Yet, although we provide a higher quality tour service, and incur even greater expenses in many cases, the profit margins are limited. This makes some of our private tours barely profitable, as we dedicate all our resources to one small group or party at the time.
Note: Please understand that we do reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. We have the right to remove rude customers, and limit unfair demands from clients, wasting the company’s time and resources, which impact other customers and our staff who are also often affected.
Our Terms, Reservation and Cancellation Policy
Reservation and Cancellation Policy
Refund Fees: There is a charge for each transaction when requesting a refund. This charge will vary from 4.5% to 7.9% per transaction depending on the type of credit card you used to make the transaction and the country where the credit card was issued. This charge covers the credit card transaction fees that your credit card company charged Golden Horizon Travel when you made the reservation on our website and includes the required merchant processing fees associated with your credit card company. This policy applies on all refunds as well, regardless of the amount or the date of the refund.
Gratuity is not included, but customary in the USA as you may know. For a great service, 20 to 25% tip is customary, however, 20% is considered to be a ‘good tip’. For example, if your private tour cost $1000 (one thousand), the 20% gratuity would be $200 (two hundred).
-The hike to the sequoias is optional as it takes about 10 hours to drive from and to San Francisco Yosemite and return, which leaves you only two to three hours to sightsee in the Yosemite Valley.
-We don’t recommend the 1-day tour unless you have very limited time, because we don’t want you to spend all day in a vehicle. You may also add overtime to see the sequoias on this day tour, but again, it may be a very long day. Also, if the tour guide manages to make time to hike to the sequoias, please bear in mind that the hike requires about 2 hours round trip or more depending on weather conditions and is rather challenging for non-hikers. You may also choose our overnight custom adventures to see hidden waterfalls and giant sequoias not included in the 1-day tour.
-The 1-day tour doesn’t go to Mariposa grove of giant sequoias, it doesn’t go to Glacier Point or Yosemite High Country like Tuolumne meadows, because this requires several day trips.
-Some sites and roads may be closed without prior notice which is beyond our control and can happen during any season.
-If you decide to travel to Yosemite, despite forecasts advising of bad weather, and you find the park is closed, this will be out of our hands as well and the tour will not be refundable.
-When our tours start and/or end in Yosemite or outlying areas, the tour starts at 10 am and ends at 3.30pm. Since we are based in San Francisco, located 4 to 5-hour drive away from Yosemite each way, it will be a very long day and requires overtime and double time.
-We can also offer you a complimentary pickup and drop off in the East Bay (Oakland, Emeryville, Castrol Valley, Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore). The tour will last then 10 hours as it takes us at least 2 hours round trip to get to these locations.
-We are not tour planners or travel agents, so we don’t work on commission. We can assist you with your tour reservation, but we don’t handle travel plans for visitors. Unfortunately, many take advantage of our good customer service to acquire free information from us and never book through us. We therefore recommend that you contact Yosemite park rangers, chamber of commerce or use your own local travel agent.
-By the end of summer (early July) until the following spring, all Yosemite falls and other waterfalls in the Yosemite Valley are only a trickle or have completely dried up because these are ‘seasonal falls.
To read more about our terms and conditions, please click on this link
Term & Refund Policy
-91% of the total amount will be refunded to your credit card if you cancel your trip at least 15 business days prior to the scheduled tour (or the date of the tour or service). The remaining 9% covers the required transaction fees; that’s 4.5 % per each transaction (booking is one transaction and refunding is a second transaction for which we get charged as well). (weekends and holidays don’t count).
-50% of the total amount will be refunded if the tour is canceled at least 7 business days prior to the scheduled tour date or service. (weekends and holidays don’t count).
-15% of the total amount will be refunded if the tour is canceled at least 5 business days prior to the scheduled date of the tour (weekends and holidays don’t count).
-0% of the total amount will be refunded if the tour is canceled 4 business days, or less, prior to the day of the scheduled tour or service. This includes no-shows. (weekends and holidays don’t count)
Please note that all refunds are subject to credit card and merchant’s fees imposed on us by credit cards companies and merchant banks or providers. The average amount of credit cards and merchant’s transaction fees may range between 3.9 % to 9.8% of the total amount of your purchase (transaction) based on the type of credit card you use when booking this tour, the credit card issuer, country and conversion fees we are subject to and per transaction. Many foreign countries apply additional origination and conversion fees. Important: Please note that we reserve the date(s) you requested and booked on our website for you and we decline taking other tours for these date(s) to honor yours. We keep a tour guide and a luxury vehicle on hold and make all required reservations and arrangements for you and your party, so please don’t change the date or cancel at the last minute as we have other customers and tours to honor.
– We will confirm your reservation by email, and we will send you a tour voucher or email confirmation. This tour is only valid for the specific date you reserved on our website, and only valid for the names listed on the booking. You can’t transfer the names or ask for a different date, as we have other tours to honor. You may not change the tour date within 15 days from the date of the scheduled tour you booked, and there will be no alternative days offered.
In an effort to honor all tours, we reserve the right to partner with other tour operators, freelancers, and/or our sister companies. The exact name and contact information of your tour operator will be stated on your tour voucher and the trip confirmation will be issued especially for you after we received your approved transaction. All tours are subject to availability as we may get several tour requests at the same time. Approved payment transactions do not guarantee your tour unless it has been confirmed via email.
Please note that when transactions are declined, we do not receive any information in this regard, so do not expect your reservation to be in place unless you received written confirmation. Please contact us asap, but do not expect us to honor your tour without an email confirmation and tour voucher from us.
If your booking was declined by your own bank, this is often due to a mismatch between your bank information (such as the names on the credit card, zip/postal code or billing address) compared to the bank information you provided on our website when placeing your order. Sometimes, transactions are declined due to insufficient funds as well. Your tour(s) will not be confirmed until your new transaction is approved by your own bank. We apologize for the inconvenience, but your own bank did so to prevent fraud and protect your credit card information or due one of the above factors.
All our tours are subject to availability even when the transactions are approved. We will get back to you as soon as possible and let you know if the required tour(s) and date(s) are still available. Also, all our tours are conducted in English unless otherwise stated in the email or tour voucher confirmation we will send you soon, once your transaction is approved.
We reserve the right to offer you suitable substitutes or changes to your itinerary, tours or services due to special events, weather conditions, road closures, vehicle breakdowns, unpredictable circumstances, unavailability and/or due to last minute reservations. We assume no responsibility for delays caused by accidents, breakdowns, unforeseen accidents or events, road, weather conditions and/or all other circumstances beyond our control. We do not guarantee to arrive to, or depart from, any point at a specific time for the same above considerations. However, we will do our very best to honor your tour itinerary and schedule accordingly.
Other terms and information
Pets: Pets are not allowed in our vehicles out of respect for those who have allergies to pets.
Smoking: Our vehicles are also non-smoking.
Clothing: Please be prepared for cold weather, slippery roads and hiking trails, so have comfortable waterproof hiking shoes to walk on the snow in winter and spring. This long day-tour is hard on kids and seniors, we therefore recommend the overnight tour package.
Parks, Attractions and Site’s Closures: We are not responsible, nor liable, for road and weather conditions. State and national parks’ closure can happen at any time and without a prior notice, due to bad road and weather considerations. No refund will be issued, regardless of the reasons for which the trip may not reach its destination. If you cancel or stop the tour for personal or medical reasons, there will be no refund or change of tour or dates offered either.
Guided tours in foreign languages: All tours in foreign languages are subject to extra fees to cover tour guides or freelancers we may hire to honor your tour in the required language.
Travel Agents: Travel agents are liable for 20% gratuity when their customer does not tip the driver or tour guides. We require customers’ full name and contact information from all travel agents or the tour will be cancelled. Travel agents are also liable for all overtime when their clients do not pay for it, and a credit card will be needed on file. Due to the high cost of conducting business in California, we barely cover our business expenses and wages, therefore, all our tours are at non-commissionable rates.
Gratuity: 15 to 20% gratuity is required and customary in the USA. Generally, a tip may vary between 15% to 20% of the total purchase amount, or it can be a flat amount that is near the appropriate percent. It really depends upon the situation.
Additional Terms & Tips for visitors and hikers
– If you are subject to car or motion sickness, please consider asking your doctor for recommended medication. Some visitors underestimate this aspect and end up visiting only 50% of the tour as they suffer from this or altitude sickness and make an excessive number of stops along the way. Please consult your doctor and ensure you have the appropriate medication in advance.
– 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.
-Expect rugged terrain with narrow, steep, and very curvy hiking trails to the sequoias. Also, be prepared for a downhill hike and then back uphill to the parking lot. The trail is very steep right at the beginning on the way back up but mellows out as you get closer to the parking lot. It depends on the grove your driver will choose for you, but they all require hiking. The elevation at the trailhead of both top groves is about 6,200 feet (1,860 meters). The most popular is the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, the distance is about 2.5 miles (4 km) round trip and takes about 1.5 – 2 hours of hiking, and recommended for everybody who can hike including kids.
-California Gold Country: When Tioga Pass road (located between Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra where a major highway leads to Tahoe) is closed due to heavy snow that may start as early as October until about June or July, we will drive through the infamous, yet legendary, California Gold Country on day 2 and day 3 of your adventure.
-Please note that we may start in Lake Tahoe first, and then head to Yosemite National Park or vice versa. This will depend on the hotels’ availability, the season, the weather and road conditions. We do not work on commission, so you are welcome to book your own hotel, but if you don’t want to deal with these details, we can take care of that on your behalf when you choose the option ‘hotel included’ from our shopping cart.
Hotel Reservation: To keep costs down, we charge each guest only about $100 per night, for a three-star hotel in and around the Yosemite Valley area, based on availability. However, if you have high expectations of the hotel accommodation, and wish to upgrade, we recommend that you choose your own hotel and book it directly with the required resort or hotel. The Majestic hotel (the former Awhanhee) is the only 4-star hotel in the Yosemite Valley where a suite may go from $600 to $1200 per night based on availability and the season. Please note that there are a very limited number of hotels in Yosemite, and they are often sold out 6 to 12 months in advance, so the sooner you book the better. However, we often manage to get a hotel reservation nearby Yosemite Valley, in one of the small resort or motel style hotels in the area, for reservations closer to the tour date.
More Terms and Miscellaneous
Foreign Languages: Our tours are conducted in English unless otherwise indicated on your tour voucher. Some foreign languages are subject to additional fees. For all foreign languages, you must book a Private Tour and not a semi-private tour to enjoy the tour in the required language (subject to availability). Additional fees may apply to any additional foreign languages. All semi-private tours are conducted in English and can be shared with other clients. Semi-private tours will no longer be available on our website.
Miscellaneous: Meals and tour guide/driver gratuities are not included in our tour price unless indicated on your tour voucher or email confirmation. Tour prices do not include additional fees including wine tasting, accommodations, and entry fees to see attractions and sites, winery tours, unless otherwise indicated on your tour voucher or email confirmation.
All vehicles operated by Golden Horizon Travel ,Inc. are non-smoking according to state and federal laws.
Golden Horizon Travel ,Inc. reserves the right to hire independent tour guides/drivers, subcontractors and/or contractors to facilitate our tours, shuttle services and travel packages.
In the event that we are unable to facilitate your tour due to weather and/or road conditions, we will attempt to reach each location, site and destination using alternative routes, but we are not liable nor responsible for these unforeseen weather/traffic conditions. No refunds will be available.
All photos or videos taken by our staff of our customers or passengers, during the capacity of the tour, trip or transfer, may be included on our website. Customers hereby agree to the use of these photos and videos and under no circumstances can customers dispute.
No substitution or refunds for any unused part of the tour(s) will be issued. All sales are final.
No refunds will be issued for a no-show or unused portion of the tour.
All refund and/or voided transactions paid on our website by credit or debit cards or via PayPal may take up to 2 weeks before you receive the funds (refunds) back into your account.
Our hot-air balloon rides are not guaranteed to depart and arrive back in Napa Valley and are subject to last-minute cancelations for weather considerations. Golden Horizon Trave,Inc.reserves the right to fly anywhere within 80-mile radius of Napa Valley depending on the weather conditions.
We reserve the right to refuse service to any person or business who may refuse to comply with our safety instructions, our tour itinerary, or to anyone who may pose a threat to our customers and/or our tour guide-drivers. Screaming at or insulting tour guide-drivers or fellow passengers or third-party businesses and subcontractors is not acceptable under any circumstances and will terminate and cancel your tour without any refund. Discrimination against a customer or a tour guide–driver for any reason is not acceptable either under any circumstance.
Cancellation due to unforeseen weather conditions: Weather/Unforeseen Circumstances like fires, landslide, road closure, vehicle breakdown, employees or driver’s medical emergency or due other weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances; we revere the right to offer you alternative tours, destinations for the same amount of time.
Our Bucket List Overflowed, a wonderful day in an amazing park with the perfect tour guide!
Katheryn Kennedy - London, UK
Breathtaking adventure in Yosemite Wonderland. We found this company on Trip Advisor & we were not disappointed!
The Jamesons. Sydney, Australia
A wonderful tour package in Yosemite National Park with Adam. This tour has totally exceeded expectations! The best experience ever!
Erin M. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Unforgettable & Fantastic! trust their reviews and believe what you read on Trip Advisor; they are consumed professionals.
Chris G., Dallas, Texas
Explore nature at its best ! Yosemite is magical, unique and must be on everyone’s bucket-list. Golden Horizon Travel staff and tour guides are underrated.
Yosemite National Park and Sierra Nevada beauty exceed our expectations. This place is breathtaking but avoid the peak season and stay away from the Yosemite Valley . 5-stars to our tour guide Adam, he made this journey unforgettable. He is an expert photographer too!
M. Hachadourian. Greenwich Village, New York
10 Stars! Fun, informative, flexible, indulgent, patient,& very professional guides in a warm & engaging manner.
Jarmila Sramkova. Prague, Czech Republic
Believe every good thing you read about this tour company; you will not be disappointed!
Mike and Jane - Nashville
Treated like King & Queen! Breathtaking, OUTSTANDING and A MUST See!! Without any hesitation, 5 stars!
Loreena’s family Madrid, Spain
They are consummate professionals who really care a lot for their customers' wellbeing and experience- a must do!
Rob & Marhta Baton Rouge
Impressive! Their Ability of organization, understanding , customizing , entertaining , educating - make them the best at what they do. What unforgettable experience with Buddy!
Natasha C Calgary, Canada
Outstanding tour package to Yosemite ,Mammoth Lakes , Sequoia national park & Death Valley with Adam and Jonathan . I've run out of superlatives to describe this unforgettable and once-in-a-lifetime experience ...10 STARS + & Highly Recommended
Holly Millard- Holly Millard, IN
You won't be disappointed if you use Golden Horizon for all your tours! Top notch service!
Susan.S- McAllen, Texas
A 6-star experience! Their tag line is to “exceed expectations” and they certainly delivered. From the moment of making a booking to the actual tours - Superb!
10 Stars for Patricia & Golden Horizon: top guides & top-of-the-line luxury SUV tours
Brenna Q. Phoenixville
10 stars! Reliable company, responsive staff & accommodating, fun, informative, flexible, indulgent, passionate guides
Kw9196family- Thurmont, Maryland
First, I'd like to say I'm a real customer and not some PR guy writing this review. I'm writing this because I believe good service should be made aware to others who are looking for an unforgettable experience just as I was last week. To save on search time, I figured I'd write a review on my experience with golden horizon travel. I just came back from an amazing Yosemite Tour and I just have to say, our tour guide Adam was not only very knowledge but also super accommodating. When I was evaluating different tours, my priorities were to make the tour as comfortable as possible which meant I wanted a tour that was :
-small, comfortable means to accommodate my motion sickness (winding roads really mess me up)
-an SUV tour (only 3 tour companies offer SUV tours in San Francisco to Yosemite)
-see the Sequoia Trees (most tours do not offer sequoia tree viewings as part of their tours)
-a very knowledgeable and well-rounded tour guide.
-1-day tour... because we were just in town for Memorial Day weekend.
-hotel pickup. I didn't want to go around looking for a meet up point when visiting a city for the first time
- knows where their drivers are and their scheduling. I've called 3 other tour companies prior to this and learned a lot of tour companies just broker out their tours to other big tour companies. A lot of them didn't know what dates or what kind of cars we would be getting. There was another company that offered 4 door jeeps but riding those in a prior experience was beyond rough.
- was responsive to all our questions and wasn't condescending to whatever question we asked about the tour.
Well my girlfriend and I found all this with our tour guide adam not only stopped at a grocery store prior to arriving at the park to save on food for the hike (park prices are astronomical) but he also went as far as giving me the coat off his back to combat my cold and headache condition as a result of my car motion sickness on the way up. The weather conditions this memorial day weekend were rainy and despite how much we were a little bummed because it was cold and rainy, his spirits were up and still tailored on the fly which sites we still could see and better shortcuts to get there to avoid the major crowds.
By the afternoon, the crowd at Yosemite was insane and the 2 lane roads were all backed up in most cases, but Adam always seemed to know where to turn to avoid it. I was particularly impressed that he knew how to combat the areas where there was construction going on and how to get out of a backed-up situation so quickly to get to where we're going instead of wasting time waiting in traffic. We got to see Bridal Falls, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, and a bunch of other places which I don't remember names of. now that I'm home and thoroughly exhausted from the tour ( which was just 2 days ago), my girlfriend and I were very happy we went and would more than likely book the tour again when we make it back to Yosemite. This time around it will probably be more than one day. Not knowing how many places there are to visit and hike in Yosemite...one day just isn't enough and there is something to be said about having a tour guide to show you around the in's and outs and knowing the key places to see most tours don't cover is a definite bonus especially for first timers like us.
I hope this helps others in their search for a tour.
Houston, Texas A
What an amazing trip around the entire Lake Tahoe after a 2-hour tour of Alcatraz Island and 4 hours’ drive from San Francisco. I know this is not the ordinary combo tour, but we booked the overnight trip package to South Lake Tahoe combined with a tour package of Yosemite National park, so we can squeeze in the tour of Alcatraz as well, since my kids wanted to see it so badly. My wife, mother in law and my kids loved the snowmobile guided adventure with Alex in Lake Tahoe high country. We enjoyed a thrilling ride throughout Tahoe forest and heavy snow. The stops and vistas along the way were breathtaking, what a peaceful and wonderful destination. Our custom adventure of Yosemite national park sights and attractions was the best trip ever! Go to Yosemite either before Traveling during the off-peak season was the prefect deal for my family, the parks we visited were less crowded; we got cheaper flights, and better hotels in Lake Tahoe and Yosemite.
Chris G., Dallas, Texas
We booked a tour package to Lake Tahoe combined with a trip to Yosemite National Park, starting in Napa Valley and ending in San Francisco. On day one, Adam came to pick us up at San Francisco International Airport and dropped us off at our hotel in downtown Napa Valley (Andaz Napa by the Hyatt). The next day, we had a private tour of Napa Valley with Adam, where we visited small wineries, including some castle wineries, and had lunch at the Auberge Du Soleil restaurant in Napa. We had a fantastic day in Napa Valley wine country.
On day 3, our tour guide Jonathan picked us up at our hotel in Napa Valley and drove us to Lake Tahoe. Jon was very friendly, informative and highly knowledgeable. We enjoyed the stops he made for us in the Gold Country and in Lake Tahoe, where we had a custom sightseeing tour around the lake. We loved the stop and walking tour to Emerald Bay state park.
This journey in the Sierra exceeded our expectations- what a marvelous place! Our hotel accommodation was in a casino resort style hotel in South Lake Tahoe. The resort has all the amenities and offer plenty of shows and nightlife. The rooms were large and comfortable, with views of the lake. Don’t miss out on the gorgeous sunset over Lake Tahoe.
The next day, we had ski lessons at Heavenly Ski Resort, and then had an exciting snowmobile adventure in the white snowy mountains of the Sierra Nevada. The views of Lake Tahoe from the High Country are breathtaking!
Yosemite on the other hands, is a true wonderland and a magical place. This is where we spent the last 3 days of our travel package to California. I highly recommend this tour package with Golden Horizon Travel to everyone, and specially to families with kids like ours (for spring breaks or holidays). My kids loved it, and my husband and I had a wonderful time.
Alex / Adeline Seah- Singapore
We were a group of 7 travelers from Hong Kong on a business trip to San Jose, California. We booked this private day trip to Lake Tahoe with Golden Horizon Travel in San Francisco and San Jose, and we were not disappointed. We were so excited to play with the snow up at Heavenly Ski Resort, and the views are amazing over the lake from heavenly gondola overlook. We highly recommended this day trip to Tahoe. But if you have time, go for the overnight trip package, which is better because of the long drive from San Francisco. It took us more than 4 hours each way without traffic!
James Wang, Hong Kong
One of the hardest things to do when trying to book excursions in California from overseas, is being able to trust unknown tour companies in California. After investigating many trip options in the San Francisco Bay Area, considering the costs and reading tour reviews on Trip Advisor, we chose a tour company trusted over many years. We booked two incredible and separate excursions with this travel company based upon older great reviews and friends’ recommendations. We booked the trip from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park, spent a night in the Yosemite Valley and then the next day we traveled to Lake Tahoe through the Tuolumne meadows - a land of wonders in every sense of the word.
We got to Lake Tahoe in the late afternoon and spent the night and extra day in Lake Tahoe south shore. The lake is picturesque and the cruise ship we took on the lake allowed us to get close to many state parks and beaches not accessible otherwise to vehicles. We highly recommended this travel agency in San Francisco, you will not be disappointed.
Naina Kwok- Jakarta- Indonesia
Our 3-day private tour to Lake Tahoe, Gold Country and Yosemite National Park was excellent and so was our guide Peter. He has immense knowledge of the Sierra and Lake Tahoe. He made stops along the way in Sacramento, Placerville, Lake Tahoe, and Reno in Nevada where we spent one night. Our 2-day trip to Tahoe and Reno were a bit short due to the driving time... but our last day in Yosemite was our favorite part of this outdoor adventure. Yosemite is a must-see place to explore with a real tour guide like our personal guide Pete. He didn’t disappoint us. We will certainly use this tour company again; a 5-star service all the way!
Nicky & BannySh. Kolkata (Calcutta), India
Both our tours of Muir Woods and Point Reyes national seashores, combined with a horseback ride, were amazing and unforgettable thanks to our guide Luis. Both trips were totally customized to me and my family. The horseback ride was exciting, and Point Reyes national seashore sights are spectacular. Our adventure to Lake Tahoe and Reno, on the other hand, was a very long trip. It took us almost 5 hours to get to Reno from San Francisco. I wish I knew how far this was, but we still had a great time in both Reno and Tahoe. The next day, after the tour, we were dropped off at Sacramento Airport. Thank you, Nellie, for your help and patience during our booking process. You guys rock.
Gabriela & Oscar Reyes, Lima, Peru
Original review poste don trip advisor in Spanish:
“Increíble Vacaciones e inolvidable experiencia en Lago Tahoe y Reno!
Los dos tours que reservamos con esta empresa fueron el combo Parque de Muir Woods y Reserva de Point Reyes con un paseo a caballo fue maravillo e inolvidable gracias a nuestro guía Luis. Ambas excursiones fueron personalizadas para nosotros. Mi hijo de 13 años le encantó. La cabalgata fue divertida y la reserva de Point Reyes fue espectacular.
Por otro lado, nuestra aventura para visitar Lago Tahoe y Reno fue un día largo, nos tomó 5 horas en llegar a Reno saliendo desde San Francisco, que lástima que no teníamos más días para quedarnos más tiempo, pero definitivamente la pasamos genial tanto en Reno como en Tahoe. Al día siguiente volamos a casa desde el aeropuerto de Sacramento. Muchas gracias, Nellie por toda tu ayuda y tu paciencia durante nuestro proceso de reserva. Chicos son lo máximo...! muchas gracias!
Gabriela & Oscar Reyes, Lima, Perú
Lake Tahoe is the best of the West Coast of both Nevada and California sides. Even if you’re not
a fan of the outdoors activities, Lake Tahoe is well worth the long drive from San Francisco.
This is must-see destination with remarkable places to please everyone. Tahoe is such a special
place; I recommend it to everybody who likes nature.
We also booked Yosemite day trip with tour company, was a very long day trip but worth it.
Martha Frierrs and Family, Alabama
Lake Tahoe region is one of the must-see places in California with an array of activities for both summer and winter. We loved it, and our kids already want to go back there. They took ski lessons and fell in love with Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe area. We would like to visit Tahoe in the summer as well, as I am sure it will look great; all green after the snow season. Don’t miss out on Emerald Bay during your stay - it’s beautiful. We can check that off our bucket list now-awesome):-
Jimmy & family -Belize
We spent too much time in Southern California (in Los Angeles) during our last trip to California. But San Francisco Bay Area is way better and has so much to offer visitors. We did a half-day sightseeing tour of the city in Spanish, and then we head east to Lake Tahoe. The Lake is pristine, wonderful and so clean, the air was fresh and pure with magnificent surroundings. The hotel, booked for us by the company, was clean and well-located close to major attractions.
Our tour guide, Guillermo, was awesome - a very friendly and funny guy. Try to avoid school holidays as some places were a bit crowded, but there is no traffic once you get to the lake. As for trip to Yosemite, this was a once-in-a-lifetime vacation and a unique experience, you got to visit Yosemite and see it with your own eyes.
Lucia & Rogelio Mérida-Mexico
My family and I signed up for this Lake Tahoe and Whitewater Rafting combo adventure. We started off with the rafting experience, which offered incredible thrill rides on the south fork of the American River. We got a bit scared at some of the rapids, but we managed and had a blast. That was the highlight our 2-day tour package with Golden Horizon Travel They provided us with lots of info beforehand and all necessary equipment required for the trip, so we felt properly prepared and safe for the rafting adventure. The rapids are exciting, challenging and thrilling, and our guide was competent and fun. The Lake Tahoe guided tour was fun, and the alpine vistas are stunning. Overall, an exciting family adventure, with lots of fun, and the best trip so far with our kids.
Alice & Ian Rich, Calgary, Canada
Our tour guide-driver, Pat, was the best! She was prompt, and very knowledgeable about the areas we drove through, from the San Francisco Bay area to Lake Tahoe. A beautiful SUV too, and very comfortable! I was nervous at first to book, as it was a little pricey, but it is well worth every single penny!! Trust me. We would definitely use this tour company in our future visits to San Francisco and Yosemite! Tahoe was another beautiful place we would have missed. My kids loved tubbing and sledding in Lake Tahoe meadows. Thank you, guys and good job!!
Gina W. Johnson. Wausau, Wisconsin
From the moment we contacted Golden Horizon Travel via their live chat online, to the tour itself, the booking process and the high level of customer services and dedicated attention, everything went just perfect. They are true professionals and pay a lot of attention to detail. They responded promptly to all of our inquiries and questions, even late at night. As for the tour package, private tours and hikes we took with our passionate and fun tour guide Adam, we enjoyed every single minute of it in the High Sierra Nevada wilderness. Yosemite National Park is a magical place with unique biology and geology. We even had a close-up encounter with a bear by the giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove. While Taft point and Glacier point are a must-see, don’t miss out on Tioga road through the Tuolumne Meadows area. We stopped at the Mono lake visitor center on the way to Lake Tahoe, and that was quite interesting with all these so-called tufa towers in the middle of the lake. Lake Tahoe is another wonderland of the Sierra, with a wide array of outdoor attractions. We were a bit tired, but luckily the 4x4 SUV allowed us to gain access to places where large vehicles are not allowed, so this saved us a lot of hiking. Highly recommended
Julius Ramesh Goodwood Park, Trinidad
My wife and I want you to know how much we enjoyed our time with you and how much we regret the distance that separates us. Adam was so welcoming and so generous in carrying oBook This Toun with our trip when the two American ladies withdrew at the last moment. Adam's passion for Yosemite and his educated and deeply-researched knowledge of the area, its geography, geology, trees and animals gave us insights, views and opportunities that made us feel less like tourists and more like students Most of all, we loved travelling with your company. We hope that both enjoyed the outing as much as we did. I started out thinking that Adam had taken us to "photographers' Heaven" but with so many subjects and such vast scenery to photograph and my cameras being so inadequate, it was frustrating not to have the skills and equipment to capture the beauty and scale of Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes and Tahoe. However, even better than photos are the vivid memories that we have brought home with us from the wonderful times we had in Lake Tahoe, Eastern Sierra and Yosemite National Park. I have some photos to send to you when I have finished editing and sorting. We thought that San Francisco was a great city and would love to return. We will return soon to go to Big Sur and Hearst Castle, or to the redwood national park area, and hope to visit this amazing place with your guide. Thank you for your company and kindness. If you ever have a chance to travel to Australia, please let us know so that we can attempt to return some of your hospitality. We hope that we can meet again. In the meantime, we are telling all our friends not to visit California without booking a trip with Golden Horizon Travel.
Yours sincerely Bob and Faith Australia
We booked the day trip to Lake Tahoe from Palo Alto in Silicon Valley while visiting the area for business purposes, my son and I had a fantastic time with our Japanese tour guide Hiro in south lake Tahoe. We also booked a sperate day trip to Yosemite Valley, that was a long day drive from san Francisco bay area, but we had lot of fun in Yosemite Valley.
While visiting friends of mine in San Francisco, we decided to book this one-day trip to Tahoe with golden horizon tours, and we were not disappointed. Our tour guide Adam picked up the prefect ski resort for us; Squaw Valley (the Olympic Valley) and Alpine Meadows, they are now one ski resort with massive and beautiful terrain, quality snow, and friendly staff. This is our favorite place in lake Tahoe for skiing. As soon as we got off the Squaw Valley Aerial Tram (cable car), we fell in love with mastic and panoramic views of Lake Tahoe from this stunning overlook. From easy slopes to challenging bowls, there's something for the entire family, this is an awesome place for young and the elders even without skiing. Our driver Adam is also an expert skier which made it more fun as he knows very well both ski resorts (Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows).
Juan Sandoval and friends Santiago, Chile