is the source for our daughter's name. John Muir called the
Sierra's, the mighty range which envelops this magnificent valley,
the "Range of Light." One former tour participant, a high school
principal leading students here, referred to the tour as, "magical
and mystical, intimate and personal; yet a group collaboration
of the very best kind," and stated that he has never had a group
of students "so responsive to a learning environment." While
another client regards it as a "treasured, life-changing experience."
Clearly this place inspires.
Day 1: SF to Yosemite-"The Old Route"
We can't wait to watch
you round that bend and view the valley from Big Oak Flat Rd.
Trail, the original road before talus slides rendered it impassable
and irreparable. From San Francisco Bay we drive across the great
valley into the Sierras. We enter Yosemite Park, and hike through chaparral and pine forest for four miles before crossing invigorating
Tamarack and Cascade creeks and meeting up with the old road.
This takes a gentle downward slope the remaining 7 miles around
the north corner of the entrance to the valley, gradually revealing
the jaw-dropping panorama. A bonus is the exhilaration of rock
hopping the talus slides which 50 years ago wiped out this historic
Lodgings: For 3 nights at a family campground offering us the unique experience associated with the park.
Dinner: Home cooking
Day 2: Glacier Pt. To the Floor
Hike down along the valley's edge on this aptly named trail with its great views of Half Dome and fellow granite formations. Revel in the rainbow-laden spray of the "Mist Trail", courtesy of Nevada and Vernal falls, two of the three dramatic cascades we closely explore today. Then we stroll back into camp and decide whether to indulge in one of the Curry Village refreshments while the sunset lights up the face of Half Dome.
Day 3: Tioga Rd. & Yosemite Falls
Today's activity is variable according to how you feel and what you're up for. If we can get rolling fairly quickly, we drive up Tioga Rd. to Olmstead Pt., where one can clamber upon the granite formations and peer across to Tenaya Lake and up towards Tuolumne. Then we return to Porcupine Flat to begin our descent to and down Yosemite Falls. For those fit and ready we detour to North Dome, from where we can examine every cranny and marking on the sheer face of Half Dome.
Day 4: Rafting the Merced
We hook up with Zephyr River Expeditions to raft this scenic and entertaining river. The Merced features a great blend of placid pools and class 2-3 rapids, with a couple of thrills thrown in to spray us down. Prepare to get a bit wet and much elated as we charge into the waves or drift in the gentle currents, a fitting way to finish this supremely uplifting tour.