Meet in San Francisco before we make the drive to Coloma, where we take to the American River for a day of white water excitement. The rafting on the American River is a great introduction to this active trip on the way over to Yosemite. There are different levels of rafting available, depending on the skill of the group, but what we can guarantee is that you will have a thrilling, wet and wild ride along the river. Estimated Rafting Time: 4-5 hrs
This morning we leave Coloma and head for Yosemite National Park, a journey of approx. 3 hrs, before we arrive at our campsite in the Tuolumne Meadows area. Yosemite is characterised by granite rocks and a wide variety of old rock formations, which has created within the park towers, boulders, and vast cliffs. Once we are set up in the camp, we head out for our first hike of the trip. Depending on the conditions, we either head to Dog Lake, a hike surrounded by granite cliffs and evergreen forest or we can continue along the Lembert Dome hike, where we can scramble to the top for views across the surrounding peaks. Return to our campsite for the night. Estimated Travel Time (Coloma to Yosemite NP): 3 hrs
Today we hike along the valley floor of Yosemite NP. Yosemite is among America's most famous national parks, and helped to popularise the idea of what a national park should be across the USA. The park covers five different ecosystems including redwood forest, granite cliff faces and alpine forest. Walking along the valley floor, we follow the trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls. The view of Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap and Half Dome from the trail is one of Yosemite's iconic views. Return to our campsite for the night.
Full day to explore Yosemite National Park. A short drive will take us to Glacier Point, a view point above Yosemite Valley reaching an elevation of over 7000 feet. It offers superb views of Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls and Half Dome. Prepare for more incredible views as you hike the Taft Point Loop back down to the Valley. This 5 mile hike will take you from the spectacular views of Glacier Point along to the views at Taft Point. Relax with a beautiful sunset view overlooking the park. Return to our campsite for the night Estimated hiking distance: 5 miles
The craggy rock formations and towering mountains that make up Yosemite National Park are the ideal place for today's activity, rock climbing. Climbers of all abilities have attempted to climb the varied rocky surfaces of Yosemite, and many come here to attempt to climb the sheer cliffs and rock faces without the aid of ropes. For our climbing, we make sure that we have a full safety briefing to understand the dangers involved, and know how to use our technical equipment. This is an introduction to rock climbing, so we will be sure to have all the equipment in place before we start. The majority of the climbing is traditional climbing following cracks and ledges, and we will have the chance to practise both climbing and rapelling back down the rocks. Return to our campsite for the night.
The next three days of our itinerary are dedicated to back country hiking. For this trek, we carry all our equipment with us as we hike. This is the best way to experience the rugged and remote parts of Yosemite National Park. For the trek, we take our tents, sleeping bags and food with us, as we are going out into the back country away from the main trails. Following the trail to the Alpine Lakes, we cover 10 kilometres of hiking in our first day. Starting out from our campground in the Bass Lake area, we hike through the Southern Yosemite region, through a landscape that is dotted with pine forest and clear blue lakes along the way. After a night sleeping out in the wild, we wake to see the incredible landscape around us stretching off into the distance. We continue our hike today through the area made famous by Ansel Adams, the noted environmentalist who captured many photographs of the region. Throughout the Southern Yosemite area, the scenery is covered in red fir, Jeffrey Pine and several glaciers, giving the park it's Alpine feel. We return to our campsite for the night. On Day 8 we hike back out of the wilderness and return to our campsite near Bass Lake. Overnight in back country campsite. Approximate distance hiked on Day 6: 10km Approxmiate distance hiked on Day 7: 10 km
Today we switch to two wheels for a cycling trip through Yosemite. The cycling here is mostly following the trail down to Lewis Creek in the Bass Lake area. Be sure to take plenty of water with you for the day, as it can get quite hot out on the bikes. Cycle past tall cedars and pines as well as hopping over boulders, this is a moderately strenuous cycle, with no technical expertise required. After a morning on the bikes, the afternoon is free for us to choose our activities, including the possibility of optional horse riding. Return to our hotel for the evening.
Return to San Francisco. Depart after 2PM.