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Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes - California Wildnerness Escape
Escape the crowds and experience millions of square miles of California wilderness on this Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes holiday adventure. If you're seeking an active holiday for yourself or your family in stunning scenery then look no further.
Price per person includes:
Return flights to San Francisco
2 nights in San Francisco in 4 star accommodation
Bike The Golden Gate Bridge excursion
2 nights in Mariposa County in an historic inn
3 nights in Wawona, Yosemite National Park, in The Redwood Cabins
5 nights in Mammoth Lakes in cosy cabins at Tamarack Lodge
Car hire throughout
A personalised road book with travel tips and day to day driving itinerary with local area information
San Francisco and Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf
Mariposa Grove and the Redwoods
Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes
Day One - Two : San Francisco
Arrive San Francisco and enjoy two nights in The Beautiful City on the Bay. We've included a Bike The Golden Gate Bridge excursion on day two. On this self-guided excursion you'll travel along San Francisco's stunning waterfront, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and cruise into the picturesque seaside towns of Sausalito & Tiburon before you hop on the ferry back to San Francisco. Don't forget your camera, the views of 'Frisco from across the bay are fabulous. On day two you'll also have time to visit Alcatraz, ride the historic trams and stroll though Fisherman's Wharf.
Day Three : Historic Mariposa
Distance: 213 miles
Collect your hired car from the downtown city depot and head off on your wilderness adventure. Arrive into historic Downtown Mariposa, your base for the Yosemite area for your next two nights.
Enjoy learning about Mariposa’s Gold Rush heritage at the California State Mining and Mineral Museum, then check into your Bon Voyage accommodation in downtown Mariposa. Be sure to take a short walk to the Prospector Brewing Company for a tasting and tour and then spend time touring the Mariposa County Courthouse and the Old Jail House. For dinner there are options of a fine dining experience with a wine pairing from one of the local wineries or a more casual experience at one of the downtown restaurants.
Day Four : Mariposa and Mariposa Grove
Enjoy breakfast in one of the many quaint eateries in Mariposa then depart for the wonders of Yosemite.
Catch the YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) from downtown Mariposa and enjoy the scenic journey along Hwy 140 following the Merced River, known for its Class 3-4 white water rafting in late spring and summer. Arrive in stunning Yosemite Valley where the seasonality determines the landscape of today. Expect a winter wonderland from December to February, blooming wildflowers and raging waterfalls in spring, increased footfall and much family laughter in summer, and a colourful sea of spectacular fall foliage in autumn. Enjoy a two hour narrated Valley Tour, by a Yosemite Park Ranger, from the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. The tour stops at all the iconic landmarks in the Valley including breathtaking Inspiration Point aka. Tunnel View. You can also hike to Yosemite Falls, which are only a stone’s throw from Yosemite Lodge at the Falls.
Before leaving, other must sees are the Ansel Adams Gallery, the Indian Museum, the Yosemite Cemetery, Indian Cultural Exhibit, historical Post Office and, of course, you can shop for Yosemite souvenirs.
Day Five : Yosemite National Park
Enjoy breakfast in your accommodation in Mariposa, and then check out.
Before departing from Mariposa head to the Yosemite Ziplines and Adventure Ranch for a morning of pure exhilaration. Open year round, the Adventure Ranch offers two hour, six stage guide-led tours as well as an Aerial Adventure course, a playground in the sky.
Drive from Mariposa to Wawona, which is your destination for the next three nights. Check into your very own holiday home/cabin at the year-round The Redwoods in Yosemite. On route, stock up on supplies from the local supermarket including ingredients to make S’Mores (Graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate)
Head out to Mariposa Grove. The Grove contains 500 mature Giant Sequoia trees, the largest living thing on earth. The two-mile Mariposa Grove road is open from April to November making the Wawona to Mariposa Grove shuttle advisable in the summer time as the parking lot becomes very full. The road closes in the winter but makes for a beautiful hike or snow shoe experience. Enjoy a packed lunch in amongst the Giant Sequoias at the Grove.
After lunch, experience the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. It’s ‘All Aboard’ for a one hour narrated Steam Train excursion over rails once used for logging at the turn of the century. An outdoor BBQ awaits you on your return to the station. Also, take time to walk through the Thornberry Museum and try your hand at Gold Panning.
Return to your holiday home in the woods and enjoy making and eating S’Mores, a must-have delicacy around your very own campfire.
Day Six : Yosemite National Park
Enjoy a breakfast at your holiday home in the woods.
If you are arriving between December and April then today is a ski day. Drive to Badger Pass, California’s first ski resort which is only a stone’s throw from your accommodation at The Redwoods in Yosemite. If you are arriving in the non-ski season then consider bird watching, lake fishing, horseback riding or joining one of the excellent photography tours.
Day Seven : Yosemite National Park
Breakfast to be had early at your Redwoods holiday home and pack a picnic lunch. Depart early from The Redwoods in Yosemite and drive to Yosemite Valley. Park the car by Curry Village and start your days hike, remembering water, snacks, appropriate clothing, sunscreen and a map of the area.
Start your hike to Glacier Point, known as The Panorama Trail, which is best in spring and early summer as the waterfalls are at their fullest. This 8.5 mile hike takes in two of Yosemite’s most spectacular hikes, Glacier Point and the Mist Trail; they serve as bookends to a trail that also passes lesser-known gems such as Panorama Point and Illilouette Point. Take in the breathtaking and expansive views at Glacier Point while enjoying your packed lunch. You have the option to hike back to Yosemite Valley where the car is parked or you can take the bus back to Yosemite Valley. Always call ahead to double check scheduling.
Spend the afternoon bicycling around Yosemite Valley and enjoying the outstanding scenery from another perspective. Bikes can be rented from Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. Enjoy reading a book in the glorious California sunshine on the banks of the Merced River.
Return to your Yosemite holiday home and enjoy an evening at your leisure.
Day Eight - Twelve : Mammoth Lakes
Distance: 125 miles
Check out of The Redwoods in Yosemite and take the scenic drive to Mammoth Lakes, less than 2 hours away.
Mammoth; the name says it all. Surrounded by 2.2 million acres of national forest, Mammoth Lakes is a California premier 4 season alpine destination. World class lodging and restaurants await, as well as outlet shopping and is in close proximity to Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake State Park, and Bodie, California's official ghost town. Summer activities include hiking, biking, fishing, golfing, climbing, hot air ballooning, kayaking, horseback riding, off-road touring, and the best high altitude training in the country. Winter fun is had skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snow shoeing, ice climbing, and tubing, a great family activity.
To take advantage of all the activities Mammoth area has to offer, we've based you for five nights in cosy cabins at The Tamarack Lodge. Many of these cabins command stunning views over Twin Lakes. This one-of-a-kind location on the edge of Mammoth is one of the last developed areas before paved roads give way to pure wilderness.
Day Thirteen : San Francisco
Distance: 262 miles
It's time to leave the vast wilderness behind and head back to San Francisco for your early evening flight home. Should you prefer, we can include a short internal flight from Mammoth Airport back to San Francisco.
Perhaps you would like to extend your stay and spend more time in San Francisco or maybe enjoy some time relaxing on the sandy California beaches.
Call the travel specialists at Bon Voyage to discuss your ideal Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes - California Wilderness Escape.