9 days departing SAN FRANCISCO from

Style: Walking
Destination: USA West
Tour Code: PYL

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Trip Overview

Start this beautiful journey of discovery in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Visit Yosemite's majestic waterfalls, Lake Tahoe's sparkling waters, explore stunning coastal cities and watch whales in Monterey. Explore pristine mountain peaks, wild valleys, towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls and Giant Sequoias. This eight day tour will blow you away as you travel through California and Nevada.

Included Highlights
  • Whale spotting cruise off the Pacific Coast
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park guided hike
  • Guided coastal walk in Monterey
  • Walk amongst the granite peaks of Yosemite
  • Three nights to explore Yosemite National Park
  • Hike along the shores of Lake Tahoe
  • Swimming opportunities at Lake Tahoe
  • Wildlife viewing opportunities
Guaranteed departures

All departures of this tour are guaranteed, so once you've booked you can be sure you're going! This guarantee gives you the confidence to book all of your travel arrangements and simply look forward to your holiday.

Tour Facts and Features
Accommodation: 4 hotels and 3 lodge nights in twin share accommodation. For your own room request our optional Solo Sleeper (see 'Dates and Prices' tab).
Transport: All transportation by private vehicle
Meals: All meals paid locally
Guided: Services of a professional tour leader
Group size: Maximum 13
Age range: 16+
Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi available in your vehicle. Maximum of five users at one time.

Grand American Adventures vehicles

You'll travel in air-conditioned private vehicles, which offer great flexibility and guarantee to get you further off the beaten path. Our upgraded fleet of vehicles in the USA ensure an enjoyable travelling experience and are fully equipped with:

Extra-large windows for better viewing
Wider seats with additional leg room
6'3'' interior height for added comfort
Full-height electric bi-fold entry door for easy entry / exit
Overhead luggage racks, reading lamps and a TV screen
Wi-Fi in the USA (excluding Alaska)

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Trip Itinerary

Our routes have been carefully chosen to include the best night stops and highlights. However, as local and operational conditions may vary and unforeseen circumstances can arise, the following itinerary should be used as a guideline.

Download Trip Dossier

Download the Yosemite, Tahoe and Monterey trip dossier for tour-specific details including full itinerary, pre-departure information, packing tips and more about our style of travel.

Download Dossier >

Optional Activities (paid locally)

Our optional activities offer the flexibility to do the things you want to and leave out the things you don't. Below are the main optional activities for this trip which can be arranged once you are on tour via your tour leader and paid for locally. Please note that not all optional activities may available on every tour and prices are subject to change.

  • Bike rental - Yosemite US$12-$34
  • Sunset champagne cruise - Lake Tahoe US$53
  • Float trip on the Merced River - Yosemite US$31
  • Kayaking/water sports - Lake Tahoe US$25

Day 1: Arrival day in San Francisco

Welcome to the 'City by the Bay' in sunny California. San Francisco is a city which the locals are fiercely proud of and for good reason. There's plenty to keep you entertained but the best introduction is to jump on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour or book one of our 'Urban Adventures' around the city. A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs in your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Alcatraz. We recommend you book an extra night in our hotel the night before the tour starts and book your ticket online in advance with Alcatraz Cruises.

Day 2: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Monterey

As the Golden Gate Bridge disappears into the distance you make your way south along the Pacific Coast to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, where there's an abundance of beautiful walking trails for you to enjoy. The enormous Redwoods that are local to the area surround you and you'll quickly discover one of the most iconic view points of the Big Sur and McWay Falls. A relatively short walk from the main road, this 80 ft. waterfall cascades on to its very own beach. For exceptional ocean and mountain views, and a chance to see some incredible wildlife, take the two-hour hike along the park's western edge - you won't be disappointed. Continue to Monterey for a coastal walk, keeping your eyes peeled for harbour seals, otters and the sparkling Pacific Ocean on the Monterey Peninsula Recreation Trail. With great nightlife and countless restaurants serving up some of the best seafood around, you'll be spoilt for choice in Monterey.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 3: Monterey and Yosemite National Park

This area is famed for its marine life and is home to a world-class aquarium overlooking the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. You can't visit Monterey without getting out on the water at least once and this morning you'll do exactly that on an included early morning whale viewing cruise (it's common for these magnificent mammals to frequent the area between April and October). This afternoon, leave the rugged and wild coast of the Pacific behind and head towards to the equally beautiful wilderness of Yosemite National Park.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 4: Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an absolute treasure, so it's no surprise that this place is loved by visitors and locals alike! Yosemite embodies the spirit of America's natural parks. Its rugged, towering peaks and magnificent waterfalls have been immortalised by countless photographers. The most famous of the parks photographers was Ansel Adams, whose gallery sits in the heart of Yosemite Valley and you'll have plenty of time to look at his iconic photographs. The trails throughout the park are as varied as the landscape and you'll no doubt find a trail that will appeal to you. Take in the quintessential vistas of El Capitan, a 3,000-ft. sheer rock face famous with rock climbers the world over. Other popular spots in the park are Bridalveil Falls, one of the most prominent waterfalls in Yosemite and then there's the famous granite Half Dome, a rock formation you'll have seen before on countless postcards. Be surprised by some of the largest trees on earth as you walk in the shadows of Giant Sequoia Trees on a guided trek in Tuolumne Grove.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 5: Yosemite National Park

The first thing on the list today is the Mist Trail, arguably one of the most outstanding day hikes from Yosemite Valley. The Mist Trail has some superb views as you walk across picturesque bridges up towards Vernal Falls where the spray from the falls will cool you down on a hot summer's day, creating striking rainbows along the trail. Continue walking and you reach another beautiful waterfall, Nevada Falls. With no barriers, it really feels like you are well and truly in the California wilderness. Return via the John Muir Trail for the perfect afternoon views and if you're lucky you may even spot Black Bear and coyotes that roam the surrounding areas. There's never a dull moment in Yosemite.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 6: Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe

Hike the superb Tuolumne Meadows Trail, a sub-alpine meadow section along the river of the same name. In the afternoon travel to the sparkling shores of Lake Tahoe, the second deepest lake in the USA. Lake Tahoe contains enough water to provide every man, woman and child in the country with 200 litres of water a day, every day, for five years! Now, that's a lot of water. Explore local hiking trails taking you off the beaten path to capture panoramic views. Opt to end your day in style on an optional sunset catamaran cruise. From the middle of the lake you can truly appreciate the vastness of this jewel of the Sierra Nevadas.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 7: Lake Tahoe

Mark Twain said Lake Tahoe's air was pure enough for angels. Beautiful skies, clean air and the cobalt blue lake awaken the senses, especially on the Emerald Bay State Park Trail. In 1969, Emerald Bay was designated a National Natural Landmark for its brilliant panorama of mountains and glacier carved granite. For a slightly different perspective view of this iconic lake, choose to hike Vikingsholm and/or Rubicon Trails. Why not hire a mountain bike or a kayak and enjoy Lake Tahoe at a different pace?
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 8: Lake Tahoe to San Francisco

After a free half day hiking or swimming, you make your way back to everyone's favourite city, San Francisco. Why not add on a few more days to really explore the city?

This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We recommend booking post-tour accommodation if time allows. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

Book Your Trip
No credit card fes
  • A 10% deposit per person is required to confirm your booking.
  • Full payment is due 8 weeks before the tour departure
  • We charge no credit card fees or hidden surcharges
  • ABTA & ATOL licensed operator offering financial security for our tours
  • Prices are land only. Call 0333 999 7965 for a flight inclusive quote (UK)

Solo Sleepers Optional Solo Sleeper

There are no forced supplements for single travellers. Accommodation is based on twin-share, so if you're travelling on your own, you'll share with a fellow passenger of the same sex. However, if you would prefer your own space our Solo Sleeper Option can be requested from per person. This will guarantee you your own room for the nights in San Francisco, Monterrey & Lake Tahoe. The number of single rooms we can offer is limited, so it's best to book early. Simply select the "Solo Sleepers" check box on the booking form or request over the phone.

Important Notes

We highly recommend you book this trip at least 60 days prior to departure. Reservations received within 30 days will be on request and subject to availability of en-route accommodation.

Status Key
ABTA member

Guaranteed: Tour is guaranteed to operate once you book.
Available: Seats are available. Book Online now!
Limited: Limited seats only. Book Online now!
Contact Us: Seats may be available. Please contact us.

Private Departures

Why not arrange your own Grand American Adventures departure? For groups of 8 or more, we can offer tailor-made private departures for any of our published tours enabling friends, families or organizations to enjoy our style of travel at special rates. Tailored itineraries and departure dates can be chosen to suit your needs. (Subject to seasonal/operational restrictions).

Read more and request a quote here >

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Tour Extras

We've offer a whole range of travel extras with everything from city sightseeing, additional hotel nights, insurance and more so you can organise everything you'll need for your trip in one easy place

Hotels Before and After your trip

Tours begin and end at our designated hotels listed below in the departure and arrival cities. You can book additional hotel nights online or contact our sales team.

Hotel Tomo


Centrally located in Japantown with shops, boutiques and restaurants all nearby and close to Union Square and Lower Pacific Heights.

  • Full room: From  per room per night
      Based on single, twin or double room.

Book Flights

Our specialist flights department can offer UK customers a great airline fare to all of our travel destinations.

Book Flights

We have preferred contracts with many international carriers and have secured some of the most competitive prices in the industry. We are also ATOL protected and IATA licensed.

Special offers are regularly available, so call us now on +44 208 682 8921 or click below to request a flight quote by email.

> Request a flight quote now

Travel Insurance

At Grand American Adventures we believe that your safety and enjoyment are the most important parts of your holiday.

Travel Insurance

We recommend you take out insurance as soon as your booking is confirmed. You MUST be covered by insurance that includes adequate coverage for baggage, medical expenses and the cost of repatriation. We can offer you a comprehensive travel insurance policy which is completely tailored for your trip and is specially designed to include all the activities listed.

See our insurance page for more information.

City Sightseeing Tours

If you are spending extra time in our gateway cities, you can now plan in advance by pre-booking unique city sightseeing day tours in addition to your trip.

San Francisco City Tours


All city day tours are operated by local experts who are dedicated to take you behind the scenes so you know it like a local! When booking your trip, simply select your chosen city tours from the Tour Extras section on the online booking form.

> View City Sightseeing Tours

Call us
0333 999 7965
Call us
1800 873-5872
Call us 1300 030 714
Call us 0800 102 364
+44 208 682 8921
Real Americas | Real Adventure