7 days departing SAN FRANCISCO from

Style: In-Depth
Destination: USA West
Tour Code: IYT

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Trip Overview

This Yosemite, Tahoe and Monterey in-depth tour delves into California's west and Lake Tahoe, for a deeper experience whilst staying in some truly unique accommodation. Visit Yosemite's majestic waterfalls, Lake Tahoe's sparkling waters and stunning coastal cities, and watch whales in Monterey. Explore pristine mountain peaks, valleys with wild flowers, towering cliffs, Giant Sequoias and enjoy a champagne catamaran cruise. With some impeccable accommodation to ease your passage, you'll be outdoors every day and able to really relax and unwind in the evening.

Included Highlights
  • Whale watching cruise in Monterey
  • Sunset champagne cruise in Lake Tahoe
  • Hiking with private ranger guide in Yosemite National Park to Upper Yosemite Falls trail
  • Visit beautiful Vernal Falls in Yosemite
  • Stretch your legs around Lake Tahoe on the Moraine Hiking Trail and Mount Tallac trails
  • Explore Sausalito and stroll across Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
  • Swimming opportunities at Lake Tahoe
  • Wildlife viewing opportunities in Yosemite, Tahoe and Monterey
Tour Facts and Features
Accommodation: 5 premium lodge nights and 1 hotel night in twin share accommodation. For your own room request our optional Solo Sleeper (see 'Dates and Prices' tab).
Transport: All transportation by private vehicle and boat
Meals: 6 breakfasts and 2 dinners included
Guided: Services of a professional tour leader and local specialist guides
Group size: Maximum 13
Age range: 16+
Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi available in your vehicle. Maximum of five users at one time.

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

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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
  • 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 that the locals are fiercely proud of, and for good reason. There's plenty to keep you entertained but the best introduction is booking one of our 'Urban Adventures' to discover the city through the eyes of a local guide. A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs tonight to meet your fellow travellers and tour leader over a welcome dinner.
Accommodation: Kimpton Buchanan Hotel | Meals: Welcome dinner included

Kimpton Buchanan Hotel - San Francisco
This hip hotel is only a mile from Union Square and has a laid-back, Japanese-style décor. A free afternoon wine social and loaner bikes are offered. Amenities also include a fitness room, valet parking (fee) and a courtyard. There's a lively Japanese restaurant/bar adjacent to the hotel.

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: Monterey

As the Golden Gate Bridge disappears into the distance you make your way to Monterey on California's rugged central coast. The magnificent Monterey Peninsula has been called the greatest meeting of land, sea and sky and is recognised as an ideal place to spot whales.

There are two things that will happen today: the first is that you will hit the Monterey Peninsula Recreation Trail, keeping your eyes peeled for harbour seals, otters and the sparkling Pacific Ocean. The second - and you can't leave Monterey without doing so - is to venture out on an included whale viewing cruise. It is commonplace to view these magnificent mammals that frequent the area between April and October. In the evening, with excellent nightlife and countless restaurants serving up some of the best seafood around, you'll definitely be spoilt for choice in Monterey.
Accommodation: Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa | Meals: Breakfast included

Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa - Monterey
Set in a charming, hacienda-style building, this upscale hotel is a mile from Fisherman's Wharf. Traditionally furnished rooms have free Wi-Fi, plush bedding and flat-screen TVs. Amenities include day spa and a Mediterranean restaurant/bar, heated outdoor pool and gym.

Day 3: 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 park's photographers was Ansel Adams, whose gallery sits in the heart of Yosemite Valley and you'll have plenty of time to take a look at his iconic photographs.

The drive from Monterey to Yosemite today is beautiful and it leaves enough time upon arrival for a short hike, the perfect introduction to this wilderness national park. This hike is an easy win as you won't need to work too hard for wonderful views of Vernal Falls, as well as pleasant views of the river both up and downstream.

Name: Vernal Fall Footbridge
Distance: 1.6 mi (2.6 km) round trip
Elevation gain: 400 ft (120 m)
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 1-1.5 hours

Accommodation: Rush Creek Lodge | Meals: Breakfast included

Rush Creek Lodge
This beautiful lodge provides quality, private and communal settings, and a huge array of opportunities to help you enjoy your time. Bordering Yosemite National Park, this relaxed wilderness resort is set on 20 acres of wooded hillside, 10 miles from the sequoia trees of Tuolumne Grove. Bright rooms feature sitting areas, decks, minifridges and Keurig coffeemakers. There's a relaxed restaurant and a tavern, both with terraces and amenities include an outdoor pool and two hot tubs.

Day 4: Yosemite National Park

Heading back out on the trails is really the only way to take in the best of what Yosemite has to offer. Therefore, we have included a Yosemite Ranger to lead a hike on the Upper Yosemite Falls trail, an incredible hike to really stretch the legs.

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail is one of Yosemite's oldest historic trails which leads to the top of North America's tallest waterfall. This trail begins at Camp 4, along the Valley Loop Trail, and immediately starts climbing through a series of switchback trails, through oak woodland. You continue to climb above the tree line and into exposed areas where the only views in front of you are of Yosemite Valley, some of the most beautiful natural vistas on planet earth. Please note there are some steep drops on this trail. At Columbia Rock, you'll be rewarded by views of Half Dome and Sentinel Rock. On the upper half of the trail you'll encounter steep sections with uneven surfaces, but the views are more than worth it. At the top of the Yosemite Falls Trail, you have uninterrupted views of Half Dome and Lost Arrow Spire up close, as well as panoramic views of the various peaks.

Distance: 7.2 miles (11.6 km) round trip
Elevation: 2,700 ft. (823 m) elevation gain
Difficulty: Strenuous
Time: 6-8 hours round trip
Begin at: Camp 4 area

Accommodation: Rush Creek Lodge | Meals: Breakfast and dinner included

Day 5: 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 Lake Tahoe, the second deepest lake in the USA. It 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. That's a lot of water!

Upon arrival, you'll walk the Moraine Hiking Trail, a relatively flat trail through the forest and along the shore of wonderful Fallen Leaf Lake. This is rated as an easy trail with the reward of Fallen Leaf Lake and the chance to swim at the end of the one mile trek through the woods. Wildflowers come out early season if you are lucky enough to see them.

Distance: 2 miles (return)
Elevation: 50 ft. elevation gain
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 1-1.5 hours

Accommodation: Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe | Meals: Breakfast included

Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe
Set on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, this cosy quarters come with gas fireplaces and coffeemakers, plus flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. Most rooms have balconies, while some add lake views and direct beach access. Amenities include a heated outdoor pool, hot tub and a 24-hour fitness center, as well as a pier and a marina with jet ski and kayak rentals.

Day 6: Lake Tahoe

Today you'll hike a trail to really get you off the beaten path and see panoramic views of the area. If you would prefer to take things a bit easier, why not ask your leader to organise you a mountain bike or kayak to experience the lake at a different pace?

The Mount Tallac Trail is a 9.6 mile trail and is the jewel in the crown of mountains which ring Lake Tahoe. From the summit at 9,735ft above sea level, Mt Tallac offers unparalleled and uninterrupted views of the area. This route traverses lush forest, scenic ridgelines, small alpine lakes and meadows well-known for their beautiful wild flowers. This trail will make you work for it but the rewards are phenomenal. Expect to find the trail flooded with chipmunks - Black Bears have also been previously spotted on this hike.

Distance: 9.6 miles round trip
Elevation: 3,323ft elevation gain
Difficulty: Moderate - Strenuous
Time: 6 hours round trip
Begin at: Emerald Bay State Park

How would you choose to spend your final evening of the tour? Well, we think the best way is by drinking champagne on a catamaran cruise around Lake Tahoe as the setting sun lights the water. From the middle of the lake you can truly appreciate the vastness of this jewel in the Sierra Nevadas.
Accommodation: Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 7: Sausalito and San Francisco

Departing Lake Tahoe, you make your way towards the outskirts of San Francisco. Nestled on a beautiful harbour on the bay, Sausalito is undeniably picturesque. It was awarded its name for the tiny willows which once populated the banks of its creeks and much of its fame is a result of its colourful houseboats lining the bay. With beautiful views of San Francisco and Angel Island, it's easy to see why Sausalito is favoured by San Francisco natives.

Finish your day with a leisurely stroll across the world's most famous bridge, the Golden Gate. With views of the infamous Alcatraz Prison and the city, this is the most wonderfully apt way of bringing your tour to a close.
Meals: Breakfast included

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 every night of the tour. 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.

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Available: Seats are available. Book Online now!
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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).

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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.

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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.

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