Inspirational Adventures in Yosemite National Park
Explore Among the Giants in California’s High Sierra
Adult & Family Departures Run July-August, 2021
Reservations Filling Quickly!
For over 150 years, Yosemite has captured the attention of everyone from naturalists to poets to political leaders.
John Muir, a naturalist intrigued by Yosemite in the late 1800s, took his passion for the place to the next level by urging the land be protected at all costs. “But no temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its wall seems to glow with life,” Muir wrote endearingly in 1912. Because of Muir’s dedication to preservation, a bill was passed to bolster protection for Yosemite, an addition to President Abraham Lincoln’s original 1864 Yosemite Valley Grant Act.
Today, Yosemite National Park is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and treasured by millions every year. For rock climbers, it is the epitome of natural playgrounds. For naturalists, it is a wonder filled with remarkably giant Sequoias and monoliths. For historians, it is a land of stories about the Ahwahnechee people. For visitors, it is a glimpse at a majesty only travel can reveal.
Stand at the base of a tumbling 2,425-foot waterfall, a soaring 8,842-foot granite dome, a 3,000- year-old, 300-foot Giant Sequoia. Hike, swim, and explore the largest subalpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife like black bears, bighorn sheep, and foxes. Find out why granite will be your new stone of choice as a rock climber. Discover just how huge a Giant Sequoia really is by standing at the base of one of these forest monsters and looking up skyward. Explore Yosemite National Park with the experts in adventure travel.
Where You Can Visit
See giant Sequoia trees at Mariposa Grove, explore Tunnel View looking out at El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridal Veil, venture into Hetch Hetchy Valley, and visit Half Dome and Yosemite Village.
This trip involves light to moderate activity levels and is suitable for most fitness levels.
Who Should Explore Yosemite National Park
Multi-generation families and active adults, rock climbers, wildlife lovers, geology enthusiasts, and history buffs.
Grace spent her first three years out West as an Interpretive Park Ranger at Grand Teton National Park. It was here where she realized that reconnecting people to wild spaces through storytelling and positive outdoor experiences was her passion. Wanting to spend even more time outside, Grace transitioned into guiding where she learned how to spend days in the woods and that everything she needed could be carried on her back.
Heather is a spirited ecologist, adventurer, saver of animals, and professional photographer. She has a background in wildlife ecology with a keen interest in behavioral sciences. In 2017, Heather logged her first season in Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park working as a vessel captain and marine science educator. She shifted gears again and worked in Alaska, this time inspiring those in search of epic adventures and education through Austin Adventures!
Robert was born in Phoenix, Arizona but grew up in Nashville Tennessee. Robert’s parents, being very enthusiastic outdoor adventurists themselves, took Robert to parks and cities all over the country growing up. Spending time with family in these places is what developed Robert’s love for all things outdoors and travel-related. Playing several sports growing up helped Robert develop physical, leadership, and adventurous skills.
After a trip to Europe during high school, Robert was influenced by his Italian guide to pursue a career in the travel industry, which is the direction he took going to the University of Tennessee the next year. During his university tenure, Robert began his professional career as a guide in Chattanooga Tennessee, and has since guided professionally in 15 states and 10 national parks, ranging from the American West to the South. After ‘retiring’ from a separate career in web development, Robert has been able to completely devote his professional and personal life to guiding.
Discover Majesty and Monoliths Through Adventure
Interact with the intriguing landscape on hikes. Yosemite’s impressive smooth granite decorated with some of the tallest waterfalls in North America makes for memorable hiking experiences. As you trek on, watch for wildlife; there are over 400 species that call the high elevation of California’s Sierra Nevada home.
Grab some climbing shoes for a fantastic day of rock climbing and rappelling – no trip to Yosemite would be complete without it! It’s no wonder rock climbing has been a large part of the Yosemite park culture for decades, with various rock formations and paths. Can you believe there are famous climbers who have completed free climbs (no equipment!) on Dawn Wall and El Capitan?
Classes are designed for climbers of all levels, so everyone from beginners to experts will take away a new skill-set. You’ll spend the better part of the day learning everything there is to know about rock climbing – from tying knots to rappelling, and everything in between.
Harken back to old-timey adventure when pioneers and explorers would traverse the land by horse or mule. Take a two-hour horseback ride in the midst of 2,000-year-old redwood trees that tower above you along the trail.
Keep an eye out for the perfect swimming hole while on a hike along the Tuolomne River. You’ll enjoy the cool rushing water as a reward after a warm hike in the sunlit forests. The Tuolomne River was dammed to create a water supply for San Francisco in the 1920s.
Watch the Sun's Magic
The sun plays many tricks on Yosemite’s mammoth monoliths and the park experiences many sun-lit phenomena at different times. The Firefall event occurs in February every year, where the sunset hits Horsetail Fall at just the right angle so as to illuminate the falling water, resembling tumbling fire flames from the high rock. The peaks of El Capitan and Half Dome appear in a fiery warm glow from the sunset on clear nights, a spectacular sight for photographers. You’ll have a chance to watch the sunset after dinner from Sentinel Dome.
Where We Stay
Rush Creek Lodge
Recently opened in 2016, The Rush Creek Lodge is the first new resort in Yosemite National Park in over 25 years! These brand-new accommodations feature two queen beds, a private bathroom, and a private deck with scenic views of the forest at sunset. Keeping in the spirit of an authentic, rewarding mountain experience, you won’t find televisions or other electronic distractions in the room. Instead, you’ll find radio streaming, games, and the option of renting a portable DVD player and movies. Hoping to catch the big game? The Tavern offers a selection of local craft brews and sports broadcasts, along with live music or karaoke. And don’t forget the pool! The lodge hosts a saltwater pool, hot tubs, The Pool Bar, and a cozy fire pit lounge. All in all, the pristine luxury of the Rush Creek Lodge is the perfect way to begin our trek through Yosemite.
Named after the legendary Chief Tenaya, this lodge is located near the park’s south gate in the Sierra National Forest. Tenaya Lodge is an all-season resort that offers AAA Four-Diamond Yosemite accommodations, a rich range of recreational activities, and awe-inspiring beauty at every turn. Located only two miles from Yosemite National Park, Tenaya offers the cozy feel of a mountain retreat – but features a full range of world-class amenities. The luxurious spa features 12 treatment rooms and signature organic treatments, men’s and women’s steam rooms and saunas, relaxation rooms, and a fitness center. You’ll also find two indoor heated pools and a newly expanded outdoor pool, adjacent to a kids’ splash pool and an adults-only soaking pool. The five dining venues on-site range from casual to candlelit – all serving fresh, local, sustainable fare.
Popular views within the park include the “Tunnel View” of Yosemite Valley which showcases El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Fall made famous by landscape photographer Ansel Adams. Another fantastic feature of this park is Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America.
Mariposa Grove is home to around 60 sequoia trees as well as the Grizzly Giant, a massive iconic sequoia estimated to be about 3,000 years old. Journey into the famous Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias where we’ll take a short, peaceful hike amongst these gentle giants. Trek 2.5 miles on this loop trail and don’t forget your camera!
Hetch Hetchy Valley
A water-filled valley framed by slate grey monoliths; Hetch Hetchy Valley provides adventurers a peaceful treasure. But the serene reservoir was born out of a controversial time when San Francisco needed a water supply. The Tuolumne River was dammed in the 1920s for San Francisco’s use. Hetch Hetchy Valley’s reservoir stretches over almost 2,000 acres and can hold about 117 billion gallons of water.
From Wapama Falls to Vernal Fall and Upper Yosemite Falls, there are waterfalls galore to explore at Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Falls holds the title as one of North America’s tallest waterfalls, topping out at about 2,425 feet! This unique waterfall in particular is made up of multiple falls: Upper Yosemite Fall, the middle cascades, and Lower Yosemite Fall.