North America Vacations
California | Yosemite National Park | Adult
Hike, swim, and explore the largest subalpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada on this top-rated Yosemite Vacation for Adventurous Adults
6 days / 5 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
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, and experience for yourself why John Muir described Yosemite as “…by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.” Hike, swim, and explore the largest subalpine meadow in 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!
- Observe the pristine waters of Wapama Falls braid out before cascading into the deep blue Hetch Hetchy Reservoir
- Explore a granite tunnel carved into the steep rock walls of Yosemite National Park
- Climb an unforgettable stretch of steep stone steps in the midst of a 300-foot cascading waterfall
- Repel down granite rock faces in Yosemite Valley alongside an expert climbing guide (perfect for beginners!)
- Step over giant exposed roots showcasing the sequoia’s shallow but diffuse life-support system as you walk under towering sequoias in the Mariposa Grove
- Encounter incredible wildlife in their natural habitat including bears, bighorn sheep, and foxes
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
Upper Yosemite Falls trail: Climb switchback after switchback, through oak woodland to be rewarded with spectacular views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Sentinel Rock.
Rock climbing: have you done it? Whether you're a beginner or an expert, we have a route you'll excel at under the guidance of a professional climbing instructor!
Mist Trail: Walk along the thundering waters of the Merced River to one of Yosemite's iconic waterfalls.
Fresno, California FAT
Fresno, California FAT
Fresno / Mariposa Grove / Yosemite National Park
Sunday morning pick up in Fresno. Shuttle north toward the famous Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias where we’ll take a short, peaceful hike amongst these gentle giants. Following lunch we drive into the park, stopping for a picnic lunch and photo ops at Tunnel View. Tunnel View is the classic view that Ansel Adams made famous showcasing El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Fall. Late afternoon, check into Rush Creek Lodge, your home for the next two nights.
About 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.
Hetch Hetchy Valley
After breakfast, shuttle to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir for our trek to Wapama Falls. Along this fascinating trek, listen as your guides tell you stories of John Muir’s time in Yosemite. He claims the Hetch Hetchy Valley was every bit as beautiful as Yosemite Valley until the 1920s; then the Tuolomne River was dammed to create a water supply for San Francisco. After lunch, we will head out for another pleasant hike along the Tuolomne River on the lookout for the perfect swimming hole. Return back to the lodge for relaxation and then dinner.
This morning, we shuttle to the trailhead of the Mist Trail. A 3.3-mile hike takes us to the top of Vernal Fall, tackling 1,000 feet of elevation gain that includes an unforgettable stretch of steep stone steps in the midst of a waterfall. If the group feels up to it, we’ll continue on to Nevada Fall and hike back to where we started along the John Muir Trail. Later, we’ll transfer to Tenaya Lodge, your home for the next three nights. Continue your exploration of this amazing area tonight as you spend dinner and the rest of the evening on your own.
About Tenaya Lodge
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.
Half Dome Village / Yosemite Valley
Fuel up with a warm, fresh meal before we head out to Half Dome Village, where we’ll grab some climbing shoes for a fantastic day of rock climbing and rappelling – no trip to Yosemite would be complete without it! 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. After a pizza lunch at your climbing site, we’ll continue our uphill ascent through the early afternoon. Tonight we eat an early dinner and take in a sunset from Sentinel Dome before making our way back to Tenaya.
Upper Yosemite Falls
Today, embark on an all-day hike along with one of Yosemite’s oldest historic trails (built 1873 to 1877). This trail starts along the Valley Loop Trail, and immediately begins its climb, switchback after switchback, through oak woodland. At a mile in, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Sentinel Rock. From here, we continue another half mile to get a stunning view of Upper Yosemite Falls. The upper half of the trail is steep and rocky, but the arduous climb is well worth the amazing views you will be rewarded with at the Brink of Yosemite Falls. Enjoy a well-earned trailside lunch and continue down the way you came. Transfer back to Tenaya for a final dinner with the group.
Tenaya / Fresno
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the lodge. This morning you can take advantage of some last-minute pool or spa time. Reluctantly we say goodbye to the park and start our way back to Fresno. Hotel and airport drop-offs in the early afternoon (no flights before 3 pm please).
Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather, and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.
Arrival & Departure
Please plan on arriving at least one day prior to your trip departure. Day one of your itinerary starts at 7:45 AM or 8:00 AM depending on your hotel. Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Fresno airport at 1:00 PM or your area hotel at 1:30 PM. Please book your flights for after 3:00 PM out of Fresno Airport.
Hiking – 1 to 7 miles per hike, easy to strenuous in difficulty on varying terrain (dirt trails, smooth granite, wet stone, etc.) Sometimes multiple hikes will be done in a day.
Rock Climbing – Introductory class on the basics of climbing. No experience necessary – shoes, rope, harnesses, and instruction provided by professional rock climbing instructor.
Discovery – John Muir named this place the ‘range of light’ and for good reason. You’ll learn how glaciers formed this valley as you stand under granite monoliths rising thousands of feet above you. You’ll understand why this place is commonly called the ‘Incomparable Valley.’ Listen as your guides delve into the controversy over the Hetch Hetchy Valley: Should the valley remain dammed providing water for the nearby city of San Francisco or should it be restored to its formal glory as what John Muir described as “one of nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples.” Visit the famous Yan-o-pah (little cloud) or Vernal Fall as it’s called today to witness its massive cascade of tumbling whitewater drop 317 feet over a cliff. Discover why Yosemite National Park is a rock climber’s mecca as you stare in awe at granite monoliths like Half Dome and El Capitan. Examine black and white photographs from Ansel Adam’s time spent in the park in the 1910s. Discover for yourself this place they call “The Golden State”.
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to explain the details of each activity, answer any questions, and demonstrate the use of all equipment. Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, your guides will help you select the distance that’s right for you.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments, and receptions are included as indicated by the itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire, and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments, and receptions – except one dinner on own your own.
- Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- Any necessary equipment- all safe and well maintained.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags, and luggage service.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities, and national park entrance and permit fees.
Not Included in Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures guides.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- One dinner on your own.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Kasey was born in Alaska and raised in Billings, Montana. She graduated in 2011 as a Presidential Leadership Scholar at the University of Montana in Missoula with a degree in Education. Growing up in the world of adventure travel, it was only natural for Kasey to jump into the family business upon entering “the real […]