North America Vacations
California | Yosemite National Park | Family Vacation
6-Day Yosemite Family VacationYosemite National Park has inspired poets, painters, photographers and conservationists for centuries – how will it inspire you on your Yosemite Family Vacation?
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.
Experience the Best of Yosemite With Kids & Family
Pack the kids and your sense of adventure for this nonstop-action, family journey through Yosemite National Park. Join our expert guides as they introduce you to towering redwoods and the fascinating history of one of America’s favorite National Parks by foot, and even climbing harnesses! This all-inclusive, custom Yosemite vacation package includes cozy accommodations at kid-approved lodges, complemented with the best in regional cuisine and the tastiest pizza of any National Park. Discover why John Muir described Yosemite as “by far the grandest of all the special temples of nature I was ever permitted to enter“.
Yosemite Family Vacation Highlights
Six days of family friendly fun and activities into one of America’s greatest national treasures. 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 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!
- Stare up in awe at Giant Sequoia trees in a quiet, secluded grove
- Discover your inner Ansel Adams as you snap photos of iconic locations from Tunnel View
- Check out the iconic sites like El Capitan, Lower Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome under the navigation of a knowledgeable guide
- Get a glimpse into Yosemite’s past the same way John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt did, from the back of a good horse
- Try your hand at rock climbing alongside an expert instructor and take in a 360-degree panorama of Yosemite Valley on a hike up Sentinel Dome
- Enjoy a poolside barbecue before calling it a night in the comfort of the Rush Creek Lodge
Explore More Family Adventure Vacations
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The Yosemite Firefall: learn the history of an 88-year-old tradition deemed so dangerous that it was discontinued in 1968.
The trees! It took 15 Austin Adventures guests, hand in hand, to encircle one Giant Sequoia.
The rock climbing: after a 60-foot rappel down the base of El Capitan, you and your kids both will have a new perspective on what you can accomplish.
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.
Lembert Dome / Tenaya Lake
After breakfast, shuttle to Lembert Dome where we will stretch our legs on a short hike and be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Tuolumne Meadows, the Cathedral Ridge and surrounding peaks. Hold on to your hats as it get a bit windy up there. Look for wildlife 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 to Tenaya Lake, known as “Jewel of the High Country” for swimming and lakeside lounging. Return back to the lodge for relaxation and then dinner.
Mist Trail / Vernal Falls / Night On Your Own
This morning, we shuttle to the trailhead of the Mist Trail in Yosemite Valley. 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. Picnic lunch back in the valley. Later, we’ll transfer south towards Tenaya Lodge. On the way, we stop to take a two-hour horseback ride in the midst of 2,000-year-old redwood trees. Arrive at your home for the next three nights and 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.
Yosemite Valley Rock Climb / Merced River Swim / Sunset at Glacier Point
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. After our climb we will head to Merced River to cool off with a quick dip followed by an early dinner and take in a sunset from Glacier Point before making our way back to Tenaya.
Taft Point / Sentinel Dome
Today we head to Taft Point and Sentinel Dome, two of Yosemite’s south rim highlights, are what we’ll hike on this 5-mile scenic loop. Taft Point offers dramatic exposure and one of the best vistas over the western Yosemite Valley, while Sentinel Dome’s symmetrical granite summit provides the south rim’s best panorama. Along the way, we’ll emerge at viewpoints featuring unique perspectives of El Capitan and Yosemite Falls. 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).
**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 7:00 AM or 7:15 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 5 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 one day.
Rock Climbing: Introductory class on the basics of climbing. No experience necessary – shoes, rope, harnesses, and instruction provided by professional rock climbing instructor.
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.
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”.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments, and receptions – except one dinner on your own – 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.
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)
National Parks Expert
Not sure what to expect when you get your boots on the ground—or bike on the road or paddle in the water—in that dream destination? Dan Austin would love to tell you. More than likely, he’s been there, done that, and then some. The founder and president of Austin Adventures, Dan is a boots-on-the-ground influencer in the company, helping guests, ensuring guides lead the way he would, and curating new trips by personally experiencing and evaluating every detail. While always happy to add to his list of 64 countries and counting, Dan most highly values helping guests experience their adventure in the most inspiring and energizing way possible.