Hidden Gems of
Yosemite Day Trip

14 Hours  |  Round-Trip Transportation

Entrance Fees  |  Giant Sequoias Hike (Mar-Nov)

Small groups. Giant Sequoias.

 

This is not a big bus tour that rushes you through Yosemite National Park. As a small-group Yosemite tour from San Francisco, we make frequent stops so you can get out of the 15-person, luxury van for unbelievable views of El Capitan, Half Dome, and more. From March to November, expect a hike to the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias — we are one of the only Yosemite tour companies to offer this experience.

About this Yosemite Sequoias Tour

 

Every season in Yosemite is different, and we love taking day trips throughout the year to the crown jewel of national parks. Expect unbelievable views of El Capitan, Half Dome, giant sequoias, and waterfalls from the comfort of a 15-person van, as well as out in the fresh air during breaks to enjoy free time.

From March to November, we also do a hike in the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias — we are one of the only Yosemite tour operators to offer this experience.

Entrance fees are included in the ticket price. You may bring your own picnic lunch for the day trip; however, we will make a stop at a grocery store on the way so you can assemble your perfect Yosemite picnic lunch.

Sample Itinerary

6:00 amPickup from your San Francisco hotel in most downtown and waterfront areas including Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, and Lombard, among others.
6:15 – 8:30 amOn this early morning departure, expect a stop along the way to grab coffee and breakfast, as well a restroom break. Your guide knows the route well, and can take you to some good spots to pick up your picnic lunch (own expense) along the way.
8:30 – 10:30 amRide along on the final stretch of the journey into Yosemite National Park. Rolling hills and quaint mountain towns dot the (often) two-lane highways en route to the park, making for a scenic drive aboard our climate-controlled vehicles.
10:30 – 4:00 pm

We’ll take care of admission fees at the ranger station, as you begin to take in the majestic beauty of Yosemite National Park. As you drive in, you can begin to see how Yosemite’s surroundings laid the foundation for the national park system, and to this day remains one of its most famous parks.

As we descend into the park, it feels like a postcard comes to life as we emerge through a tunnel as it frames giant rock formations such as the recognizable El Capitan and Half Dome. Keep a lookout for rock climbers scaling lofty rocks, and wildlife meandering along the roadside — it may even be a bear depending on the season!

We stop frequently during our time in the park to give you some free time to explore famous sights such as Yosemite Falls. For your visit, we have mapped out some easy to moderate trails that you can walk, as well as fun spots to picnic.
In the milder months, we love taking our guests on a hike through the Tuolumne Grove. Expect to hear more about what makes this part of the park so special to our national park system.

4:30 – 6:30 pmIt’s time to say goodbye to Yosemite and head back to San Francisco. On the drive through the Central Valley, we will stop for restrooms and you can buy snacks (own expense).
6:30 – 9:00 pmArrive back in San Francisco. Please note that traffic is unpredictable and that can change our estimated time of arrival.

*Tour times are approximate

What you can expect with Best Bay Area Tours

You get to learn more: From the time of morning pickup at your San Francisco hotel to drop off in the late afternoon, your guide shares anecdotes and history about the places you get to visit on this full-day experience.

You’ll be entertained: What’s the point of doing a tour if you can’t have fun? Every aspect of your tour has been carefully thought out so you get the most out of your visit to the Bay Area.

You get a truly local experience: Best Bay Area Tours is owned and operated by San Francisco locals. We create intimate, relaxed experiences that allow you to truly get to know all the beauty and bounty of the region.

FAQs

How long does it take to get from San Francisco to Yosemite?

Yosemite National Park is situated just under 200 miles outside of San Francisco. En route to Yosemite from San Francisco, you will pass through the Central Valley. Traffic can be unpredictable so you can expect travel one-way to be anywhere from 3-4 hours. 

How strenuous is the walking on this tour of the Yosemite tour?

At Best Bay Area Tours, we try to make sure all of our passengers can get a pleasant experience at Yosemite with frequent stops to get out and explore. The Tuolumne Grove hike is one mile and may not be suitable for people with health issues. Please remember to wear comfortable walking shoes. 

Is lunch included?

Lunch is not included on this day trip to Yosemite National Park from San Francisco. We recommend packing your own picnic lunch the night before the tour, however we also stop along the way to get food if you prefer.

What should I bring to Yosemite for a day trip?

In Northern California, microclimates abound. Depending on the time of year you visit, it could mean pack layers for foggy San Francisco mornings and hot summer and cold winter Yosemite afternoons. We make stops both to and from Yosemite so you can take breaks and get snacks or meals at your own expense. You are welcome to bring your own water and snacks on this full-day Yosemite tour.

When is the best time to visit Yosemite?

The summer is when you get to swim (and maybe even see a bear!)

Fall is brings beautiful colors and rock climbers

Winter is magnificent as the snow decorates the trees and rocks

Spring welcomes serene waterfall hikes and rock climbing

How difficult is the Tuolumne Grove hike?

The Tuolumne Grove hike is one mile long, and starts with a downhill walk. The trail is slightly uphill on the way back, classifying this as a moderate hike.

Are there bathrooms on the bus?

We do not have bathrooms on our buses but we can make stops on the drive.

Is this Yosemite tour wheelchair accessible?

For people who would like to use a collapsible wheelchair, we are more than happy to accommodate that. Just let us know at the time of booking.

Please note: The Tuolumne Grove is not wheelchair accessible.

Tour Pricing

AdultsChildren (under 12)
Tour Price$199$149

*Price includes all park entrance fees (unlike other tour companies).

Always Small Groups

We don’t do big bus tours. We create intimate, relaxed experiences that allow you to truly get to know
the Bay Area and its surrounding region.

Check out our other tours.

Yosemite Valley Reviews

Kristen S

This tour was fantastic! It was the perfect balance of guidance and free time. Had we tried to visit the park on our own, we would not have got to everything we were able to hit on this tour. Brian was a fantastic guide…

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and shared a lot of interesting stories and facts that made us appreciate the park more. We are looking forward to coming back for another tour!

Mike U

Brian was an excellent guide. Extremely knowledgeable about the sites and history. He kept the drive fun and interesting, and he set up telescopes for us to spot climbers on El Capitan. It is clear that he loves his job and…

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has a passion for nature and the parks. This just makes the experience all the more enjoyable, and Brian works hard to ensure everyone has the best experience possible.

The entire process of working with the tour company was fantastic. They kept us updated on meeting times and locations, and they were very understanding and accommodating when 2 Uber drivers and 1 lift driver cancelled on us. Brian redirected us to one of the later pick up points to ensure we didn’t miss the tour and miss out on this fantastic experience.

Carol P

Excellent tour from start to finish. Our guide was informative and enthusiastic! He even made the morning drive out enjoyable with an excellent playlist! Yosemite was breathtaking. We had multiple stops and never once felt… 

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rushed. If you only have one day to spend in the park, this is the trip for you!