Warm clothes and a waterproof jacket (during the winter months)
Hat and sunscreen (during the summer months)
Sturdy umbrella (if the forecast calls for rain)
How long is the tour?
This tour takes about 14-15 hours.
What should I wear?
Temperatures vary depending on the season and time of day in Yosemite, so we recommend that you wear layered clothing in case of unexpectedly climbing or falling temperatures. We do not recommend wearing shorts or sleeveless shirts in the winter. However, we realize that everyone is acclimated to different weather and thus trust you to make your own judgement. For footwear, we recommend comfortable walking shoes, such as regular tennis shoes, sneakers, or boots with rubber soles and treads. In the summer months, hiking sandals can be worn on the Total Yosemite Experience, but high heels, beach flip-flops, and other open-toed shoes are not recommended.
What is the average temperature in Yosemite?
Yosemite weather varies depending on the season. Average temperature data is below.
SUMMER MONTHS (JUNE, JULY, AUGUST): Average High temperature: 87°F / 31°C Average Low temperature: 55°F / 13°C
WINTER MONTHS (DECEMBER, JANUARY, FEBRUARY): Average High temperature: 48°F / 9°C Average Low temperature: 29°F / -2°C
Do you provide meals? If not, can we buy food on the tour or take our own?
Meals are not included on this tour. We do make a stop about halfway to Yosemite, where you can buy a snack or meal to take with you. There are also restaurants and a deli in Yosemite Valley where you can purchase lunch and snacks. Eating and drinking are allowed on our vehicles, and you can also bring your own food if you do not feel comfortable purchasing it on the trip.
Is there a place where we can cook our own food?
No, unfortunately there is no kitchen nor is there an outdoor campfire or grill due to fire safety hazards. If you are staying overnight in the park your accommodation may have an indoor kitchen area. Please plan ahead before selecting your hotel.
What languages are available for this tour?
The tour is narrated in English but we offer complimentary audio guides in 8 languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, and Portuguese. If an audio guide is required, please specify the languages needed in the comments section on the reservation page.
What type of vehicle do you use?
We have a variety of vehicles ranging from an 8-passenger van to a 44-passenger Minibus. As we have several different vehicles, please call on the morning of your tour to determine which vehicle will be hosting your tour as well as the name of your Expedition Leader. The Yosemite Bus Tour operates in a large Motor Coach with even more people.
What do I need to know about the Giant Sequoias hike?
We are the only tour company that goes to the Giant Sequoias Grove on the Total Yosemite Experience tour. However, the hike is dependent on trail and weather conditions. The Grove usually only available from April to October. If you choose not to participate in the hike, then you can stay with the bus at the top of the trail as you wait for the rest of the group to return from the hike. The hike is about 2 miles round-trip (about 60 minutes round-trip, depending on your pace) and has a paved trail with 400 ft (122m) incline.
How can I travel around the park during my free time?
Yosemite National Park has a free, year-round Yosemite Valley Shuttle with stops at most major sights of interest and some trailheads. You can also take YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) for a fee if you wish to travel outside the park to the surrounding area. Depending on how much free time you have, there might not be time enough to take the bus.
Can I use my annual pass for the United States National Parks to enter Yosemite for free?
Unfortunately, you cannot use your pass on this tour. The entrance price for Yosemite National Park is based on the vehicle used and not on the number of individuals in the vehicle, and is paid all at once by our Expedition Leader. Therefore, the $10 fee is added to the cost of the tour when you pay.
I’m staying overnight. What kind of luggage am I allowed to bring?
You are allowed up to travel with up to 2 items (i.e. 1 Personal item + 1 Overnight bag) free of charge. These items must be within the size limitations. Each additional item above the 2-item allowance will incur a $25 excess luggage fee.
The maximum size allowed for an overnight bag is 24”x16”x10”, or 60cmx40cmx25cm. Any “Oversize” luggage larger than those dimensions is $50 regardless of the number of personal items brought on board. (i.e. 1 Oversized luggage - $50, 2 Oversized pieces = $100). You must advise us of oversize luggage 48 hours prior to departure in order to guarantee the accommodation of the luggage on the vehicle.
Note: If you are not staying overnight at one of the hotels within Yosemite Valley, please only bring with you what you can easily carry as there are limited to no storage options available while you explore.
Where and when are we dropped off on the first day of your Yosemite overnight tour?
You will be dropped off around lunch time close to the Yosemite Valley Lodge. You will need to make your own way to your accommodation. The Yosemite National Park has a free, year-round Yosemite Valley Shuttle that stops at most major points of interest and some trailheads. You can also take YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) for a fee if you wish to travel outside the park to the surrounding area. For some hotels it will be necessary to take this public transportation in order to reach your lodging. If you plan to stay overnight in the park, please check the location of your accommodation before making a reservation and be sure to plan ahead accordingly. Please see either the National Park Service website or yarts.com respectively for the relevant shuttle schedule times and routes.
What is a double occupancy?
Double occupancy means two people per room. The price quoted is per person. For example, "$200 double occupancy" means two people will pay $400 total. If you are going alone, you will pay a different rate for single occupancy. We cannot “match” single travelers at this time.
What does “Tour Only” mean?
The “Tour Only” overnight package includes both the outbound and return portions of your Yosemite tour, but does not include your lodging. You will be responsible for acquiring your own accommodation, as well as your transportation to and from where you leave our tour in Yosemite Valley (near the Yosemite Valley Lodge) and rejoin it for your return trip.
Can you drop me off at my hotel in Yosemite?
At this time, we do not visit any hotel except the Yosemite Valley Lodge. You will be responsible for acquiring your own transportation to and from where you leave our tour in Yosemite Valley (near the Yosemite Valley Lodge) and rejoin it for your return trip.
How can I get to my lodging when I separate from the tour on day one?
If you are staying at Yosemite Valley Lodge (also known as the Yosemite Park Lodge), it is only a five-minute walk to the hotel. All other lodging must be accessed by either the free Yosemite Shuttle or by taking YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) to your destination. You will need to make your own way to your accommodation. Please see either the National Park Service website or yarts.com respectively for the relevant shuttle schedule times and routes. If you plan to stay overnight in the park, please check the location of your accommodation before making a reservation and be sure to plan ahead accordingly.
Tent Cabins: Will I be sharing my tent during my overnight stay in Yosemite?
No, you will have your own tent cabin, but you will have a shared bathroom.
Bug Lodge: How many people are staying in the same dorm at the Bug Lodge?
A dorm room consists of six to twelve bunk beds in either single-sex or co-ed dorms. You will have access to a shared kitchen if you plan on cooking any meals. Each cabin has modern commercial showers, sinks and toilets.
Can you pick me up from San Jose?
We are currently the only tour company in the Bay Area with the Total Yosemite Experience from San Jose! More information can be found on our website here, or you can call our office at 1-866-231-3752 (toll free from the USA) or 1-415-357-0700 to speak with a reservations agent directly.
Does this tour run every day?
A minimum number of participants are required before the tour can be confirmed, and our online reservation system does not reflect current availability. Please call our office at 1-866-231-3752 (toll free from the USA) or 1-415-357-0700 to confirm tour availability.
Do I have to call to reconfirm my time for the return trip?
Yes, we request that you reach out to us on the day of your return to confirm your pickup time and location inside Yosemite National Park. You can contact us via our live chat function or by calling our office at 1-866-231-3752 (toll free from the USA) or +1-415-357-0700 (internationally) during office hours. You can call us from your hotel’s phone if you do not have a working mobile phone while you are in the area.
A dorm room consists of six to twelve bunk beds in either single-sex or coed dorms. You will have access to the hostel kitchen. All beds have good quality fresh linens on real mattresses and pillows. Fresh top linens and blankets are included. Sleeping bags and sleep sheets are acceptable. Each cabin has modern commercial showers, sinks and toilets. In-room phones and TV are not available in this class of accommodation. Support Mass Transit and take YARTS (est. $12 cash round-trip per day, not included in price) from and to the Park and then use the FREE Hybrid Shuttles to get around and see the sights! (There is a short walk from the bus stop to the Hostel, and you should have a flashlight for the evenings.)
Tour includes San Francisco Hotel pick-up (tour vehicle has limited space for luggage, so try to keep it small!), transportation to Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Valley Tour and drop-off at Yosemite Lodge, where you gain your independence, for 48 hours. The Three day Yosemite National Park tour is a great way to spend time doing activities that our 1-day or 2-day tours don’t leave time for - do some all-day hiking to the top of Yosemite Falls, or if you are really in shape (and get an early start), to the top of Half Dome, or only part way, to the top of Nevada Falls or Vernal Falls - things that are hard to fit into 2 half-days or less. You could also slow it down and go rafting down the Merced River, or ride around on an open tram tour of Yosemite Valley (fare extra and seasonal). Mirror Lake is just a short uphill walk, and you can just take it easy and walk around the beautiful valley floor, or bus it up to Glacier Point, or the Mariposa Grove (fare extra and seasonal).
On the third day, meet another tour group, and finish the day with them and return to San Francisco. In winter, it is still a great time to visit. Some locations are inaccessible, but the scenery is completely different – the Yosemite Valley itself is a winter waterfall wonderland. For someone willing to bundle up and wear the right shoes, and get some exercise, you will be greatly rewarded with the natural beauty, and there are times when you might feel you have the place to yourself.
IMPORTANT: Please note that the YARTS bus stop is at a bus shelter on SR 140, involving a walk of about .25 miles (400 meters) first down and then up a hill, with no street lights. The road is paved until you reach the parking area. Most of the winter is spent without significant snow here, but the road is slippery occasionally. The commute time from the Park Lodge to the hostel is approximately 75 to 90 minutes. Please be prepared with a flashlight.
PLEASE NOTE: Accommodation is not available within 48 hours of booking date. To increase chances of availability please select a tour date farther out. Availability is based on first come first served basis.
Note: If you are not staying at one of the hotels within Yosemite Valley, please only bring with you what you can easily carry as there are limited (or no) storage options.
Yosemite Three Day Tour - Day One - Times Approximate
Tour Length - 11 hours approximately
6:00 - 7:00 AM
Pick-ups start in Fisherman's Wharf Area and continue in downtown San Francisco.
7:00 - 9:00 AM
Continuing east, see the windmills and descend into the San Joaquin valley and stop for a break and a snack.
9:15 - 11:00 AM
Begin the climb into the foothills, through gold country, and up into the Sierra Nevada range and Yosemite National Park.
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
On your Yosemite tour, enjoy the amazing views of the valley, El Capitan, Half Dome, and the Yosemite Falls. Enjoy a hike to one of the park's waterfalls or lakes, or relax at the visitor's center where there are museums, restaurants, and the Ansel Adams Gallery.
1:00 - 5:00 PM
Your independence begins. Check out your options, check your bags, and check out Yosemite! And check your YARTS schedule for departure times, because you are staying outside the Park!
Check into the hostel, have a nice dinner, sit by the fireplace, relax, have a brew, and get a good night’s sleep so you can get up early for another exciting day in Yosemite.
Yosemite Three Day Tour - Day Two - Times Approximate
Get up early, and get ready for your second exciting day! Walk to the YARTS stop and get back into the Park. Check the schedule & be early.
You decide! Get some maps, talk to the rangers or the staff at the Village and the Lodge and get some ideas. DO NOT miss the last YARTS bus out! Ask for schedule updates.
IN WINTER Be prepared to walk on ice and snow – bring warm clothes, waterproof hiking boots, and mittens! Hike the valley, climb to the Top of Yosemite Falls, or take the Mist Trail beside the roaring Merced River. (Be careful, and ask Park staff about trail conditions.)
Check the schedule and take YARTS back to the hostel, have a nice dinner, reflect upon the days experience, and get a good night’s sleep so you can get up early for another exciting day in Yosemite.
Yosemite Three Day Tour - Day Three - Times Approximate
Tour Length - 14 hours approximately
7:00 - 8:00 AM
Get up early, check out, grab your bag, and walk to the YARTS stop so you can get started.
8:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Spend the morning in Yosemite on your own. Grab a lunch, and get back to Yosemite Lodge. IMPORTANT: CALL US TOLL-FREE AT 1-866-231-3752 TO CONFIRM PICK-UP TIME AND PLACE!
1:30 - 4:00 PM
Explore more of Yosemite on your own.
4:00 - 6:00 PM
Start the return trip, descending from the Sierras, with more great scenery as we follow the sun to the west.
6:00 - 6:30 PM
Stop for a break and a bite to eat.
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Continue back to San Francisco, enjoying views of the sunset over the East Bay hills, or the Peninsula and the city lights.
8:30 - 9:00 PM
The Yosemite tour ends at your San Francisco Hotel front door.
Yosemite Three Day Tour from San Francisco - Dorm Room