Yosemite Winter One Day Tour
What should I bring?
- Comfortable shoes for walking
- Extra spending money for meals or snacks
- A light jacket (easily removable) in case of wind
- Camera (optional)
- Water bottle (optional)
- 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.
Yosemite in Winter One Day Tour
***This tour is also available with pick up from San Jose! Click here to book a pick up from San Jose!***
Our Yosemite in Winter One Day Tour from San Francisco is a great way to get the most out of Yosemite during the winter months. Yosemite National Park is open all year round, and this tour will let you explore Yosemite Valley during the beautiful winter snow season. Picture Yosemite Valley covered in soft white snow, with animal footprints scattered about in the meadows and snow-capped Half Dome casting its long shadow, and perhaps the coyote that made the prints will be stalking its lunch! In the Yosemite Valley Tour we generally stop to see El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls, Inspiration Point (aka Tunnel View), and at the Yosemite Lodge for a hot meal.
In the afternoon, If weather and trail conditions permit, our Yosemite National Park tour may give you an opportunity to hike one mile to the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoia Trees inside Yosemite National Park. If not, then the day will allow us even more time to take longer walks in the Yosemite Valley, photograph the numerous seasonal waterfalls and other wonderful winter sights, or spend time indoors at the shops, museums, and restaurants in the Village. If you've only been there in the dry seasons, then this will be a completely new way to see Yosemite, and an unforgettable experience. Less than 10% of Yosemite’s visitors come here during the winter, so you might feel like you have the Valley to yourself! Join us on this once-in-a-lifetime Yosemite National Park tour. (Weather, safety, traffic, or construction conditions may require a change in itinerary on any given day.)
***This tour is also available with pick up from San Jose! Click here to book a pick up from San Jose!***
Yosemite in Winter One Day Tour by 15-Passenger Van or
36-Passenger Minibus - Times Approximate
Tour Length - 14 hours approximately
6:00 - 7:00 AM
Pick up for your Yosemite tour at your hotel in downtown San Francisco
or Fisherman's Wharf area. This tour is also available with pick up from San Jose! Click here to book a pick up from San Jose!
7:00 - 9:00 AM
Continuing east, see the wind farm 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 - 1:30 PM
As you enter the park you will get a glimpse of some of the amazing sights to come as you start your Total Yosemite Experience Tour. If weather and trail conditions permit, we will give you an opportunity take a one mile hike (two miles round trip) to the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoia Trees inside Yosemite National Park. If snow conditions and safety issues on the trail do not permit us to do the walk, then the day will allow us to spend even more time to take longer walks in the lower elevations of the Yosemite Valley, photograph the numerous seasonal waterfalls and other wonderful winter sights, make a snowman or spend time indoors at the shops, museums, and restaurants in the Village. Be amazed by Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, Inspiration Point, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and more! Enjoy a mini-hike and plenty of photo stops around the Yosemite Valley. Watch for ice on the trails!
Note – The Sequoias hike is dependent on snow levels and trail conditions from October to April. See Winter Tour Itinerary.
1:30 - 2:30 PM
Visit the gift shops, have a relaxing hot meal, or get food to go and GO! Walk to the middle of the valley, up to the river banks, or get up close to the tallest waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls.
2:30 - 4:30 PM
Start the return trip, descending from the Sierras, with more great scenery as we follow the sun to the west.
4:30 - 5:00 PM
Stop for a break, a stretch, and a bite to eat.
5:00 - 7:00 PM
Continue back across the Central Valley to San Francisco.
7:00 - 8:00 PM
The Yosemite tour ends at your San Francisco Hotel front door.
– Kate G. on 12/26/2017
A long day but well worth it especially …
A long day but well worth it especially if you have limited time to visit Yosemite. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable. The bus was not too big so the group wasn't too big allowing ease for getting on and off the bus in a reasonable time.
– ENDAH BAYU P. on 12/01/2017
Great guide and driver
Great guide and driver. I truly enjoyed the tour.
– Regina C. on 12/01/2017
Trip's amazing with all the great views …
Trip's amazing with all the great views and Victor( the tour guide) explained the history behind everything iconic places we went with so much passion. And most importantly the the tour guide focuses on the safety of the travellers. So that's a big relieve if you are a worry-wart .
– Amelie B. on 09/18/2016
It was a beautiful day in the Napa and Sonoma valley. I quite enjoyed the fact that it was a small group. The guide was funny and we really enjoyed his commenting of the tour. At the end of the trip he took us to see the amazing view of the Golden Gate bridge from the Sausalito side and we took 15 minutes to take pictures and enjoy the view. It was quite appreciated. I definitely recommend taking this tour.
– Joe C. on 02/25/2016
Phil was awesome. He had tons of information of both San Fran and Yosemite. We hit up all the best spots at Yosemite and got amazing pictures. Highly recommend.
– Thompson N. on 01/28/2016
So glad we decided to stay the night and pick up the bus the next afternoon. The day we arrived it was raining and the views and time spent touring around at Yosemite was very limited. The next day was much better weather and we had time to go for a short walk to a fall and travel around the valley. For those who didn't stay, they missed a lot doing the one day tour.
– Luis A. on 01/27/2016
Vlad was great! Very informative.
– Amanda V. on 01/02/2016
I was picked up half an hour later than the stated time (6.45am - 7am), the shuttle arrived only at 7.30am. I later found out that it was because there were people before me who were not on time, hence the delayed.
Again, during the tour itself, there was a group of people who returned to the group half an hour later than the stated time. We could have spent more time in the park, or got back to San Francisco earlier, if no delays happened.
I do not expect, nor do I wish for this to happen again, because I don't think it is my responsibility to be waiting for others who are not punctual.
Other than that, I truly enjoyed the tour! Thank you. :)
– Jessica S. on 12/23/2015
Our tour guide, Andy, was friendly and very knowledgeable, not just about Yosemite, but also about San Francisco and lots of different areas along the way, which made for a really interesting tour. Would be more than happy to book with Extranomical again in future.
Prices for the Yosemite Winter Tour from San Francisco are dependent on availability, itinerary, group size and activities. Please call 1-866-231-3752 or submit this form for a quote.
- Complimentary SF hotel pickup & drop off
- Maximum time in Yosemite Park (5-6 hrs)
- Spectacular Yosemite winter scenery
- Half-Dome, El Capitan, & Yosemite Falls
- Expert tour guide & commentary in English
- Complimentary foreign language audios
- Guaranteed departures 365 days a year
- Overnight tour options (available daily)
- Minibus or 15-passenger van