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  • Yosemite
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Yosemite National Park Holidays

​The towering peaks, hidden valleys and cascading waterfalls of Yosemite National Park, California, have to be seen to be believed. It's like entering a showroom for Planet Earth, where Mother Nature has pulled out all the stops to create a landscape of stupendous beauty. Here, the sun glints off soaring granite outcrops; majestic sequoia trees cast long shadows; deer skitter through Alpine meadows; and your camera shutter will click constantly.

There's enough in Yosemite to keep you occupied and in awe for months. And what you do while you're here is  very much up to you. If you're the active type, there are challenging hikes - like the steep ascent of Half Dome rock, where you'll need to climb by gripping onto steel cables before being rewarded with stupendous views from the top. There's also 800 miles of trails to explore, plus rafting on the Merced River, trout fishing and some serious rock climbing.

But there's also a much gentler side to Yosemite holidays. You don't even need to walk very far, since there are shuttle buses to all the major sights, plus you can also drive round the park on 196 miles of paved routes. You can even drive right up to famous Glacier Point, to drink in iconic views across the Yosemite Valley, with Half Dome, Tenaya Canyon, Vernal and Nevada Falls, and the peaks of the high country spread out like a picnic blanket before you.

One thing to take account of is the seasons - so you need to plan Yosemite holidays accordingly. Spring is the time of snow-melt, when the waterfalls are at their most spectacular; summer's warmth attracts the most visitors; and winter brings perfect ski conditions to Badger Pass...all of which adds up to the fact that whatever the time of year, Yosemite always delivers.

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Jaw-Dropping Views

Yosemite valley

The stunning view of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point is one of the most famous in the world. But there are plenty of other amazing vantage points, including Tunnel View, with its astonishing  panorama across the trees to the granite mounds of El Capitan and Half Dome. A drive along the Tioga Road offers fantastic vistas of forests, canyons, lakes and wildflower meadows.

Fantastic Falls

Mother of all the Park's waterfalls is Yosemite Falls, which plunges 740 metres in three stages, and is one of the world's tallest. There's an easy loop round the bottom, where you can feel the mist from the spray, or you can hike right up to the top. Be sure to visit Horsetail Fall If you're in the Park in  February, when the reflected glow of the sunset turns it  into a river of fire.

And...Action!

There's some serious hiking to be done on Yosemite holidays. For fantastic views, walk the Panorama Trail which takes in Illilouette Fall, Panorama Cliff, Nevada Fall and Happy Isles. It's paradise here for rock climbers too, with endless ascents from crack climbs along the Merced River Canyon to the sheer faces of the Yosemite Valley.

Giants Of Our Time

Giant Sequoia trees grow in three separate locations in Yosemite and are the largest living things ever to have graced our planet. These massive trees, some over 91 metres tall, can live for over 3,000 years. Wander among the ancient specimens at Mariposa Grove, where you can walk right up to the tree fondly known as 'Grizzly Giant'.

Ask A Ranger

Rangers are available throughout the Park, to help out with anything you need. They also run a fascinating programme of walks and events, where you can find out all about Yosemite first hand.

Fly Drive Holiday: Yosemite and the Mountains

San Francisco – Lake Tahoe – Yosemite/Mariposa County – Monterey – Santa Cruz

Our suggested fly drive itinerary is perfect for those who love the great outdoors and want to savour some truly remarkable scenery. Start your holiday in San Francisco and see the many sights it has to offer before heading on to Lake Tahoe where you can partake in a variety of watersports or adopt a more sedate approach and simply enjoy the stunning surroundings. Journey onwards to captivating Yosemite, home to a sublime collection of cascading waterfalls and striking mountain scenery. Your fly drive discovery culminates along California’s coast in the beachside towns of Monterey and Santa Cruz, the ideal place to relax and unwind before heading back home.
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Fly Drive Holiday: Sacramento and the Gold Country

Napa Valley – Sacramento – Yosemite/Mariposa County – San Francisco

Our suggested fly drive itinerary showcases the culture and history of California, combined with the wine country and unforgettable sights of Yosemite. Begin your adventure in Napa Valley, home to a charming collection of quaint wine producing towns that makes California wine so popular. Next up is Sacramento where you simply must visit the famous Capitol Building then head onwards to the Yosemite region, offering outdoor enthusiast great hiking trails and mountain views. Finish off your holiday in San Francisco, offering the perfect opportunity to pick up mementos to remember your trip, and be sure to explore the iconic sights and attractions.
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Fly Drive Holiday: San Francisco and Yosemite

San Francisco - Yosemite National Park

Our suggested fly drive itinerary is perfect for those who love the great outdoors and want to savour some truly remarkable scenery. Start your holiday in San Francisco and see the many iconic sights that the City by the Bay has to offer, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the attractions of Fisherman’s Wharf. Then, head to the captivating vistas of Yosemite, home to a sublime collection of cascading waterfalls and striking mountain scenery. This is just a suggested itinerary to whet your appetite. You can tailor-make any aspect of your trip to make your dream holiday a reality.
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Yosemite Hiking Excursion  
Get out on foot and be awe-inspired by some of Yosemite’s famous sights. This hiking tour suits all outdoor enthusiasts, from beginners to the more challenging and strenuous hikers. Escape the crowds and join this intimate group which will take you on a tour to explore the magnificent scenery of the park, including hikes to the Sentinel Dome, Glacier Point, Cathedral Lakes, El Capitan, Clouds Rest or even Half Dome. Be prepared for a hiking adventure of a lifetime! From £83 per person.

Experience Yosemite: Beginner or Advanced Photography Lessons
Walk in the footsteps of some of Yosemite’s finest photographers, and learn how to capture some of the best shots of Yosemite, from the jagged peaks to the spectacular waterfalls and the wildlife that roam the park and High Sierra. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, this photography lesson will give you an insight on the best techniques, angles and styles to ensure you take some iconic pictures. Be sure to bring your camera and any additional equipment you have! From £130 per person.

You can add tickets for activities to your booking later.

Time Difference:
GMT- 8hours

Closest Airport:
San Francisco International Airport (approx. 11 hours, direct flight).

Getting around:
Yosemite National Park is an approximate 3 hour drive from San Francisco so we recommend hiring a car to explore the area. Check out the great selection of dining options, attractions and local excursions available. Care hire is available from £21 per day.

Insider Tip:
Spring time is the best time to see the waterfalls in Yosemite due to the fact they are fed by snow melt.

You’re going to need an ESTA:
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.

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