Visiting Yosemite in just a day ... is it really possible?
Some visitors prefer to let someone else do the driving for
their tourism. There are several
companies based in San Francisco which offer One, Two, or Three Day tours to
Yosemite National Park.
things in mind when you’re considering which company will work best for you and
your travel group.
- Yosemite Valley is about 200 miles from San Francisco. This is about 4 hours of travel each
way. Even with a short rest stop, this
is a long time in a van or bus. Most one
day tours include about 3 hours in Yosemite Valley and no time elsewhere in the 1200 square mile National Park.
- Some companies use a full size bus or coach (with restroom), some use a van
or mini-bus, and some use both types (depending on the season and size of the
group.) If you have a preference, check
with the company directly to confirm you’re getting what you want.
- There isn’t a guarantee that your group will be sitting
together. If you’re the last group to be
picked up at your SF hotel, it’s possible that the available seats will be all
over the vehicle.
- The bus driver usually serves as a tour guide and will share
lots of information about Yosemite National Park on your 4 hour journey up into the mountains. Most driver guides offer additional details as you enter Yosemite Valley.
- Some tours stay together during the day visit while some
just drop folks off and pick them up later. Pick the type of tour that works
- Some companies are just resellers of tickets. Decide if you'd rather book directly or to use a consolidator.
- Chat with folks on the San Francisco forum or the Yosemite forum if you'd like additional feedback about the tours. On the forums, the companies mentioned most often are Incredible Adventures and Extranomical.
- For assistance in planning your short time in Yosemite Valley, ask on the Yosemite Forum.
Details about One Day Tours are included in these descriptions. Some companies offer longer tours; click on
the company website for more information. Note that TripAdvisor reviews are only
supposed to be about one day tours, but you might find TA reviews about multi-day tours.
All San Francisco Tours Company Website (?Tour provided by Incredible Adventures?)
Best Bay Area Tours Company Website Van, 15 hrs, $130 adult price , includes Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, April - October only.
California Parlour Tours Company Website (Tour provided by Grayline)
Coach America Company Website Motorcoach, 14 hours, $145 adult price, on-your-own in Yosemite Valley
Extranomical Tours Company Website Motorcoach, 15 hours, $135 adult price
(discount for booking on-line), on-your-own in Yosemite Valley. Van or minibus, 15 hours, $145 adult price
(discount for booking on-line), includes visit to a grove of Giant Sequoias.
- Two, Three, Four, and Five Day tours available. Use YARTS bus transportation if you select lodging outside Yosemite Valley. Can purchase just transportation to/from SF or transportation + lodging.
Grayline Company Website Motorcoach, 14 hours, $145 adult price
Green Tortoise Company Website (No one day tours.)
- Two Day Camping Tour (all gear & food included)
Incredible Adventures Company Website Biodiesel van, 15 hours, $149 adult price
(discount for booking on-line), guided tour plus on-your-own in Yosemite Valley
- Two Day Hotel Tour (guide stays with the group)
- Three Day Camping Tour (all gear & food included.)
Starline Tours Company Website Motorcoach, 15 hours, $140 adult
price, brief tour, tour plus on-your-own in Yosemite Valley
- Two or Three Day Hotel Tour (on your own)
Tower Tours Company Website 15 hours, $141, (Tour provided by IncredibleAdventures in winter)
Yosemite Tours Company Website Motorcoach, 15 hrs, $125 adult price + $10 entrance fee, discount for booking on-line, brief tour, tour plus on-your-own in Yosemite Valley
- One Day tour to Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias & Yosemite Valley $135 + $10
- Two, Three, Four, and Five day tours available
- Private tours available
Viator Company Website (Tour
provided by Extranomical)
2010 thread with information here
Article about Public Transportation to Yosemite via Amtrak and YARTS here
Views that you can see while you're in Yosemite Valley:
Valley View in summer
Upper Yosemite Fall in spring, taken near Yosemite Lodge at the Falls
Upper Yosemite Fall in winter, taken from the road