Are you dreaming of a unique journey through the wilderness that will take you far beyond your ordinary path. Discover Sierra Nevada through Golden Horizon Travel’s Four- or Five-day combo adventure tour. You will get exclusive access to a brand-new off-the-beaten-path adventure through the Sierra Nevada wilderness, Mammoth Lake’s sublime wonders, and Yosemite National Park’s world-renowned giant sequoia trees, waterfalls, glacier points, and endless meadows (like Tuolumne Meadows) and countryside.
Discover Mammoth Lake’s natural wonders, breathtaking Alpine Lakes, and unique geology, including hot springs and the world-famous Devil Postpile National Park. Hike to Rainbow Falls and Mono Lake in the morning, and spend the afternoon in the Ghost Town of Bodie, or in Alabama Hills, famous as the production location of hundreds of motion pictures located between Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the U.S., and the lowest point in North America, Death Valley.
Drive up to 11,000 feet to discover the stunning 4,000 to 5,000-year-old ancient Bristlecone Pines and much more. This seasonal adventure is available only in summer due to the high elevation, snow, and other weather considerations. This journey may start or end in Yosemite, depending on your hotel reservation, weather, and road conditions.
o Enjoy a 100% private custom guided tour and tailor-made trip itineraries: our goal is to meet and exceed your expectations
o Complimentary pick-up at your hotel anywhere in San Francisco, South or East Bay or in Yosemite and or outlying areas.
o Drive to Yosemite via Central Valley (unless you are already staying /located in Yosemite and or outlying areas)
o Take a Break in Central Valley: "The Fruit Basket of the World."
o Drive to Yosemite via old gold mining towns
o Travel to the Sierra Nevada’s Natural wonders and explore the Sierra and Yosemite stunning wilderness
o Visit Yosemite Valley: Among top sights & attractions you’ll be seeing in and around Yosemite Valley may include: A guided tour to Mirror Lake and Meadows in Tenaya Canyon with beautiful views of Half Dome from below, Hike to Vernal Falls, enjoyed a private sightseeing tour of the visitor center, the Indian Village, Yosemite Waterfalls, River banks and beaches, lakes, and let us get you as close as possible to stunning rock formations such as El Capitan ,Half Dome, Cathedral Rocks, Three Brothers, Sentinel Rock, Tunnel View, and much more. We will offer you quality time and a private guided tour so you can explore Yosemite Valley and hidden gems, whether you like to walk, hike or simply drive, we will tailor-make the trip itinerary based on your needs and preference.
o Walk to the Yosemite Falls: The highest Waterfall in North America
o check-in at the Hotel
Breakfast at the hotel followed by Hotel Check Out(meals are not included)
o Breakfast at the hotel followed by Hotel Check Out(meals are not included)
o Visit Glacier Point and explore The Yosemite High Country Wonders
o Lunch Break as picnic lunch outdoor or in a restaurant
o Visit a Yosemite ancient grove of Giant Sequoias and much more
o Drop off at Your hotel
Breakfast at the hotel followed by Hotel Check Out(meals are not included)
Today, you’ll be visiting the Yosemite High-Country and Travel Tuolumne Meadows & Top Things to do and see along Tioga Road:
-Explore off the beaten path sites and breathtaking natural wonders including hidden waterfalls, alpine lakes, ancient trees, stunning wildlife, massif granite domes and hanging cliffs.
-Visit Yosemite High-Country and Travel Tuolumne Meadows & Top Things to do and see along Tioga Road: Tuolumne Meadows is a gentle, dome-studded, spectacular sub-alpine meadowy area along the Tuolumne River in the eastern high country of Yosemite National Park. It’s one of the largest high-elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada, this is where wildlife often takes refuge in Yosemite high country like black bears. Encountering wildlife like black bears is an amazing privilege.
Visit Devils Postpile, Rainbow Falls and Bodie Ghost Town
On day 4 you will visit more astonishing geological sights and national monuments. Day 4 includes Devils Postpile, Rainbow Falls, and the authentic ghost town of Bodie, among many other stops.
To reach Devils Postpile National Monument, we will drive through the town of Mammoth Mountain. In the main lodge and ski resort, you will find a giant mammoth statue rising from the middle of the square. During the drive you will pass an interesting geological site where a major fault line is still visible − an obvious fissure that resulted from the continuing movement of the Sierra Nevada fault zone.
Afterwards, you will board a local shuttle bus service which will pass Minaret Overlook as you head down to Devils Postpile National Monument. No public vehicles are allowed in this area.
From the parking lot, a short hike will lead you to Devils Postpile National Monument which is a unique six-sided polished and colorful foundation of basal in the form of vertical columns, which was formed by a volcanic eruption almost 100,000 years ago. When the eruption occurred, the lava was carried away by San Joaquin River, and this continued motion of moving lavas and ice along the river overrode the fractured mass of lavas, carrying them away from the river to these meadow − creating and forming the actual Devils Postpile columns. The process exposed a sheer wall of 60 feet (or 18 meters) high colorful columns, and sculpted them to the amazing formation that is the Devils Postpile columns today.
Following this, you will hike through the striking meadows towards Rainbow Falls. An easy 1.5 mile hike through Red’s Meadows, and along the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River, you will be rewarded with a beautiful waterfall where the San Joaquin River tumbles over an abrupt 101-foot (or 31 meter) drop, sending spectacular and colorful rainbows into the mist, hence the name ‘Rainbow Falls’. The refreshing mist invites visitors to hang around for a while, enjoying the spectacular scenery. You may set up a picnic lunch here, or head back to the town in Mammoth Lakes for lunch. Please note: Devils Postpile Monument and Rainbow Falls are only accessible by foot in summer.
Following lunch, we will head north on rough, yet scenic backroads, in the direction of Bodie State Historical Park, and Ghost Town. Bodie is an old and authentic gold mining town which is located 36 miles north of Mammoth Lakes in Mono County − just miles from the Nevada border. Bodie was once the third largest city in California. In the 1870’s, gold was discovered in Bodie. Stage coaches and gold miners would line the roads of this town, eventually departing Bodie with tons of gold. The town had it all: a church, banks, a railroad, its own newspapers, a sheriff department, unions for the miners and mechanics, a jail, enough Saloons for us all, and even a small Chinatown area.
Bodie Museum offers exhibits which include memorabilia from the rowdy, gold mining boomtown years.
After day 4 of adventuring in the Sierra Mountains, your guide will drop you back in San Francisco, again passing the Tuolumne Meadows on Highway 120, or Sonora and the Gold Country on Highway 108 depending on weather and road conditions. In case of unexpected storm, we are not liable for the additional night hotel accommodations and meals expenses, if needed. Weather forecast and road conditions are out of our control.
If you’d like to further expand your horizons and book our 5-day journey, we will visit the oldest trees on Earth, and marvel at the invigorating sights of the Eastern Sierra Nevada unavailable on our 4 day trip. You may also include an additional trip to Death Valley, and/or Lake Tahoe as well.
Day 5 of our Yosemite and Eastern Sierra Combo Adventure
If Day 5 is added on, this new opportunity to adventure will cover these additional sights, parks, wonders, monuments and attractions:
After commencing the day with breakfast at your hotel, your tour guide will take you up a winding, scenic road towards the grandiose and ancient trees in Bristlecone Pine Forest − located between 11,000 and 12,000 feet above sea level (or 3,352-3,658 meters). The pine trees in this forest are up 5,000 years old!
Note: Please ensure you will be comfortable with the high elevation, and inform our tour company or your tour guide in advance should you have any medical conditions.
Biologists and visitors are all puzzled at the survival and longevity of these ancient pine trees. How could pine trees survive in the extreme and severe weather conditions of the White Mountains, while being above 11,000 feet high (or 3,352 meters)?
These ancient Bristlecone Pines were discovered growing on the ridges of the White Mountains back in 1953. Despite the high elevation, poor soil, harsh landscape, gusty wind blowing from all directions, and heavy snow storms with ice crystals, these pine trees remain intact long after they die.
Did you know that these age-old trees live for more than 45 centuries, and only grow for about 45 days in a year? The rest of the time they remain dormant.
As you descend back towards the Valley floor, there will be many photo opportunities, where you can capture the unique geology of the Sierra Crest, Palisades and massive granite walls along the way − including Mount Whitney, the highest summit in the continuous United States.
There will be a short break after the descent, stopping off at Big Pine, which is located in Owens Valley − an arid valley located at the foothills of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, and West of the White Mountains. Owens Valley is dominated by Mount Whitney (elevation: 14,505 feet; or 4,421 meters). This makes Owens Valley one of the deepest valleys in the United States.
Owens Valley was formed about three million years ago when the Sierra Nevada Fault and the White Mountains Fault systems became active. The topmost part of this escarpment is exposed at Alabama Hills, and is one of the stops on your tour. This is the mecca of over 390 motion pictures, and is considered a living museum of legendary movies and classic heroes, such as: ‘Lives of a Bengal Lancer’ starring Garry Cooper; multiple John Wayne movies, including ‘The New Frontier’; and other films including names you might be familiar with (Richard Burton, Tony Curtis, George Kennedy, Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, John Travolta, Demi Moore, Nicolas Cage, Alec Baldwin, and many more).
From here we will travel to Lone Pine. A stop which is nestled in the Owens Valley, and sits at the foot of the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains. When the sun begins to set, Mount Whitney casts its long shadow over the valley. This dramatic setting incited Hollywood directors to make Lone Pine and Alabama Hills the new ‘El Dorado’ for movie sites. The history of Lone Pine was dramatically altered when it became the setting for endless Western films and action movies.
In this area you will find the Lone Pine Indian Reservation as well, home to the Owens Valley members of the federally recognized Paiute and Shoshone tribes. For more history, north of Lone Pine you will find Manzanar National Historic Site, which is where the Japanese were relocated following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. President Roosevelt signed an executive order that required people of Japanese ancestry living along the pacific coasts to be placed in relocation camps like Manzanar.
All our tours can be customized to meet your travel needs and expectations. Upon your request, certain sights and national parks can be skipped, while having the flexibility to add other sites of interest, like: Death Valley National Park, Las Vegas, Reno or Lake Tahoe − based on your preference and the season. Let us make your dream come true!
Note: his seasonal adventure is available only in summer, due to the high elevation, heavy snow falls, weather and road conditions in winter. This journey may start or end in Yosemite, depending on your hotel reservation, weather, and road conditions.