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Small-Group Yosemite Day Tour from San Francisco

star-4.5307 Reviews
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San Francisco, United States
Small-Group Yosemite Day Tour from San Francisco

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Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon15 hours  (approx.)
Pickup from select hotels
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

Overview

Known for its steep granite cliffs, waterfalls, towering sequoia groves, and diversity of wildlife, Yosemite National Park is something you don’t want to miss. On this small group day trip, you can leave the logistics to a tour guide so all you have to do is enjoy the great outdoors. You have both guided sightseeing and free time, ensuring you see the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s major attractions, like Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Yosemite Valley, with the chance to explore more of the park however you wish.
  • Yosemite National Park day trip from San Francisco
  • Travel through the Central Valley farmlands, historical Gold Country, and the Sierra Nevada foothills
  • Spend hours snapping photos of Yosemite’s stunning forests, rock formations, and waterfalls
  • Visit Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and El Capitan on a guided van tour
  • Enjoy free time to explore Yosemite’s other natural wonders by foot or bike
  • Take in a breathtaking panorama from the Tunnel View overlook for an expansive view of the Yosemite Valley
  • Small-group tour limited to 23 ensures a more personalized experience
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Hotel pickup and drop-off from select SF hotels
Full-time professional, knowledgeable guide
Transport by biofueled mini-coach
Yosemite National Park entrance fee
Narrated in-coach tour of Yosemite (1.5 hrs)
3 hours of free time in the Valley
Meals (stops will be made to purchase food)
Bike rental (available for purchase)
Guide gratuity
  • Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf , 2500 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94133-1450
  • Hilton San Francisco Union Square , 333 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-2116
  • InterContinental San Francisco , 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103-3011
  • 6:30 AM
    Pick-up details and times are as follow: 6:35am from Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf (2500 Mason St) on NORTH POINT street side. 6:50am Hilton San Francisco Union Square (333 O'Farrell St) Meet on Mason Street Side 7:10am InterContinental San Francisco, 888 Howard Street, San Francisco 7:45am from Dublin BART Station - Hacienda Exit - 5835 Owens Dr, Pleasanton, CA 94588
    You may think you don’t have time for a Yosemite trip during your stay in San Francisco, but this full-day tour by luxury biodiesel van provides a stress-free way to do so. Your day trip starts with early morning hotel pickup for the drive across the Bay Bridge toward California’s Central Valley, one of the country’s largest farming regions.

    During the drive, stop briefly to purchase some local nuts or fruit, lunch, or any other necessities (own expense). Continue the drive past horse and cattle ranches as you make your way into the foothills of the Sierras and Gold County, where ambitious pioneers panned for gold during the 1849 Gold Rush.

    When you arrive at Yosemite National Park, start your visit with a driving tour of the park’s main natural attraction, Yosemite Valley. Stop often for photo ops of this glacial valley known for its rock formations and waterfalls, and enjoy access to some areas that big-bus tours can’t reach. See Half Dome, Yosemite’s most iconic feature, and observe daring rock climbers ascend the 3,000-foot (914-meter) sheer granite face of El Capitan. Visit Bridalveil Falls, check out the Tunnel View overlook for an expansive view of the Yosemite Valley, and head to Yosemite Falls, North America’s tallest waterfall.

    You have time to buy lunch here at one of the various eatery options, and then enjoy free time to experience the park however you wish. Perhaps go for a hike, or rent a bike to cover more ground. If you’re not feeling active, make your way to the visitor’s center for informational exhibits, head to the Ansel Adams Gallery to see works by the legendary photographer, or visit the Ahwahnee Hotel for some Yosemite history.

    In the late afternoon, meet back up with your group for the return drive to San Francisco, which includes one short rest stop. Arrive in the city in the evening, enjoying a twinkling view of the downtown skyline and the bay before hotel drop-off.
    Itinerary
    Pass By:  
    San Francisco Bay
    As you settle in for the journey, we’ll pass by some exceptional San Francisco sights. Catch views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and the incomparable San Francisco Skyline as we head east on the Bay Bridge. The journey to Yosemite typically takes about 4 hours.
    Stop At:  
    Oakdale
    You’ll taste a piece of California’s rich agricultural hub as we pass through a slice of the Central Valley famous for specialty fruits and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cherries, and strawberries. Here we will also make a stop at a grocery store for you to pick up lunch and any other supplies you'll need for the day.
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Admission Ticket Free
    Stop At:  
    Tunnel View
    We’ll continue into the mountains as we connect with the rich history of California’s gold country, passing through some of the first settlements built during the Gold Rush. Take in the earthy forest smell as we make our way to the heart of the park. Your guide will pepper you with stories and historical facts about the different sights. The climb through Yosemite Valley offers breathtaking views as we wind our way up to 4,500 feet above sea level. Arrive at Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, massive sequoia trees and biological diversity. Admire famous Half Dome, depicted in famous photographs by Ansel Adams, and watch rock climbers scale El Capitan's 3,000-foot (914-meter) sheer granite rock face. Enjoy incredible vistas from the Tunnel View overlook, and end your in-coach tour near the base of Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America. 
    Duration: 20 minutes
    Admission Ticket Included
    Stop At:  
    Yosemite Valley
    The suspense is over! Once we reach the drop off location, you’ll have around 3 hours of free time to explore. Want to hike or bike around? Your guide will point out the best spots on your map. You’ll have options to meander or bike down paved paths, hike the trails, engage further with the park’s history at the visitor center, or visit the Ansel Adams Gallery. Although you could spend three weeks in Yosemite, the three hours you get on your own is enough time to understand why Yosemite is one of America’s most popular national parks.
    Duration: 3 hours 
    Admission Ticket Included
    Stop At:  
    Yosemite Falls
    During your free time in Yosemite Valley, you can talk a walk or bike around the base of Yosemite Falls to take in its beauty.
    Duration: 1 hour 
    Admission Ticket Included
    Stop At:  
    Ansel Adams Gallery
    During your free time in Yosemite Valley, you can choose to visit the famous photographer' gallery to view a collection of Ansel Adams' original photographs.
    Duration: 5 minutes
    Admission Ticket Free
    Pass By:  
    San Francisco
    Once we’ve had our time to explore, we’ll come together in the late afternoon and set our course back to San Francisco, stopping for a short break before arriving back in the city. You will arrive back at your hotel by around 8:30 – 9:00 p.m. to sleep off the days’ adventures.
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Infant seats available
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 23 travelers
    • OPERATED BY Incredible Adventures
    You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
    • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
    • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
    • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
    • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

    Learn more about cancellations.

    The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
    Q:
    What is the policy on sanitization during Small-Group Yosemite Day Tour from San Francisco?
    A:The policies on sanitization are:

    • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
    • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
    • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
    See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Yosemite Day Tour from San Francisco.
    Q:
    What is the social distancing policy during Small-Group Yosemite Day Tour from San Francisco?
    A:The policies on social distancing are:

    • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
    • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
    See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Yosemite Day Tour from San Francisco.
    Q:
    What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Small-Group Yosemite Day Tour from San Francisco?
    A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

    • Guides required to regularly wash hands
    See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Yosemite Day Tour from San Francisco.

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    Traveler Tips


    • "Most trails are well signposted, but you do require a bit of spatial orientation to figure out where you are/where you're going." See review
    • "A lot of time on the road however well worth it and a nice clean comfortable transport." See review
    • "Its a bit rush for a day tour to visit this park but overall a very good experience." See review

    Reviews

    4.5
    star-4.5
    307 Reviews

    Reviews by Viator travelers

    We perform checks on reviews

    Showing 1-10 of 307 reviews
    star-5
    Breathtaking views
    Anju_B
    , Jun 2022
    Our day at Yosemite was very good and our tour guide Mr. Parker is awesome . Everything was on time .
    star-5
    Fantastics
    Ramesh_P
    , Jun 2022
    We had good time at bridal falls. Enjoyed meeting other people and experience. travelled all the way from U.K.
    star-4
    Yosemite
    Patricia_R
    , Jun 2022
    Yosemite is beautiful!!! The ride up and down the mountain a bit rough. :( I know driver is experienced, but seemed a bit in a hurry at times. Van not very comfortable for some of the bumpy roads. Tour guide knowledgeable.
    star-5
    Awesome Experience
    Melissa_M
    , Jun 2022
    Such a fun and beautiful experience! Brittany was a wonderful tour guide! She was so much fun and very knowledgeable, I loved learning about the history of California and Yosemite! Plus she is hilarious and had the best playlist!
    star-3
    Average at best
    Samir_M
    , Jun 2022
    Difficult to drive 4-5 and then trying to hike for 3 hours. Also, Driver just dropped us of and left. Would have been better if he stuck around and helped people figure out where to go hike. The park is huge and it took some time for us to figure out where to go and that ate it into the 3 hours we had in the park. Also, as others have mentioned, extremely bumpy ride.
    star-5
    Highly recommended.
    Emilia_A
    , Jun 2022
    Very well organized, excellent guide (Aiden), on time, a very pleasant experience. Good for a family vacation.
    star-4
    Worth doing to experience the great outdoors.
    Sharon_H
    , Jun 2022
    Got to see all the landmarks of the park. Enough time at stops to enjoy photo opportunities, walks and vastness of the park. Would have liked to have stopped somewhere for a photo of Half Dome rather than pointing it out from bus! Communication after booking was hit and miss but a lot of changes were made, collection point made earlier and different area from where we were staying, but confirmation and reminders still stated original booked time and place. After getting up super early and paying for a taxi to get us to new collection point for the earlier time the bus was then 30 minutes late.
    star-5
    Our tour guide Brittany...
    Jane_B
    , Jun 2022
    Our tour guide Brittany was simply wonderful. I loved the background history of California and how Yosemite became a National Park. Ten out of ten.
    star-1
    Do NOT use this company
    Maryann_C
    , Jun 2022
    We got COVID on Saturday. Tested positive at noon on Sunday. Called Viator immediately. They told me that because it was less than 24 hours (it was 20 hours and on a Sunday when there was no one in the office) and we lost $1200 because of the unkindness of your company. We offered to show proof of positive test and they said they didn’t care. I travel a lot and have a large network of friends and family who value my travel opinion. I will be sure to tell EVERYONE about the terrible treatment we received. I’m sick with COVID and have to keep calling just to be told you wouldn’t help us at all.
    star-5
    Our tour guide, Parker,...
    Gary_B
    , Jun 2022
    Our tour guide, Parker, did a great job! Very organized, informative, and had just the right amount of narrative. The pickup and drop off were great! A relaxing, fun and great way to see Yosemite.
    star-3
    Not Worth It!
    Danny_A
    , Jun 2022
    The tour operator cancelled our tour the night before it was supposed to occur. Luckily we had another free day and were able to reschedule to next day. The driver and tour guide was excellent. I felt sorry for her. She drove about 12 hours that day. The tour is 15 hours (12 hours of driving and 3 hours in the park). We were exhausted by the time we go there and just barely got to see he water fall. We did not see anything else. The van was old and needed repair. It had no shock mounts left. We felt every bump in the road and the van was jumping up and down at every minor bump. I recommend you take a tour that stays overnight at Yosemite.
    star-5
    The best!!!
    cookeshay
    , Jun 2022
    Omg it was the best experience!!!!!! The scenery was everything and I love nature. Parker was our tour guide and he was absolutely amazing, very informative and funny. I’d definitely do this agin
    star-4
    Definitely worth a day of your time
    PaulaE
    , Jun 2022
    The trip and our tour guide, Randall were awesome. The bus was terrible. First off, the bathroom on board hadn’t been pumped, so it was “emergency use only”. Then, on the way back from the park, the a/c died and it was stifling on board the bus. The only saving grace was that it got cooler outside as we approached San Francisco and the outside air being blown in was cooler. This is an ALL DAY trip. We were told to meet the bus at 6:30am. The bus actually arrived at 7am and we were NOT the 1st stop for pick-up. We were originally booked for a small group trip to Yosemite, but there was some sort of issue with the transportation, so we were called the day before and told we’d been upgraded to Yosemite and the Sequoia Trees trip. We picked up 2 more sets of people along the way, then stopped in Oakdale for snacks & bathroom stop (bus had to re-fuel). We arrived at the park around 11:30 am. We drove around the park a bit and stopped for pictures that included El Capitan, Bridal Veil Falls and Half Dome in the distance. We were dropped off at the Yosemite Lodge to explore on our own for 3 hours. This gave us time to eat, use the rest rooms, visit the gift shop, visit Yosemite Falls, put our feet in Mercer River and walk to Coombs Meadow. We took TONS of photos, because there were beautiful sights everywhere! When we got back to the bus, we drove a little closer to El Capitan to see if we could spot climbers and to take more pictures. Next we drove to the a Toumey Grove where there were a handful of old growth Sequoia trees. It’s a 20-30 min walk down a fairly steep grade to the trees. To the right there is a loop to see a “tunnel” cut through the base of a giant Sequoia. The top of the tree had burned recently. There were several burnt trees or downed trees in the area (assume they were from forest fires and disease). Next, there is that same 20-30 minute climb back UP the steep grade you came down. There is no water there and the toilets are primitive (think outhouse). The elevation is around 7,000 ft, so hydrate and take it easy if you’re susceptible to elevation sickness. We were running late getting back to San Francisco. Originally we were set to arrive back at the pick up point at 9pm, but because of the air conditioning issue and the driver stopping to buy a couple cases of bottled water for us (I, personally, drank all 3 500 ml bottles I brought and 1 I bought at the snack stop, then 2.5 more before making it back to San Fran & our hotel). We walked over 6 miles on this trip. If it hadn’t been for the larger group (29 people) and the bus being less than awesome, it would have been a 5 star trip. We booked through Viator and I felt like they kept us informed and the tour company was a good one. Our tour director didn’t talk our ears off and answered questions and gave us suggestions for our free time.
    1 traveler found this review helpful
    star-5
    Great Outing!
    McCord
    , Jun 2022
    This is a great full day trip to Yosemite. Our tour guide James was very knowledgeable and kept us informed on all that we would do and see. We had built in stops for snacks and bathrooms. This is a must do if visiting San Francisco for the first time.
    star-5
    Long day but so worth it! From East Bay
    Oly_S
    , Jun 2022
    Mitch was a great and obliging host. He shared fun and interesting knowledge about all the main features of our trip, from agricultural to geographical to historical! He also figured out a mutually helpful dropoff point for us, since we're staying in the East Bay area, which saved us maybe half an hour or more on what was already a very long day (p.s. if staying in East Bay, send a message in advance to the tour organisers to figure out a better pickup point en route). The sites themselves were just stunning - some of the most inspiring scenery I've seen anywhere in the world. Trip was comfortable enough on the minibus, with a few well-timed convenience stops on the way, though I'd have preferred shorter breaks and more nature! Not many people wearing masks despite nominal encouragement.
    star-5
    An amazing trip
    edson_m
    , Jun 2022
    I had an incredible experience and the guide gave us all information about the place and attention. She all the time was very helpful
    star-5
    Amazing Experience!
    Diana_S
    , May 2022
    The experience was amazing. Chadwick was the guide and he was really knowledgeable and nice. I wish we would have more time to hike more but the rest was fantastic!
    icon Response from Host , May 2022
    Hi Diana! Thank you for taking the time to review your tour! We’re so glad to read that our staff were able to make your experience with us a memorable one. I will pass on your compliments about our guide to the entire team! The Incredible Adventures team.-
    star-3
    Try to avoid going on Sunday:)
    Dori_B
    , May 2022
    Well, I am more an individual hiker and knew before this is going to be very touristy. But I wanted to have a look at the Yosemite and took it as a compromise. Our guide/ driver Brian was very sweet and caring ( I felt very sorry for him seeing that several people went out without giving the tip). To see the legend El Capitano was nice for sure but for me personally it was way to crowdy. It was still nice to do that trip. Thanks to Brian and the company. 🧡
    1 traveler found this review helpful
    star-3
    Long day
    Jim_S
    , May 2022
    8 hours in a passenger van was too long. Vehicle had poor shocks and poor AC. We enjoyed our time at Yosemite but would not recommend this option for seeing the park. Only one staff was sent with the group and she did the driving and tour talk. Stopping at a grocery store twice was a good way to save time but the food options weren’t great.
    1 traveler found this review helpful
    star-5
    Beautiful
    Tracey_S
    , May 2022
    The mountains were tall and majestic, I took lots of pictures of the breath taking scenery. Our tour guide was excellent and looked after us very well

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