Go on a “California High Country Adventure”
With incredible scenery and miles of breathtaking trails, it’s no wonder that California’s National Parks are a top bucket list item for the outdoor traveler. Our newest active itinerary allows guests to seamlessly blend the comfort of guided travel with the excitement of California’s wilderness.
This nine-day trip starts in Fresno, the gateway to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and is just 90 minutes from the Mariposa Grove inside Yosemite National Park. Here, guests can explore the giant sequoias of Mariposa Grove and the Grizzly Giant Loop. The largest sequoia grove in Yosemite, and home to over 500 mature trees, guests can walk beneath the boughs of these magnificent giants. After spending the night at the Yosemite Valley Lodge, guests then spend a full day exploring this magnificent park. Options include a trek to Mirror Lake, one of Yosemite’s most popular destinations with views of Mt. Watkins and Half Dome, or a hike to Bridalveil Falls – a 620 feet (189 meters) famous for the mist that resembles a bridal veil.
A special highlight on this visit to Yosemite National Park is a visit to Tuolumne Meadows, one of the largest high-elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada at 8,600 feet. A kaleidoscope of blooming wildflowers in the summer, guests can wander through these colorful fields surrounded by picturesque granite peaks and domes.
From Yosemite, guests journey on to Mammoth Lakes and Devils Postpile National Monument where they have a multitude of trails to explore. In Mammoth, guests embark on a 360-degree exploration of the Sierras as they board the Panorama Gondola and climb 11,053 feet to the top of Mammoth Mountain for breakfast.
After four days of exploring Yosemite and Mammoth Lakes, guests then venture down south to the Ancient Bristle Cone Pine Forest, home to the oldest trees in the world. This extremely rare species is found only in California, Nevada, and Utah, and some of these living trees can be over 4,000 years old and showcase spectacular forms of twisted and beautifully colored wood, thanks to the high elevation of over 10,000 feet. Within the forest, guests can explore Schulman Grove and hike amongst these colorful ancients. Our Travel Directors understand that guests can react to high elevation differently and can provide shorter or longer trail options.
From here, they continue onwards to Sequoia National Park where they can explore the popular Congress Trail. On this loop trail, guests have the chance to view the world’s largest tree, the General Sherman Tree, and trek into the heart of the Giant Forest seeing the House Cluster, Senate Cluster, and President Tree. While in Sequoia, guests can wander along the Crescent Meadow Loop and experience what John Muir called “the gem of the Sierra Nevada.” Once night falls, they get to discover this picturesque land by starlight as they meet with a local expert.
After exploring Sequoia National Park, guests descend into Kings Canyon National Park. An area not commonly visited by many tour operators; this park was once called “a rival to Yosemite” and is home to the largest remaining grove of sequoia trees in the world as well as the Nation’s Christmas Tree. It is here that guests can explore the Cedar Groves Trails and the Zumwalt Meadow. Back in Sequoia, guests will meet with a local bumblebee expert to learn about the impact this insect has on the national parks and their foliage.
Throughout this active journey, our knowledgeable Tour Directors are there to provide tips and insights on the areas guests visit as well as recommend hikes based on interest and skill level.