Best of Yosemite Inn Based Tour

Yosemite, CA
4.9 (17 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Diversity of Hikes
  • Spectacular Waterfalls & Domes
  • Alpine Peak Ascent
  • Amazing Glacial History
  • Premier Lodging Outside the Park
  • Wonderful Lodge & Picnic Meals
  • Guides Choice Trip

Description

Come join us for an extraordinary week of hiking in Yosemite National Park! Each day we’ll embark on exciting day hikes throughout the Park, and each evening we’ll return to a comfortable lodge where we’ll enjoy relaxing and charming restaurant meals and cozy rooms. We provide all the meals, lodging, local transportation, and an expert guide so you can relax and soak up Yosemite!

Our daily hikes cover the gamut from popular, classic hikes to lesser-known gems that we selected just for this trip and our Yosemite Basecamp Tour. We’ll spend time in Yosemite Valley, and we’ll venture up into the high country of Tuolumne Meadows. We’ll visit waterfalls, high peaks, stunning viewpoints, and giant Sequoia trees. You’ll get to see and experience an amazing amount of this park in just 5 days!

One of the most amazing aspects of visiting Yosemite is learning about its glacial history. Your guide will point out this history throughout the week, noting evidence such as sheered domes, mountains of moraine, massive boulders perched in impossible positions, and other unique features. You’ll also learn about Yosemite’s wildlife, Native American history, and early settler history.

Read more …
From
$3710 Per Person
$700 Single Supplement

$700 Single Supplement

Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Inn-Based Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 28MI /45KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2

Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This trip follows well maintained trails. Some concerns include loose dirt, large stepping stones and tree roots. The top of Vernal/Nevada falls has exposed vertical drops with safety railings in place.

Hiking Distances:

5-6 miles

Backpack Weight:

10-12 lbs

Terrain:

Lightly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

2900 feet

Heights Exposure:

Moderate

Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 8-12 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on lightly rugged terrain
  • Hiking with occasional, moderate heights exposure

SOLITUDE LEVEL 2

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Yosemite trip a solitude 2. You can expect as much as an hour of solitude at a time.

TRAVEL TO RUSH CREEK LODGE

You will meet your hiking guide and group at Rush Creek Lodge between 7 and 9 a.m. the morning the trip begins (pre-trip lodging at Rush Creek is an optional add-on). We can also meet you at Curry Village in Yosemite Valley on Day 1 if that works better for you. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip to coordinate the exact time and location of the rendezvous, which will depend on current weather and road conditions.

Personal or Rental Vehicle: You can most easily travel to and from Rush Creek Lodge using a personal vehicle or rental vehicle. Rush Creek Lodge is a half mile from Yosemite National Park’s west Highway 120 entrance. Their address is 34001 CA-120, Groveland, CA 95321.

YART Bus SystemYosemite Area Rapid Transit (YART) connects Fresno, Sonora, Mammoth Lakes, Modesto and Fresno with Yosemite. It is a bus system, and Amtrak’s routes to Yosemite sub-contract YARTS. To get to Rush Creek Lodge, first connect to Yosemite Valley, then connect to the Sonora line that stops at Rush Creek Lodge. Some YARTS routes do not run in the early season, and are available starting in July.

Trains and Amtrak: from other California cities, you can connect to Yosemite by rail on the Amtrak San Joaquin Train to the city of Merced (serviced by most large cities in California) or by Amtrak “Thruway” Bus Service from Merced to Yosemite Valley. Once in Yosemite Valley you will connect with the YART Sonora line that stops at Rush Creek Lodge.

To book your train or Amtrak bus trip, use Amtrak’s Online Reservation Service to book round-trip Amtrak travel to “YOS” (Yosemite Valley).

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 2
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
PDF Trip Itinerary Packet Book online
Or fill out a Reservation Request
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Itinerary

Itinerary

Optional Pre-trip Lodging

This Yosemite hiking tour has optional, add-on, pre-trip lodging for the night before the trip begins at Rush Creek Lodge. Lodging in the Yosemite area can be difficult to secure, so we offer this night’s accommodations as a convenience and added benefit for guests who prefer it. Dinner is not included in the pre-trip lodging, and breakfast Day 1 is included but will be provided by your guide.

Cost: $535 Per Room

Day 1

  • Shuttle: 45 minutes each way
  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 3000 feet
  • Accommodations: Rush Creek Lodge

Your guide will pick you up at Rush Creek Lodge or at Curry Village in Yosemite National Park, and we’ll make our way to the first day’s hike at Happy Isles trailhead. Our day begins with a hike to two of Yosemite’s crown jewels, Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, along the John Muir or the Mist Trails. While many of Yosemite’s hikes are centered on a final destination, this route features stunning views the whole way, from Upper Yosemite Falls across the Valley, to the phenomenal granite heights of Liberty Cap, Grizzly Peak, the Panorama Cliffs, Sentinel Dome, Glacier Point and even Half Dome soaring above our heads.

After we lunch at a picturesque point overlooking the falls, we’ll return to the Valley floor and explore more of the scenic wonders of this fantastic place. Then we return to our lodge where we’ll get cleaned up and meet for a much-deserved dinner that evening.

Day 2

  • Shuttle: 1.5 hours each way
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1800 feet
  • Accommodations: Rush Creek Lodge

Today we will arise early and drive up into Yosemite’s high country. We’ll head east along the Tioga Pass Road, stopping at Olmsted Point for a mesmerizing view of Yosemite’s alpine mountains and Half Dome in the distance. We’ll reach our morning trailhead in Tuolumne Meadows: a series of vast, alpine meadows with mountain streams snaking their way through the tall grass and plentiful wildflowers. Here, we’ll get an overview of the meadows from our hike to the summit of Lembert Dome. This hike involves some scrambling before topping out at the 9450 ft. summit with its amazing views of the Cathedral Range and the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River.

Afterward we’ll head up to Tioga Pass, the highest highway crossing in California and the Sierra. Our after lunch hike will take us up the steep trail to the Gaylor Lakes Basin just below the rugged Sierra Crest. We’ll visit high alpine lakes and perhaps, the abandoned 1870’s Great Sierra Mine before returning to our lodge and resting up for dinner.

Day 3

  • Shuttle: 1.5 hours each way
  • Hiking Mileage: 10.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2540 feet
  • Accommodations: Rush Creek Lodge

Today we will climb one of Yosemite Valley’s iconic granite domes, Half Dome’s northerly sibling, the spectacular North Dome. Our hike starts above the Valley at a normally quiet trailhead and heads south through a pristine Lodgepole Pine forest. After only a few miles we will enjoy a rejuvenating break at Indian Arch, an arch-shaped rock that provides breathtaking views of the mountains that surround us. From Indian Arch we will descend down onto the top of North Dome where we will enjoy a picnic lunch with out-of-this-world, 360-degree views of Yosemite Valley and the surrounding mountain peaks as our backdrop. After snapping lots of photos and soaking up the views, we will complete our hike back to the trailhead, then return to our hotel for showers, evening cuisine, and another relaxing evening.

Day 4

  • Shuttle: 1.75 hours each way
  • Hiking Mileage: 6.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1500 feet
  • Accommodations: Rush Creek Lodge

Today’s hike takes us into Yosemite’s biggest trees and the largest and most impressive trees on earth – the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. We’ll hike the lower and upper loops, which provide for a wonderful day of hiking. We’ll visit the 2700 year old Grizzly Giant, the 25th largest tree on earth, as well as many other of these giants. The Park Service has recently completed a restoration of the Grove and removed much of the man-made infrastructure-returning much of the natural peace and quiet to this special place.

Day 5

  • Shuttle:1 hour each way
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2020 feet
  • Shuttle: 2 hours

On our final day, we’ll pack up and enjoy a hearty breakfast before leaving Rush Creek Lodge. We’ll turn east and enjoy one last, special treat: a summit attempt on Mount Hoffmann, a peak at the geographical center of Yosemite National Park! Our hike takes us uphill to May Lake, a charming sub-alpine lake framed by sheer granite cliffs. We’ll take a break at the lake before continuing up the flanks of Mount Hoffman. This summit involves only hiking but is an exciting ascent up a picturesque mountain peak.

The highlight of today comes when we reach the summit, which some people say offers the best view of any in Yosemite! From its high perch we will be looking down on Half Dome and Clouds Rest – a rare vantage point – and over to the bright granite peaks of the Cathedral Range. We’ll snap some pictures and soak up the views before heading back down to May Lake and back to the trailhead. After our hike and a final lunch we’ll contemplate the unforgettable week we’ve just experienced, and most likely start hatching new plans for future trips to special places like Yosemite!

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Four nights of lodging at the Rush Creek Lodge, or similar equivalent in rare cases (you can add pre-trip lodging for an additional charge)
  • Use of trekking poles and a day pack
  • All meals are included from breakfast on Day 1 through lunch on the last day
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • Mandatory 5% national park fee that passes through directly to Yosemite
  • A Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and dependents to a discount of 10% off any Wildland hiking trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What to Expect

We provide all your meals from lunch the first day through lunch the last day. Your guide will prepare breakfasts and lunches with a variety of hot and cold meals that are appropriate for the day’s activities. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we’re more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

For dinners, we’ve hand-picked local restaurants you’re sure to enjoy! We made our decisions based on the quality of their food, their charm, and how much local color and character they have.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

You will meet your hiking guide and group at Rush Creek Lodge between 7 and 9 a.m. the morning the trip begins. You can also meet your guide at Curry Village inside Yosemite National Park if that works better for you. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip to coordinate the exact time and location of the rendezvous, which will depend on current weather and road conditions.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

Your guide will coordinate the first day’s rendezvous time approximately 2 weeks before the trip. Generally, you can expect it to be between 7 and 9 a.m., although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will be back to Rush Creek Lodge on the last day normally around 3 PM to allow guests to travel to San Francisco that evening (this time is not guaranteed however, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time) on the final day.

Safety Precautions

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Guide Shifts

The guide(s) for this trip work daily shifts from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. During off hours (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) the guides’ time is their own, and they are free to sleep, rest, take personal time, postpone guest requests until the next morning, and any other legal, reasonable activity people engage in when not working. We ask all guests to respect the guides’ off-duty hours by not waking or asking anything of them unless there is a true emergency. Also, state law requires that employees receive an uninterrupted 10 minute break every four working hours, so guides are required to take four 10 minute breaks between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in the Sierras

Being a high mountain environment, the Sierra Nevada Mountains are prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in the mountains. On trips in June, snow is a possibility, and the rest of the summer rain is always a possibility on your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month
Valleys
Alpine
hi
low
hi
low
January
49°
26°
45°
25°
February
55°
28°
46°
26°
March
59°
31°
48°
27°
April
65°
35°
54°
30°
May
73°
42°
62°
37°
June
81°
51°
71°
46°
July
89°
57°
77°
50°
August
89°
56°
81°
53°
September
82°
51°
71°
46°
October
74°
39°
62°
37°
November
58°
31°
51°
29°
December
48°
26°
46°
25°

Accommodations

Accommodations

RUSH CREEK LODGE

4-5 NIGHTS

Rush Creek Lodge offers a relaxed, yet modern and sophisticated lodging experience in a forested setting in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains near the west entrance to Yosemite. We escape the crowds in Yosemite Valley, yet are perfectly poised to maximize our adventure!
(pool, spa)

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 4.9 (17 reviews)
Fred T
5.0

I would HIGHLY recommend this trip to any and all.

4 months ago

The strength of Wildland is in your guides! Michaela and Brittany are friends and treated us as their friends . Both are highly professional, highly knowledgeable and love what they do . Some of the National Parks are overstressed with the number of visitors and staffing issues but knowledgeable and compassionate guides make a significant difference . Thank you Wildlands for a memorable experience

Diana H
5.0

Highly Recommend Wildland Trekking

12 months ago

Would highly recommend Wildland Trekking. So nice to have everything planned out and organized. Our guide was so organized and knowledgeable! Great trip and looking forward to our next trip with Wildland Trekking!

Kimberly H
5.0

All Aspects of My Experience Exceeded Expectations

1 year ago

"In life it's not where you go, it's who you travel with." Our Guild, Group and Accommodations exceeded all expectations. Each day was planned to perfection and included beautiful hikes, interesting facts with great comradery! Definitely excited for another trip and will request Dylan to lead the way!

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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