Antarctica & Arctic
Giant sequoia trees, shimmering blue lakes, sheer granite peaks, coastal walks and small town treasures.
Destinations > West Coast USA > Yosemite, Tahoe & Monterey
Eight nights hotel accommodation, services of two Grand American Adventures tour leaders, transportation and some sightseeing.
19 Aug & 31 Aug '18
Start this beautiful journey of discovery in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Visit Yosemite's majestic waterfalls and soaring granite peaks, Lake Tahoe's sparkling waters, stunning coastal cities and the delicious vineyards of Sonoma. Explore Californian nature at its best: pristine mountain peaks, wild valleys, towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls and giant sequoias.
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Enjoy a whale watching cruise at Monterey
Walk amongst the giant sequioas and granite peaks of Yosemite National Park
Explore beautiful Lake Tahoe
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Welcome to the world famous 'City by the Bay'. San Francisco is a city which the locals are fiercely proud of and for good reason. The eclectic neighbourhoods, sweeping panoramas, cable car linked hills and the food… oh the food…make the city of the world’s great melting pots.
South from San Francisco, along the Pacific Coast is Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, named after one of the most respected pioneering women from Big Sur country. The park is home to an abundance of beautiful walking trails. The enormous redwoods that surround you as you discover one of the most iconic viewpoints of Big Sur, McWay Falls, make you feel insignificant. McWay Falls cascades down on to its own beach which was created in 1983 from a landslide. Continue to Monterey for a coastal walk, keeping your eyes peeled for harbour seals and otters.
Monterey and its surrounding area is famed for its marine life and is home to a world-class aquarium overlooking the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Only a few kilometres off shore sits the largest and deepest underwater canyon off the Pacific Coast of North America. During your time in Monterey, head out on an early morning whale viewing cruise. In the afternoon leave the rugged and wild coast of the Pacific behind and head towards to the beautiful wilderness of Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and embodies the spirit of America's natural parks. Its rugged, towering peaks and magnificent waterfalls have been immortalised by countless photographers. Take in the quintessential vistas of El Capitan, a 915 metre sheer rock face famous with rock climbers the world over. Another popular spot in the park is Bridalveil Falls, one of the most prominent waterfalls in Yosemite. And then there's the famous granite Half Dome, a rock formation you'll have seen before on countless postcards. Marvel at some of the largest trees on earth as you walk in the shadows of giant sequoia trees on a guided trek in Tuolumne Grove.
The Mist Trail is one of the most outstanding day hikes in the valley and offers superb views as you walk across picturesque bridges up towards Vernal Falls where the spray from the falls creates striking rainbows along the trail. Continue walking and you reach another beautiful waterfall, Nevada Falls, where it feels like you are well and truly in the California wilderness. Return via the John Muir Trail. You may even spot black bear and coyotes that roam the surrounding areas.
Hike the superb Tuolumne Meadows Trail, a sub-alpine meadow section along the river of the same name. From Yosemite National Park, head to the sparkling shores of Lake Tahoe, the second deepest lake in the USA. Explore local hiking trails taking you off the beaten path to capture panoramic views.
Beautiful skies, clean air and the cobalt blue lake awakens the senses, especially on the Emerald Bay State Park Trail. In 1969, Emerald Bay was designated a National Natural Landmark for its brilliant panorama of mountains and glacier carved granite.
After a free half day hiking or swimming at Lake Tahoe, you make your way back to everyone's favourite city, San Francisco.
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