5 star rating: Highly Recommended 11 Reviews

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  • Location:San Francisco, California
  • Duration:15 hours (approx.)

Small-Group Yosemite Tour from San Francisco

Yosemite National Park is a must-visit California gem, and this day trip from San Francisco makes it easy. Leave the urban hustle-bustle behind and journey through Central Valley, Gold Country and the Sierra Nevada foothills to UNESCO World Heritage–listed Yosemite National Park. Take a 1.5-hour narrated van tour of Yosemite Valley, including Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls and El Capitan, and then set off on your own for three hours to explore independently. Numbers are limited to 15 on this small-group tour, ensuring a more personalized wilderness experience.


  • Yosemite National Park day trip from San Francisco
  • Travel through the Central Valley farmlands, historical Gold Country and the Sierra Nevada foothills
  • Spend five hours snapping photos of Yosemite’s stunning forests, rock formations and waterfalls
  • Visit Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil 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 Inspiration Point, 4,500 feet above sea level
  • Small-group tour limited to 15 ensures a more personalized experience

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

This is the most time you can spend at Yosemite on a day trip, so be prepared for a long, busy day. You get three full hours to spend in the park however you wish; I recommend renting a bike or checking out the Ansel Adams Gallery.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Small-Group Yosemite Tour from San Francisco

Yosemite National Park Day Trip from San Francisco

Gear up for your full-day Yosemite adventure with early morning pickup from your San Francisco hotel. Relax aboard your 15-passenger luxury biodesel van across the Bay Bridge, offering great views of San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

Making your way across the Central Valley — one of the largest agricultural regions in the United States — make a 10-minute stop at a street-side fruit stand for a chance to purchase some fresh local nuts or fruit. Continue through the cattle and horse ranch lands of the Sierra Nevada foothills and Gold Country — the heartland of the California Gold Rush of 1849.

After a 4.5-hour drive, arrive at Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, massive sequoia groves and biological diversity. Start your visit with a 1.5-hour driving tour through the park’s main attraction, Yosemite Valley, a glacial valley full of amazing rock formations and waterfalls. As you're in a small group, you’ll enjoy multiple photo stops, and access areas that big bus tours can't.

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 Inspiration Point, at 4,500 feet (1,371 meters) above sea level, and end your tour near the base of Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America. There are a variety of options here for lunch (own expense).

After lunch, you’ll have three hours to explore the park at your leisure. Rent a bike and pick a trailhead for an epic cycle around the valley, or embark on foot on one of the many hiking loops. For less active folks, check out the visitor’s center, the Ansel Adams Gallery and the Ahwahnee Hotel for unique insights in the park’s history, legacy and beauty.

Re-group in the late afternoon for the journey back to San Francisco, stopping for a short break en route. Approaching the city in the evening, capture a stunning downtown skyline view from the Bay Bridge before arriving back at your hotel.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

The trip offered enough time to explore the valley on your own for a few hours. The tour also stopped at a couple of different spots to give us opportunity to take amazing photos. Our tour guide Mike was great. He was very knowledgeable and helpful at giving suggestions. If time is limited and you only have one day, this tour is a great option. Great job Mike!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

My wife and I had the best time at Yosemite park, very friendly guide, knowledgeable and well organized.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

This tour was a great and activity packed one. Enjoyed every moment of it. Our guide Brian was very knowledgable and resourceful. Need more than one 4hrs to completely stroll around the place, but still had a wonderful time.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Our tour guide was Calder.
Let me tell you, our trip was awesome!
Calder was a fantastic guide, funny, very friendly and generally a nice guy to have around.
Not only could he tell a lot of stories and history of the Yosemite park, he even shared a lot of interesting little history/flora/fauna facts and stories throughout the 4 hour drive to Yosemite.
I would very much recommend taking this tour with him!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Great day in Yosemite. The guide was really helpful and knowledgeable.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Our Guide, Kris or Chris, not sure was great and informative. The stop at Denise's market was great...produce was so fresh. Yosemite was beautiful even on a less than perfect day! I would recommend this tour! Thanks.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

A long day but it was worth it.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

It was fun.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

Fantastic trip. Driver picked me up right on time. Easy ride to Yosemite with stops along the way. Plenty of time to explore. Great way to see Yosemite in a day.

4 star rating: Recommended August 2015

very knowledgeable guide

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Tour code: 3454_B0016


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