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Excellent trip. The hikes and views are definitely worth it. My guide Ariel was amazing. She made sure that everyone was happy and comfortable. She combined both touristy sites and gave us an option to hike to places that not everyone goes since its more challenging. I wish there were more camp fire meals (which are not always possible because of the drought) and the camp site wasn’t next to a highway... besides that the trip exceeded my expectations. Thank you!!! Best Birthday ever!!!
We travelled to Yosemite with the family of 5.the hiking was absolutely incredible, with spectator views of Yosemite. Our group was quite large with 13 people with different hiking abilities. Seamus our tour guide was awesome at finding hikes that had different levels of skill from pretty easy to epic. The camp site was pretty hardcore without a blade of grass, the initial shock from the group at seeing the site quickly changed to getting stuck in and putting up the tents and going down to the beautiful river on site for a swim. In the end the accomodation is not why one does this trip, Yosemite is one of the most beautiful places on earth and this trip shows it in all its splendour. Seamus our guide was brilliant and cant thank him enough for giving us an unforgettable experience.
All the camping supplies were at the campsite in a shed waiting for us when we pulled up from San Fran. The tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pads were all clean and smelled clean. Rourke, our guide for the weekend was very nice, knowledgable and patient. His personality was upbeat, informative and good at getting our group talking. The food was delicious, and plentiful. If you've ever camped before you know you are not going to have a detailed meal, that is hard to prepare, so if that is what you are expecting/like you will need to rethink how you eat for the weekend. We make chicken burritos with beans,pepper, onions with all of the fixins'. Delicious! For breakfast we had cold foods like cereal, fruit, coffee, juice, bagels option to toast them, cream cheese, ect. Tons of food, so you will not go hungry. There is a restaurant close to the site where we camped, so after a long day of hiking we went over and had a burger. The showers and restrooms were clean and within a short walking distance. Our group or the majority of us decided to do an approx 6 hour hike from the top down to see all the waterfalls. It was very challenging, but very worth it. I was so sore the next day I opted out of a short hike. LOL. The other people who did not want to do the hard hike did something else. I can't remember what it was they did, but our guide gave them options, and I remember them talking like they enjoyed themselves. I had never done anything like this before so I was not sure how it was going to all work out. Everything went off without a hitch, and I am glad I took a chance and did this tour. My family and I flew in from KS, and did a one day stent in San Fran and then got picked up from the hotel in the morning. We did not stay at the hotel where they pick you up and drop you off. We stayed in a hotel a short walking distance from there. The hotel where we were picked up was a very busy hotel and it was hard to tell if the leader was there or not to pick you up. I kept walking outside to see if I could see a van that had the company name on it. I was getting worried bc it was 15 min after the pick up time and I still had not seen our van. Finally the leader called me and he parked at a side door of the hotel. I would recommend getting the phone number of the person who will be picking you up just in case there is some problem. I would totally recommend you do this tour. If you are on the fence, don't be, just do it!
First I’ll just say it’s hard to blow it in Yosemite. The Park is simply amazing. I don’t regret making the trip. But... The campsite is at an RV campground/motel just outside the park in a gravel parking lot right off the road right next to several other large tour groups. I would not book again.
Visiting Yosemite has been on my wishlist for many many years and this adventure certainly didn't disappoint at all. The camping was fun, we had a very mixed group but everyone pitched in to help. It was extremely cold, which of course could not have been predicted, but our guide, Rourke, made every effort to make us all feel comfortable and provided extra equipment for those of us who needed it. He was a very organised, informative and accommodating guide who quite obviously has a passion for the park which showed through in his enthusiasm. For me particularly, being the oldest, of the group, and not as fit as the others, his attention to ensuring I was still able to gain maximum enjoyment from the tour, and particularly, the hikes, was very much appreciated. I loved this trip and I really thank Rourke for making my first visit to Yosemite, there will certainly be more, one that I will not ever forget. I would recommend this tour to anyone who really wants to see the best of this park and even if you are not much of a camper, you could still, as I did, really enjoy this adventure as you are well looked after.
It's a great way to enjoy Yosemite for travellers esp solo travellers who have never been there before! The company arranged pick up, and take you to see many awesome places in Yosemite. The only downside was I wish we had time to do more hikes! We only did one but it was awesome to Lembert Dome.
The other thing was communication error: I was getting picked up from Dublin/Pleasanton BART and a day before I specifically double checked the pick up time and was given the wrong time was given the pick up time for downtown SF, hence I spent 1.5h waiting!
Also I think the company needs to review their equipment, the tarps look like they're losing their waterproofness as we were getting water seeping from the ground to our tents. Both tarps and the bottom part of the tents were wet. The previous group that used the tents had rolled up their tents and stored them even though they were dry, and we almost did not have any dry tent to pitch! We found other tents we could use, but we also had the same problem with water seeping through our tarps and getting into the tents.
LONG REVIEW BUT WORTH READING!
I highly recommend this trip! Spending 3 days/2 nights in Yosemite was the perfect way for me to explore Yosemite without being rushed amongst the crowds. My group consisted of 7 people, in their late 20s and 30s. Some of us had previous camping/hiking experience, and the others didn't. The first day started by being picked up around 9am in SF and heading out toward Yosemite. Half way there, our tour guide stopped and gave us some time to pick up lunch at a local grocery store. Before arriving at the Yosemite Valley, we made a brief stop at a forest with beautiful giant Sequoias for a short hike. Upon arriving at the Yosemite Valley, we had the opportunity to stop and drink natural water from a creek Seamus our tour guide took us to, and had time to take a bunch of pics. Then we headed to set up camp around 6pm. It was very easy to set up the tents and sleeping bags. Then we started dinner, which was plentiful! We had both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes, which was all worked to cook ourselves! The first night we had a taco/burrito buffet. The first night camping under the stars was beautiful, sitting by the fire and connecting with your peers. The sleeping bags were comfortable and warm. The next day, we woke up around 7:30am for breakfast, which consisted of bread, yogurt, fruit, hot and cold cereal, and coffee/tea. We packed our lunches, and headed out to hike. Our tour guide took us to May lake and close to Mount Hoffman, which was a beautiful hike. We went at an easy pace, which allowed our bodies to get used to the altitude. Then after spending a few hours exploring, we headed back to camp to make dinner. Our second dinner was a meat and vegetarian stir fry. It was delicious and plentiful. On the 3rd day, again we woke up early and headed to the Yosemite valley, after packing up. Our tour guide gave us about 4 hours to ourselves to spend at the valley. Either hiking, bike riding, or simply just exploring the tourist stores and sites. A few of us decided to hike to Vernal falls, which was a semi challenging hike, but well worth it.
I went by myself on this trip and I don't regret one minute of it! I was a bit anxious the night before, not knowing what the group dynamics would be like. However, our tour guide Seamus, did a great job of incorporating everyones personality and helped everyone feel welcomed. I definitely got my money's worth and cannot wait to go back to Yosemite one day! I will definitely use this company for related outdoor tours.
P.S. Bring sweat shirt and warm pants, its warm at night, but gets cold in the morning. Bring a large water bottle, as you will need plenty of water throughout your hikes. Bring a small flashlight or headlamp for inside your tent. Bring appropriate footwear, hiking boots or sneakers.
We are first-time campers and were anxious before going. This tour and our awesome guide made it an easy and wonderful experience for us! That said, the only thing you should be aware of is to keep an open mind about the composition and mix of the group. Depending on others' preferences and physical abilities, you may have to compromise on your travel plans. For us, we were very lucky. We had a diverse and good mix of people from five different countries for 10 people. We thoroughly enjoyed our 3-day trip and make some new friends at the end.