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Yosemite and Sequoia: John Muir's California

8 days with Tauck   Rating: Deluxe

Tauck Offers for this Trip

  • Receive one complimentary pre-or post-tour hotel night on this trip. Expires June 2. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some offers are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Arrive San Francisco
Tour begins: 5:30 PM, The Westin St. Francis. A transfer is included from San Francisco International Airport to The Westin St. Francis, the elegant "Grand Dame" of Union Square. Join us for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner. (D)

Day 2 Muir Woods & The Presidio
Leave your hotel for a visit to the Presidio, a former Army base, now a national park; the preserved setting is rich with history - it was once home to the African-American cavalry troops known as the "Buffalo Soldiers." From here, it's a short drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods, a coastal redwood forest preserved as a national monument. Lunch in picturesque Sausalito, then hop aboard a ferry for the return trip to San Francisco. Dock at the historic Ferry Building terminal with its famous clocktower and its arcade of shops and cafés along the Embarcadero. The remainder of the day is free. (B, L)

Day 3 The Central Valley to Sequoia National Park
Before there was a National Park Service, the job of policing and protecting the national parks belonged to the U.S. Army. At Sequoia and Yosemite, the parks' guardians were the Buffalo Soldiers, who rode out every spring from the Presidio, crossing 300 miles on horseback to the Sierra Nevada. Drive a route that follows the Buffalo Soldiers' path across the agricultural Central Valley. Stop in Fresno for lunch, then board a motor coach for the 7,000-foot climb to Sequoia National Park. Your destination is remote Wuksachi Lodge® on the park grounds. This afternoon, an expert from the Sequoia Field Institute describes how John Muir found and documented the "Giant Forest" in 1875, a perfect introduction to the park. Tonight at the lodge, a naturalist guides you through the spectacular constellations that fill the night skies. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Land of giants and Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park
Begin the day with privately guided walks among ancient Giant Sequoias (including the world's largest living tree, over 2,500 years old) and a walk through Round Meadow. Travels inside Sequoia National Park are via small passenger vehicle, accompanied by a guide. Enjoy a private barbecue lunch at Wolverton Meadow, and an opportunity to climb the steps to the top of Moro Rock for stunning views of the park and the Great Western Divide. Explore the Giant Forest on a narrated guided tour with stories of Muir, Charles Young, and other park pioneers. The remainder of the day is free. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Yosemite National Park
Depart Wuksachi Lodge and Sequoia National Park this morning and head over to Fresno via Kings Canyon National Park, arriving at the south entrance to Yosemite National Park late morning. Your Yosemite tour begins with a film by Ken Burns describing Muir's passion for the Yosemite Valley, and his activism to preserve it for future generations, and is followed by lunch at Wawona® Hotel, an inn that was once a stagecoach stop. Then join a National Park Service guide and visit Glacier Point for a stirring view of the Valley, overlooking Half Dome and a panorama of glacier-formed peaks; on this spot in 1903, John Muir stood with Teddy Roosevelt during a private tour of the area that persuaded the President that Yosemite should be under federal protection as a national park. This evening, settle into your room at Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly The Ahwahnee®), a historic masterpiece of stone, timber and soaring stained glass windows in the heart of Yosemite; dine at your leisure. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Yosemite, "Nature's Grandest Temple"
Yosemite "is the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter," wrote Muir, who regarded such settings of awesome natural beauty as sacred places with restorative powers, "where the galling harness of civilization drops off and wounds heal, ere we are aware." Discover the park's power to move your spirit on a guided Yosemite tour in a special open-air vehicle, with opportunities to explore on foot. The afternoon is yours to enjoy the park at your own pace. Optional activities are available (some at additional cost), including bicycling, a hike over the footbridge at Vernal Falls, and a visit to the Yosemite Indian Cultural Museum and Village. (B)

Day 7 Return to San Francisco
Depart Yosemite this morning, first visiting the Mariposa Museum, then heading out for San Francisco across the Central Valley, with a stop for lunch. Filmed narratives by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan weave together the past seven days of history and nature, with insights you won't get anywhere else. One of the stories relates to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a glacial valley Muir fought unsuccessfully to save. In the 1920s, the federal government allowed its river to be dammed, turning the valley into a reservoir for the city of San Francisco; a campaign continues to this day to restore the valley to its original state. Arrive late afternoon at The Fairmont San Francisco on Nob Hill. Join us tonight for a farewell reception and dinner; Yosemite can never be left behind (and may be as close as your glass of tap water). (B, L, D)

Day 8 Journey home
Tour ends: San Francisco. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Fairmont San Francisco to San Francisco International Airport. Allow 2 hours for check-in. (B)
Map
All This Included
Crafted by Tauck and Ken Burns - When John Muir first wandered into the Sierra Nevada in 1869, the power of the otherworldly landscape - cathedral-like groves of towering Sequoias, glacier-clad mountain peaks, plunging canyons, crystal lakes and torrential waterfalls - transformed him forever. "We are now in the mountains," he wrote, euphorically, "and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us." The self-made naturalist made it his mission to explore and document every natural wonder in the Giant Forest and the Yosemite Valley of the Ahwahneechee, "to get as near to the heart of the world as I can," but even more, to ensure that these wild places were preserved for future generations as national parks. The awe-inspiring wilderness of Muir Woods, Yosemite and Sequoia national parks, with their life-changing power, is still there as Muir experienced it, waiting for you to explore on this unique Tauck journey - partnering with filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan - that not only celebrates the parks' natural wonders, but tells the remarkable inside stories of how they came to be preserved for all time... from the personal journeys of pioneers, naturalists, transcendentalists and politicians, to the adventures of the African-American cavalry regiment known as the Buffalo Soldiers, who defended and maintained the parks before there was a National Parks Service... the individuals behind an American idea we now take for granted, that vast swaths of the nation's landscape should be preserved for not just for kings or the very rich, but for everyone... wild, transformative places where (like Muir) we can experience self-discovery and the spiritual mountains within.

  • Filmed vignettes by filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan that tell the stories of the history and ideals of the people behind the creation and preservation of the national parks
  • Explore the incredible landscapes of Muir Woods, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks, from the famed Giant Sequoias and redwoods to mountains, lush forests, amazing waterfalls...
  • Visit the Presidio, a former army base that was the home of the Buffalo Soldiers, African-American cavalrymen who played a key role in the history of the national parks
  • Discover the night sky over Sequoia National Park as a naturalist guides you through the spectacular constellations that are visible in the absence of "light pollution"
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as detailed
  • 17 meals (7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners); airport transfers as noted; service charges, gratuities to local guides, admission fees, taxes and porterage
Highlights
  • Discover the story of John Muir and America's national parks exploring Muir Woods, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks; plus three nights in San Francisco - Crafted by Tauck and Ken Burns; filmed vignettes by filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan tell the stories behind the creation and preservation of the national parks; visit the Presidio, home of the "Buffalo Soldiers" who played a key role in the history of the national parks; discover the night sky over Sequoia National Park with a naturalist
Accommodations
San Francisco: The Westin St. Francis and Fairmont San Francisco
Sequoia National Park: Wuksachi Lodge®
Yosemite National Park: Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly The Ahwahnee®)
Notes
  • Tour has optional activites which may incur additional costs.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Tauck terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.