Thu, Sep 20: Fly to Fresno California. Transfer to Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, located near the south entrance of Yosemite National Park, and check in for three nights. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner at the lodge. (Meal: Dinner)
Fri, Sep 21: Transfer to Yosemite Village and take a ranger-guided Yosemite Valley Floor tour providing a unique look at the park. Learn about the history, geology, plant and animal life while viewing some of the park’s most famous sites including Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan, Tunnel View and Bridalveil Falls. Have lunch amongst the towering 34-foot high ceilings, enormous pine trestles and granite pillars of the dining room of the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. Formerly known at the Ahwahnee Hotel, the Majestic Yosemite Hotel was completed in 1927 and is now a National Historical Landmark. Explore the Yosemite Village area at your leisure before returning to the Tenaya Lodge. (B,L)
Sat, Sep 22: Today is free to explore the park on your own. Return to Yosemite Village, explore the south end of park including the Mariposa Grove (set to reopen in spring of 2018) or partake in the amenities at the lodge. This evening, enjoy an al fresco dinner at the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad station, then board the Logger Steam Train for a narrated excursion. Hear about the Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company’s logging operations, discover the trees of the Sierra National Forest, and find out why the Shay locomotive is unprecedented. At a stopover at Lewis Creek Canyon take a seat near the campfire for some entertainment featuring live music. Hear the whistle blow and see the Shay’s firebox glow under the night sky on your trip back to the station. (B,D)
Sun, Sep 23: Check out of the lodge and transfer to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks to meet your naturalist guide for an informative tour. At 6,600 feet in elevation the Grant Grove area was originally General Grant National Park, created in 1890 to protect giant sequoias from logging. Take a gentle, well-graded .3 mile stroll to see the Fallen Monarch, literally once a “log” cabin, and the General Grant Tree, the second-largest tree in the world, which stands as a living U.S. war veterans’ memorial. Enjoy a picnic lunch then take .5 mile walk to the General Sherman Tree, the largest living tree in the world by volume, measuring over 36 feet in diameter at the base. Drive along the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway for an incredible view of the dynamic landscape of one of America’s deepest canyons. Explore the visitor center before dinner at the Grant Grove Restaurant in the park. Transfer to Fresno for your final night. (B,L,D)
Mon, Sep 24: Transfer to the Fresno airport and fly home. (B)
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, Fish Camp, California
Located near Yosemite National Park's south gate, this Four-Diamond resort is nestled on 48 acres in the southern High Sierra and framed by noble evergreen forest. Highlights: comfortable and spacious guest rooms • complimentary Internet access • 4 restaurants/bars, deli • fitness center • 1 indoor pool, 3 seasonal outdoor pools, 4 hot tubs • spa • numerous activities • kids' club • game room • shops.
DoubleTree by Hilton Fresno Convention Center, Fresno, California
Located in downtown Fresno, this full service hotel has recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation. Highlights: rooms feature Sweet Dreams by DoubleTree pillow top bed • in-room mini-refrigerator and coffee/tea maker • iPod Dock alarm clock • complimentary Internet access • restaurant/bar • fitness center • heated outdoor pool and whirlpool.