Your day-by-day itinerary

red car driving through green scenery

Day 1

Arrival at Yosemite National Park

Having collected your rental car, it’s time to leave San Francisco behind and head off on your road trip to the natural wonderland that is Yosemite. We recommend taking HWY 140 as it is not only very scenic but also the best route to take if it’s your first time driving on the right! A top tip is to buy a coolbox before you set off, buying ice as you go, to keep your food and drinks cool during the journey. If picnics aren’t your thing, don’t worry there are plenty of places to stop for food along the way.

Two children perched on rock

After a few hours, you’ll arrive at Yosemite National Park. Your lodge accommodation is located close to one of the main entrances and whilst simple in its design, it will provide you with all you need for your time here. There is even an outdoor pool to cool off in after a busy day exploring! With the entrance so close, why not take a short drive to Tunnel View, a popular spot that will give you amazing views of the whole valley, including El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall and Half Dome.

National park with green tree's and rocks

Day 2

Explore Yosemite National Park

Today, you’ll have the whole day to explore the staggering natural beauty that is on your doorstep and whilst it is possible to drive around, we recommend using the free shuttle that provides easy access across the valley. Make sure you buy your National Park Pass as you enter if you haven’t yet done so and if you’re visiting with kids, be sure to pick up a Junior Ranger Program to keep the little ones entertained!

Deer playing in yellow grass

With so many highlights across the park, it’s difficult to know where to start so make sure you plan your visit in advance and your travel specialist will be more than happy to offer you a few tips. Glacier Point, with its sweeping views, is a must-not-miss and if you’re an active family, then the Four Mile Trail is a great hike back to the Valley Floor. It should only take two hours at most and you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of many of the famous landmarks that call Yosemite home.

If you’re after a great spot for a picnic lunch, then look no further than Bridalveil Fall, one of the most iconic waterfalls in the park. If the sight and sound of thunderous water is your cup of tea, you’ll be pleased to know Yosemite is also home to the fifth highest waterfall in the world – the spectacular Yosemite Falls. Elsewhere, you can find Giant Sequoias at Mariposa Grove and there are a number of different loops that will wind you through the forest and past these gargantuan trees.

landscape of mountains and greenery

Day 3

Departure from Yosemite

After such an epic day, it’ll no doubt be hard to say goodbye but with so many fantastic places to explore, your family adventure will not stop here.

If one day just isn’t enough though, then we can also easily extend your time here so that you have longer to explore or are able to move at a pace that suits you – especially handy when you have the kids in tow! Just speak to your travel specialist about adding extra nights.

Combine this trip with...

Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these:

Towering Trees of Sequoia

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Sequoia National Park, California

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Sights & Seals of San Francisco

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Speak to our travel specialist, Joe

Start planning your next family adventure with Joe, our travel specialist for the USA. He'll work with you until your itinerary is exactly how you want it, leaving you to enjoy your family holiday, stress-free.

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