Yosemite Tours’ Grand Tour provides a good introduction to Yosemite National Park but there are frustrations.
What: Yosemite Tours Grand Tour, an eight hour tour which leaves from Yosemite Lodge and takes in a number of the park’s best known attractions.
Why: Visiting Yosemite National Park for a story
When: Saturday June 14, 2014
How Did It Rate
The tour provides a good introduction to many of Yosemite’s natural attractions including Glacier Point, Wawona and Mariposa Grove. There is also a photo stop at Tunnel View.
The very informative commentary given by our guide Herb. He was also very obliging, offering to take photos of group members at Mariposa Grove.
Not having to deal with windy roads and traffic.
Having a sandwich by picturesque Merced River at Wawona and then exploring the covered bridge and other historic attractions.
If you don’t have a car and are staying in Yosemite Valley, the tour is the only way to get to the Mariposa Grove to see the many fabulous sequoia trees.
As with any tour there is always the frustration about lack of time at any one destination. This was especially so at Mariposa Grove. Once we arrived we were put on a 75 minute audio tram trip which took in a number of the trees and then left- so there wasn’t time to walk around. The person next to me on the coach was doing to the tour just to see the big trees and was frustrated by the lack of time spent there . But then another person in our group commented ‘I never want to see another tree again’. I would have preferred at least another hour to explore the Grove.
There was some repetition between the information Herb gave us and the recorded information on the audio tour around Mariposa Grove.
At US$82 excluding lunch at Wawona Hotel the trip was not inexpensive. I didn’t take the lunch option at the hotel (which cost an extra US$12.50). Those who did said it was basic but fine and included a soft drink and one course, which had to be decided when they purchased the tour.