Do I need a peak hours day use reservation to drive my own vehicle into Yosemite?
No, in 2023 there will be no reservation system in place for visitors driving their own vehicles into Yosemite. This makes a tour even more beneficial for you since there will be a lot of traffic in Yosemite.
Where do you pick up?
Our public and private tours pick up from the hotels and inns in the Bass Lake, Coarsegold, Oakhurst, and Fish Camp areas on Hwy 41. Private tour pickups can also be arranged from other locations for an additional fee. List of hotel pickup locations.
Do you pick up in or near San Francisco?
No. Our Yosemite National Park bus tours originate from gateway communities to Yosemite. San Francisco is approximately 200 miles from our closest pickup.
What is the cancellation policy?
If you cancel your Yosemite National Park bus tour within 48 hours of your tour date you will be charged full price. Cancellations prior to 48 hours of your tour date are $5 per person. View our full Cancellation Policy.
Will we see El Capitan? Half Dome?
You’ll have excellent views of both El Capitan and Half Dome.
Will we see waterfalls?
Yes, although how many depends on when you visit. Some waterfalls flow year round. Some of Yosemite’s waterfalls are seasonal. Even our famous Yosemite Falls dries up in the summer and starts running again after the first heavy rain or snowfall in the high country. From Yosemite Valley, you may see Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Fall, Ribbon Fall, Horsetail (and sometimes Ponytail) Fall, Silver Stand and the Cascades. Spring and early summer are the best times to see waterfalls.
When can I book for the next season?
Bookings for the Summer season April 1-November 30 can be made beginning December 1. Bookings for the Winter season December 1-31 and March 1-March 31 can be made beginning April 1. We do not operate public tours in January or February.
Are we on the bus ALL day?
No. In fact, you’ll be off the bus more than you are on it. There are many photo stops along the route, and you’ll have from 30 minutes to over an hour to explore some of the different areas your guide takes you.
What’s included in the price of the tour?
The price includes the tour, water and park fees on all tours. Lunch or dinner is also included on Full Day, Sunset and Full Moon tours. Gratuities are not included.
Where do we have lunch?
There are so many beautiful places in Yosemite. Your guide will take you to one of those scenic, comfortable areas to enjoy your picnic lunch.
Can we eat and drink on the bus?
We do stop frequently and prefer that you wait until then. The roads are windy, so things tend to get spilled, and the food odors can be difficult for anyone prone to motion sickness. Water is always fine, of course.
Will there be opportunities for shopping?
There are very few opportunities for shopping. The Mariposa Grove Welcome Center and Yosemite Valley Hotel both have souvenir stores, but our time at these locations is limited and you may want to forego shopping in favor of enjoying these areas. Park regulations prevent us from dropping our guests off at Yosemite Village, where most of the park’s businesses are located. If you don’t mind missing some of the sites, your driver can direct you to Yosemite Village to shop using the park’s shuttle buses.
Is there a lot of walking on the tour?
There are opportunities to do some walking on our Yosemite National Park bus tours, but it’s not required.
What vehicle will I be in on my tour?
The vehicle used will depend on how many people are in your party, how many people we have signed up for a tour, or other circumstances. Any of our vehicles could be used.
Do the buses have bathrooms?
No, the buses do not have bathrooms, but many of the stops we make have facilities available.
Can we bring our pet?
Unfortunately we cannot allow pets on our public tour. The only animals allowed on the public tours are registered service animals (does not include emotional support animals). If you have a pet that you would really love to bring along, please consider reserving a private tour. There are many restrictions when taking pets into Yosemite including no access to Mariposa Grove. Your guide CANNOT pet sit your animal at any time during your tour. If you do decide to take your pet on your private tour, make sure you review the Yosemite Pet Regulations. If you need a pet sitter for the day contact Colette at All Kritter Sitters.
What should we wear?
There’s an apocryphal quote attributed to Mark Twain, supposedly uttered after experiencing a summer snowstorm in Yosemite. “Yosemite has only two seasons, the end of one winter and the beginning of the next.” Chances of seeing snow in the summer are rare, but it’s a good idea to wear layers at any time of year, as the weather can change dramatically during the day.
Yosemite Valley weather is warm to hot in the summer, with occasional afternoon thunderstorms. Spring and Fall are highly variable, with days tending toward mild, but either season can bring snow or rain. Winter is cold with frequent snow. Be prepared for snow and ice even on sunny days, since there are areas of the valley that never see the sunlight in the winter months. For the weather forecast: www.weather.com/weather/local/95389
Will I see a bear?
We sincerely hope not. As thrilling as it is to see one, bears that gravitate to populated areas of the park are endangered bears. The National Park Service works hard to keep our wild bears in the wild. However, there’s an excellent chance of seeing lots of other wildlife: mule deer, coyotes, marmots on the Tioga Pass tour, and numerous birds, including Steller’s Jays, Black-headed Grosbeaks and possibly a hawk or an eagle.
Will we see the geysers?
Sorry, the geysers are in Yellowstone National Park. So are the Buffalo. (Note: a FAQ is a question that has been asked of us several times. And yes, we do get this one often.)
Are the tours okay for children?
Both our public and our private tours are very family friendly. Because of the number of stops we make for guests to get out and walk around, it is suitable for families of all ages. Please note that at no time can your guide babysit for you.
Can we bring a car seat?
You can bring a car seat if a seat is paid for the child. If the child is under three years old and going for free as a “lap child” and we have extra seats you can also bring one, but we may not know if this is an option until your pick up.
Can we bring a stroller?
You can bring a stroller that collapses and can fit under your seat and doesn’t take much room as space on the vehicles is limited.
Do we go to the Grizzly Giant?
The Grizzly Giant is a 2-mile round trip hike. If you are active enough, you should be able to get there and back by the time you have to leave the Grove. This will not be a guide led hike. You would do it while the guide is in the Lower Grove with the other guests. It is your responsibility to return in time to board the Mariposa Grove shuttle back to the bus.
Do you do tours of Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Park?
We do not do tours of Sequoia or Kings Canyon. We leave that to the experts at SequoiaTours.com. They do in Sequoia/Kings what we do in Yosemite.
Do you have “open-air” buses?
Heavens no! Our customers safety and comfort is too important to us. It is much too hot in summer months and much too cold in winter months to make open air enjoyable for all seasons and all guests.
Please note: Answers about what you’ll see relate to tours within Yosemite National Park. For tours outside the park, see descriptions under Private and Hiking Tours.