This nine-day quest through some of California's greatest national parks covers almost every type of terrain imaginable. From the arid, sun-scorched landscapes of Death Valley to the astonishing giant redwoods of Sequoia National Park and Yosemite's awe-inspiring panorama of granite domes, the sites in this region of the United States simply have to be seen to be believed.
There are no planned activities today until the evening welcome meeting, so check out the strip or get tickets to a show for this evening.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Drive through the spectacular landscape of Death Valley. Visit Badwater Basin, the lowest, hottest, driest point in North America that sits 282 feet below sea level.
Expect high temperatures of 100°F to over 120°F (38°C to over 49°C). Drink plenty of water and carry extra supplies. Avoid hiking at mid-day.
Death Valley National Park Visit
Private Vehicle (2.50-3.00 hours, 230km)
Surrounded by peaks which soar more than 14,000 ft (4,593m) in elevation, Bishop, one of "America's Coolest Mountain Towns." Travel via the Tioga Pass viewing Mono Lake and the Tufa Towers on the way.
We intend on using the Tioga Pass (weather dependent), a scenic route through the Sierra Nevada mountain range that connects Bishop with Yosemite NP. The status of the road is monitored daily, and our travel plan for the area will be confirmed during the trip.
Tioga Pass Drive
Private Vehicle (8.00-10.00 hours)
With our CEO, explore stunning Yosemite National Park in the High Sierra. Explore on foot to view majestic waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, lush green meadows and walk amongst pristine groves in Yosemite.
Yosemite National Park Visit
Depart early and walk through California's Sequoia National Park alongside a naturalist. Learn about these impressive giant trees, enjoy a picnic lunch on the trail, and then drive to Big Tree Trail for an afternoon hike and learn about how National Geographic deeded tracts of giant trees in the heart of the park to the National Parks Service for safekeeping. This evening, we return to the park for an evening of stargazing with an expert from the Sequoia Parks Conservancy (SPC).
In cases where the night sky is cloudy, we will replace the star gazing activity with a nighttime nature walk in the National Park. Embark on a one-mile walk to experience the dramatic changes of the soundscapes and nocturnal biodiversity of the area. This engaging walk will awaken awareness and provide an in-depth experience of Sequoia's nocturnal plants and animals.
Sequoia NP Hike
Sequoia Parks Conservancy Stargazing
Private Vehicle (2.50-3.00 hours, 222km)
Time and conditions permitting, we will try to make a stop to view elephant seals at Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery.
Private Van with Wi-fi (10.00-12.00 hours)
Go behind the scenes at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on an experience customized for Journeys travellers. Get an inside look at the inner workings of the facility and learn about sea otters, kelp and all the marine life that call the Aquarium home. After, enjoy a free afternoon, opt to explore the Bay, or wander historic Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row.
Monterey Aquarium Exclusive
Continue on a scenic coastal drive along the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco for our final evening. Catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge on the way into one of America's most popular cities. Opt to catch a cable car ride over the steep hills, explore the city by bicycle or set sail into the setting sun.
Private Vehicle (3.50-4.00 hours, 227km)
Depart at any time.
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Trip Name: Natural Highlights of California
Duration: 9 Days
From Price: 2999
Trip Code: 166150
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