This past weekend Michael and I went on a tour with Extranomical Tours to Yosemite. The night before we were checking weather reports and saw that there was a chance of thunderstorms but we decided to take the plunge and go anyways. We did the One Day Bus Tour of Yosemite with Extraomical and woke up before the sun to make our way up to San Francisco where we were supposed to meet our bus. The tour guide arrived right on time and we started to make our way out of the city and inland towards Yosemite National Park. Once we arrived we made a few quick photo stops and also stopped over at Tuolumne Grove to take a look at a small group of giant sequoias trees that have been in the park since before it was even a national park.
The walk down to Tuolumne Grove is really pretty and shaded by these huge beautiful trees and although we have done this hike before it was still so amazing to get to the bottom of the grove and stumble upon our first sequoia. They are like nothing else and it’s incredible to think about how much the trees have withstood and are still around for us to enjoy.
My favorite tree, or remnant of a tree is of course the Dead Giant, which is a tree that has a large wagon sized tunnel bored throughout the middle of it, where in fact, wagons used to go through when there was a road that lead all the way down to the grove back in the 1900s.
After we hiked the mile back up the hill to the bus we went on our way to the valley where we were given about 3 hours of free time to explore and grab lunch. Michael and I packed a picnic so we could eat on the go and see as much as possible while we were there. Here is the loop we chose for our hike.
We started off by walking toward lower Yosemite Falls and along the way you get a glimpse at upper and middle falls, which are gorgeous during this time of year.
Then we made our way around to the middle of the valley and toward the swinging bridge, which doesn’t actually swing, and then looped back around to meet our bus. On the way to the bridge we actually stumbled upon two deer, and one was just a baby so it was so cool to see them hanging out in their natural habitat completely unphased by us.
After we made it back to the bus our tour guide let us have one more cheeky stop over in the El Capitan picnic area so that we could all look to see if there were any rock climbers making their way up what is known as the Mount Everest of rock climbs. We did end up seeing a few specks of what we think were people, but due to the weather there weren’t that many climbers up there.
After that we made our way out of the Yosemite Valley and back over the Sierra’s to the Bay Area. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who is looking for a laid back Yosemite experience – Extranomical Tours really takes care of everything so you don’t have to worry about parking or making your way there. This tour is especially great for people who just want to dip their toes into Yosemite, but if you are looking for a longer stay or to do some of the longer hikes you should definitely look at their overnight stays or grab a car and head up on your own schedule, but we really loved our trip with Extranomical and we’re even thinking of going on another!
Yosemite is so incredible and if it isn’t on your bucket list, it really should be – and if you can visit in the springtime when the waterfalls are just phenomenal!