Yosemite and Sequoia: John Muir's California Tauck Tours

Yosemite and Sequoia: John Muir's California

Stories by Ken Burns

The Yosemite and Sequoia: John Muir’s California tour is an 8 day Tauck World Discovery travel tour focusing on northern and central California. This tour was crafted by Tauck and world famous storyteller Ken Burns, who created exclusive videos to introduce you to these beautiful destinations.

The Yosemite and Sequoia: John Muir’s California tour begins in San Francisco where you can take in the bustling big city experience before heading off to a place much more serene. From Muir Woods and the Central Valley into Sequoia National Park the scene changes to something much more picturesque as you visit many of John Muir’s favorite destinations. Then you’re off to Yellowstone National Park to take in the natural beauty and wildlife that sent you chasing after these locations in the first place.


8 Daysfr. $5,290

  • Filmed vignettes by filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan that tell the stories of the history and ideals of the people behind the creation and preservation of the national parks
  • Explore the incredible landscapes of Muir Woods, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks, from the famed Giant Sequoias and redwoods to mountains, lush forests, amazing waterfalls
  • Visit the Presidio, a former army base that was the home of the Buffalo Soldiers, African-American cavalrymen who played a key role in the history of the national parks
  • Discover the night sky over Sequoia National Park as a naturalist guides you through the spectacular constellations that are visible in the absence of “light pollution”
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as detailed
  • All customary gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff and local guides are included.
  • The customary gratuities for the Tauck Director and local drivers are not included. We ask that gratuities be extended on a voluntary, individual basis and not as a group.
  • All items of a personal nature (room service, beverages, telephone charges, laundry, dry cleaning, special food requests, etc.) and meals not specified on the tour itinerary are not included and must be paid by the client.
  • Airline excess luggage charges, vaccinations, visa fees and services, airport arrival and departure taxes, individual airport transfers (when applicable), and other optional or incidental extras are not included.
  • All rates exclude airfare unless expressly noted.
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 5 dinners
  • The Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, California (2 nights)
  • Wuksachi Lodge® in Sequoia National Park, California (2 nights)
  • Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly The Ahwahnee®) in Yosemite National Park, California (2 nights)
  • Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, California (1 night)

Arrive San Francisco

San Francisco, USA

Your Yosemite tour begins at The Westin St. Francis at 5:30 PM. A transfer is included from San Francisco International Airport to The Westin St. Francis, the elegant “Grand Dame” of Union Square, close to the city’s main attractions – with a cable car stop at the front door. Join us this evening for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner.

Dinner

THE WESTIN ST. FRANCIS

Muir Woods and The Presidio

San Francisco, USA

Head across the city for a visit to the Presidio, a former Army base and now a National Historic Landmark rich with history; the base was home to the “Buffalo Soldiers,” the African-American cavalry troops who earned their fighting reputation in the Indian Wars, and were among the U.S. troops who served as the earliest caretakers of the national parks.

From here, a short drive over the Golden Gate Bridge finds you under the green canopy of Muir Woods, a coastal redwood forest preserved as a national monument. These towering ancient trees, some 20 stories high, are among the last remnants of a fog-shrouded primeval forest that once blanketed the northern coast. A self-guided tour along its winding walkways takes you through a shaded, misty world of slanted cathedral light, dense flora, and tranquil running streams – a place to feel the awesome power (and silence) of some of the tallest living things on the planet.

After lunch in picturesque Sausalito, hop aboard a ferry for the return trip to San Francisco. Dock at the historic Ferry Building terminal with its famous clocktower and its arcade of shops and cafés along the Embarcadero. The remainder of the day is free.

Breakfast, Lunch

THE WESTIN ST. FRANCIS

The Central Valley to Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park, USA

Before there was a National Park Service, the job of policing and protecting the national parks belonged to the U.S. Army. At Sequoia and Yosemite, the parks’ guardians were the Buffalo Soldiers, who rode out every spring from the Presidio, crossing 300 miles on horseback to the Sierra Nevada. Drive a route that follows the Buffalo Soldiers’ path across the agricultural Central Valley. Stop in Fresno for lunch, then board a motor coach for the 7,000-foot climb to Sequoia National Park.

Your destination is remote Wuksachi Lodge® on the park grounds. This afternoon, an expert from the Sequoia Field Institute describes how John Muir found and documented the “Giant Forest” in 1875, a perfect introduction to the park. Tonight at the lodge, a naturalist guides you through the spectacular constellations that fill the night skies.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

WUKSACHI LODGE®

Land of giants & Moro Rock in Sequoia

Sequoia National Park, USA

Begin the day with privately guided walks among ancient Giant Sequoias soaring to the height of skyscrapers; your first walk is in the Giant Forest Grove to see the General Sherman Tree, estimated to be over 2,500 years old (and still growing). Next up is a walk along the "Big Trees Trail" at Round Meadow with an interpretive naturalist guide who will give you some amazing insights into the unusual ecosystem of the Giant Sequoias. Lunch today is a private barbecue style western lunch.

Travels this afternoon inside Sequoia National Park are via small 10-passenger vehicles, accompanied by a guide; you'll hear stories of early park "personalities" such as John Muir, Charles Young and Stephen Mather, as well as climb the 400 steps to the top of Moro Rock for stunning views of the park and the peaks of the Great Western Divide.

The rest of the day is yours to explore as you wish. Possibilities include a visit to the Lodge Pole Visitor Center to learn about the amazing Buffalo Soldiers, or a visit to the Giant Forest Museum to learn about the giant Sequoias, meadows and human history within Giant Forest. Everyone returns to the Lodge late afternoon; the evening is free.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

WUKSACHI LODGE®

Arriving in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park, USA

Depart Wuksachi Lodge and Sequoia National Park this morning and head over to Fresno via Kings Canyon National Park, arriving at the south entrance to Yosemite National Park late morning. Your Yosemite tour begins with a film by Ken Burns describing Muir’s passion for the Yosemite Valley, and his activism to preserve it for future generations, and is followed by lunch at Wawona® Hotel, an inn that was once a stagecoach stop.

Then join a National Park Service guide and visit Glacier Point for a stirring view of the Valley, overlooking Half Dome and a panorama of glacier-formed peaks; on this spot in 1903, John Muir stood with Teddy Roosevelt during a private tour of the area that persuaded the President that Yosemite should be under federal protection as a national park.

This evening, settle into your room at Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly The Ahwahnee®), a historic masterpiece of stone, timber and soaring stained glass windows in the heart of Yosemite; dine at your leisure.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

MAJESTIC YOSEMITE HOTEL (FORMERLY THE AHWAHNEE®)

Yosemite, "Nature's Grandest Temple"

Yosemite National Park, USA

Yosemite “is the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter,” wrote Muir, who regarded such settings of awesome natural beauty as sacred places with restorative powers, “where the galling harness of civilization drops off and wounds heal, ere we are aware.” Discover the park's power to move your spirit on a guided Yosemite tour in a special open-air vehicle, with opportunities to explore on foot.

The afternoon is yours to enjoy the park at your own pace. Optional activities are available (some at additional cost), including bicycling, a hike over the footbridge at Vernal Falls, and a visit to the Yosemite Indian Cultural Museum and Village.

Breakfast

MAJESTIC YOSEMITE HOTEL (FORMERLY THE AHWAHNEE®)

Back to San Francisco via the Central Valley

Central Valley (historical), USA

Our Yosemite tour days conclude this morning; depart Yosemite for the return trip to San Francisco, first visiting the Mariposa Museum, then driving across the populous Central Valley with a stop for lunch. Filmed narratives by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan weave together the past seven days of history and nature, with insights you won’t get anywhere else. One of the stories you'll hear relates to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a glacial valley that Muir fought unsuccessfully to save; in the 1920s, the federal government allowed its river to be dammed, turning the valley into a reservoir for the city of San Francisco. Today, a campaign continues, joined by the Sierra Club (which Muir founded) to remove the dam and restore the valley to its original state. “Mountain parks,” Muir argued, “are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life...” an idea that remains controversial to this day.

San Francisco, USA

Arrive late afternoon at The Fairmont San Francisco, a Beaux Arts-style, premier hotel on Nob Hill – it’s listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Join us tonight for a farewell cocktail reception and dinner; the setting may be a long way from the Sierra Nevada, but Yosemite can never be left behind (and may be as close as your glass of tap water...).

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

FAIRMONT SAN FRANCISCO

Journey home

San Francisco, USA

Tour ends: San Francisco. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Fairmont San Francisco to San Francisco International Airport. You should allow two hours for flight check-in. If you wish to stay longer in San Francisco, ask about additional hotel nights.

Breakfast

Departure Date
Price
Sat, Jun 29, 2019
$5,290.00
Sat, Jul 06, 2019
$5,290.00
Sat, Aug 03, 2019
$5,290.00
Sat, Aug 24, 2019
$5,290.00
Sat, Sep 07, 2019
$5,290.00
Sat, Sep 21, 2019
$5,290.00
Sat, Oct 12, 2019
$5,290.00
Sat, May 09, 2020
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Sat, Jun 13, 2020
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Sat, Jul 04, 2020
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Sat, Aug 01, 2020
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Sat, Sep 05, 2020
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Sat, Oct 10, 2020
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Important information:

  • All rates listed are per person based on double occupancy and are subject to change without notice. Your land package pricing will be confirmed and guaranteed once your deposit is received and applied to the booking, except where price increases may result from increases in government taxes or fees. Room configurations are subject to availability. Guests added to your party after the booking are priced at the prevailing rate at the time they are added.

ALL guests must carefully verify the existing identification requirements for their particular travel situation DIRECTLY WITH THEIR LOCAL CONSULATES OR EMBASSIES or with a visa service, as these requirements may change. Guests without proper documentation may be denied entry and will not be entitled to a refund
  • 60 days or more before departure: $350.00 per person
  • 59-8 days before departure: $600.00 per person
  • 7-1 days before departure: $900.00 per person
  • On departure day and later: 100% of total price
  • Any changes or cancellations to airline reservations made through Tauck either before or after departure are subject to the cancellation / change policies of the individual airlines. In n some instances these cancellation / change fees may be up to 100% of the ticket price.
  • Cancellation fees may also apply to any additional services, including extra night accommodations, independently supplied services, and optional excursions reserved prior to, during, and after the tour. If flight changes, including, but not limited to, flight cancellations or name changes, are requested after full land and air deposits are received, revision fees, change fees, or airline cancellation fees will apply.
  • All cancellations must be received in writing prior to tour departure. The cancellation policy will apply according to the date that the cancellation notification is received. The MINIMUM cancellation penalty is the deposit amount.
  • The purchase to trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.
  • Land only “from price” is per person based on two people sharing a room together and does not include airfare unless expressly stated.
  • All prices are in US Dollars.
  • A $350 non-refundable, non-transferable, per-person, per-vacation deposit is required to reserve space for you. Payment of the deposit indicates you have read and accepted all Terms & Conditions. Your booking is not confirmed until the deposit payment is processed and you receive a confirmation invoice.
  • Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure. Within the final payment date, payment in full is required at time of booking to reserve space. Reservations (land, cruise, and air) are canceled if final payment is not received by the due date.
  • Additional deposits or payments are required for international air added to the start and/or end of your vacation.
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