Yosemite National Park Tours
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Outdoor Adventures in Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park, located just 3½ hours by car from San Francisco and Sacramento and 6 hours from Los Angeles, covers nearly 1200 square miles and is visited by nearly 4 million visitors each year. What is surprising, however, is that many of these visitors spend time only in the 7 square miles of Yosemite Valley. The Valley is lined with waterfalls, including the highest waterfall in North America, the 2,425-foot-high Yosemite Falls. Giant granite formations such as El Capitan and Half Dome bookmark this iconic landscape and rock climber’s paradise.
Thanks to Abraham Lincoln, John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt for their forward thinking in preserving this land. In 1864 President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill that set aside park land specifically for preservation and public use, the first such action by the federal government. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, John Muir advocated for federal preservation of Yosemite, lobbying Congress to make it a national park. In May 1903, Muir took President Theodore Roosevelt on a three-day camping trip near Glacier Point and convinced him to create a federal park. In 1916, Yosemite became a national park under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.
Two of the most exciting stretches of California whitewater rafting are located just outside the park’s boundaries. Combined with a spring visit to see Yosemite’s waterfalls at full throttle, the Merced River is a springtime classic rafting experience. Further north, near the Big Oak Flat park entrance and the charming community of Groveland, is the Wild and Scenic Tuolumne River.
On an O.A.R.S. Yosemite National Park vacation, you may hike with professional interpretive guides in the alpine meadows found in Yosemite’s high country—Tuolumne Meadows and visit groves of giant sequoia trees. You may simply choose to spend an exhilarating day rafting on the Merced River. You may also choose to hike to the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome for a bird’s eye view of Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows and California’s Central Valley on the final day of the O.A.R.S. Yosemite & Tuolumne Hiker: Peaks, Creeks and Waterfalls trip. Whatever your choice for a Yosemite adventure vacation, O.A.R.S. will take you there.