Visit Yosemite National Park with Bus Tours from San Francisco
Located just 140 miles east of San Francisco, a trip to Yosemite National Park has always been a must for every visitor. It's open 365 days a year and boasts some of the best scenery, hiking trails and towering waterfalls in the country. Adventurers can easily spend days there.
While day-trips to Yosemite are popular, we encourage visitors to stay overnight to explore its deep valleys, grand meadows, and wilderness. No matter what time of the year you choose to visit Yosemite National Park, these bus tours are a great option for your next adventure if you're starting your journey from San Francisco.
Bus Tours To Yosemite From San Francisco
Founded in 2002, Extranomical Tours specializes in small group tours for independent travelers who don't want the normal tour experience. Their Total Yosemite Experience and Giant Sequoias one-day tour operates year-round and features narrated storytelling by a trained guide and a special stop for a short hike into a grove of old growth Sequoias. Extranomical Tours also offers seasonal two-, three-, four-, and five-day tours to Yosemite from San Francisco that include accommodations in the Yosemite Valley Lodge or in a hostel located about an hour outside of Yosemite Valley. Transportation is in 15-person vans or mid-sized buses that pick up guests from select San Francisco hotels. Park admission is included, but guests should plan on buying their own lunch and snacks.
Gray Line San Francisco offers several dozen tours from San Francisco in their own fleet of luxury coaches, including the 14-hour Yosemite National Park Day Tour. This tour includes entrance to the park and guided commentary from the driver, as well as a period of free time at the Yosemite Valley Visitors Center where hiking trails, bike rentals and other fun amenities are located. Guests are picked up in the morning from select San Francisco hotels or meet up with the tour at its Union Square departure point. Food and beverage are not included in the tour.
A certified San Francisco Green Business, Incredible Adventures runs one- to nine-day tours to Yosemite National Park that utilize their private fleet of bio-diesel powered mini-coach buses. They offer ten different options for visiting Yosemite, including the popular single day tour, a 15 hour adventure that includes a guided tour of Yosemite Valley and three hours of free time for independent exploration. Other options include a Yosemite and Giant Sequoias single day tour, a three day Yosemite Escape camping tour and the Yosemite Hotel Tour, which includes a night's stay in the historic Yosemite Valley Lodge.
While many of the multi-day tours only operate in the high season (May-September), the daily Yosemite tour is offered year-round. Incredible Adventures also runs a special two-day winter tour that includes a night in a hotel or a heated tent cabin. For all tours, guides pick up guests from select San Francisco hotels and the price of admission to Yosemite National Park is included. Meals are not served on most Incredible Adventure tours, but the mini-coach stops at restaurants and locations where quality food is available for purchase.
Lassen Tours offers a variety of multiple day tours from San Francisco in a private coach that are best for those who want to visit Yosemite in combination with other California attractions like Hearst Castle, Los Angeles or even onward to the Grand Canyon. Departing once or twice a week from their Union Square office, these specialty tours do not include park admission prices or meals but do include hotel accommodations.
Although more famous for their one- or two-day hop-on, hop-off double-decker bus tours that allow visitors to explore San Francisco, Skyline Sightseeing also runs day tours from the city to Yosemite National Park. The 15 hour tour includes pickup from your hotel in a luxury climate-controlled coach, transportation to the park, entrance to Yosemite itself and a narrated tour of Yosemite Valley's most famous landmarks and attractions. Food and drink are not provided on the Skyline Sightseeing tour. Audio tours in a variety of different languages are available for those who would like them.
Getting to Yosemite Independently by Car
Driving your own car to Yosemite National Park from San Francisco allows you to stop wherever you want along the way. The journey to Yosemite National Park from the city takes about four hours. Leave early in the morning if you want to do it in one day. Most people find that its worth the time and effort to spend at least one night in Yosemite to explore all that the park has to offer.
Where to Stay in Yosemite
There are a wide variety of options for spending the night both in Yosemite National Park and in the surrounding area, including in the park's dozen or so official campgrounds.
A historic resort located just a mile from the park border, the Evergreen Lodge boasts its own 20 private acres of wilderness as well as an onsite tavern, general store and swimming pool with waterside bar. Besides daily activities at the resort, Evergreen Lodge also hosts a variety of specialty tours throughout the year that include unique guided hikes, white water rafting and star gazing.
This sister property to the Evergreen Lodge is located just half a mile from the Highway 120 West entrance of Yosemite National Park. It's the first new Yosemite lodge in more than 25 years, offering a sophisticated experience in a 20-acre wooded hillside setting. Amenities like outdoor fireplaces, a kid's play area, and a pool with a pool bar makes it an ideal place to stay near Yosemite with the whole family.
Located just two miles outside of Yosemite National Park, Tenaya Lodge is a luxury wilderness resort with an onsite spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and several onsite restaurants. Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite also runs their own full and half-day guided Yosemite National Park tours in luxury mini-buses that sport roll back roofs so that you get panoramic views of the natural splendor along the way.
Part international backpacker's hostel and part cozy cabin resort, the Yosemite Bug is an inexpensive and social way to enjoy a stay in the Yosemite National Park area. The onsite June Bug Cafe serves dinner nightly, while the Yosemite Health Spa has both a hot tub and a sauna and offers yoga classes, massage and a variety of wellness packages.