3. From El Portal: Yosemite High Country Guided Hike Day Tour
Leave the crowds behind and discover pristine wilderness from 10,000 feet in elevation on this small-group tour of the Yosemite High Country. After getting picked up from Yosemite View Lodge, meet your expert guide and begin your full-day adventure.
After pickup, ascend more than 5,000 feet to the glacier-carved, the highest paved highway in California called Tioga Pass. From here, make your way to the Pothole Dome trailhead, where you will have 2 hours to hike a relatively easy 2.5 miles to the sloping granite top of Pothole Dome.
From the top of the dome, you will be greeted with stunning panoramic views of the Tuolumne River, sweeping views of the Tuolumne Meadows, and Yosemite's craggy, high-elevation peaks towards the east. In the early summer, the Tuolumne Meadows are known for their wildflowers that bloom near the end of June and the start of July.
After the hike, indulge in lunch along the shores of Tenaya Lake. You will then have the choice to swim in the crystal clear waters or soak up the sun from the picnic tables along the beach. Taking a dip in the refreshing water is the perfect solution to a hot summer's day. You'll have 2 leisurely hours to swim among the polished granite domes, relax along the sandy beach or go for stroll among towering cedars. With a fraction of the people that crowd the lower elevations of Yosemite Valley, it won't be hard to find a quiet place to yourself to enjoy the pristine beauty of California's first National Park.
After lunch, you'll stop at Olmstead Point, one of the most famous viewpoints in the Park, before making your way back towards El Portal for a timely drop off at Yosemite View Lodge. Enjoy seeing Half Dome from an all-new perspective as you search for black bear and mule deer along the scenic mountain road.