Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Featuring a Single-Hotel Stay in Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite National Park, Alabama Hills, Mono Lake
Activity Level 3
Pace Level 2
Embark on a spectacular adventure to discover the majesty of the Sierra Nevada! Born of fire and ice, the granite peaks, valleys and lakes of the High Sierra have been sculpted by glaciers, wind and weather into some of nature’s most glorious works. From the eroded rocks of the Alabama Hills and the strange tufa towers at Mono Lake, to the glacier-formed June Lake Loop and the incredible beauty of Yosemite National Park, this tour features Mother Nature at her finest – all the while, enjoying a single-villa stay at an upscale lodge in the heart of Mammoth Lakes.
From our departure points this morning, we’ll travel by deluxe motorcoach north along Highway 395. As we travel north in the shadow of the towering Sierra Nevada, we’ll pass through such quaint and old west towns as Independence and Big Pine and travel in the shadow of Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the continental United States! In Lone Pine we’ll visit the Museum of Lone Pine Film History, dedicated to the glory days of the Western and recent films shot in the area. See a short film chronicling the history of the movies made in the region and browse unique exhibits related to the films. A museum guide will join us onboard the motorcoach as we continue into the Alabama Hills to see this unique formation of rounded rocks and eroded hills that were created by eons of wind-blown sand, rain and snow. The unique, rounded features of the Alabama Hills contrasted by the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada just behind them, have long made these hills one of Hollywood’s favorite filming locations. Our guide will point out where iconic movie scenes were filmed and point out where Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, and the Lone Ranger had ‘shoot-outs’ in these hills. Some recent movies filmed here include Star Trek, Gladiator and Iron Man. This evening we arrive in Mammoth Lakes (elevation 7,881 feet) and begin a four-night stay at The Village Lodge in the heart of the Village at Mammoth. Each villa of this upscale lodge features a separate living area, fireplace and balcony. Enjoy an included welcome dinner this evening at a locals’ favorite. (Dinner)
Following an included breakfast, we’ll be joined by a local guide and travel north along the Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway to explore the June Lake Loop, a majestic stretch of road surrounding beautiful glacier-formed lakes. We continue to Mono Lake, an oasis in the dry Great Basin that is estimated to be more than one million years old and is a vital habitat for millions of migratory birds. We’ll enjoy an included boxed lunch and admire Mono Lake’s strange tufa towers – odd looking spires and knobs formed of calcium carbonate that were exposed as the level of the water dropped. We return to Mammoth Lakes with sightseeing to include the Earthquake Fault, Twin Falls Overlook and Twin Lakes Vista. We return to our lodge later this afternoon with the balance of the evening at leisure to explore the variety of restaurants and shops in the Village at Mammoth. (Breakfast, Lunch)
This morning we’ll join a local guide and travel to the Main Lodge at Mammoth Mountain to board the Panorama Gondola which will transport us to the peak of Mammoth Mountain (11,053 feet elevation). Here we’ll enjoy an included breakfast and time to absorb the 360-degree views of the Sierra Nevada and the Eleven53 Interpretive Center featuring displays on the area’s geologic, hydrologic and volcanic history. We continue to Devils Postpile National Monument, a geologic gem featuring thousands of hexagonal basalt columns formed 100,000 years ago when lava flow slowed and then cooled and cracked. Prepare to be amazed by the enormity of these unique basalt formations that tower 60 feet high and display an unusual symmetry. Note that visiting Devils Postpile requires a one-mile walk on a flat trail. We return to our lodge with the balance of the day at leisure. (Breakfast)
Following an included breakfast, we’ll travel north to the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park and continue over the Sierra Nevada via the Tioga Pass – the highest highway pass in California (elevation 9,943 feet). This is truly a spectacular journey that has to be experienced to be believed. Preserved as a National Park in 1890, Yosemite National Park is home to an incredible collection of stunning lakes, meadows and forests. We’ll enjoy an included boxed lunch while exploring Yosemite’s much-less visited alpine region including the picturesque Tuolumne Meadows, Olmstead Point and Tenaya Lake, known as the jewel of Yosemite National Park’s high-country lakes. We return to our lodge with the balance of the afternoon and evening at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Enjoy an included breakfast before we travel south along the Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway in the shadow of the towering Sierra Nevada. We’ll visit Erick Schat’s Bakery in Bishop, known for their famous original sheepherder’s bread which they’ve been making here since 1938. Enjoy an included boxed lunch in Lone Pine before we arrive at Manzanar National Historic Site. In 1942 the United States government ordered more than 110,000 Japanese American men, women and children be detained at the remote, military-style Manzanar War Relocation Center located at this site. On a driving tour we’ll see the original sentry posts, the cemetery monument, remnants of original buildings, rock gardens, orchards and the hospital grounds. Enjoy time to browse the exhibits at Block 14, containing a recreated mess hall, women’s latrine and two barracks buildings. We continue south towards Southern California, returning to our departure points this evening with many fond memories of our time exploring California’s incredible Eastern Sierra. (Breakfast, Lunch)
While we make every effort to operate our tours as outlined in the itinerary, we ask for your patience, understanding and flexibility and to retain a sense of adventure while traveling with us. Situations may arise that necessitate changes to the itinerary. Should we need to adjust the itinerary either prior to or while on tour, these changes will be communicated to you and only done when absolutely necessary.
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