Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Featuring Alabama Hills, Mammoth Lakes, Mono Lake, Tioga Pass, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite Valley
Activity Level 3
Pace Level 3
Embark on a unique 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, to the glacier-formed June Lake Loop, to the incredible beauty of Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park, this tour features Mother Nature at her best.
From our departure points this morning, we’ll travel by motorcoach along scenic Highway 395. As we travel north in the shadow of the towering Sierra Nevada, we’ll pass such quaint and old west towns as Independence and Big Pine as well as 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 movie. 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 roundedfeatures 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. Early this evening we arrive in Mammoth Lakes for an overnight stay at The Village Lodge in the heart of the Village at Mammoth. Each villa here features a separate living area, fireplace and balcony. Enjoy the balance of the evening at leisure to explore the variety of restaurants and shops in the Village.
This morning we’ll travel to the Main Lodge at Mammoth Mountain to board the Panorama Gondola that will transport us to the top 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 interactive displays on the area’s geologic, hydrologic and volcanic history. As we continue north by motorcoach on Highway 395, known as one of America’s most beautiful scenic routes, we’ll make various stops and detours to fully absorb the spectacular sights along the way. We’ll travel the June Lake Loop to admire this majestic stretch of road surrounding beautiful glacier-formed lakes. Visit Mono Lake, estimated to be more than one million years old. This oasis in the dry Great Basin is a vital habitat for millions of migratory birds. At the Mono Lake Visitors Center we’ll discover the mystery behind the lake’s strange tufa towers – odd looking spires and knobs formed of calcium carbonate that were exposed as the level of the water dropped. Then see the towers up close as we make our way down to the shoreline to enjoy an included picnic lunch. This afternoon, we arrive in South Lake Tahoe for a two-night stay in the heart of Lake Tahoe’s south shore. Our upscale, all-suites hotel is within walking distance of the casino hotels and a variety of restaurants. Enjoy the balance of the evening at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Following an included breakfast, we’ll travel to Zephyr Cove and board the M.S. Dixie II, a Louisiana-style paddle wheeler for a narrated cruise surrounded by Lake Tahoe’s crystal blue waters and towering peaks. Located at 6,200 feet above sea level, Lake Tahoe is the highest lake of its size in the United States and the largest alpine lake in North America. During this two-hour cruise that offers non-stop photo opportunities, we’ll enjoy an included lunch onboard as we take in the dazzling vistas. We’ll cruise to picturesque Emerald Bay and gaze upon Fannente Island (nicknamed “little rock island”) and Vikingsholm Castle – the stone mansion that sits on its shores. This afternoon we’ll continue by motorcoach along the east and north shore of Lake Tahoe, making several photo stops enroute. We return to the hotel late this afternoon with the balance of the evening at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
After an included breakfast, this morning we’ll travel south along Highway 395 to Lee Vining where we’ll enjoy an included picnic lunch. From here we continue west through the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park and travel 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 seen to be believed. Preserved as a National Park in 1890, Yosemite harbors a grand collection of waterfalls, meadows and forests along with some of the most majestic sights in the world due in part to its unique, glacier-shaped cliffs and rock faces. We’ll stop at the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center and witness the beauty of Tuolumne Meadows, the largest subalpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada. We’ll continue west through the Park making several photo stops and arrive in the Yosemite Valley this afternoon. This eight-mile long geologic marvel is a 4,000-foot deep trough lined by towering cliffs and glacially sculpted, polished rock, and is the prized jewel of Yosemite National Park. Although glacially carved valleys with similar features exist elsewhere in the world, none can compete with what legendary naturalist John Muir called “Incomparable Valley.” At Tunnel View we’ll get our first view of the spectacular Yosemite Valley including one of the west’s most photographed landmarks, Half Dome. Opposite Half Dome, towering 3,593 feet above the Yosemite Valley floor, El Capitan is the undisputed king of the granite monoliths – in fact it’s Earth’s largest single piece of granite! Enjoy time at leisure for browsing in Yosemite Village where you’ll find the National Park Visitor Center, the Yosemite Museum of Native American Culture and the Ansel Adams Gallery of photographic art. This evening we arrive in El Portal for an overnight stay at a lodge located on the banks of the Merced River. Step out of your room and onto your balcony overlooking the river. Share tales from our journey with your fellow travelers during an included dinner at the Lodge this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Following an included breakfast at the Lodge, we’ll begin our journey home through the Central Valley. We’ll make several sightseeing stops along the way. We’ll return to Southern California this evening with many memories of our time amongst lakes, mountains and peaceful meadows forever ingrained in our memories. (Breakfast)
Thank you for your patience while we process this...