Lake Tahoe & Yosemite Winter Adventure

Lake Tahoe & Yosemite Winter Adventure

From $ 3,310 AUD


You might think you know what to expect with a North American winter. After all, you’ve probably been watching these snow-capped vistas for years on screen. But nothing can quite prepare you for the magic of California in the colder months. On this trip you’ll enjoy the great outdoors with enough activity to keep your cheeks rosy. Hike through the frosted wonderland of Yosemite Valley, see the Golden Gate Bridge from beneath San Francisco’s famous mist and hit the slopes around Lake Tahoe.

Trip Name
Lake Tahoe & Yosemite Winter Adventure
Last Updated
  • Hike through a frosted valley in Yosemite National Park, where there’s more stunning vistas than you can poke a walking stick at with fewer people than the Summer months.
  • Get your fix of creature comforts and wild adventure at Heavenly Mountain Resort. Take a scenic gondola ride over snow-dusted hillside then choose to tackle the terrain or simply grab a beer in the village.
  • Hit the slopes by foot, ski or snowboard in Lake Tahoe, breathing in the crisp smell of pine and snow.
  • See the rugged Clark Ranges so close you could almost feel the rough rock beneath your fingers – if it weren’t for your gloves.
  • Ice skate in the great outdoors beneath the stunning granite of Half Dome.


ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. MEALS Please note that day-by-day meals are indicative only. You will receive the same number of meals, but they may not happen exactly on the days indicated. Your leader may change the days that meals are provided to best suit the needs of the group and the timing of the activities on your trip.

Day 1 - San Francisco
Welcome to colourful, eclectic San Francisco. Your leader can help you to get the most out of your night in the city, just make sure you attend the 6pm welcome meeting so you can introduce yourself and pass on your insurance and next of kin details. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time, you might want to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Despite rapid gentrification due to the Silicon Valley tech boom, there’s still plenty of dusty dives and kooky spots to grab a nightcap and a feed in the city. Why not head for Divisadero Street? It’s overflowing with such gems.
Day 2 - Lake Tahoe / Heavenly Mountain
Today we head inland on a 4-hour drive to Lake Tahoe, with a stop in the city of Placerville just over half way. It’s around here that the scenery starts to get really pretty, and the historic houses and shops of this gold rush town are framed by towering green pines. Continue to Lake Tahoe, keeping an eye out the window on the mountains. Arrive in the afternoon, check in and get your boots on for an orientation hike around the South Lake. Your first taste of North American winter magic starts here, with views of the frozen lake offset by snow-capped mountains. Choose how you would like to spend the evening. Maybe hit the casino nearby if you’re feeling lucky. Alternatively, sip a hot cocoa and get cosy.
Day 3 - Lake Tahoe / Heavenly Mountain
Soar high above this incredible terrain with an included gondola ride at Heavenly Mountain Resort, taking in views of snow-dusted mountains and perhaps getting a sense of where you'd like to venture today. Your schedule is as clear as the mountain air, and there are plenty of ways to stay warm and entertained. Maybe hit the slopes at Heavenly Mountain Resort, where you can find runs for beginners and experienced powder-chasers alike. If you’d prefer to stop and smell the pines, you might want to explore via a snowshoeing tour – an easier way to tackle the terrain if you’re not ready for the slopes just yet or simply prefer to take it slow. If you don't want to trudge up and down the peaks and dips, you could always zoom through the thickets on a snowmobile.
Day 4 - Lake Tahoe / Heavenly Mountain
Perhaps lace-up and get into the Winter wonderland spirit with outdoor ice skating at the Heavenly Valley rink. For those who love to ski but don’t want to queue (or careen downhill) there are plenty of cross-country trails in the area that you can explore either on your own with rented gear or on a guided tour. If you’ve exhausted yourself in the great outdoors, you could always head to a one of the restaurants, bars or shops in the Heavenly Valley Village. Food-wise you can find everything from Mexican to sushi, but why not keep it classic stateside and grab a burger from the grill? You’ve earned it.
Day 5 - Yosemite National Park
Another lush, scenic journey delivers you to grand Yosemite National Park. It’s a 5-hour drive, so it’s a good thing you can stretch your legs with an afternoon hike in the valley upon arrival. Enjoy majestic views of stark grey cliffs that swell on either side of the frosted grass and trees. The best part is it’s far more secluded that during the summer months, lending the area an otherworldly feel.
Day 6 - Yosemite National Park
Today you’re free to discover the delights of Yosemite by whatever means you’d prefer. Developed a taste for cross-country skiing in Lake Tahoe? Hey, it happens. Why not rent some gear and embark on one of the trails? Glacier Point Road trail offers views of the rugged Clark Range up close along easily navigable tracks. Thrill seekers and playful types might want to give tubing a go. There’s also an ice skating rink where you can swish and twirl under the watchful eye of the towering granite Half Dome. In the evening enjoy traditional North American food (think crab cakes and slow roasted prime rib) in an included dinner at the chandelier-lit Majestic Yosemite Dining Room.
Day 7 - San Francisco
Return to San Francisco and visit the bridge. You know the one. No matter how many times you’ve seen it on TV, nothing can really prepare you for the span and grandiosity of the Golden Gate Bridge. The great thing about San Francisco is that the Winters are relatively mild, with low temperatures generally bottoming at around 10˚C. That means you can get out and about and enjoy some of the city’s famous nightlife. Before that though, enjoy a walking tour of San Francisco's colourful Chinatown with your leader.
Day 8 - San Francisco
This active adventure has come to an end, but your journey in North America doesn't have to.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
15-12-201922-12-2019AUD $ 3,310-


Hotel (7 nts)


Private vehicle