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Lake Tahoe & Yosemite Winter Adventure

San Fransisco, USA

Lake Tahoe & Yosemite Winter Adventure

Start: San Francisco
End: San Francisco

Snow-capped peaks will be the backdrop to your adventures in this fabulous, frosty trip

LocationSan Fransisco, USA
Duration8 days
Start / EndSan Francisco / San Francisco
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

San Fransisco, USA

Lake Tahoe & Yosemite Winter Adventure

8 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: San Francisco
End: San Francisco


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 ...

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Day 1San 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 2Lake Tahoe
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 3Lake Tahoe
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 4Lake Tahoe
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 5Yosemite 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 6Yosemite 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 7San 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. Wine bars abound in this town, which makes sense given the proximity to so many production hot spots. Perhaps relax with a glass of cab sav or pinot noir on your final evening.
Day 8San Francisco
This active adventure has come to an end, but your journey in North America doesn't have to.

More info

Trip title

Lake Tahoe & Yosemite Winter Adventure

Trip code



Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019


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 Gol... Read more




Active Adventures,Explorer


Private vehicle

Physical Rating


Physical preparation

We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the weeks before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trip to its fullest.

Joining point

San Francisco

Finish point

San Francisco

Important information

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.

Group leader

Your leader will provide basic information about the sights and cities you'll be visiting but please note that our leaders are not 'tour guides' in the traditional sense. They are adventure travel specialists and are there to organise your trip, arrange activities and help with questions or problems you may have while on your tour. Your leader will provide you with all the important information yo... Read more


Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and upd... Read more


WIFI Our vans in the USA are equipped with free WiFi however a fair use policy applies. It is limited to 5 users at one time, and is suitable for updating your Facebook status or sending an email home - not for streaming video or radio. Please be considerate of your use so that there is enough to go around. Most hotels have WiFi access although on occasion you may need to pay extra for it. CHARGI... Read more


Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with ... Read more

Why we love it

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.

Is this trip right for you

Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’. You'll be trav... Read more


All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat to... Read more

Money matters

It can be difficult to exchange money while on the road so we suggest that you bring some cash in US dollars/Canadian dollars, or exchange/withdraw money at the airport when you arrive, or at least before you start the trip. Your individual budget will depend on your personal plans. Think about how much you want to spend on souvenirs, shopping, entertainment, food, drinks, excursions and attracti... Read more

What to take

LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS: All luggage is carried in trailers or inside the vehicle so please don't bring more than one medium sized bag, backpack or suitcase (20kg maximum) per person. Your suitcase/rucksack may get some rough handling, so make sure it's a tough one. A small daypack and camera may also be carried inside the vehicle.

Climate and seasonal

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS: The following national holidays are observed in the US, which can affect our itinerary as traffic can be extreme, and shops, restaurants and attractions can be closed: - New Year's Day - Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. - Washington's Birthday - Memorial Day - Independence Day - Labor Day - Columbus Day - Veterans Day - Thanksgiving Day - Christmas Day

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more


After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving... Read more

Transport notes

FLEET Our large fleet of vans are fully equipped with dual air-conditioning system, V8 engines and any camping or cooking equipment needed for your trip. Most have cloth-upholstered seats and carpeted interior with radio/tape or CD players. Your baggage is transported in a trailer which is towed behind the van. The vans are regularly serviced in our own maintenance facility and continuously check... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

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 weat... Read more


Hotel (7 nts)
€2,255per person
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Dec 15
San Francisco
Dec 22
San Francisco
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Jan 12
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