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Taking a Yosemite tour from San Francisco is a great option if you have the time! Check out our favorite tours to this magnificent national park.

Yosemite National Park is known for its glacier-cut rock formations and breathtaking waterfalls. With national landmarks such as Half Dome, Glacier Point, Tuolumne Meadows, and Yosemite Falls, this park is well worth visiting. If you have enough time during your visit to the West Coast, we definitely recommend taking a Yosemite tour from San Francisco!

Once you get back from Yosemite, catch a ride on our A Day in the Bay Tour to visit the Bay Area’s most popular national park sites — Muir Woods & Alcatraz!

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Best Yosemite Tours From San Francisco

Take a Yosemite tour from San Francisco to see the incredible Half Dome

Yosemite History

The Yosemite Valley has long been considered one of California’s most famous national parks.

President Abraham Lincoln first signed an act to protect the land in 1864. Since then, it has been a popular destination for hikers, campers, photographers, and tourists.

Yosemite is famous for its natural beauty. Visitors here are awed by the towering cliffs of El Capitan, the beauty of the Tuolumne Grove, and the majesty Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in Northern America. But perhaps its most popular landmark is the granite rock formation of Half Dome.

Some of our favorite Yosemite tours will take you so close to Half Dome that you can actually see rock climbers scaling the sheer granite face!

The Giant Sequoia tunnel trees, like the one in Tuolumne Grove, are also favorite tourist attractions. These tunnels have been popularized since the Victorian Era when the park first opened.

How far is Yosemite from San Francisco

The Dead Giant tunnel tree has been a favorite spot for photos since the Civil War

How far is Yosemite from San Francisco?

Yosemite is about four hours east of San Francisco.

If you’re planning on traveling from San Francisco and back in one day, prepare for a pretty long day. We recommend getting started on your trip as early as 5 or 6 a.m. This will give you plenty of time to explore the park before trekking back to the city!

If you only have a short amount of time in San Francisco, this is a doable option. While it will be a long day, you’ll get to experience some of the incredible sights in Yosemite Valley!

Since there’s so much to see in Yosemite, planning a two day trip is a great option! It’s easy to find a car rental in San Francisco. Then you can make the scenic drive yourself and stay overnight.

The historic Ahwahnee Hotel, located right in the heart of the valley, is our favorite option for staying in the park. If the impressive architecture of this old hotel isn’t enough to make you want to stay here, maybe the full service gourmet restaurant in the building will persuade you! While you’ll pay a premium for this hotel, you’ll have an unforgettable experience.

As fun as a DIY Yosemite tour can be, making all the arrangements to get into the park yourself can be a bit stressful. Because of this, we always suggest a Yosemite National Park tour from San Francisco. A round trip tour package will make your trip easy and stress free!

Keep reading to see our favorite Yosemite Tour options.

Yosemite to San Francisco

Book a car rental for your own DIY Yosemite tour from San Francisco

Does Dylan’s Tours offer Yosemite tours from San Francisco?

Dylan’s has a reputation for offering one of the best tours of San Francisco & Muir Woods, but we don’t have the expertise to lead Yosemite bus tours.

Since we don’t offer Yosemite tours from San Francisco, we are frequently asked by travelers on our San Francisco bike tours and bus tours about suggestions on how to do a Yosemite day trip from San Francisco.

So, we’ve put together this list of some of our favorites to help you plan a memorable day trip to Yosemite.

The Best Yosemite Tours from San Francisco

Incredible Adventures

Small-Group Yosemite Tour from San Francisco


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“It is easier to feel than to realize, or in any way explain, Yosemite grandeur. The magnitudes of the rocks and trees and streams are so delicately harmonized, they are mostly hidden.” – John Muir ?️ On this day in 1890, one of our favorite places was born. We bring thousands of people to Yosemite every year, and never tire of the looks on people’s faces the first time they see the valley. We intend to keep this beautiful place pure and protected, so that we can enjoy its wonder every day for the next 128 years and more ? • • • • • #findyourpark #yosemite #optoutside #rei1440project #yosemitenationalpark #halfdome #getoutside #getoutstayout #nationalparks #choosemountains #skyporn #theoutbound #goparks #sunrise #nationalpark #sunsetlovers #nationalparkgeek #keepitwild #adventureculture #cloudporn #sunsets #exploremore #thegreatoutdoors #elcapitan #sunsetporn #stayandwander #wildcalifornia #visitcalifornia #nps

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This Yosemite tour picks up from a variety of central SF locations such as Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the BART station. So it’ll be easy for you to catch the bus!

If the 4 1/2 hour drive on this Yosemite trip from San Francisco sounds daunting, don’t worry! You’ll have a rest stop about half way through the drive to hop off the bus and stretch your legs.

Once you make it to Yosemite National Park, you’ll start with a short bus tour of the Yosemite Valley. This tour includes photo stops for some of the most iconic Yosemite attractions. You’ll see Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and more!

After your guided Yosemite tour you’ll take a break for lunch. Then, you’ll have three hours to explore the park on your own! This is a great opportunity to take a short hike. Bike rentals are also popular in the valley. Having a bike makes it easy to quickly travel between all of Yosemite’s attractions.

Once you’ve had a few hours exploring on your own, you’ll be able to settle back into the bus for your ride back to San Francisco.

Extranomical Tours

Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias Trip

This tour also starts off in central San Francisco. So, you can find pick up locations around Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, and the BART station.

The drive out to Yosemite will take about four hours, with a stop along the way to rest and stretch out a bit.

Once you arrive at Yosemite National Park, you’ll enjoy a guided ride with stops for iconic Yosemite monuments. You’ll be shuttled to sights like the tunneled-out Giant Sequoia tree in Tuolumne Grove, Half Dome, and El Capitain. And don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time for photos at each stop!

Best Bay Area Tours

Yosemite in a Day Tour From San Francisco

We are big fans of this small local tour company.

First off, they use comfortable small minibuses. In fact, their buses are similar to the ones we use for our most popular San Francisco bus tours!

This one day Yosemite tour offers hotel pickup at Parc 55 hotel in Union Square, as well as additional pick up areas near Fisherman’s Wharf.

This Yosemite tour begins with a drive over the often-overlooked San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. From the bridge you’ll be able to see the skyline of the San Francisco’s waterfront, Alcatraz Island, and much of the bay. The views are fantastic!

After the four hour drive to the park, your first stop will be to see the towering Giant Sequoias. It’s a short hike to see the trees, so come prepared to walk on this Yosemite guided tour! Then, the tour continues through the National Park. Along the way, you’ll have opportunities to stop for photos of iconic natural monuments.

After the guided portion of the tour, you will have a few hours of free time. So, you can enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many cafes or picnic areas, or take a quick hike to see Yosemite Falls! Then just hop back on the tour bus for a relaxing ride back to the city.

Gray Line San Francisco

Yosemite National Park Day Trip from San Francisco

This Yosemite one day tour is the most economical option of all the Yosemite day trips in this list.

Unlike the other companies we’ve listed, you won’t get a guided bus tour through the park. But you will get four hours of free time to explore Yosemite National Park on your own!

This tour is ideal if you aren’t interested in a guided tour of Yosemite. You’ll have affordable transportation from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park, and plenty of time to explore the area on your own.

Looking to extend your time at Yosemite? You can reserve a room at a nearby hotel or try to get a camping spot on the valley floor. When you’re ready to head back to the city, Gray Line San Francisco offers a return bus from Yosemite to San Francisco.

Two day Yosemite tours from San Francisco are really fun if you have the time! This is a great way to spread out your sightseeing and see more of the park. We definitely recommend this option if your schedule allows.

Cross Roads Tours & Limos

Yosemite and Glacier Point Tour from San Francisco by Train

Looking for a scenic and unique way to get from SF to Yosemite? Then taking a two day Amtrak train tour is the choice for you!

The scenic train ride from the city to Yosemite Valley is one of the most memorable parts of this trip. This tour is budget-friendly too, since your park entry fees, accommodations, lunch, and tour guide are all included as part of the ticket price.

On your first day, you’ll arrive by train and check into your hotel. The train comes in fairly late in the day, just in time for you to enjoy nearby restaurants.

After breakfast on your second day, you’ll join a shuttle bus to Yosemite National Park. You’ll have opportunities to explore parts of Yosemite that are normally closed off to tour buses. Since you’ll have a full day in the park, there will also be plenty of time to spend hiking and exploring!

At the end of the day you’ll be dropped off at the train station to catch a ride back to San Francisco.

Yosemite tours from San Francisco

Looking to experience more national park sites in California? Reserve your spot on our A Day in the Bay Tour to visit Alcatraz Prison Island and Muir Woods with us!

Learn More About the #1 Bay Area Tour

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