Program Overview: Join us for an unforgettable Yosemite experience on a classic wilderness route! This two-day, one-night guided backpacking trip from Tioga Road features incredible views — including from the skyscraping summit of Clouds Rest. Throughout the weekend, your trip leader will share stories about the park’s history, wildlife, plants and geology, and you’ll have ample opportunities to photograph the scenic surroundings.
The trip kicks off with a Friday evening get-together at Tuolumne Meadows Campground, where you’ll meet your guide and fellow adventurers, and review the route, Leave No Trace ethics, and safety tips, including our COVID-19 procedures (see below).
On Saturday morning, start your journey at the Sunrise Trailhead, located just off Tioga Road at the west end of Tenaya Lake. Hike about 3.5 miles along the trail to a small pond, where you’ll set up camp for the night. On Sunday, you’ll hike up to the top of Clouds Rest, leaving your backpack safely at camp and carrying only a daypack, so you can enjoy the experience without extra weight on your shoulders! After a leisurely stop at the summit to savor the magnificent views and marvel at the Valley from far above, you’ll head back down, pick up your gear, do a final sweep of camp, and then hike back out to Tioga Road.
Know Before You Go
- When: Friday, September 3 (orientation at 7:30 pm) to Sunday, September 5. Depart for backpacking trip on September 4 at 9 am, return September 5 at around 5 pm.
- Where: Tuolumne Meadows Campground (orientation) and Tenaya Lake to/from Clouds Rest (backpack).
- Registration includes: Guided backpacking trip, park entry (as needed), bear-proof canister rental, Yosemite Wilderness permit, and two nights of tent camping at a shared group site at Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers Campground before and after the trip (September 3 and 5). There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass or campsite.
- Lodging options: Tent camping (included), or upgrade to Tuolumne Meadows Lodge (September 5 only) for an additional fee. Camping and lodging dates cannot be adjusted. The upgrade option expires 30 days before the program.
- Experience level: Participants must be physically fit and be ready to cover about 15 miles of high-elevation hiking over two days.
COVID-19: We have implemented special safety measures to keep participants and instructors safe during the ongoing pandemic. For example, participants will hike single-file and keep moving to avoid crowding the trail, and instructors will stop to offer interpretation only when there is ample space to stay at least six feet apart. Please review our COVID-19 procedures for details.