Program Overview: Join us for a challenging and rewarding Yosemite adventure! On this two-day, one-night guided backpacking trip, you’ll hike 17 miles from Tioga Road to Yosemite Valley, including a stop at the soaring summit of Clouds Rest. Throughout the weekend, your trip leader will share stories about the park’s history, wildlife, plants and geology.
The trip kicks off with a Friday evening get-together at Upper Pines Campground, where you’ll meet your naturalist guide and fellow adventurers, and review the route, Leave No Trace ethics, and safety tips.
On Saturday morning, drive to meet your group at the Sunrise Trailhead, at the west end of Tenaya Lake off Tioga Road, around 8,600′ elevation. Start out strong with an eight mile day spent hiking up to Clouds Rest at just under 10,000′ elevation. After basking in the magnificent views of the vast Sierra Nevada from the summit, head down to set up camp near a creek. On Sunday, you’ll finish up the hike passing the backside of Half Dome, crossing the top of Nevada Falls, and follow the John Muir Trail down to Yosemite Valley at 4,000′ elevation!
You’ll be able to take a YARTS bus to get back to your car at the Sunrise Trailhead, if needed, and then have the option to spend the night camping at Upper Pines in the Valley.
Know Before You Go
- When: Friday, July 15 (orientation at 7:30 pm) to Sunday, July 17. Depart for backpacking trip on Saturday, July 16 at 7 am, return Sunday, July 17 at around 6:30 pm.
- Where: Tenaya Lake > Clouds Rest > Yosemite Valley
- Registration includes: Guided backpacking trip, park entry (as needed), bear-proof canister rental, Yosemite Wilderness permit, and tent camping at shared group sites before and after the trip. Camping is available at Upper Pines Campground on July 15 and July 17. There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass or campsites.
- Lodging options: Tent camping (included) or upgrade to Curry Village on July 15 and July 17 for an additional fee. Camping and lodging dates cannot be adjusted. The upgrade option expires 30 days before the program. Lodging information will be sent immediately after registering.
- Experience level: Participants must have prior backpacking experience, be physically fit, and be prepared for a strenuous 17-mile through hike. We recommend training in advance by hiking up hills or stairs while carrying a heavy pack.
COVID-19: We have implemented special safety measures to keep participants and instructors safe during the ongoing pandemic. Please review our COVID-19 procedures for details.