Program Overview: Join us for a challenging and rewarding Yosemite adventure! On this three-day, two-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, and you’ll have ample opportunities to photograph the scenic surroundings.
The trip kicks off with a Thursday evening get-together at Tuolumne Meadows Campground, where you’ll meet your naturalist guide and fellow adventurers, and review the route, Leave No Trace ethics, and safety tips, including our COVID-19 procedures.
On Friday morning, drive to meet your group at the Sunrise Trailhead, at the west end of Tenaya Lake off Tioga Road. Stretch your legs on the trail for a few miles before setting up camp for the night. On Saturday, hike up to the top of Clouds Rest — you’ll leave your backpack safely below and head up with only a day back, leaving you free to enjoy the experience without extra weight on your shoulders! After basking in the magnificent views of the vast Sierra Nevada from the summit, head back down, retrieve your gear, and set up camp near a creek.
On Sunday, hike down to Yosemite Valley. 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 Tuolumne Meadows or in the Valley.
Know Before You Go
- When: Thursday, July 15 (orientation at 7:30 pm) to Sunday, July 18. Depart for backpacking trip on July 16 (8 am), return July 18 at around 6:30 pm.
- Where: Tuolumne Meadows Campground (orientation), Sunrise Trailhead to Clouds Rest and Yosemite Valley (backpack).
- 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 Tuolumne Meadows Campground on July 15 and 18; participants have the option to camp in Yosemite Valley (instead of Tuolumne Meadows) on July 18. 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 (July 18 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 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. 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.