Program Overview: Join us for an unforgettable Yosemite adventure along a classic wilderness route. This three-day, two-night guided backpacking trip features a moderate trek through the Sierra Nevada backcountry — plus jaw-dropping views and the chance to learn from an experienced Yosemite naturalist.
The trip kicks off with a Thursday 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 Friday morning, you’ll hike south from Tioga Road for about three miles and set up camp near the Sunrise Lakes High Sierra Camp. This will be home for the next two nights. On Saturday, the group will head to the top of Clouds Rest. For the day hike, you’ll leave your backpack safely at camp and carry only a daypack, so you can focus on the experience without extra weight on your shoulders. You’ll arrive at the summit with plenty of time to savor the magnificent 360-degree view and marvel at the Valley from far above. After another night at camp, enjoy a leisurely Sunday morning before hiking back out to Tioga Road.
This route offers ample opportunities to learn about Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada (and to capture incredible photos). Throughout the weekend, your leader will share tips for the trail, point out notable natural features, and offer insights about the park’s history, wildlife and geology. Bring your curiosity!
Know Before You Go
- When: Thursday, August 12 (orientation at 7:30 pm) to Sunday, August 15. Depart for backpacking trip on August 13 at 9 am, return August 15 at around 2 pm.
- Where: Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers Campground (orientation), out-and-back hike from Tioga Road to Clouds Rest.
- 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 Campground before and after the trip (August 12 and 15). There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass or campsite.
- Lodging options: Tent camping included. Camping dates cannot be adjusted. No additional lodging options have been arranged for this program, but guests are welcomed to find their own alternate accommodations if desired.
- Experience level: No prior backpacking experience necessary, but participants must be physically fit.
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.