Program Overview: Soak up the splendor of the final days of spring in Yosemite’s high country during a guided backpacking trip along the Tuolumne River. The trip kicks off with a Thursday evening get-together at Crane Flat 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, your three-day out-and-back journey begins! From Tuolumne Meadows, you’ll hike along the edge of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne to set up camp at Glen Aulin, your home for the next two nights. Spend Saturday relaxing by the river or walking to nearby Waterwheel Fall, enjoy a second night under the stars, and then hike back out to Tuolumne Meadows on Sunday. Throughout the weekend, you’ll learn about the plants and animals that live in the Sierra Nevada’s high-elevation habitats, and you’ll have plenty of time to savor the dramatic scenery in this beautiful corner of the park.
Know Before You Go
- When: Thursday, June 17 (orientation at 7:30 pm) to Sunday, June 20. Depart for backpacking trip on June 18 at 8 am, return June 20 at around 4 pm.
- Where: Crane Flat Campground (orientation) and Tuolumne Meadows/Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River (backpacking).
- 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 Crane Flat Campground before and after the trip (June 17 and June 20). There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass or campsite.
- Lodging options: Tent camping (included), or upgrade to Curry Village (June 20 only) for an additional fee. Camping and lodging dates cannot be adjusted. The upgrade option expires 30 days before the program.
- Experience level: No experience necessary, but participants must be physically fit and prepared to hike 6–7 miles per day.
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 program procedures for details.