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Experience Level

Strenuous

Hiking

Very strenuous

Elevation

4,000–8,800 feet

Registration Fee

$329

Whether you are looking to tackle Half Dome for the first time, or you have climbed the cables before and are eager to make another ascent, this unforgettable experience is sure to top your list of things to do in Yosemite!

On this two-night backpacking adventure, you’ll get to spend time in the beautiful Yosemite Wilderness and summit one of the world’s most iconic natural features. Your guide, an experienced naturalist, will share insider stories and tips for the trail throughout the journey.

The trip kicks off with a Thursday-evening get-together in Yosemite Valley, followed by a Friday-morning backpack to Little Yosemite Valley, where you’ll camp for two nights at a comfortable site that includes bear-proof food lockers and restrooms.

On Saturday, leave your backpack at camp, and hike to the Half Dome cables carrying only a day pack. Make your ascent, and share the thrill of standing on the summit with your fellow adventurers. Savor your time at the top, and head down before the heat, crowds and afternoon thunderstorms roll in. On Sunday morning, pack up camp, and enjoy a leisurely hike down the John Muir Trail, returning to Yosemite Valley in time to enjoy a well-deserved cold beverage, as you celebrate your amazing adventure with a group of new friends.

For a sneak peek at what it’s like to summit this granite wonder, watch the “Half Dome” episode of Yosemite Nature Notes.

Included with your registration: 

  • An introductory meeting (7:30 pm on Thursday, September 10 in Yosemite Valley) and three full days of guided backpacking starting and ending in Yosemite Valley (leave Friday, September 11 at 8 am and return Sunday, September 13 by 4 pm — actual time will depend on group pace). 
  • Park entry (as needed).
  • All required permits (Half Dome and Yosemite Wilderness).
  • Two nights of tent camping before and after the trip at Upper Pines Campground or Backpackers Campground in Yosemite Valley, if needed (Thursday, September 10 and Sunday, September 13). 
    • Note: Our limited campsites are for participants only. The sites are shared. Tents only. We cannot adjust the dates. 
  • Option to upgrade accommodations to Curry Village for an additional fee (for Thursday, September 10 and Sunday, September 13).
    • Information about upgrading your accommodations will be emailed to you after you sign up. The option to upgrade expires 30 days before the program. We cannot adjust the dates.

Note: There is no discount if you choose not to use our gate pass, campsites or permits.

Participants must have prior backpacking experience and be very physically fit. This is a 17-mile round-trip hike, including 9 miles with a full backpack. It is recommended that participants train for this trek by hiking hills or stairs carrying a heavy pack.

View a suggested packing list.