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Experience Level

Advanced

Hiking

8-9 miles/day

Elevation

8,600-12,590 feet

Registration Fee

$499

Program Overview: Spend a long weekend surrounded by the incomparable beauty of the Sierra Nevada high country on this three-day, two-night guided backpacking trip.

The trip kicks off Thursday with an optional acclimation hike in Tuolumne Meadows where you’ll meet your guide and fellow adventurers while preparing yourself for the backpack trek ahead. That same day you’ll have an evening get-together and review the route, Leave No Trace ethics, and safety tips, including our COVID-19 procedures.

On Friday morning, set out from Tuolumne Meadows (8,600 feet) to Young Lakes (10,000 feet), where you’ll set up a base camp for the weekend. Spend Saturday on a cross-country day hike to Mt. Conness (12,590 feet) and savor the views from the dizzying summit before heading back to camp for another evening under the stars. Hike out on Sunday, arriving back at Tuolumne Meadows in the afternoon.

From start to finish, you will have hiked 4,000 feet in elevation. That’s a lot of elevation gain! Not just physically but mentally too.

Throughout the weekend, your guide will offer insights into the area’s ecology and history, as you look for summer flowers in bloom, listen for seasonal songbirds and enjoy expansive mountain views. You’ll hear stories about the people of Tuolumne, the stewards of the park, and the formation of a national icon. You’ll also learn to navigate off-trail as you hike cross-country to Mt. Conness, a challenging but rewarding trek on tricky terrain. And you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy stunning high-elevation scenery, from your camp at Young Lakes, a cliff-lined alpine lake to Mt. Conness’s rocky slopes.

This is a difficult hike but the rewards are significant; breath taking vistas, cleansing waters, and the satisfaction of a summit. Looking for an experience of a lifetime? This one is it!

Know Before You Go:

  • Program dates: Thursday, August 3, 9 am-3 pm day hike (optional for acclimatization) and evening meeting 7:30pm-9pm. Start hike at 8am Friday, August 4 and exit Sunday, August 6 by 4pm.
  • Program location: Start in Tuolumne Meadows hiking the Dog Lake/Young Lakes Trail to Young Lakes. From Young Lakes it is cross-country travel to summit Mt. Conness
  • What’s included: An optional day hike for acclimatization, an evening meeting, three full days of guided instruction by a Yosemite Naturalist, park entry (as needed), and shared tent camping (camping dates cannot be altered). There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass or campsite.
  • Camping dates: Participants can arrive on August 2 after 12pm and must depart August 4. After the backpack, participants can arrive on August 6 after 12pm and depart, August 7 by 11am. There are three shared campsites among all the participants. We guarantee tent camping only. If you choose to bring a recreational vehicle, we cannot guarantee you will have a parking spot. Please be prepared to tent camp. A picnic table, bear locker and firepit are provided at each site. Campsites fit 6 people per site.
  • Campground Location: White Wolf
  • Lodging: N/A
  • Experience level: Participants must have prior backpacking experience, be physically fit, and be prepared for a strenuous 20 mile roundtrip hike at high elevations reaching 12,600′. We recommend training in advance by hiking up hills or stairs while carrying a heavy pack.

What’s not included:

  • Gear or meals during your program.
  • Camping gear or meals in the shared campsites.
  • Transportation.

View a suggested packing list including gear rental options.