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 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, set out from Tuolumne Meadows to Young Lakes (10,000 feet), where you’ll set up a base camp for the weekend. Spend Saturday on a day hike to Mt. Conness (12,590 feet), and savor the views from the soaring summit before heading back to camp for another evening under the stars. Hike out on Sunday, arriving back at Tuolumne Meadows in the afternoon.
Throughout the weekend, your guide will offer insights into the area’s ecology, landscape and history, as you look for summer flowers in bloom, listen for seasonal songbirds and enjoy expansive mountain views. You’ll 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 a cliff-lined alpine lake to the peak’s rocky slopes.
Know Before You Go
- When: Thursday, August 19 (orientation at 7:30 pm) to Sunday, August 22. Depart for backpacking trip on August 20 at 8 am, return August 22 at around 4 pm.
- Where: Tuolumne Meadows Campground (orientation), out-and-back hike from Tuolumne Meadows to Mt. Conness.
- 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 20 and 22). 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: Participants must have prior backpacking experience at elevations above 10,000 feet, be very physically fit, and be ready to carry personal gear for 18+ miles of high-elevation hiking over three days, including some off-trail travel on steep, rugged terrain. We recommend spending a few days and nights at high elevation immediately before the trip, to adjust to the altitude.
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.