47° F

Experience Level



4-5 miles/day


4,800-6,000 feet

Registration Fee


Program Overview: Join one of our naturalist guides for a casual summer adventure in southern Yosemite. This trip is great for beginning backpackers, or for anyone seeking a relaxing weekend in a quiet part of the park!

The trip kicks off with a Friday evening get-together at Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley, 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. The next morning, head to the Alder Creek Trail in southwestern Yosemite for a two-day, one-night journey through a serene landscape of forests and flowing water. You’ll camp near Alder Creek Falls, one of the Yosemite Wilderness’s “hidden gems,” and learn about the natural and cultural history of this quiet part of the park.

Over the course of the trip, you’ll have the chance to practice backpacking basics, such as how to load and fit your pack, select and set up a campsite, cook a satisfying camp meal, and minimize your impact on your surroundings.

Know Before You Go

  • When: Friday, June 25 (orientation at 7:30 pm) to Sunday, June 27. Depart for backpacking trip on June 26 at around 10 am, return June 27 at around 2 pm.
  • Where: Orientation at Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley and backpacking on Alder Creek Trail in southwestern Yosemite.
  • 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 in Yosemite Valley before and after the trip (June 25 and June 27). 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 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!

View a suggested packing list.

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.