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Experience Level

Easy

Hiking

1-3 miles

Elevation

9,200 feet

Registration Fee

$165

Program Overview: On this guided overnight trip, you’ll get to experience a natural treasure — Yosemite’s night skies.

After meeting up with your trip leader and fellow adventurers, you’ll hike about a mile from the May Lake Trailhead. You’ll set up camp at a spot with a clear view of the sky, at an elevation where it won’t get too cold to sleep outside under the stars. As night falls, your naturalist will use a laser pointer to single out specific stars and constellations, and you can search the sky for distant planets — all from the comfort of your sleeping bag. The program curriculum focuses on astronomy (including but not limited to star science, constellations, planetary science, perception of light/how light travels, etc.), as well as story/lore/mythology rooted in cultures both locally, and across the world.

Pack your sleeping gear, a tent (just in case!), and simple meals, such as premade sandwiches, and prepare to be dazzled by what you can see in just one night out in the mountains.

Know Before You Go:

  • Program dates: Backpack trip begins Friday, July 5 at 4pm and concludes Saturday, July 6 at 10am.
  • Program location: May Lake
  • What’s included: A one night backpack trip with instruction by a Yosemite Naturalist, July 6 is a free day to explore the park on your own after the program, park entry (as needed), Wilderness permits, and shared tent camping after the trek (camping dates cannot be altered). There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass or campsite.
  • Camping dates: Participants have the option to camp after the backpack trip on July 6, arriving to the campground after 12pm and depart July 7 by 11am. There are two 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
  • Experience level: All levels welcome, must be physically fit to walk at elevation with a backpack.

What’s not included:

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

View a suggested packing list.