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Experience Level



6-7 miles/day


7,200 feet

Registration Fee


Relaxed Backpack: History of Trails, from Tribes to Tourists

Program Overview: Join us for a casual backcountry camping experience and dip your toes into alpine backpacking! We’ll travel through history as we follow Yosemite Creek towards Yosemite Valley. You’ll learn about an ancient trail that California Tribes have used for thousands of years, a trail miners followed toward their dreams, a trail where tourists first experience the wilderness — where memories are still made. Your naturalist guide Brian Shoor will share the extensive cultural history of this area, and you’ll be only half-listening, mesmerized by the beautiful views and cool waters of Yosemite Creek. Yes, we’ll make time to swim! This adventure is the perfect balance of human history and natural beauty.

Thursday night, you’ll meet your Naturalist Guide for an orientation. On Friday we’ll begin our hike at the Yosemite Creek Campground about five miles off the Tioga Road, Hwy 120. From there we’ll follow a playful Yosemite Creek for approximately 5 miles before setting up camp in Yosemite’s wilderness. After dinner, your guide will begin an epic story about the creation of trails and what they were used for. Saturday begins slowly. After a leisurely breakfast, grab your day pack for a short 2 mile hike to the top of Yosemite Falls. View Yosemite Valley from over 2,400 feet above the Valley floor! We’ll explore the area and enjoy lunch before returning the 2 miles back to camp. That evening the story will continue and we discuss how trails turn to roads and the effects of such development. Finally, we’ll have a slow morning on Sunday, then make our way back up the creek to Yosemite Creek Campground.

Know Before You Go:

  • Program dates: Intro meeting Thursday, July 13 from 7:30pm-9pm. Backpack trip starts Friday, July 14 at 8:30 am and ends Sunday, July 16 by 4 pm.
  • Program location: Yosemite Creek Trail
  • What’s included: An evening meeting and 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 July 13 after 12 pm and must depart July 14. After the backpack, participants can arrive on July 16 and must depart July 17 by 11 am. 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 fire pit are provided at each site. Campsites fit 6 people per site.
  • Campground location: TBD
  • Lodging: No upgrades available for this program
  • 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 including gear rental options.