Program Overview: On this relaxed backpacking adventure, you’ll travel less daily miles than our other backpack trips. The route will take us through a variety of environments and into the heart of Yosemite. This trip starts at world famous Glacier Point with views of Yosemite Valley, Vernal and Nevada Falls, and Yosemite’s backcountry. After taking in those views, we’ll put on our packs and hike about 4 miles to our first camp. Much of this hike will be along the Illiloutte Creek and give us an opportunity explore the flora and fauna that inhabit this environment plus consider the watershed that delivers essential water to the San Joaquin Valley for farmers and their families. That evening, your naturalist will discuss topics related to the park as you gaze at the impressive forms of Mount Starr King and the Clark Range.
The next day, rise with the sun as the park comes to life! After enjoying breakfast, we’ll start a 5.5-mile day of hiking by swinging past Mount Starr King towards Little Yosemite Valley. Half Dome will rise above the horizon as we drop down to cross above Nevada Falls, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely lunch by the Merced River and marvel at the granite domes that surround you. In the afternoon our hike will take us past The Liberty Cap and into Little Yosemite Valley and afford you a chance to swim in the Merced River before your dinner. That evening take advantage of the darkness of a new moon and enjoy a stargazing program from the comfort of your sleeping bag. Your Naturalist will lead you on a trek through the galaxies. Let your legs rest while your mind wanders among the stars and planets above.
On the last day, just when you think it can’t get any better, it will! We’ll return to Glacier Point via the Panorama Trail which will give us incomparable views of Vernal and Nevada Falls, Sierra Point, and Yosemite Valley. A 5-mile hike will bring us back to Illilouette Creek where we can enjoy Ilillouette Falls as it drops 370’ into Yosemite Valley. After eating and replenishing our water, we’ll tackle the last 1.5 miles back to Glacier Point.
Know Before You Go:
- Program dates: Thursday, August 29 evening meeting 6:30pm-8pm. Start hike Friday, August 30 at 9 am and exit Sunday, September 1 by 4pm.
- Program location: Glacier Point
- What’s included: An evening meeting, a three day backpack trip with guided instruction by two Yosemite Naturalists, park entry (as needed), Wilderness permit, bear canister rental (as needed), , and shared tent camping before and 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 can arrive on August 29 after 12pm and must depart August 30. After the backpack, participants can arrive on September 1 after 12pm and depart, September 2 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: Wawona
- 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.