Yosemite Backpacking – Yosemite Valley

From: $760

per person dbl occ

Dates: Jun-Jun - see all dates

Total Days: 4

Activity Level: 3-4

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

Yosemite Backpacking – Yosemite Valley

Price:

2014

REI Member: $760

Non-member: $860

2015

REI Member: $800

Non-member: $875

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Jun 4–7
  • Jun 12–15
  • Jun 19–22
  • Jun 26–29

Dates subject to permit availability.

2015

  • Jun 4–7
  • Jun 11–14
  • Jun 18–21
  • Jun 25–28

Dates subject to permit availability.


Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-12

Activity Level: 3-4

Activities:

  • Backpacking

Accommodations:

Backpackers campground, 1 night; Backcountry camping, 2 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Follow Yosemite Creek on a 4 day backpacking trip in an amazing national park
  • Learn backpacking skills from experienced guides
  • Take a day hike up the rim of Yosemite Valley to the top of Eagle Peak

Smell the Jeffrey pines, wiggle your toes in crisp mountain streams, and enjoy the colors of a Sierra sunrise with adventurous companions as we backpack through majestic Yosemite Valley.

Yosemite features a variety of routes, each with its own distinct and ideal season and conditions for exploration. Our route along Yosemite Creek takes advantage of running snowmelt and gives us the chance to drop our full pack weight for a day as we day hike from a backcountry basecamp. Our guides reveal the park's wonders while discussing minimal impact travel and camping, the basics of packing light, and the history of the park.

Be aware that this is a backpacking course, and participants will be required to carry their personal gear (weighing about 20-25 lbs) and a portion of their tent, food, and group gear (weighing about 10-15 lbs) for the duration of the trip.

Looking for more ways to get away from the crowds and explore Yosemite's backcountry? See another side of the park with our Hetch Hetchy backpacking trip or explore Tuolumne Meadows and beyond on our High Country backpacking adventure.

Looking for more ways to get away from the crowds and explore Yosemite’s backcountry? See another side of the park with our Hetch Hetchy backpacking trip or explore Tuolumne Meadows and beyond on our High Country backpacking adventure.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Welcome to Yosemite where our backpacking adventure begins!
  • Day 2 - From the trailhead, set out on a full day of backpacking.
  • Day 3 - Set out from camp with day packs to hike to the top of Eagle Peak.
  • Day 4 - Returning along Yosemite Creek to Tioga Pass Road.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Welcome to Yosemite where our backpacking adventure begins!

    This trip begins in Yosemite National Park, CA. Today you will meet your guides and the other group members at the Backpackers' Campground, located at the far end of The North Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley. Group members must arrive at camp by 4:30 p.m. for a trip orientation, gear check and dinner. Please allow yourself ample time, as traffic can sometimes be an issue in the valley. Dinner included.

  • Day 2 - From the trailhead, set out on a full day of backpacking.

    We enjoy breakfast in camp before dividing up group gear, packing up our bags, and caravanning in our own personal vehicles, about 38 miles (45 minutes to an hour) to Yosemite Creek Trailhead on Tioga Pass Road. We'll set a comfortable pace as we hike through the coniferous forest of Jeffrey and western white Pines, keeping a sharp eye out for birds like the mountain chickadee or Clark's nutcracker. This is typically a full first day of backpacking, with time along the way for lunch and natural interpretation. Today's trail runs beside the rushing waters of Yosemite Creek, traveling just below the snowline. We'll stop for lunch along our route, which will be between 5-7 miles with an elevation loss of around 700 feet. A refreshing dip in the creek can wash away the miles and after dinner, we'll enjoy some camaraderie around the campfire. All meals provided.

    Mileage: 5-7 miles; 700 feet elevation loss

  • Day 3 - Set out from camp with day packs to hike to the top of Eagle Peak.

    After breakfast, we continue exploring the Yosemite backcountry. Today, we'll load up only our daypacks and set out for the rim of Yosemite Valley to enjoy the panoramic view from Eagle Peak, where we will experience Clouds Rest, Half Dome and other iconic features of the park face to face. If there's time and desire, we may also head over to the top of Yosemite Falls, 2,425 feet above the valley floor below. There should be time for a relaxing evening swim before dinner, and our final sleep under the Sierra stars will prepare us for the next day's hike back to civilization. All meals provided.

    Mileage: 6-8 miles; 1,000 feet elevation gain/loss

  • Day 4 - Returning along Yosemite Creek to Tioga Pass Road.

    On our final day, we'll break camp after breakfast and make our way out of the backcountry retracing our path up Yosemite Creek. The trail may seem familiar, but we'll have a different perspective now after our nights out in the clean mountain air. We plan to arrive back at our vehicles by 4:00 p.m. but there is no guarantee that we'll make it by then, so those flying out of Fresno should plan no flights before 9:30 p.m. and those flying out of Oakland should plan no flights home before 10:30 p.m. Breakfast and lunch included.

    Mileage: 5-7 miles; 700 feet elevation loss

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our very best to adhere to one of the schedules listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.  There are numerous beautiful and suitable routes available to our guides, and these routes may be utilized instead of those published in this itinerary when circumstances or conditions warrant. This trip is operated rain or shine.

Important Information about Air Travel

Contact REI Adventures prior to purchasing your airline tickets to confirm the trip has the minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

Professional instruction and guiding; meals as noted on the daily itinerary; 2-person tents; group cooking gear; group first aid kit, water filter; campsite and permit fees.

Not Included

Transportation; park entrance fees where required, insurance of any kind; alcoholic beverages; soft drinks; guide gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Closest Airport(s)

Merced, CA
Fresno, CA
Oakland, CA
Reno, NV

Transfers

Anticipate renting a car if flying in for this weekend getaway. Although YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation Service) does offer transportation from Merced to Yosemite National Park, this itinerary requires participants to drive themselves to our trailhead up on Tioga Pass Road.

Weather

Daytime temperatures usually range between 60-80 degrees F, with evening temperatures dropping to the 40s or 50s. You may encounter freezing temperatures at some of the higher elevations. Afternoon thunderstorms are a distinct possibility so adequate raingear is important.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. A limited number of single accommodations are available, and are assigned only as necessary.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Weekend Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and detailed pre-trip information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Yosemite Backpacking – Yosemite Valley Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Tents (3 season, 2 person)
  • Cooking gear
  • Stoves and fuel
  • Water filter
  • Group first aid kit
  • Bear canister
Backpacking Gear
  • Backpack: large internal frame or external frame (65-85 liters) – should be large enough to accommodate a cylindrical bear canister approximately 8.7” in diameter x 12.7”
  • Pack cover, waterproof
  • Lightweight compressible sleeping bag (rated at 20o-25o F)
  • Lightweight compressible sleeping pad (inflatables are best)
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket and pants, lightweight waterproof and breathable
Clothing
  • Midweight fleece jacket or wool sweater (or lighter upper body warm layer)
  • Midweight synthetic thermal top and bottoms (MAY count rain pants as this bottom layer, and/or 1 long-sleeve synthetic t-shirt type layer as top layer – dependent on expected temperature and date of travel)
  • Hiking pants, quick-drying, lightweight (zip-off legs are great & negate the need for shorts). No denim!
  • Hiking shorts, quick-drying, lightweight OR the shorts from your zip-off pants
  • 1 T-shirt, synthetic
  • 2 changes of underwear
  • 2 pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks
  • 2 pairs of synthetic sock liners (optional)
Clothing accessories
  • Sun hat with brim
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Bandana
  • Lightweight wool or fleece gloves
Footwear
  • Hiking boots: heavy duty, waterproof, and well broken-in, should rise above ankle
  • Water-friendly shoes or sandalsfor stream crossings (can also be used around camp)
Travel Accessories
  • You will need capacity for carrying 3 liters (or quarts) of water. This can be in the form of hard plastic bottles or in a hydration system, however the system must include at least one, 1-liter/quart Nalgene-type bottle (not a disposable water bottle).
  • Headlamp with new batteries and bulb
  • Plastic bowl, spoon, fork, mug
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock with minimum SPF 25 (small)
  • Lip balm (unscented)
  • Insect repellant (small)
  • Mosquito head net
  • Toothbrush and trial-size paste
  • Small pack towel and/or washcloth
  • Personal first aid kit, small and light weight (to include personal medications)
  • TP system: Place the following items in one 1-gallon Ziploc bag: ½ roll of toilet paper, 1 Ziploc 1-quart bag, sanitation trowel, small bottle of hand sanitizer. A few wet wipes can be a nice addition.
  • 1 large plastic garbage bag
Optional Field Gear… think weight!
  • Down vest or jacket (highly recommended)
  • Trekking poles (highly recommended)
  • Gaiters (low or trail running type)
  • Swimsuit
  • Compass
  • Ear plugs
  • Bic lighter
  • Paper and pen
  • Camera and spare batteries
  • Small, compressible daypack (example: REI Flash 18 pack)

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresYosemite Backpacking – Yosemite Valley
 
5.0

(based on 2 reviews)

Reviewed by 2 customers

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5.0

Great Weekend--Experiences of a lifetime

By adventurer13

from Van Nuys, CA

About Me Casual Adventurer

Site Member

Pros

  • Activity Level
  • Exceeded Expectations
  • Food
  • Group Camaraderie
  • Guides
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Well Organized Itinerary

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about REI Adventures Yosemite Backpacking – Yosemite Valley:

      Take chances and reach beyond your comfort zone. Try some of the additional bits available...help with the cooking, step off the planned trail (with the guides only!) and see what's hidden...enjoy the sunrise, the quiet, the companionship of strangers who quickly become hiking buddys. Experience a world so close and yet so far from your everyday life. The memories are incrediable!

      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
      • Why did you choose this trip?:
      • choose this trip because it fit in my schedule and experience level...which was I hadn't been camping in decades!
      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
      • The wow moment for me and my companions was breaking the tree line to the view from Eagle's Nest. It is easy to understand why John Muir said it was his favorite.
      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
      • Take very seriously the training before you depart. Any prep work will reward you with a more enjoyable time in the park. Ask the guides questions, they are bursting with information, advice and all around knowledge. Take the opportunity to pick the brains of those terrific guides!

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Looking forward to next year

      By bigtrout

      from Folsom CA/Reno NV

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Activity Level
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Food
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Quality Equipment Provided
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Yosemite Backpacking – Yosemite Valley:

          I wish I could give this trip more than 5 stars.
          It was an awsome trip. I can't express how much I enjoyed the whole experience with my fellow backpackers. The guides were passionate about our entire experience. The food was excellent. The scenery speaks for itself. For me, backpacking is the most (mentally and physically) healthy activity that I could do. Book this trip you wont be disapointed. What made this trip special was the people I was with. I hope we could a reunion trip next year.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • I've never backpacked Yosemite.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Spending time with the other campers.
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Prepare ahead of time for moderate physical activity.

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